In July 2011, we put together this related training guide for our allies in the Campaign to Restore National Housing Rights, and wanted to make it available for anyone who wants to check it out! Picture the Homeless actively encourages our allies in the struggle for social justice to adapt it to their own needs - amend/ expand/ correct/ transform it based on whatever works best for your work. Just please attribute it back to us!
2007 – Forced the Department of Homeless Services to create an improved inspection process for apartments rented through these subsidy programs.
2007 – Exposed the failures of Housing Stability Plus, a flawed housing subsidy for homeless folks with public assistance cases that put homeless people in unsafe and unsustainable apartments. We forced the city to create rental subsidy programs for homeless folks with low wage jobs, or who had disability income. We also exposed the practice of landlords charging “side deals” so that formerly homeless tenants were forced to pay more than the rent amount on the lease.
2006 – Played an instrumental role in the closing of the EAU. This dangerous and disgusting intake facility subjected homeless families to inhumane and humiliating abuse when they applied for shelter. Our members took personal risk to smuggle in cameras and petitions to document conditions there and moved the Special Master Panel to adopt many of our recommendations.
2005 – Exposed the absence of homeless participation in the Mayor’s 5 Year Plan to End Homelessness, winning inclusion in the Plan’s Implementation Task Force.
2004 to Present – Created homeless-made documentary films that have been broadcast on cable television, in international film festivals, and received tens of thousands of views online.
2004 – 2007 – Built power with residents of specific shelters to hold operators accountable to make positive changes, including: getting them to distribute new beds to those who needed them; fix rodent infestations; post important notices to residents; put a grievance procedure in place for security guards to deal with problematic residents; repair holes in the ceiling and replace broken air conditioners; and put new locks on doors for residents.
2004 – 2007 – Trained 10 homeless members on the use of video technologies, producing TV broadcast quality videos that aired on public access television, and that we have utilized in public education forum citywide, nationally and internationally.
2002 – Prevented the Department of Homeless Services from opening the Bronx jail as an overflow site for homeless families with children due to overcrowding in the Emergency Assistance Unit by working with the Bronx Borough President and advocacy groups.
2002 – Moved the Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Linda Gibbs to create Office of Client Advocacy, the only mechanism by which shelter residents can seek redress of grievances incurred within the system and provide direct input to executives in charge of the shelter-industrial complex.
1999 to Present – Transformed the standard of coverage of homeless issues in NYC; while still deeply problematic and relying heavily on negative stereotypes, articles about homelessness and homeless people are nowhere near as hostile and inflammatory as they were in 1999 –, when we were founded in response to newspapers saying things like "GET THOSE VIOLENT CRAZIES OFF THE STREETS.”
1999 to Present – Received positive coverage of our work in every mainstream and independent news outlet in New York City.