TEACH-IN 

If members of your community are unaware of the causes of homelessness and the need for federal investment in housing, consider hosting a teach-in, which would allow advocates and housing professionals to educate community members about the lack of homes that are affordable in your community and how they can take action. Publicizing the event through local houses of worship and community centers, and through social media, will draw a wide audience and help spread awareness of the affordability crisis.

GETTING STARTED

  • Recruit other organizations to sponsor and help plan the teach-in with you. Expect organizational differences, but unite the groups around the the urgency of investing in homes that are affordable.

  • Ask a community center, school, or house of worship to host your event during the week of May 1-8. Consider how long you would like the teach-in to be: all day, half-day, 2-3 hours. If your event is all day, plan to provide lunch or a time for participants to get lunch.

  • Create a Facebook event  that explains the time, location, and purpose of your event. Explain the need for affordable housing in your community and the important role federal investment plays in making sure all people have a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home.

  • Ask speakers to teach a session at your event. Possible topics include:

    • The shortage of affordable homes nationally and in your community

    • Impact of federal HUD and USDA-Rural Development funding in your community and the importance of the annual federal budget in funding these programs

    • The homelessness crisis in your community and the organizations available to assist individuals and families without permanent shelter

    • Healthcare and homelessness

    • The impact of the affordable housing crisis on kids, families, and school districts

    • How advocates can be involved on the local and national level ​

  • Feel free to use this PowerPoint template with NLIHC data and federal budget information already built in. 

SHARING THE EVENT

  • Share information about the Week of Action teach-in, including the link to the Facebook event and contact information, with ourhomes@nlihc.org

  • Publicize the teach-in through your email list and social media accounts; ask other organizations interested in social justice and anti-poverty causes to publicize the event through their channels.

  • Consider inviting your elected officials.

    • A template for inviting your members of Congress is available for your use.

    • Contact their offices and ask to speak with their scheduler.​

      • Explain that you work with an organization dedicated to providing homes that are decent and affordable and that in conjunction with the national Our Homes, Our Voices Week of Action, you would like to host the official and their staff at your site so they can meet residents and better understand what affordable housing looks like in your community.

      • If they tell you your elected official is not available, ask that a staff member come in their place. 

  • As you secure speakers and session topics, announce them on social media and via email to build momentum for your event.​ 

  • During the teach-in, ask attendees to tweet and post using the hashtag #OurHomesOurVoices. Collect the names, emails, and organizational affiliation of all attendees.

PLANNING LOGISTICS

  • Consider logistics including signage; water, coffee, and snacks; technology (projector, computer, wifi); and accessibility for people with disabilities. Recruit volunteers to set-up and clean up, staff the registration table, and provide directions. If you have multiple sessions running concurrently, make sure a volunteer is in each room to assist with any needs a speaker might have.

AFTER THE EVENT 

  • After the event, send an email thanking attendees and reminding them of ways to continue to be involved in the movement for affordable homes. Write thank you letters to speakers, volunteers, site hosts, and others. Be sure to post on your organization’s blog or social media pages about the teach-in to continue to raise awareness of the issue.

Our Homes, Our Voices | National Housing Week of Action

C/O National Low Income Housing Coalition

1000 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC  20005

202-662-1530 | ourhomes@nlihc.org

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