Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Home is where the heart is

Sandra Wilson, Arkansas' most zealous advocate for homeless folks, has called out for some help in this legislative session. Of course, radio guys are always one paycheck from joining the homeless, so here is her message.

Representative Lewellen and Members and Friends of the Arkansas Homeless Coalition:

Representative Lewellen, I am back in Little Rock and I am forwarding your call for support to the membership of the Arkansas Homeless Coalition.

I have talked with Jay Martin, Sara Braswell, and Regina Wilson and I understand that now is the time that we need support for passing House Bill 2496. I have been talking with the Arkansas Homeless Coalition about the need for support at the appropriate time, and that time is now. Homelessness is increasing in Arkansas, and will continue to increase until measures are taken to assist our citizens who cannot afford to live in housing.

Arkansas severely needs a Housing Trust Fund that will assist homeless people through the development of housing that is affordable. Many Arkansans cannot pay the cost of rent, mortgage, or utilities based on the average wage paid here in Arkansas, and based on the disability amount of just over $600. Affordable housing is a MUST to help individuals and families get out of homelessness, and stay out of homelessness. I have attached Representative Lewellen's House Bill and a link to the contact information for the 86th General Assembly. I am asking ALL of you to start making telephone calls and sending e-mails to the State Representatives and Senators. Tell them that you are asking them to support House Bill 2496 because people who are disabled, veterans, children, and families should not be forced to live on the streets and under bridges in our state. Let them know that we are not willing to wait another two years until another legislative session convenes to 'perhaps' address the needs of people experiencing homelessness.

We are almost out of time to get this legislation passed in this session. Please take action now to tell our state government that we want homeless people to receive help NOW!

Sandra R. Wilson
Arkansas Homeless Coalition

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