Tag Archive | Policy Advocacy

Together, We Can Be #ANationThatWorks

By Tara Maguire, Workforce Research & Policy Fellow, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity
2016-08-24 - Nation That Works Poster_Minimal Text

What’s it going to take to end chronic unemployment and poverty for all Americans? What’s it going to take to make us #ANationThatWorks for everyone? On October 25 through 27 in Chicago, we invite you tackle these tough questions at our national conference, A Nation That Works: What’s It Going to Take? There, you’ll encounter a wide range of content lifting up solutions to end chronic unemployment, supporting the adoption of best and promising employment practices for the people who need them most, and advancing policy solutions and systems change for addressing chronic unemployment and poverty. We’ll also highlight efforts in Chicago and across the country to improve job quality for low-wage workers. Excited? We are! Read on to learn more about what to expect at #ANationThatWorks.

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Five Tips for Meeting with your Members of Congress

By David T. Applegate, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

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Congress’ summer recess is just around the corner. That means that throughout August, United States Senators and Representatives will be traveling throughout their home states and districts talking with their constituents. Face-to-face meetings with Members of Congress are crucial to advancing policies that support the needs of people in their districts experiencing chronic unemployment and poverty. Meeting with an elected official at his or her local office or inviting them to visit your program site is a great way to develop an ongoing relationship with your Member of Congress. Here, we give some tips for conducting meetings and site visits with elected officials and show how program providers can take advantage of these opportunities to advocate on behalf of their participants.

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Connections Project Draws Teams of Innovators to D.C. to Advance Employment Solutions to Homelessness

By Carl Wiley, Coordinator, National Center on Employment and Homelessness (NCEH)

CoverAt the beginning of April, and with the generous support of the Oak Foundation and the Melville Charitable Trust, Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives team and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) co-hosted the Working to End Homelessness (WEH) Innovation Workshop in Washington, D.C. Our event brought together 10 Connections Project Finalist Teams from communities all across the country as they built partnerships and fine-tuned innovative ideas to connect homeless jobseekers to employment and greater economic opportunity. The Connections Project is a three year, place-based, systems-level collaboration and capacity-building project that aims to increase employment and economic opportunity for homeless jobseekers. The Workshop was energizing and constructive—and here’s a look at the highlights and takeaways.

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Meet Carl Wiley, Coordinator of the National Center on Employment and Homelessness

By David T. Applegate, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity

Carl for Blog

On a single night, over 600,000 Americans experience homelessness. People experiencing homelessness consistently name paid employment as one of their primary needs, alongside housing and healthcare. Recognizing the important role of employment in helping to prevent and end homelessness, the Oak Foundation and the Melville Charitable Trust have joined with Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity to launch the National Center on Employment and Homelessness (NCEH).

NCEH seeks to ensure that everyone who wants to work, regardless of the barriers they face, has the support and opportunities to reach that goal, and will work across programs, systems, and policies to ensure that homeless jobseekers have the support and services needed to succeed in employment. One of NCEH’s flagship efforts will be the Connections Project, a three year, place-based, systems-level collaboration and capacity-building project focused on increasing employment and economic opportunity for homeless jobseekers.

To coordinate the NCEH, our team is happy to welcome back Carl Wiley, who previously worked as a graduate student intern with Heartland’s Policy and Advocacy team. Carl recently received his Masters in Social Work from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and he has extensive experience working directly with populations experiencing homelessness including with youth at Heartland’s Neon Street Dorms.

Carl recently took a break from his busy schedule to share a bit about what NCEH has planned and why he thinks it is important to address the employment needs of people experiencing homelessness.

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Healing & Thriving Communities Requires Expanding Opportunity for All

By Melissa Young, Director, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity, Heartland Alliance

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The city of Ferguson is, unfortunately, not unique. Ferguson is emblematic of far too many American communities home to millions of Americans facing barriers to opportunity and justice.  When we take a deeper look at Ferguson, we see a community burdened by significantly higher and deeper poverty than the rest of the country and its surrounding area – many residents being one or two crises away from experiencing homelessness and many facing significant food insecurity [1]. Sadly, hardships like these are felt in countless other large and small places across the country. If Ferguson and communities like it are to heal and thrive, we know we have to achieve policy change that expands opportunity.
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