We Are Denver Homeless Out Loud
MISSION: DHOL assures unhoused voices are directing policy by amplifying their collective experience to the general public, community partners, and government officials. DHOL advocates for and with the unhoused of Denver to ensure personal dignity, community access to public space, and housing as a human right by sharing collected data to impact policy.
1) Everyone is housed
2) People are free to exist and move freely in public spaces with autonomy and dignity
3) A society free of division centered in authentic community integration
VALUES: Speaking truth to power; Authenticity; Equitable inclusion; Nurturing relationships; Community centered society
HOW WE STARTED
After surveying over 500 people who were experiencing homelessness at the end of the year 2012 in Denver about the effects of the urban camping ban, not surprisingly, the responses showed that the ban is not helping people sleep safely at night. We brought these findings to the City Council only to be ignored. Since then we have not stopped the fight to make our city hear the voice of all of us who have lived or are living without housing.
Direction of Directly Affected
We believe that people with lived experience in homelessness should be the ones directing decisions and plans made about homelessness. We are committed to maintaining and deepening understanding of homeless life through the direct experience of staff, authentic relationships with people currently experiencing homelessness, regular staff time in the homeless community, documented surveys and interviews with people who are homeless, and other means of ensuring the work we do is driven by the expertise of people directly affected by homelessness. Before we take on new campaigns we must check in with large numbers of people who are homeless, directly affected, and ensure that the campaign is in alignment with the experiences of the majority of the homeless community. We believe that our work must always be accountable to the consensus of people directly affected first and foremost.
Within our organization, decision makers must be directly involved in the work being conducted. The staff who make decisions on a plan should be the ones implementing the plan. The people doing the work know best what should be done. Furthermore, staff should have a say in decisions affecting them. No one should be doing work without having a say on how that work is done.
We strive to empower all people to actively and collectively challenge the histories and structures of discrimination and oppression that marginalize some, and divide us all. These include ableism, ageism, classism, heterosexism, homophobia, racism, religious discrimination, sexism, transphobia, xenophobia, among others. We work to connect our issues and build collective power through the deep connection of homelessness to all forms of oppression.
We value community. We want to always deepen authentic relationships, broaden our networks of relationships, and open pathways for the community to be part of our work. This work is successful through community collaboration – when housed, unhoused, business, service providers and government come together to create a better world.
We will grow through continual self-reflection, connection, experimentation, and integration. We believe growth happens through critical connections and so we work to build and sustain relationships with all life.
Transformative, not Transactional
We practice emergence through cultivating transformative, not transactional relationships within and between people living through homelessness, frontline groups and communities, donors, and all community collaborators.
We will be accountable and transparent to people most impacted by oppression in our work. An accountable relationship requires an ongoing process of feedback, and access to information. Opportunities to comment on decisions made, learning, and transforming in both directions.
Liberation from Non-Profit Industrial Complex
Non-profits, as part of the non-profit industrial complex, often enact organizational and funding strategies that replicate the logic of the systems causing harm. We are committed to breaking free from this system and modeling liberating ways nonprofits can disrupt the status quo and create empowering, worker self-directed, accountable, sustainable organizations.
(Credit – these last 4 principles are based on ones from Resist – Thank you Resist for articulating these so well!)
How to contact us
Call us at (720) 603-4641
Email us at Info@denverhomelessoutloud.org