Wednesday, March 25, 2009

President Answers Homeless Question

Thank You Ebony Magazine for Asking the Question

We were able to hear a diversity of questions at the Tuesday night Presidential Press Conference including a question from a reporter from Ebony magazine. No major newspapers and no NPR, but we heard a question about veterans from Stars and Stripes and this question from Ebony:
"Thank you, Mr. President. A recent report found that, as a result of the economic downturn, 1 in 50 children are now homeless in America. With shelters at full capacity, tent cities are sprouting up across the country.

In passing your stimulus package, you said that help was on the way. But what would you say to these families, especially children, who are sleeping under bridges and in tents across the country?"

What a great question!! The answer needed some work. Don't get me wrong it was a long time ago that the President of the United States has been asked about homelessness, so maybe the Chief Executive was just rusty. It started out well with President Obama talking about the injustice of homelessness especially among children. But the leap to jobs was a bit of a stretch. We are 100% on board with linking jobs to homelessness, because without a sufficient income there is no way that someone can afford a place to live. The issue is that America needs a raise especially those who are disabled. No where in the United States does a disability check pay the fair market housing. We appreciate the efforts within the Veteran's Administration to expand assistance and the emphasis on families, but creating jobs is one step away from addressing homelessness.

We need jobs that have a living wage so that people can afford to buy a car and stay in housing. We need the disability assistance to either come with a housing voucher or be at least doubled so that people can pay for housing. For this reason, we need a White House Conference on Homelessness in America to educate the Executive Branch including the President about the problems. One of the bloggers at Huffington Post picked up on the new attention to homelessness in America.

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


CynDe said...

Thanks for more information and I have linked your comments to my blog.

I grabbed my "cool camera" from the Grapevine Photography Project (thank you!) and hastily videoed the screen.

I have most of that video on my post.

I also commented on the disability issue briefly.

Having a bad week with fighting Medicare - consuming my time and affecting my health. Seems the State of Ohio has been paying my Medicare and I ALSO have been paying for my Medicare but I have received letters that my prescription coverage was dropped. I'm not sure what I have but Medicare said to get a letter from the state and take it to Social Security and then Medicare will pay back what I paid.

I've been fighting this for a year. Probably one of the prime reasons the mentally ill end up back on the streets. I'm sure I'm not the only person dealing with this mess.

I will be writing about this when my anxiety settles down. Really taking its toll.

telerisghost said...

Great post, and Brian, you hit the nail on the head in regards to disability. Cleveland's shelter's are full of people who get disability checks. Why? Who can find housing on 674.00/month, and still pay for all of the necessities of life? We also need to standardize service provision. Some people get Medicare and Medicaid. Some just get one and not the other. There seems to be little rhyme or reason to assignment of these benefits...