The Partnership for the Homeless

In New York, Homeless And Making Plans to Vote

A response to the NYT article, November 8, 2016

Yes, they vote.

Yes, they’re constituents of the politicians running during every election cycle. They live in important voting districts, many in critical “swing states”. But sometimes they’re on the street, in shabby shelters, or sleeping on the living room couch of a family member or friend.

But too often they’re considered only to be part of a vast homogenous throng we call The Homeless. As if it was a group identity. Or a characterization that permits us to ignore the individual humanity of the families and children who are without homes, or even that poor fellow, struggling on our street corner, who once long ago may have thought that life held out some promise for him.

And like all elections, they were invisible again. There was never a rallying cry to re-imagine a brighter future that explicitly included them. If they were there at all, it was as shadows, hovering behind other matters.

But yes, they’ll still vote. Perhaps in the faint hope that our elected officials will one day work to ensure that America’s success story might one day belong to them too.

Arnold S. Cohen
President & CEO