November 10, 2015
Ever wonder what it means to be an advocate for the homeless? As I am partner at a global law firm, Dentons U.S., my answer could focus on advocacy in the sense of a lawyer making a passionate closing argument or developing a clever solution to help her client. While that is certainly one, important meaning of the word, the term advocate encompasses so much more.
In a community like San Diego, which has more than 8,000 homeless people but also a great network of service providers, opportunities for advocacy abound. The following is a summary of recent, more significant advocacy efforts in or connected to San Diego:
Believe me, I am not suggesting you must spend the next three years in law school or become the head of the State Assembly to serve as an advocate for the homeless. To the contrary, I merely hope to inspire you to ask how you can help.
In fact, as you are still reading this, my goal now is to make things easy for you. For example, you can be an advocate for the homeless by participating in one of the HomeAid San Diego events identified in the following link: http://www.homeaidsd.org/get-involved/community-outreach/. Throughout November, supporters and friends of HomeAid San Diego are working with some of our great social service agency partners like Interfaith Community Services, Alpha Project, Father Joe’s Villages and Noah’s Homes on special events and generally getting out the word about homelessness in San Diego. Alternatively, or additionally, you can donate money to HomeAid San Diego or one of the other partner organizations identified on HomeAid San Diego’s website (http://www.homeaidsd.org/partners/service-providers/). Such a gift allows you to leverage your individual contribution far beyond what you could do on your own.
At the end of the day, all I ask is that you do something. As in other urban areas, San Diego’s homeless population is too large and the need is too great. However, with a relatively small act, you can be an advocate for those less fortunate and make a real difference in someone’s life.
Brian C. Fish
HomeAid San Diego Board of Directors