CFC # 10844

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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 mstoops@nationalhomeless.org or by fax (202) 462-4823

 

 

Date

The Honorable [insert full name]                                 The Honorable [insert full name]

United States Senate                                                     United States House of Representatives

                                   

Dear 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.

Throughout 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.

A 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.

NCH 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.

If you would like further information on this critical issue please contact me at:

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,