By Pat Conover
Founded in 1981 as a response to President Regan’s proposals to restructure federal funding for human needs program, the Coalition of Human Needs has grown to become a leading advocacy organization.
By Pat Conover
Seekers Church has supported the Coalition on Human Needs for a dozen years or more from its advocacy budget. The previous Executive Director of CHN came and spoke to Seekers.
Founded in 1981 as a response to President Regan’s proposals to restructure federal funding for human needs programs (education, food, health, housing), the Coalition of Human Needs has grown to become a leading advocacy organization to promote public policies which address the needs of low-income and other vulnerable populations. CHN currently has one hundred and eleven member organizations, including all the Washington offices of progressive Christian denominations and other progressive religious organizations. During the active legislative season, CHN convenes weekly meetings to share information, explain key talking points, and to look for allies on various concerns. The CHN website is the dominant website for general information about advocacy with regard to poverty and other human needs. On the site you can find their Human Needs Report and action steps to take.
The financial challenge for CHN is common to most coalitional work. Its member organizations are non-profits and seldom have a lot of money to share with other non-profit efforts to reduce poverty. CHN gets some foundation money but such money, in turn, depends on showing that CHN is financially supported by its members and by the grass roots.
Pat Conover has been the lead sponsor for including CHN in our advocacy budget. In Pat’s nineteen year career as a policy advocate for the United Church of Christ, Pat worked with numerous coalitions on various issues but always turned to CHN for the task of understanding the links between issues and for the building of temporary coalitions to address particular legislative opportunities concerning poverty in the United States.