World Homeless Day, a worldwide collaborative effort, will henceforth be held on the 10th day of October every year…….
So what should or could be done on this day? Seriously, We are asking you, as the day is there for you to use as you see fit to make change and make a difference in the lives of homeless people in your area.
There seems to be an international day for this or that all the time. Sometimes even an entire week or month is devoted to focusing our attention on an issue or group of people in need.
But there hasn’t been an international day focusing on homelessness … until now.
Homelessness does not describe a type of person, but a housing situation. It’s a state – not a trait!
To answer questions that might be springing to mind, the idea emerged during discussions amongst members of the World Homeless Forum. And don’t worry that it won’t catch on — already, groups in more than 50 countries are making plans for the day, barely a month after the idea was unveiled.
We all know these international days of something or other come and go, but We’ve learned after talking to some of the organizers of other recognized days that, for groups that take advantage, the days can be very powerful in terms of fund-raising, awareness-raising and garnering significant political power.
There is no prescriptive call to action like everyone light a candle and hold hands or some rubbish like that. World Homeless Day is a gift to the homeless sector and everyone in it to use in any way they want locally, providing the opportunity to point to something larger internationally and draw strength from that.
If you are part of a charity, considering taking advantage of this concept to gain connections with members of the community that you don’t have already. For example, World Homeless Day is the perfect excuse to contact a local school, church or service club like Rotary. Contact them, offer guest speaking opportunities and suggest partnering to raise money. Politicians can be encouraged to release new funds or proposals on the day or to acknowledge the good work already being done by people and organizations in their city or state.
In some countries, 10/10 is already being planned as a benchmark day each year to note progress. It should be noted that, to date, current and formerly homeless people have done more than anyone else housed or working in the sector to promote World Homeless Day and encourage charities to become involved.
World Homeless Day could be … [insert your idea] … if you make it happen.
What you can do today to prepare for 10/10/11:
If you have a website: include the supporters button found on the official site (already on 50,000 web pages).
If you are on Twitter follow us @homelessday
If you are a service provider and attend meetings with other service providers, as we all do, put discussion of World Homeless Day on the agenda.
If you need support planning the day or want to collaborate with others involved there is a section in the international forums here: