DuPage Pads Leaders Invigorated After National Conference to End Homelessness
This July, members of DuPage Pads had the opportunity to attend the National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference in Washington, D.C, along with over 1,600 advocates from across the country focused on Ending Homelessness. The Alliance works toward ending homelessness by improving homelessness policy, building on-the-ground capacity and educating opinion leaders.
During the conference there was a phenomenal list of speakers: the new Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Participants were reminded by the new HUD Secretary Castro that “those experiencing homelessness aren’t problems. They are people. And each of them has a story, whether it’s the couple who went bankrupt during the Great Recession or a Veteran who is having difficulty adjusting to living back home. They don’t need a handout. They need housing.”
Those attending who represented DuPage Pads returned with even a stronger commitment to what DuPage Pads believes to be the solution to ending homelessness, that is: housing, support services and employment that lead to good health and economic sustainability.
“This was such an invigorating experience,” said Janelle Barcelona, DuPage Pads Vice President of Development, “it was eye opening to hear the case studies from other cities working toward ending homelessness.”
After hearing transformative ideas from plenary speakers (who are changing business as usual in their respective fields) and having the choice to listen to nearly 300 workshop speakers ranging from federal officials and people who are or have been homeless, and the most talented housing and services providers and national organization leaders in the county, DuPage Pads is energized even more than ever to remain true to the commitment of ending homelessness here in DuPage County.
“We cannot wait for the perfect plan to start – it is now with great resolve and a sense of urgency that we bring community leaders, congregations and supporters together to put an end to this moral injustice and end homelessness. We must be the voice for change!” added Carol Simler, DuPage Pads President & CEO.