We Made Our Voices Heard

On May 7, nine members of the Family Promise team and I traveled along the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Harrisburg to participate in a Day of Advocacy, held at the state Capitol. Sponsored by the Collaborative Advocacy Network (CAN), a vital component of the Bucks-Mont Collaborative, our goal was to raise awareness about two critical issues affecting our community: affordable housing and behavioral health access policies. Policy goals and budgetary needs to enhance housing affordability and strengthen the behavioral health system—both of which significantly impact the well-being of Pennsylvanians—were voiced throughout the day.

We joined over 100 people in meetings with legislators from Bucks and Montgomery Counties, and we also attended a press conference in the Rotunda. In the video above, you can see my colleagues and me joining others in emphasizing that “housing is a human right.” The opportunity to share information and local narratives about the challenges faced by our Montgomery County neighbors was empowering, reinforcing the importance of advocacy.

Pennsylvania’s current state legislation represents a significant step toward supporting Family Promise as we address the intersecting crises of homelessness, mental health, and lack of support services. As a nonprofit organization that has received Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund (PHARE) funding to support our work, we’ve witnessed positive change through advocacy efforts. PHARE funding supports the creating of new affordable housing units and the preservation of existing ones, rental and utility assistance, assistance for home buyers, and blight remediation initiatives improving our local communities and neighborhoods.

Our collective presence in Harrisburg amplified our voices, ensuring that these critical issues received attention. Thank you to Bux-Mont Collaborative for organizing our meetings with legislators and leaders to share information and stories about the challenges facing our neighbors. To stay informed about community and policy updates impacting Bucks and Montgomery Counties, visit the CAN website and look for ongoing stories in our monthly newsletter.