As the holidays draw near, Time for Homes, an organization that helps to provide housing for homeless citizens, is looking to raise awareness of the issue in the D.C. area.
National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week will last until Nov. 22, and advocates said education, action and awareness about hunger and homelessness are some of the best ways people can help out.
“The issue isn’t a matter of personal responsibility, it’s an issue of societal failure,” President James Ryan said. “With more and more people facing housing insecurity, barely making ends meet and with unemployment benefits running out, people are facing this issue.”
Ryan said there are systemic issues that need to be addressed and that right now is a great time to get involved. He said the holidays are a time to reflect and to give to the homeless community.
Time for Homes uses partner organizations in D.C., Maryland, Virginia and networks across the country to provide much-needed resources, in addition to permanent housing for people who are experiencing food and housing insecurity.
“Looking at how we interact with homeless people is very important,” Ryan said.
He said most people, including himself, usually ignore panhandlers on the streets.
“That has detrimental effects on their mental health and it internalizes when we think about what policies we support.”
The organization is currently looking for volunteers throughout D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
Visit Time for Homes’ website for more information on how to help.