Every Child Deserves a Home Press Release

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For Immediate Release

Press Contact:

Dan Vaccaro

Campus Organizer

One Family

186 South Street, 4th Floor

Boston MA 02111

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National Campaign Urges Students to Demand

Presidential Action on Family Homelessness

BOSTON (April 12, 2004) – Every Child Deserves a Home launches today, encouraging college and university students across the nation to demand presidential action on family homelessness. Specifically, students are urged to send an electronic postcard from www.everychildahome.org asking the presidential candidate of their choice to protect and expand affordable housing initiatives and other efforts to help provide homes for 1.3 million homeless American children.

Every Child Deserves a Home is a campaign initiative of One Family, a model program based in Boston, Massachusetts, that creates permanent solutions to family homelessness. The campaign delivers tools and information to help colleges and universities create advocacy campaigns to provide a home for every child.

According to Susanne Beaton, campaign director, One Family, “Most Americans do not even realize families are homeless. You do not see them on the street, sleeping under boxes or in doorways. Yet, one out of 50 children will experience homelessness this year. The situation is unacceptable. But, it is also solvable, primarily through affordable housing.”


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The national Housing Choice Voucher Program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), commonly referred to as Section 8, allows low-income families to rent a home in the private market. These vouchers enable families to stay housed and create a better environment for their children. Section 8 is currently marked for insufficient funding in 2005, by at least $1.6 billion. This will result in as many as 250,000 fewer vouchers.

With Section 8 vouchers, families leave welfare and high-poverty areas, and relocate to neighborhoods with more jobs, lower crime and better schools. Without Section 8 vouchers, homeless families are unable to access education, adequate income and opportunities to build a network of community support.

American families experience homelessness more than any other industrialized nation in the world. Lack of affordable housing is a primary reason why American families find themselves homeless. This, combined with inadequate earnings, significantly contributes to families becoming the fastest growing segment of today’s homeless population. On average, families must earn $15.21 an hour, almost three times the minimum wage, to afford a two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent (source: National Low Income Housing Coalition 2003).


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“That’s why we are calling upon our presidential candidates to embrace Section 8 vouchers and other efforts to bring our families home. It all starts with a safe roof over these families’ heads,” added Beaton. “Without safe and affordable housing, children are more likely to be exposed to disease, serious injuries, hunger and academic problems. Our children deserve better.”

The campaign’s other goals include combating the misconceptions of homelessness by raising public awareness and understanding, and making family homelessness a key issue in the presidential campaign.

At www.everychildahome.org, students are able to access and download tools to run a persuasive education, media and advocacy campaign on their campus. Toolkit elements include:

Facts about family homelessness and Section 8 as a solution Presidential call to action positioning paper E-postcard to presidential candidates Public service announcements for campus radio and television stations Links to pertinent websites Educational videos Voter registration information

About One Family, Inc.

One Family, created by Paul and Phyllis Fireman and family, is a non-profit organization devoted to ending family homelessness in Massachusetts and serves as a model nationwide. One Family brings together elected officials, faith and community organizations, and philanthropic and private leaders to design and implement effective, lasting solutions to family homelessness.


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By shifting the focus from temporary fix to solutions, One Family is solving the family homelessness problem, breaking the cycle of poverty and providing stability for future generations – one family at a time – while awakening the broader public to the realization that we are all one family, and that our public policies and private acts must be responsive to the plight of our poorest members.