Subscribe to our email list
Read our statement on encampments and an interview with advocate Art Rios.
Read our statement on encampments and an interview with advocate Art Rios.
Share this:
March 26, 2018 | Volume 22, No. 4 | Archives
A Perspective on Homeless Encampments
Art Rios
“I think NIMBY is the biggest challenge [to the public's better understanding of encampments], and they ask people to move away so they aren't seen any more, but they think we have somewhere to go when we don't. They think we're dirty or drug addicts and all those stigmas that people have about folks who are homeless. We're trying to make a community within a community.
— Art Rios, Advocate and Regional Representative (Regions 9 & 10), National Consumer Advisory Board
Our Senior Director of Policy Barbara DiPietro recently spoke about constructive solutions regarding homeless encampments with Art Rios, a Regional Representative with the National Health Care for the Homeless Council's National Consumer Advisory Board. Affiliated with Central City Concern, Rios has lived experience of homelessness and served as a leader and organizer at two encampmentsRight to Dream Too and Dignity Villagewhere he helped make sure the camps functioned on a day-to-day basis.
Read the Interview
Join Rios and others in the Health Care for the Homeless community for a discussion about encampments and the roles of the HCH community at the upcoming 2018 National HCH Conference & Policy Symposium. View a complete list of all policy/advocacy sessions to be offered at #HCH2018, and register to learn and network with hundreds of colleagues from across the U.S. at this singular annual gathering of clinicians, consumers, administrators, advocates, and policymakers.
New Resource on Encampments
View our new statement, Homeless Encampments: Roles for the HCH Community, and visit our Homeless Encampments page for more information and resources. Do you know of any local statements or guidelines that should be linked on our site? Please contact National Health Policy Organizer Regina Reed.
For more information on encampments we recommend checking out the following:
View Our Statement
Policy News to Know
Congress Pushes New Opioid Legislation: Over the last few weeks, the House and Senate have held hearings on various bills that combat the opioid crisis. Last week, Senator Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Cummings (D-MD) introduced legislation that provides states with $100 billion over ten years. The Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act is modeled after the Ryan White Act, a law which has been instrumental in addressing the HIV/AIDs epidemic. Congressional leaders want to pass something before the upcoming midterm elections, and floor votes are expected early this summer.
HHS Releases New Opioid Funding: Last week HHS released the second round of funding awards to combat the opioid epidemic. A total of $485 million will be distributed among all 50 states. See a breakdown of the funding.
Trump’s Signs Executive Order on Work Requirements: The Executive Order calls for a review of Medicaid, HUD/Section 8, food stamps, and other safety-net programs with a goal of reducing participants in such programs and increasing workforce participation. This Executive Order aligns with the Administration’s encouragement of work requirements in Medicaid. The Council strongly opposes the implementation of work requirements as a condition for receiving health, housing, and food assistance. To this end, HUD has just announced proposed changes to minimum rents and work requirements for housing assistance. 
Food Stamp Program is at Risk: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides low-wage workers with needed food benefits. SNAP is part of the Farm Bill, a bill that is renewed every five years. The FARM bill passed by the House Agriculture Committee on April 18th introduces new time limits and work requirements in the SNAP program, putting millions at risk for losing benefits. The Senate version is expected to be released this month with voting in early summer. Learn more and find out how to take action. Read the Council’s comments to the USDA on these proposed changes.
What We're Reading
Did you receive Mobilizer as a forwarded email or hear about it via social media? Register now to receive our action alerts each month!
Sign Up for Mobilizer
Regina Reed, MPH
National Health Policy Organizer
National HCH Council
Baltimore, MD
(443) 703-1337 
Take Action!
Help Congress End Opioid Deaths
Legislation to combat the opioid crisis is taking center stage in Washington, D.C. Our lawmakers are looking for feedback on their opioid bills, and the Health Care for the Homeless community must respond to ensure policy change makes a difference for the most vulnerable. Here’s how:
1. Tell your story. Congressional offices are specifically requesting patient and provider stories, and we need your help! Do you have an experience that demonstrates how difficult it is to overcome an opioid addiction due to lack of housing? Stories from every state and every patient and provider level are needed (that means YOU!). Email us with your story or set up a 15-minute call to have us record the story for you.
2. Invite your Congressional offices to visit your program and sit down for a conversation with providers, clients, and administrators on the forefront of this epidemic. Need help finding contact information for congressional offices or staff support to coordinate the meeting? Let us know and we’ll help you make it happen.
3. Meet with your Congressional office via phone on a meeting moderated by the Council’s policy organizer. This is a great way to share your story, ask questions, and provide feedback on what you hope to see in any final law. Get in touch, and we will set it up! 
Contact Us
Did you know? HCH programs see just 4% of all health center patients, but represent 38% of all health center patients receiving Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) services. Wow! 
Participate in National Housing Week of Action (May 1-8)
Get involved in the Our Homes, Our Voices National Housing Week of Action. Across the U.S. there will be teach-ins, tweetstorms, rallies, press conferences, and housing tours. Visit the website to find local and national events. While the final 2018 federal appropriations were good news for us, the threat to housing programs is real in 2019. We must continue to advocate for housing as a human right.
Get Involved
This publication and all HCH advocacy are funded by dues from Organizational Members of the Council and by private donations. Consider joining the Council to support this work.
Donate Now!
National Heatlh Care for the Homeless Council
PO Box 60427 | Nashville, TN 37206 US
powered by emma