The first things that come to mind when thinking about helping the homeless are volunteering, donating, and simply working to make a difference. Voting is just as important to help in need, so it is vital that registered voters cast their votes.
When discussing homelessness, the importance of voting tends to be overlooked. Why? Likely because it isn’t as directly impactful – for example, volunteering – where you see how your actions firsthand help someone. Voting may not be as rewarding as that; however, it is essential in tackling one of the root causes for the increase in unhoused individuals; that being the inability to afford to house.
For a while now in the United States, the price of rent has been steadily increasing, and people are having difficulties making ends meet. Several states have laws that permit landlords to raise rent with no limit, as long as they notify the renter. These laws can be changed, and limitations can be created to prevent further exploitation. Lawmakers are responsible for enacting policies and regulations related to housing, income, and health; fundamental to homelessness overall. And registered voters are responsible for electing the lawmakers that will make these changes.
During the Midterm election, candidates for Congress are being voted in and out. The entire House of Representatives and ⅓ of the Senate have seats up for grabs. This is where it can become a bit tricky if you are unaware of who the Candidates are in your district. Google is your best friend in finding who you are eligible to vote for. When doing this research make sure to investigate each candidate and look at their views on the cost of living, homelessness, rent stabilization, and employment. This information could be very telling to the type of laws these Congress Members may endorse, and with that information vote accordingly. Voting can have a major impact on individuals experiencing homelessness, and you must be voting for a Candidate that will consider them. What cannot be stressed enough is that as a registered voter you get to the polls and vote, every vote counts.