You Don’t Need a Home to Vote!
An essential aspect of the National HCH Council’s mission is empowerment. Persons experiencing homelessness have been disempowered in many ways, including at the ballot box. It is consistent with our roles as service providers and advocates to encourage and facilitate voter registration, education, and engagement. It is entirely legal and in fact encouraged in law for nonprofits to register historically disenfranchised groups.
September 22 is National Voter Registration Day. Be sure to organize voter registration and education events within your organization!
October 24 is National Early Vote Day. Work with your community to create opportunities to get people experiencing homelessness to polling locations or returning their mail ballots on this day.
Register Staff and Clients to Vote: Vot-ER is a web portal to help people determine their registration status, register to vote, or request a mail-in ballot from their state. NHCHC has a specialized link for our community to share widely with colleagues and clients. We recommend HCH staff add a line to their email signature “Participating in our democracy is critical to our individual and communal well-being. Check to see if you are registered, register to vote, or request a mail-in ballot in your state here.” You can also download resources for staff (badges with QR codes (back) or phone lock screen with QR code) or encourage people to text “Vote NHCHC” to 34444 to begin the process. For questions about Vot-ER or voting for people experiencing homelessness, please reach out to Katherine Cavanaugh, Consumer Advocate, at email@example.com.
Additional Voter Registration Resources:
- Virtual Voter Engagement Strategies
- Voting Series Part One: Registering People Experiencing Homelessness to Vote
- Voter Registration Tool Kit for Community Health Centers
- State by State Voting Information
- Enfranchising Homeless Clients: Voter Registration Guide from the National HCH Council
- National Health Care for the Homeless Council Voter Registration Webinar: Voter Registration and Engagement for the Health Care for the Homeless Community
- National Health Care for the Homeless Council Voter Registration and Engagement Slides
- National Health Care for the Homeless Council Voting Rights Slides
- Our Homes, Our Votes Campaign
- National Coalition for the Homeless You Don’t Need a Home to Vote Campaign
- Non-Profit Vote
The work doesn’t stop with voter registration – nonprofits are also able and encouraged to participate in “Get Out the Vote” Campaigns that help provide information about voting on election day and assisting in getting people to the polls.
During elections, it is important to learn about the candidates and see what they all have to say on issues related to housing and healthcare.
- Questions for State and Municipal Candidates
- Non-Profit Vote: Engaging with Candidates
- Our Homes, Our Votes: Voter and Candidate Engagement Resources
- HRSA PAL 2000-18 re: health center voter registration
- National Coalition for the Homeless: 2012 Voter Registration Manual
- Additional resources on voter information by state
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