Inspired, strengthened and sustained by faith, the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing is committed to confronting the unconscionable and unacceptable reality of homelessness in New York City. Recognizing society's shared responsibility and working as partners with those who have experienced homelessness, the Assembly will mobilize communities of faith to empower all people, to advocate public policies to eliminate homelessness, and strive for the transformation of society.
The precious few federal programs that provide rental assistance to the nation’s poorest and most vulnerable families are already underfinanced. These programs provide decent housing for about only a quarter of the low-income families who qualify for them. And with nearly nine million households teetering on the verge of homelessness, the country clearly needs more support for affordable housing, not less.
The main federal programs are traditional public housing, for which the government provides operating expenses, plus two different programs under Section 8 of the housing law, in which rents are subsidized in privately owned properties. Federal housing programs provide a lifeline for about five million low-income households that would otherwise be unable to afford livable housing at all.
Read entire piece at New York Times.
On Sunday, September 16th, Marc Greenberg, the executive director at the IAHH, and Dennis Barton, an IAHH board member and Life Skills Empowerment Program (LSEP) mentor, spoke and presented at a service held at the West End Collegiate Church.
During the service, Marc highlighted key housing policy campaigns that the IAHH is currently focusing on, and provided statistical information on homelessness in New York City.
The presentation was also coupled with a moving testimony by Dennis Barton. In his speech to the West End congregation, Dennis provided a touching account of his personal experiences with homelessness and discussed how he was able to turn to his faith and good people in order to reclaim his life. By comparing his experiences to the analogy of the parable of the prodigal son, Dennis emphasized the key point that homeless individuals are looking for a hand up, not a handout.
After the conclusion of the service, Marc and Dennis met with congregation members and distributed literature regarding the work and focus of the IAHH.
We thank senior pastor Michael S. Bos, associate pastor Jes Kast-Keat, and the entire West End congregation for welcoming the IAHH with open arms this past Sunday. We look forward to strengthening and deepening our ties with more community institutions like the West End Collegiate Church in the near future.
The mayor of Portalnd, OR has announced a plan to require owners of vacant buildings in the city to report their contact information contact information so they can be held accountable should they become a public nuisance or a public safety issue.
The Interfaith Assembly currently supports our friends at Picture the Homeless as they pursue similar efforts in New York City.