Advocate

Write Letters to Government Officials: Contact your Congresspeople and Senators, urging officials to support legislation that aids homeless people and children. Organize a letter writing campaign among your classmates or within your school.

Respond to National Coalition for Homelessness Legislative Alerts: These alerts give the most up-to-date information about what is happening in Congress affecting homelessness, and what you can do about it. They are online at www.nationalhomeless.org.

Attend Neighborhood and Public Meetings: Speak up in favor of low-income housing, group homes, shelters, and homelessness prevention programs.

Encourage Homeless People, Agency Volunteers and Staff to Write Government Officials: They should ask them to give the issue of homelessness top priority and to find humane solutions to the problem. Use opportunities like special holiday meals to do this; provide paper, pens, stamped envelopes, and sample messages at every meeting and event.

Teach Your Friends about Homelessness: Learn as much as you can about homelessness. Involve others by inviting your classmates to join in or support your efforts. Share what you learn about people who are homeless with them, and tell them to pass it on. If you or your family volunteer, bring your friends along.

Inform Your Class: Do your next class presentation or report or paper on some aspect of homelessness. Ask your teacher if a person who is or who has experienced homelessness, or someone who works in a homeless shelter or coalition, could come and talk to your class.

Create a Service-Learning Program at Your School: Find out if your school would be willing to establish a program that allows students to receive recognition or credit for community service activities.

Become Involved in Annual Service Projects like National Youth Service Day and National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week: These projects occur every year, and help to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness. There are many activities, such as walk-a-thons, supply drives and rallies, surrounding each of these projects.

Participate in an “Urban Plunge”: Spend a weekend experiencing what it is like to be without a home. Contact the National Coalition for the Homeless for more information.

Write to Your Newspapers:  Send a letter to your local paper(s) about some issue related to homelessness. Ask them to run a weekly or monthly listing of area shelters, soup kitchens, and other services that aid homeless people, or are working to end homelessness, and the volunteer help that they need.