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.
In our short history, we have forged a broad, informed voice from the West Coast for greatly needed change in federal homeless/housing policy. We have accomplished this by:
- Taking coordinated action on the issues impacting our communities such as the “House Keys Not Handcuffs” regional action.
- Implementing a nationally recognized street outreach model that engages those most impacted by unjust housing and criminal justice policies.
- Releasing and updating Without Housing — an influential report on the root causes of homelessness that has been downloaded over 40,000 times from our website.
- Regionalizing a civil rights project that defends thousands of homeless people from being criminalized.
- Establishing a regional media network that includes 5 major street newspapers and uses powerful artwork such as the Hobos to Street People: Artists’ Responses to Homelessness from the New Deal to the Present Art Show to change people’s perceptions and inspire action.
WRAP is part of a movement to defend and expand the social, political, and economic rights of historically oppressed communities. We are building a democratic, multi-lingual, multi-racial and gender-balanced organization whose leadership and membership reflect our communities.