On June 20, the Coalition for the Homeless held a press conference kicking off a new community education campaign in the NuLu neighborhood. The Coalition represents 30 service providers in Louisville Metro who provide a variety of services to homeless families and individuals. The Coalition’s mission is to educate, advocate and coordinate services.
The reason for today’s event was to launch a new branding and education campaign graciously created by Stewart & Associates and specifically nurtured by Jon Fairfield. Also reported were the “Point-in-Time” numbers regarding the state of Louisville’s homeless. The good news is that street homelessness has been cut by half in Louisville this past year while homelessness among veterans has lowered by double digits two years in a row. So, the coordinated efforts by The Coalition partnered with Louisville Metro, LMPD and others is working! The negative news is that the number of homeless families has increased by 13% and that over 12,000 students in JCPS schools have no permanent home or knows where their next meal will come from.
Homelessness is not a choice. Yes, there are those who have fallen from grace by mental illness or drug addiction and those are a marginally small percent. But the reality is that too many families and individuals are one paycheck away from losing their home, with no one to turn to. We must take the stigma from homelessness from “being crazy” to a “reality”. Most homeless people look just like me and you and the crime is that lifelong trauma from homelessness sets in on children who are not at fault for their situation.
So, I ask you, where will you sleep tonight? What will you have for dinner tonight? We plan to hold similar education events in all Louisville neighborhoods and we encourage you to get involved.