On Feb. 18th we will pick up our signs from the shelter, head to our assigned street corners, and spend a few hours in the cold asking cars passing by for help in ending homelessness. The signs we will be holding will have statements such as:
- Homelessness is not a choice.
- 9,300 Minnesotans are homeless on any given day.
- You can make a difference. Cost? 5 Minutes. Ask me how (need better wording)
- Every person has a right to safe and affordable housing.
- No one should be homeless. [We can do better.]
- Over 2000 people are turned away from shelter and sleep outside each night.
- 550-650 Minnesota youth are homeless without parents on any night.
- 45% of homeless Minnesotans are under 21 years old.
We aren’t asking for money. We are asking for change. We are asking for action. We are asking everyone to begin by taking five minutes to call their legislator and encourage them to protect the homeless this session at a time when help is needed the most.
Budgets may be cut this year, and the number of homeless will go up. But the shelters are already overflowing TODAY! Around 2,000 people are turned away from shelter in the state of Minnesota each night! No one should have to live in a shelter, sleeping on the floor in a room packed with strangers, or even worse, be turned away to camp outside in frigid temperatures. We can do better!
We want everyone to know that they have the power to make a huge difference. There is a statistic that many legislators agree with- one phone call has the influence of at least 10 constituents. Imagine 10 people calling…with the power of 100. Or 100 people calling…with the power of 1000.
This event started as an idea that came to a co-worker wondering about what we could do to raise awareness. Soon our newly formed Advocacy committee jumped at the chance of planning something quickly to create a stir at the beginning of the legislative session. There may be 50 people out holding signs, 75, 100, 200…we have no idea what the turnout will actually be, but in our minds any number is better then none. Even 3 people may hold signs read by hundreds. But it is up to those hundreds to use their voice to speak up for this great injustice.