“At Pack Up + Go, we’re eager to give back to the destinations that offer so much to our travelers, which is why we’re launching our corporate giving program today. For the first half of 2019, we will support organizations that help those experiencing homelessness and hunger.

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, over 500,000 people experienced homelessness on any given night in 2018. Many of our travelers have witnessed this firsthand while on their Pack Up + Go getaways in major urban areas across the country. This is a huge problem to solve, but we’re determined to help.

Our team in Pittsburgh will volunteer our time with organizations that offer immediate assistance locally. On a national level, we will donate to the National Alliance to End Homelessness + the National Coalition for the Homeless, which are both non-partisan, nonprofit, US-based organizations who seek to end homelessness and provide resources to those in need with dignity. They are focused on research, policy, public involvement, and on-the-ground changes to help tackle this multifaceted, systemic issue, and we are thrilled to support their work.”

- Lillian Rafson, CEO + Founder

National Alliance to End Homelessness:

The National Alliance to End Homelessness uses data and research to be a leading voice on the issue of homelessness in the United States. The Alliance works to identify solutions for the underlying causes of housing inequality and shares important information with policy makers, members of the public, and the media to promote the compassionate solutions to homelessness.

Their Mission:

“The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan organization committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the United States.”

How They Do It:

  • Improve Homelessness Policy:

    • The Alliance is a leading voice on federal homelessness policy. It analyzes enacted and proposed legislation and advocates for improved federal policy.

  • Build Knowledge through Research:

    • The Alliance analyzes data and research so that policymakers, practitioners, and the public have the best information about trends in homelessness and emerging solutions.

  • Training + Action:

    • The Alliance provides assistance to help communities turn policy solutions and proven best practices into real, on-the-ground programs.

Why their is Work Important:

National Coalition for the Homeless:

The idea behind the Coalition was to bring together members of the community to develop lasting relationships and solutions. Since its inception in 1982, it has grown into a national network of people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists + advocates, and community leaders to combat the emerging issues of homelessness.

They envision a world where everyone has a safe, decent, affordable and accessible home and are committed to creating the systemic and attitudinal changes necessary to prevent and end homelessness. A critical part of their process is including those who are currently experiencing homelessness or have formerly experienced homelessness in all of their work. This perspective ensures that the most important needs of the community are being met.

Their Mission:

“To end + prevent homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness are met and their civil rights protected.”

How They Do It:

  • Education:

    • The Coalition offers 4 educational programs that enable groups + individuals to learn firsthand from someone who has experienced homelessness. From sharing personal narratives to explaining effective advocacy practices, these individuals are the true experts on homelessness and they always deliver memorable lessons.

  • Policy:

    • Each year, The National Coalition for the Homeless sets public policy priorities for its ongoing work with lawmakers + activists. The priorities are set using feedback from people experiencing homelessness, national and local advocacy organizations, and domestic federal agencies + lawmakers.

  • Campaigns:

    • The National Coalition for the Homeless sponsors many educational and organizing projects, special campaigns, and annual events. We work to empower homeless people, whose voices are essential to the public policy debate.

Impact of Their Work:

One of the the Coalitions initiatives, Housing Not Handcuffs, works to provide resources to protect civil rights in the legal system and inform the public on unconstitutional laws that criminalize homelessness populations.

Below is an infographic explaining a recent case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that shows the importance of advocacy groups on the path to solving homelessness [Martin V. Boise].

Image courtesy of  Housing Not Handcuffs

Image courtesy of Housing Not Handcuffs


These two organizations are working to create lasting change on a national scale, but how about at home?

What are the best organizations combating homelessness in your community?

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