In an effort to save a transitional-living facility for homeless female veterans, Democratic Representative Mark Cardenas will be living on the streets of Phoenix this week.
Cardenas is joining Seráh Blain, the executive director of local political-advocacy group Secular Coalition for Arizona, who's been living homeless for several weeks now, in an effort to fight homelessness with homelessness.
-Advocate for the Homeless Voluntarily Living on the Streets of Phoenix
Blain has said she's living on the streets until she's reached a fundraising goal of $56,310, or $2 per person who experienced homelessness in Arizona last year, per Arizona Department of Economic Security statistics.
According to her website, she's nearly halfway there, having raised nearly $24,000 for the women's shelter of the Madison Street Veterans Association
Now, Cardenas, an Iraq War veteran, is joining the fight to raise money for the women's facility, called MANA (Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force) House.
Cardenas made a request for Governor Jan Brewer to direct some funding to keep MANA House open in the short-term, but also to work funding into the budget as a long-term solution.
"If we let this place shut-down and turn these women back out on the street, it is just unconscionable," Cardenas says in a statement. "I can't sit by and see a program which is helping women vets get back on their feet, overcome challenges like PTSD and sexual assault, just shut down. These are women who served their country, went in to combat to protect our freedom. They deserve better."
Cardenas, who will be going homeless for several nights this week, asks that donations go through Blain's website, blisteringatthemargins.com.
Send feedback and tips to the author.
Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.