Saturday, May 12, 2007

Disability and Long Term Homeless

Two Interesting Stories About Poverty

Marcia Bufford Update
In case you missed it Andrea Simakis had a very good story/summary/update on how Marcia Bufford has fared since the shooting in 2006 that appeared in yesterday's Plain Dealer. We had regular blog updates last year about Bufford here and here and here. I really like Andrea's writing, and she weaves a very good story with her profile of Marcia. Anyway, Marcia has struggled with poverty, and the inability to find a job that does not require her to be on her feet. She has struggled paying her bills and complete her school. She has had a real hard time with her recovery, and thanks only to the kindness of strangers was she able to walk in her own graduation Saturday. She appeared on Channel 3 on Tuesday night, and then Friday was in the Plain Dealer. Marcia is still a member of the NEOCH Board of Trustees, and helps out whenever she can.

The most amazing part of this story is that Marcia Bufford has a bullet lodged at the base of her skull and the State of Ohio has determined that she is not disabled. How can you get shot in the face and walk with a cane and yet not be disabled? The system for determining disability is broken and needs to be fixed. They seem to turn everyone down and force them to hire an attorney to get the scraps offered to disabled people in America. It is a disgrace to treat fragile populations like this, and make them grovel for a small check that does not cover fair market rent anywhere in the country.

Update: There was an article in the Akron Beacon Journal about the need for more judges to look at all the backlog on cases last week. I missed it, but here is the link.

The Bush's Car Salesman Speaks
This morning on Weekend Edition with Scott Simon, he interviewed Phillip Mangano who heads up the federal Interagency Council on Homelessness. Mangano is the snake oil salesman for the Bush administration--putting a positive face on domestic policy toward homeless people. He sounds so sincere and so determined, but it is a house of cards. As I have said before, there is no way to address homelessness in America while cutting funds to Public Housing and the Housing Choice Voucher program. It is fake to push these 10 year plans while making families, youth and the unemployed the next long term homeless in America with budget cuts to the housing programs. These guys will all be long gone when the cities discover these 10 year plans don't work and have not solved homelessness. How about we solve homelessness for everyone living in the United States instead of pitting one population against another?

Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

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