Archive for March 19th, 2010

19th March
2010
written by naehblog

In our effort to end homelessness through a wide-angle lens – focusing on federal policy, best practices, capacity building, and the like – sometimes we lose sight of the human impact of our work. Even on the streets of DC, where the impact of poverty and homelessness is often in plain view, it can be a struggle to put two-and-two together.

So it was a refreshing reminder when a colleague of mine from the National Housing Conference (NHC) showed me some on-the-ground efforts from her alma mater, the University of Georgia. There, students are shedding light on homelessness in their community by hosting an event called “Southern Hospitality: A Recipe for Ending Homelessness in Athens.”

The event will bring together students, faculty, and staff to learn about homelessness and the effects of poverty and housing in the college town and focus on solutions and methods to curb, prevent and end homelessness in the city. They put together a little teaser video to attract participants:

In big cities and in small towns alike, it can be easy to forget about homelessness or to dismiss the issue as an insurmountable, inevitable part of modern society. But efforts like the one hosted by UGA – and yours and ours, too! – remind us why our work matters.

If you’re in Athens or can swing on by to show your support, please do!

Or you can always check out the local efforts: the Georgia Law Center for the Homeless and the Georgia Coalition to End Homelessness.

19th March
2010
written by naehblog
This was the week the media focused on female veterans experiencing homelessness, an issue we’ve had our eye on for some time. We’re encouraged by examples of assistance programs that serve women who have served, like Malachi House in VA, US Vets in CA and the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans.
Thanks to all who called Congress this week to ask for an increase in McKinney-Vento funding! Stay tuned to this blog to stay involved in this campaign.
Over at the National Housing Center’s Open House blog, Alayna Waldrum of the U.S. Association for Homes and Services for the Aging guest blogged in defense of the Section 202 capital advance development program that was cut in Obama’s FY2011 budget proposal. We’re also thinking about how to house the aging population, and we’ll be coming out with a publication in the coming weeks.
In Portland, Street Roots argued for a reframing of the issues of homelessness from a public health perspective.
Diane Nilan was loud and clear on Change.org this week when she echoed an argument we’ve been making as well: If the HPRP program is going to work, assistance providers need more money. She writes
Although the $1.5 billion in federal stimulus funds called Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, should help some renters stay in their apartments and move some families from homeless situations back into housing, it’s too little money and distribution networks need to be ramped up. The capacity to distribute funds in many places is stymied by previous staffing cuts. Lest Congress think the slow funneling reflects lack of need, think again.
You may have heard of Paul Bowers, a student who chose to spend his spring break experiencing homelessness. Meanwhile, I read this piece from the Street Roots blog called The Unreality of Urban Plunges.  Do you think these are opposing viewpoints? Which would you side with?
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