This Congregational Housing Action Guide follows from the commitment of Edmonton faith community leaders in their March 17, 2011 Interfaith Statement to find new and creative ways to address the issues of homelessness and affordable housing in our communities. It comes out of a series of conversations over the past year, with clergy and laity from different faith traditions, about homelessness and affordable housing. One immediate question is: what can people in local congregations actually do to make a difference? This question is especially relevant as Edmonton moves into Year Three of Edmonton’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness.
This Congregational Housing Action Guide is a first step. It contains specific suggestions including education, fund raising, volunteer commitments, “Welcome Home” sponsorships, neighbourhood NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) debates, and political advocacy. Wherever possible, specific examples are cited and contact information is included. This is a first try. Much has been missed. Our hope is that it can soon lead to a more comprehensive second edition.