Please personalize this letter to your U.S. Representative
and two U.S. Senators, including any personal stories that are relevant.
Send this letter via email or fax as they are the most effective ways
of reaching your representative due to the post 9/11 anthrax concerns
regarding posted mail. You can find your representative’s fax machine
numbers and email addresses on www.house.gov and www.senate.gov by searching
their names. Please send a copy of any letters and responses you receive
to Michael Stoops at the National Coalition for the Homeless at email@example.com
or by fax (202) 462-4823
Honorable [insert full name]
The Honorable [insert full name]
United States House of Representatives
Senator/Representative [insert full name],
I am requesting
your assistance in seeking a
U.S. Government Accountability Office
(GAO) investigation into the nature and scope of hate crimes and violent
acts against people experiencing homelessness. The National Coalition
for the Homeless (NCH) is supported in this request by nearly 500 organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League,
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, National Coalition Against Domestic
Violence, National Council of La Raza,
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, National League of Cities, National
Organization of Women (NOW), and Volunteers of America.
the nation, people experiencing homelessness, advocates, and service providers
report an alarming increase in the number and scope of violent acts against
people who lack permanent housing. These accounts include beatings, murders,
arson, harassment, and damage of personal property. Homeless men, women,
and children around the nation are particularly vulnerable to crimes against
them because they represent an easy, visible target and often lack a place
to retreat for safety and protection.
GAO investigation would assist Congress and the public in obtaining much-needed
information on the extent and scope of violent acts and crimes against
people experiencing homelessness. Furthermore, such an investigation would
help federal, state, and local officials identify actions that could be
taken to prevent and reduce such crimes.
has done annual reports on this problem over the past six years (1999
– 2004). These reports
document hate crimes and violent acts committed against people experiencing
homelessness. These reports can be found at www.nationalhomeless.org/hatecrimes. Between 1999 and 2004 there were 386 acts
of violence against homeless
people resulting in 156 deaths
and 230 victims of non-lethal violence. These incidents took place in 140
cities from 39 states and Puerto Rico. The youngest victim was four months old, the oldest was seventy-four
years old. (Insert relevant information from
your city/state). A study by the GAO would aid in protecting one of the
most vulnerable populations in our society.
you would like further information on this critical issue please contact
you for your time.