SEPT 17, 2014–
Members of Housing Our Neighbors took a trip to New York City to visit with and learn from Picture the Homeless, an organization we have long admired. Picture the Homeless is a grassroots organization, founded and led by people experiencing homelessness. They organize for social justice around issues like housing, police violence, and the shelter-industrial complex.
Inspired by the Picture the Homeless’s Banking on Vacancy Report, HON launched a “People’s Survey of Baltimore’s Housing” in the McElderry Park neighborhood in East Baltimore. We have been counting vacants and surveying the community to get an accurate count of the city’s vacant homes, and to challenge the narrative around the housing crisis in our city and the need for housing alternatives.
Our visit with Picture the Homeless gave opportunity to learn about their organization, share lessons from our vacant housing counts, and to think about the role of community organizations in movements for non-speculative housing. We stayed for a meeting of their land trust coalition, the New York City Community Land Initiative!
Willie Baptist sharing lessons from organizing the National Union of the Homeless in the 1980’s; with Mark Schumann.