Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another Friend of Homeless People Passes

Congresswoman Julia Carson Dies

I only was able to hear Rep Carson speak twice, but she was an inspiring woman. Here is the statement that Barb Anderson put together upon hearing of the death of Rep. Carson on Sunday.

"As a member of the Board of Directors of the National Coalition for the Homeless, I have worked for many years as have my peers, to end homelessness in this country. It is an exhausting and frustrating effort. Many programs have been developed over the years with good intent, but they lack the human element and often reduce those we serve to just numbers in a system, or they "cherry pick" the easiest to serve in order to boost their success rate.

NCH and the advocates in Indiana fight daily to serve the most difficult and hardest to reach and heroes are often hard to find. Representative Julia Carson was such a hero. She was a champion, one who utilized the resources around her to promote change and policy that would result in ending homelessness. She worked tirelessly every day to reduce the impact of poverty on our communities. Her work with veterans across this country was phenomenal.

As the sponsor for the Bring America Home Act and the Hearth Act, Representative Carson pursued Congressional support with a vengeance and often managed town hall type meetings to educate her peers. She and her staff worked diligently to provide leadership on the Hill, and not because it was the popular thing to do either but because it was the right thing to do. Representative Carson did things that way, because they were right, they were necessary, and often they weren't popular.

So many who serve us Congressionally stick to the middle of the road or cater to extreme positions without thinking or planning for the ramifications of their votes. Carson stood for: A living wage, affordable housing for all Americans, health care for all Americans, and Civil Rights for all Americans. Julia Carson embraced those ideals and fought hard for them. She worked through the many committees she served on, in the district, and in partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus. She did so with grace and humor.

To hear her speak was enlightening and fun. She would take the most serious subject and make us see our folly with her humor. It is with great respect, love, and admiration that I write this. To those whose voices Julia tried to hold up, understand NCH and homeless advocates throughout the country will continue to champion your causes and will support and embrace those legislators who do so as well. To those who set policy at a national level, we challenge you to try to meet the bar Julia set while she served this wonderful country. We remember her grace and humanity as a Congresswoman, a wife, a mother, and most of all a strong and passionate Christian soldier."

Barb Anderson of Jeffersonville, Indiana and NCH Board Member
I couldn't have said it better.
Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

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