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Economic Justice

Look for Universal Living Wage Campaign Chairman Richard Troxell's new book Looking Up at the Bottom Line: The Struggle for the Living Wage in your favorite bookstore or online.

Looking Up


Visit the links on this page to learn more about NCH’s Economic Justice public policy recommendations, action alerts, and research.

 

Issues:

Universal Livable Incomes:
Forty-four percent of un-housed American residents, of working age and condition, performed some type of work for pay in any given month; most do not make enough to obtain and retain afford permanent housing. Additionally, many people experiencing homelessness are unable to earn an income due to a permanent or temporary disabling condition.  

Many people living in this country generally think of individuals experiencing homelessness as those who can work and those whocannot. For those who are un-housed and can work, NCH supports the Universal Living Wage (ULW).  ULW takes the existing federal minimum wage and indexes it to the local cost of housing.  By using existing government guidelines, ULW ensures that a person working 40 hour week, anywhere in the country, can afford basic housing and associated costs, along with food, transportation and clothing. For those who are un-housed cannot work, ULW recommends adjusting the Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income, by indexing the income to the local cost of housing (using HUD Section 8 calculations). NCH will be working with President Obama and the Congress to ensure that every American has an annual income—whether through wages, public income assistance, tax credits, or a combination thereof—sufficient to obtain and maintain permanent housing that costs no more than 30 percent of the household’s income. (Additional information may be obtained through www.UniversalLivingWage.org)   

Homeless Access to Workforce Services:
While some people experiencing homelessness are unable to work due to disabling conditions, many others are physically able to work but lack the job training or skills necessary for entering the workforce. Existing workforce service centers that receive federal funds are technically able to serve homeless populations, but they lack the needed financial resources or knowledge of the specific challenges to employment faced by people experiencing homelessness, and some are discouraged from serving harder-to-serve populations by their outcome measurement standards. NCH and others are working to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act in a manner that allows people experiencing homelessness to access workforce services more freely and to be served more effectively. Additionally, NCH is working to establish apprenticeship programs for homeless people who have experienced significant barriers to employment.

Read more in the 2010 Homeless Employment Report from Sacramento Steps Forward

National Coalition for the Homeless
2201 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20037-1033
202-462-4822
info@nationalhomeless.org

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Page last modified: Oct. 11, 2011

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