I have supported causes in the past through giving my time in direct service. These have included serving meals to people who are homeless or people living in poverty and by leading youth programs in low income housing developments among other volunteer experiences. While this was important work, it didn’t do anything to end the problem of homelessness. I have made the decision to engage in opportunities and work that will result in more permanent outcomes to ending homelessness.
This is often done by changing, creating, or supporting policies through legislation. Legislative work is foreign to me. I felt like training was definitely in order. Then, I became familiar with advocacy or the act of supporting a cause, issue, or policy done in a number of ways. This is much simpler than I expected and I realize that little training is necessary.
For example, I have recently written about why I believe in home. All I had to do was take a look at my values and what I think is important about having a home. A large part of why home is important to me is the stability it brings to my children. I also believe that home is important for everyone and especially youth to have. I believe everyone should experience and believe in home based on their own values. This is how I advocate. I tell legislators why home is important to me and why I believe it is important for all. This isn’t scary or foreign at all and I can now say I am an advocate and I am working towards a solution to homelessness.
- Katie Knoblauch is Beacon’s public policy intern. She comes to us by way of the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA).