WRAP was created in 2005 by leaders from Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency, Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco, Los Angeles Community Action Network, Real Change, Sisters Of The Road, Street Roots, and Street Spirit.
By bringing together some of the fiercest organizations fighting homelessness on the West Coast, WRAP has developed a unique structure that combines street outreach, movement building, and national policy work, helping us bridge the local-national divisions that have hampered homeless advocacy for the last three decades. WRAP has the power of collective mobilization while remaining accountable to the realities of local communities. This gives us the strength, experience, and legitimacy to make ending homelessness a national priority.
WRAP was created to expose and eliminate the root causes of civil and human rights abuses of people experiencing poverty and homelessness in our communities.
- Unite local social justice organizations into a movement that is inclusive and shares power with all members of the community.
- Hold the federal government responsible for restoring affordable housing funding and protecting poor and homeless people's rights.
- Develop effective and socially just solutions to all barriers that prevent the ending of homelessness.
- Ensure the policies and priorities of local, state and federal governments are grounded in the common truths of poor and homeless people.
As a regional organization, WRAP has the power of collective mobilization, which incorporates local issues into an inclusive framework. All of our efforts are grounded in the experiences of those living in poverty and or working to address homelessness. Our strategies includes:
* Community Organizing — we identify the issues of concern to homeless people through street outreach. This is conducted by our members who are active in their communities and interact with poor and homeless people regularly. Once the outreach is complete, WRAP compiles the results and produces documents (such as factsheets, summaries, etc.) which are relevant to all of our members, regardless of their location. What we find in our outreach becomes the driving force in our advocacy efforts.
* Advocacy— we set priorities, which are developed through community organizing efforts. Then, we advocate for policy change regionally and nationally.
* Research — we produce and distribute timely and accurate information to support our campaigns. This research culminates in reports, artwork, training materials, and other media documents. WRAP has conducted extensive research on anti-homeless laws around the country and we have also researched trends in government funding for affordable housing programs
* Public Education — WRAP staff and our member groups speak regularly at community meetings, public hearings, social forums, conferences, and universities to inform the public about our work and why it is important that public opinion starts considering homelessness as a national priority. We use our Without Housing Organizer’s toolkit to educate the public on the historical context of how poverty, race and class issues were addressed
* Direct Action — we exercise our right to assemble and hold decision makers publicly accountable for changing policies that harm our communities. These actions are tools for energizing our base and creating public visibility and awareness. Additionally, the actions, which are conducted in our members’ home cities, provide opportunities for collaboration with new organizations and individuals
* Artwork – this has been one of our most powerful tools for organizing and engaging various audiences. Our artwork depicts our issue in clean, graphic and easily accessible formats. Whenever WRAP launches a campaign, we develop relevant artwork, which incorporates historical and statistical facts, and distribute it through online media and community presentations. Our artwork is used by all of our members and many allies in their various communities and struggles