Picture the Homeless

Award Recipients - 2002

Anthony Williams & Lewis Haggins, Co-Founders

Picture the Homeless is a membership organization created in 2000 and led by homeless people on the principle that homeless people have civil and human rights regardless of race, creed, color or economic status.  The group’s mission is to challenge root causes of homelessness and change quality of life laws that criminalize homeless people.  Picture the Homeless believes that the voices and leadership of homeless people are critical to educate the public and mobilize the political will that can end homelessness.  The organization insists that “the voices and expertise of homeless people be heard at all levels of decision-making.”  Strategies include grassroots organizing, educating homeless people about their rights, public education, changing media stereotypes and building relationships, with allies.  Their motto is “Don’t Talk About Us, Talk With Us.”
Picture the Homeless seeks to change the industry that perpetuates homelessness and move the public debate from criminalizing the homeless to solving homelessness by addressing root causes such as lack of affordable housing, living wage and health care.  Picture the Homeless educated homeless people about their civil rights and participates in the New York Continuum of care Planning Process, which decides how federal funding is spent annually for assistance to the homeless.  The group successfully advocated for inclusion of homeless people in the process and trains homeless people to participate.

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