Educate & Advocate
Help educate others about the complex issues related to homelessness by inviting a COTS speaker to your class, workplace or organization.
The COTS Speakers Bureau is one of the key COTS programs designed to educate the public about the many causes of homelessness, solutions that can end the tragedy of homelessness, and what individuals and organizations can do to make a difference.
Our speakers include COTS staff and board members, advocates, and people who are or have been homeless. All presentations can be tailored to meet specific needs and time frames. Our speakers often spark interest in becoming involved in the struggle to end homelessness, especially at the local level.
Members of the COTS Speakers Bureau often address school groups, providing age-appropriate talks about COTS and the issue of homelessness. It’s a great way for students to gain a better understanding of who becomes homeless and why, and what the reality of not having a home in America means. Common topics for younger grades include what it’s like to be homeless, how families live together in COTS shelters, and how to get involved in the annual COTS Walk, held the first Sunday in May.
Personal and group tours of select COTS facilities are available for those wishing to learn more about COTS shelters and services.
Advocate and help make a difference!
One of the easiest ways advocate for change on legislative issues concerning homelessness is to contact your representatives and senators at both the state and national levels. Contact information for legislators in Vermont is available here.
Being an effective advocate means knowing where and when to exert your influence. Check out the National Coalition for the Homeless website which provides pointers on how you can influence your elected officials through phone calls, letters and meetings.
Spread the word! Talk to co-workers, friends, and neighbors — at club meetings, senior centers, churches or templ es, union halls, and other places where concerned people get together. Letters to the Editor of your daily newspaper are another effective way to speak up. You can probably think of others. Be creative!