Archive for September 26th, 2011
Today’s guest post comes to us from the Alliance’s new federal policy fellow Sam Strike.
Hi everyone! This is Sam Strike, the new Federal Policy Fellow at the National Alliance to End Homelessness. I will be here for the fall helping the policy team find the best evidence-based policies and using them to end homelessness.
Issues of housing and homelessness first became personal for me when I taught at a middle school summer program in New York City. A couple of the kids I taught were in and out of homes and shelters. It was eye-opening to interact with these smart, fun kids and their great, supportive parents. There was no reason why they should be out on the street.
Then I worked for the housing unit at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. I worked with people who were getting kicked out of their homes and it became clear to me that something was wrong with the system- and that some people were being unfairly treated.
At Legal Services, I was helping people avoid homelessness through HPRP grants and I got to see first-hand how much good a federal policy can do in real people’s lives. Much of the recent national narrative has been focused on reducing the role of the federal government in citizen’s lives – but I was privileged to see how much good government can actually do. If we’re able to turn great ideas into effective, efficient federal programs, we can make a tangible and significant impact on the lives of people most in need of our help. And that’s what I came to the Alliance to learn to do.
Homelessness is a concrete problem that we can study, address, and solve. I want to learn as much as I can while I’m here and contribute to the great work that the people here at the Alliance are doing. If we put together a coherent and well-funded homeless system, we can make sure that everybody has the dignity of a home to call their own. This is a goal that the Alliance is working to achieve with their revolutionary Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness, which focuses on prevention, rapid re-housing, and other housing-based solutions.
When I’m not at the Alliance, you’ll find me settling into my own new home in the District! I just graduated from law school at Washington University in St. Louis and moved into the city. I’m originally from Cincinnati (go Reds) and you can find me exploring DC, trying new restaurants, or looking for a good hiking trail.