WRAP: Ending Homelessness


root - Posted on 31 December 1969

A New National project is launched to create innovative ways to end Homelessness in Amerikka

by Paul Boden

Founded in Spring, 2005, the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) is an innovative organization determined to make ending homelessness a national priority. By ensuring that legislators in Washington DC receive a constant, consistent, constituent-informed message from the west coast, WRAP strives to shape public policies that address the systemic causes of poverty, ensure adherence to human rights, and are also grounded in the experiences of those who live with and work on homeless issues every day.

The foundation for WRAP’s work has been developing over the past twenty years. When Federal funding for affordable housing and for health care, education and employment initiatives to prevent and eliminate homelessness has been drastically cut, the number of homeless people has risen to unprecedented proportions. WRAP recognizes that the time to organize and demand protection of our human rights and dignity has surely come.

Our government’s disregard for human rights is most blatantly displayed in the U.S.’s extreme homelessness. When community-based agencies scramble to fit their program objectives within arbitrary paradigms that often pit service providers against each other, we abandon a dialogue that asserts the basic human rights to livable incomes, education, housing and medical care. WRAP will amplify the voices of homeless persons across the Western US, while enhancing the advocacy infrastructure of the established grassroots organizations that are our member agencies.

WRAP seeks to end homelessness in the United States by sparking a national movement born on the west coast and led by homeless people and front line social service staff. This will be achieved through a revolution of values in this country where homelessness is no longer seen as acceptable, and the human rights of our poorest residents are recognized, embraced and respected. We will use a bottom up organizing strategy that incorporates broad public education, legislative analysis and creation, and constituent pressure on the federal government to achieve our goal.

WRAP is rooted in the belief that each of us has something to teach the other and each has something to learn. This premise drives our organizational development and our outreach to the community. We believe that people become leaders by listening, researching and responding to what the members of our communities identify as their primary issues.

Our role is to act as a local tool that supplies a support system to sustain our member organizations’ community-based leadership development and organizing work, while facilitating interregional meetings of the outreach staff. WRAP members have a solid track record of creating a work environment that respects the precarious state of our homeless staff and volunteers, and provides them with opportunities for skill building and an organizing platform

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