Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Couple of Items You May Have Missed

Homelessness in the Media

NPR's Morning Edition had a story of a homeless woman trying to get enough money to send a Christmas Card to her daughter on the popular StoryCorp section of the broadcast.  While living in the shelter, Queen Jackson was depressed around the holidays until she received a hygiene kit that contained a bottle of lotion with the most fantastic fragrance.  It cheered her up, and got her through the season.  Remember NEOCH is also collecting items to distribute to homeless people.  We are collecting blankets and winter items including hygiene items to distribute to those on the streets. Maybe your donation could help a woman down on her luck make it through the holidays. 

Staff of the local coalition as well as the National Coalition for the Homeless were quoted in the latest Nation magazine.  The article describes the cuts to the housing budget nationally and the strain that is putting on those with a low income.  I really like the quote from Neil Donovan at NCH:

“Today the housing safety net isn’t just frayed,” says Neil Donovan, executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless. “It’s missing. And still everyone’s being told to walk the tightrope without any net.”
The entire issue is dedicated to a look at the cuts to all the New Deal programs and the impact of those cuts on our society.   From Medicaid to Food Stamps to poverty programs, they are all facing the chopping block, and the authors look at how this affects the Bronx or Cleveland or the Oakland school system.  It is a good read--check it out. 

The National Center for Family Homelessness has received a great deal of attention for their report on the sharp increase in children experiencing homelessness during the recession. The director was on Tell Me More on NPR talking about the report, and many newspaper wrote about how their state compared with regard to childhood homelessness.  This is the best part of the Center for Family Homeless reports is that it compares various state efforts to address the problem. It shows how state efforts to cut taxes has a consequence on the number of people living in poverty.   This report shows that nearly every deep Southern state as well as the desert southwest states having the largest increase in homelessness of over 40% in the last three years.  California is also on the worst list.  Texas is in the second worst category of 31% to 40% increases in childhood homelessness along with the other states bordering the South along with New York and Oregon.  Two Southern states (North and South Carolina) break with the rest of the South seeing only a 21% to 30% rise in childhood homelessness.  These are certainly not good numbers, but at least they are not horrible like much of the South and West.  This 21% to 30% increase in childhood homelessness is the same percentage increase for Ohio, Michigan and Indiana.

Brian Davis
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