The People’s Advocacy Council
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Representing the aspirations and goals of Homeless and formerly homeless people.”
“Nothing about us without us.” We are striving to create a broad community coalition.
· This council is for leadership training and a speaker’s bureau.
· It is for citizen advocacy for all places where homeless people are served and on all boards that provide resources for homeless people.
· The Council is a political action and lobbying means for relevant change affecting the homeless and those who are living marginally, in poverty, and to incite all people to lead better fundamental lives.
· The Council is for people to be trained to rise up and testify for fair housing, employment, and housing for everyone, for equity in places to live, for a house for all groups that is caring and compassionate, and leads to empowering people.
· The Council is for leading and self-sufficiency, equality, justice and education for all citizens, regardless where we live and what our status is in this world.
The People’s Advocacy Council (formerly the People’s Leadership Council) has been meeting since May of 2009 with as few as four and as many as twenty individuals coming together around issues such as jobs, housing, mental health, personal storage space, and the proposed cutbacks to AND (Aid to Needy Disabled). The meetings have been organized by Randle Loeb, while the participants have been people on the street, people in transitional housing, and at times staff from various provider agencies. The meetings were built on earlier efforts going back to the Denver Voice, Tent City, and the People in Public Places forums.
The People’s Advocacy Council is a grass-roots, advocacy group led by homeless and formerly homeless people with the purpose of educating the public, funders, policy makers, community members and leaders about homelessness and what can be done about it with the intention of changing policy, as well as to establish a program where people directly affected by homelessness can share their personal experiences and support each other.
Our vision is to create a platform for individuals to advocate for themselves and others; building necessary bridges with the rest of society, in order to work cooperatively. We lift up our voices, the voices of marginalized people, in order to collectively realize our power and responsibility as citizens.
Our Members include individuals who are at risk or who are currently experiencing homelessness, individuals who are formerly homeless, representatives of the various homeless service providers in the Denver region and all individuals and agencies concerned about homelessness. Membership is open to anyone at any time.
The PAC also works with many elements within the homeless community including, current and formerly homeless people, people living in shelters, transitional housing programs and outside, single men and women, and families who are or have been homeless.
We are dedicated to the empowerment of marginalized groups and put our time and energy into fighting poverty and homelessness. We are determined to bring homeless and formerly homeless representatives to decision-making tables. Further, we believe that helping people understand that they are valuable, worthy and essential participants at these tables will change the dynamics of public policy and will improve our collective experience.
Because the PAC is first about listening, respecting, feeling dignity and listening with confidence to your own voice, the lasting effects of our efforts will be felt by individuals, families and the larger society. Members will learn to stand up and be counted for what they believe and not feel intimidated by officials and protocol.
In the words of Frederick Douglas, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted…”, 1849. Our efforts will hopefully result in the bar of what is tolerated being raised.