Thursday, November 01, 2007

"Homelessness is a Condition - Not a Crime" - Position Statement from St. Vincent de Paul

The Voice of the Poor Committee of the St. Vincent de Paul Council of the United States has recently published a Position Statement on Homelessness.

In this Statement they call on the Society to "look out for and act on issues from the perspective of the homeless. As advocates, voters, tax payers, and constituents of politicians we have a voice and we must insure that the poor are listened too...the needs of those suffering from homelessness must not be ignored."

Their position states:
  • No person should be forced to live in bodily fear or in substandard conditions Every person needs access to minimum living conditions – safety, access to sanitation, food, clothing, shelter, medical assistance.

  • Particular attention must be given to those who are unable to care for themselves – children and youth, the elderly, sick, addicted, mentally ill.
  • There is no substitute for an involved, effective and committed government. We believe local, state and federal governments must make poverty a priority and become involved in addressing solutions, including fully funding programs that tackle homelessness.

  • Every person deserves an education. Practical, hands-on training that teaches a job proficiency and provides those with limited skills the opportunity to earn a decent income can go a long way to building self-esteem and dignity.
  • Workers must earn enough to be able to provide shelter and a decent life for their families. Communities cannot be satisfied with a minimum wage that is lower than the cost of living.

  • Safe, reliable, affordable child care is critical. Welfare to work programs must include funding for quality child care.

  • It is shameful that any veteran need resort to homelessness.

The entire Position Statement which also includes many resources, statistics and policy recommendations is located at


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