Homeless Organizing for Power and Equality (H.O.P.E.) is an organization whose members are exclusively people who are currently experiencing or have formerly experienced homelessness.
“The Homeless people don’t have a lobby. So they’re not going to be down at city hall and the legislature.”
-Memphis Mayor AC Wharton
Those were the words spoken by Memphis Mayor AC Wharton while giving a speech on the need for Ten Year Plan To End Homelessness in April of 2010. The Mayor was correct; people who are experiencing homelessness did not have a lobby or organization whose chief priority was to ensure that the needs of this constituency were being heard loud and clear by our elected officials. That was true until now.
H.O.P.E. is the name of a Mid-South Peace and Justice Center sponsored organization whose members are exclusively people who are currently or have formerly experienced homelessness. For over a year now, H.O.P.E. has been organizing and agitating around the issues that are a priority to the homeless community.
H.O.P.E. is a voice for the homeless community in Memphis, redefining and challenging people’s ideas about homelessness and bridging the gap between the unsheltered and sheltered communities through grassroots activism, organizing, education, networking, and skills-training. H.O.P.E. provides mutual emotional support to our members and advocates for the rights of our brothers and sisters on the street against oppression and discrimination.
H.O.P.E. envisions a society that is cooperative and inclusive, in which the needs of all people are valued over the profit of a few. We believe in an end to homelessness and the systemic causes of poverty, because safe, clean, accessible, and affordable housing should be a right-not a privilege! We see the possibility of a world where there are good jobs available to all, where there is equal treatment under the law, and there is dignity and understanding for each person’s individual struggle.
- Self Determination
- Mutual Emotional Support