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Vancouver Gave Homeless People $5,800. It Changed Their Lives.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 08/01/2021 - 7:00pm in

“It took me about a week to really sink in that this money was for me,” Ray recounts. “You know, $7,500 bucks is a fair bit to be giving to someone in my situation.” 

Ray was among 50 people experiencing homelessness in Vancouver, British Columbia selected in 2018 to receive a lump sum of cash deposited into their personal bank accounts — no strings attached. The gift (about USD$5,800) was part of a pilot project, the first of its kind, and the early results are so impressive that cities across Canada and the U.S. are looking to try it themselves. 

For Ray, everything hit at once. After a 37-year-long career of heavy lifting in the warehouse and construction industries, his body was failing him. In 2017, he was laid off and had to chase his employer for owed wages. When he sought re-training, his high school English grade was two percentage points short of qualifying. And when he didn’t meet the bureaucratic hurdles of employment insurance, the government cut his payments. Suddenly, Ray couldn’t make rent. 

As a survivor of what’s known as the ‘60s scoop, where an overwhelming number of Indigenous children were apprehended by the Canadian government and raised by non-Indigenous families, Ray was used to supporting himself. The loss of agency was a big blow. “My hands were kind of tied,” says Ray. “I just wanted to give up, I really did.”

homelessRay was among 50 homeless people in Vancouver who received a lump sum of CAD$7,500 with no strings attached. Credit: Peter Helm

Ray stayed strong, even managing to honor his 15-plus years of sobriety. From a local homeless shelter, he continued his fight to go back to school. But even taking jobs at $100 a day back in warehousing, he just couldn’t get ahead. Without a fridge to store food or money for a monthly bus pass, Ray was paying the poverty premium. “By the end of the day, half of that money was gone,” he says. It was impossible to save enough to get himself back into stable housing. 

That’s when Ray was approached by members of the New Leaf Project, run by the charity Foundations for Social Change (FSC). Through a research partnership with the University of British Columbia led by Canada’s research chair in behavioral sustainability, Jiaying Zhao, the pilot was designed as a randomized control trial to measure the effects that a one-time lump-sum gift had on people’s lives over the course of a year. Participants were recruited from local shelters and screened to ensure they were recently homeless and functional in their daily lives to reduce the risk of potential harm that funds might bring if they drove people deeper into addiction. Every three months recipients completed questionnaires and interviews about their spending and experiences. That data was then compared with a control group. 

Typically, charitable and government efforts to help people like Ray are conditional on certain behaviors, like getting medical or addictions treatment, filing monthly reports, or spending on particular services. And most often, it’s distributed in small, incremental amounts. 

“We inherently do not trust people living in poverty,” says Claire Williams, co-founder of FSC. “If you think of something like income assistance, welfare, even employment insurance, we make the burden of proof so high for people to access those benefits because we fundamentally assume that people are trying to cheat the system.”

Through repeated interviews over the year, the FSC team sought to answer a poetically simple question. Would the lives of homeless people improve if we just gave them what they needed: cash?

Spending for the future

“I was kind of lost with it actually at first,” Ray recounts about the transfer. But rather than head out for a nice meal to celebrate, Ray only spent what he absolutely needed to reach his goal. 

“I really wanted to get into this frontline work with addiction and vulnerable people, because I mean, I’ve been there,” says Ray. “I felt that I could turn that around and do the same for people that are in my shoes.”

Within a month, Ray found his own room at an S.R.O. — a single room occupancy hotel, which are run-down buildings often used as stepping-stone housing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. With stable housing — “It’s not the greatest place, but at least it’s a roof over my head,” says Ray — he was able to make the three trips it took to get approved for an education loan, jumping bureaucratic hurdles he never would have been able to clear if he were taking day labor jobs and scrambling from shelter to shelter. “Having the money there, I wasn’t worried about getting money for the day,” he says. He could take the time to focus on his bigger goal. He got training in the kind of outreach work he dreamed of, and even found some temporary work with one of the local shelters. While he’s back working for a construction company, he says, “Having a community service worker certification under my belt opens up doors for me.” 

homelessErin, a recipient of cash from the New Leaf Project. Credit: Peter Helm

Though the formal research has yet to be published, the early results are staggering. Half of the cash recipients moved into stable housing one month after they received the money, compared to 25 percent of the control group. “That was phenomenal,” says Zhao. 

Almost 70 percent of them were food secure in one month. Like Ray, they spent most of the money on the essentials — food, shelter, bills. On average, the cash recipients spent a total of three fewer months in a shelter than those in the control group, whose days spent homeless increased. After one year, cash recipients reduced their spending on alcohol, drugs and cigarettes by an average of almost 40 percent, challenging “the widespread misperception that people in poverty will misuse cash funds,” the report stated. At the end of the year-long study, participants had an average of $1,000 still left in the bank. 

Cost savings

For Zhao, a major takeaway is the potential cost savings of a program like this for the government. Because of the reduced nights spent in emergency shelters, each cash recipient saved the government roughly $8,000 over the course of the year. Less the cost of the cash transfer, each cash recipient produced a net savings of more than $600 — and were substantially further along the path of pulling themselves out of poverty, experiencing a much more balanced life than they might have in the shelter system. While the pilot project was funded by Foundations for Social Change, which is primarily supported by foundation grants, Zhao says this evidence points to an obvious policy solution. 

“For someone who just became homeless, who does not have a severe level of substance use or mental health issues, then the government should distribute a one-time cash transfer to help them move out of homelessness quickly.” says Zhao. She adds that income assistance or equivalent monthly supports also evidently need to be raised. ”The current income assistance” — $760 per month in British Columbia — “is not sufficient to propel people to move out of homelessness,” she says. 

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One of the reasons the cash transfer proved so effective is practical. When you consider what rent costs in an expensive city like Vancouver, income from assistance or employment will barely cover a damage deposit, let alone first month’s rent. With a larger sum, a person can pay a deposit and rent for a few months, says Zhao. Since many of the participants were either working or on income assistance, monthly expenses were more manageable.

Receiving the cash is also empowering. “There’s a wide body of research that if you give someone a larger sum of cash it triggers long-term thinking,” says Williams. Or as Ray puts it, ”that energy of believing in myself again.” The effect is: “These people trusted me. Let me prove to them that I can be successful,” Ray says. 

Ray, who’s still working to find a healthier place to live than the S.R.O., thinks the general public needs to be educated. “When people look at us as homeless they think immediately that it has to do with drugs and alcohol. It’s not. It’s all kinds of different avenues.”

FSC is currently fundraising to increase the number of cash recipients to 200 in its next phase and open it to any person experiencing homelessness that wants to get back on track, Williams says, no matter how long they’ve been homeless for. They also hope to connect people with services like affordable housing and education, and increase the amount of the transfer to CAD$8,500. 

Williams and Zhao say they’re actively sharing resources to support U.S. nonprofits and government entities across the U.S. and Europe interested in piloting the approach. In San Francisco, the charity Miracle Messages is raising funds to launch a similar pilot. New Leaf has a proposal in to pilot the program in other Canadian cities with up to 400 cash recipients per city, and has received interest from cities across the U.S., including San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, who are looking to learn from their experience. Eventually, after replicating the work in other jurisdictions, they hope they can determine the type of person this kind of intervention is best suited for. “Homelessness is not a one-size-fits-all problem,” says Williams.

“Basically it was a gift giving my life back,” Ray says. If other people living on the streets can access money for their goals, like education, he says, ”I’m sure that these people are going to make something of themselves.”

The post Vancouver Gave Homeless People $5,800. It Changed Their Lives. appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

The Surprising Effect of a One-Time Gift

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 05/01/2021 - 3:07am in

A number of recent initiatives have shown that a one-time gift of money to poor or homeless folks often allows them to permanently and meaningfully improve their lives. The studies that show the positive results of these projects disprove a myth that has often been used to argue against free cash: that people will simply squander it rather than spend it responsibly and effectively. 

In Vancouver, the Foundations for Social Change conducted a pilot initiative called the New Leaf Project in which homeless people were given CAD $7,500 (USD $5,800) as a one-time gift. Recipients were screened and not all were accepted — people with severe addiction or mental health issues were not eligible, for example. All recipients were asked to think about how they could best use the money to move their life forward. Some proposed fixing up their cars so they could get to and from a job. Others bought computers, and some planned to start their own businesses. 

Some of these folks received ongoing coaching and, for comparison, others did not. About half of them participated in a workshop and the study results showed that they used the cash to improve their situations dramatically. They moved into stable housing, became food secure, and after a year many still had around $1,000 of the money tucked away in savings. They dispelled the myth that the money would be misspent — they actually reduced their spending on alcohol, cigarettes and drugs by an average of 39 percent.

The New Leaf Project’s cash recipients spent more money on rent, food, bills, transit and other essentials than non-cash recipients. Credit: Foundations for Social Change

Receiving a lump sum seems to provide a kind of jump start to people’s lives that the usual incremental assistance doesn’t. A lump sum is transformational and it instills in recipients a sense of empowerment, of choice and of dignity. This approach also cuts through much bureaucracy, as the recipients have to manage the funds themselves.

Vancouver’s New Leaf Project was a test to see if a one-time gift could make a difference. The results seem to show that in most cases it works, though only if the recipients are in a position to benefit from it and if there is infrastructure they can plug into: public transportation, affordable housing, fair credit ratings and alternatives to fast and junk food.

Around the world

The Foundations for Social Change was not the first to give this approach a try. A century ago, many U.S. states had something called Mothers’ Pensions, which were cash transfers for mothers who were single or whose husbands couldn’t work.

A recent study of the effects of the program found that: 

Male children of accepted applicants lived one year longer than those of rejected mothers. Male children of accepted mothers received one-third more years of schooling, were less likely to be underweight, and had higher income in adulthood than children of rejected mothers. 

In 2010, a British charity called Broadway gave 13 homeless folks in London $1,277 each. All of them had been living on the streets for at least four years when the project started. A follow-up study found that 11 of the 13 ultimately moved into housing. That’s not a big sample size, but it is additional evidence of success.

In 2014, Christopher Blattman wrote a New York Times op-ed describing how he worked with the Ugandan government to give out $8,000 to poor folks to put toward a business proposal. When Blattman followed up four years later he found that most of the recipients invested in learning trades like carpentry, and their earnings were 40 percent higher than the control group. 

However, when Blattman checked in again after nine years it seemed the control group had mostly caught up. The cash recipients did accumulate more assets and they and their children were healthier, but after nine years they were not earning more. It seems the gift accelerated the progress of those who were motivated rather than being solely responsible for it.

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A similar initiative in Mexico, the Prospera cash transfer program, had positive effects mainly on the children of recipients — better health, more education and eventually better jobs.

Blattman also worked on a cash giveaway program in a poor part of Liberia. Here the recipients were given just $200. They spent it wisely — mostly on food, clothes and adding minutes to their phones — but it was not enough to put them over the threshold to true self sufficiency. It takes a substantial amount for one to get both feet on the ladder out of poverty.

Issues and questions

So, does this imply that all we need to do is hand out free cash and let the recipients figure out everything for themselves? I suspect not exactly. Folks are smarter than they are given credit for, and that needs to be acknowledged. But the rungs on the ladder have to be in place for a person to gain a foothold. 

The programs described above were paired with other kinds of support: workshops, job training programs, subsidized housing, affordable public transportation to and from jobs, decent low-cost or free medical care, and in some cases, child care for single parents who became working parents. Without that infrastructure folks can’t really put the money to use. In Uganda, for instance, carpentry mentors were available to help recipients learn the skills they needed. An ecology and infrastructure are key —  cash alone won’t do it.

If that ecology is present, and if folks are given a substantial enough amount of money — enough to really allow them to create and sustain a change in their lives — then it appears they do come up with a plan, a roadmap to raise themselves and their families up. They know how to manage their money and time given the opportunity. 

With renewed dignity and confidence folks who were counted out often realize their hopes and ambitions.

The post The Surprising Effect of a One-Time Gift appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

The Year in Cheer

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 7:00pm in

You could be forgiven for thinking that 2020 was little more than a slow-motion train wreck broken up into 365 individual units. But if you’re a regular RTBC reader, you know that’s not true. Yes, it was a most difficult year. But it was also a year of problems solved, hopes sustained and seemingly insurmountable challenges met. We reported on literally hundreds of good things that happened this year, from the earth-shaking to the arcane. Here are 112 of the highlights.

More than two-thirds of all the money being invested in energy is now going to renewables

Australia is on track to eradicate transmission of HIV by the end of this decade.

The world is gaining two million acres of leafy cover per year, an increase of about five percent since 2000.

treeCredit: Pierre Prestat / Flickr

The hole in the ozone layer is expected to heal completely by 2030 in the northern hemisphere and mid-latitudes, by 2050 in the southern hemisphere and by 2060 at the poles. 

In a 25 year period, homicides in North America and Western Europe fell by 46 percent.

In 2016, the only country in Europe to reimburse for PrEP, the once-a-day pill that can prevent HIV, was France. Today, the national health systems of 14 European countries reimburse for PrEP

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After California learned that many college students drop out because they can’t afford relatively small expenses, it started offering them up to $1,500 in aid. Now 70% of them graduate.

The number of Chinese people living in extreme poverty was 88% in 1981. By 2015 it had fallen to 0.7%.

A $2.75 billion project is covering the radiation-contaminated farmland in Fukushima with solar and wind farms that will produce 600 megawatts of electricity –– two-thirds as much as a nuclear plant.

A German organization has helped 3,200 people understand how it feels to be disabled by having them grocery shop while wearing vision-obscuring goggles and movement-constricting vests.

Credit: SENSE Akademie

A German supermarket chain is selling expired, ugly or mislabeled food other stores won’t carry. It turned a profit of $1.3 million in its first year.

Aboriginal Australians have received $80 million to conduct “defensive burning,” which is credited with stopping enough wildfires to reduce greenhouse gases there by 40%.

Rockford, Illinois began tracking the personal situations of each of its homeless residents. Now the city is on track to reduce homelessness to functional zero this year.

A high school in Detroit employs a counselor who guides its graduates throughout their college careers. Last year, she logged 2,600 miles on the road visiting her former students on campus.

Decades after being eradicated, 14 wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in 1995. Today there are hundreds –– and their bloodlines can be traced to that original pack.

yellowstone wolvesGray wolves in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley. Credit: Scott Kublin / Flickr

A company in New Mexico has dispatched teenagers to help 3,000 seniors figure out how to use their tablets and smartphones, bridging a generational divide. 

After canvassers engaged in empathy-based dialogue with 1,900 voters in a district that voted for Trump, that same district voted for the Democratic candidate in the 2018 midterm elections.

A collective of women farmers in Mesopotamia have adopted ancient techniques that require no chemicals or irrigation. Their June harvest yielded 485 tons of wheat.

An IMF economist calculated that great whales are worth at least $2 million each because of their role in fighting climate. That’s over $1 trillion for all whales combined.

whaleChami, an economist at the International Monetary Fund, calculated great whales provide over $1 trillion in economic value, in large part due to their role in fighting climate change. Credit: Ju Lei / Flickr

A biologist invented a sensor that detects spikes in ethylene, the chemical that makes fruits ripen, so distributors can sell it before it spoils. It’s already saved one company $400,000 in wasted food.

In Denver, carbon dioxide captured from a beer brewery’s fermentation process is being used to stimulate the growth of 2,500 marijuana plants.

Atlanta is building soccer fields on the unused lots that surround its transit stations. 300 low-income kids are registered to play, and a “station vs. station” tournament is in the works.

Police in Durham, England are helping arrestees get access to social services instead of prosecuting them. Of the 2,600 people they’ve helped, only 6% have re-offended.

Since 2011, 2,000 businesses in 60 communities across Canada have become wheelchair accessible with simple, DIY ramps.

stopgapCredit: StopGap Foundation

In 2017, NYC made free legal services available in 20 low-income zip codes. Since then, evictions have fallen by 29 percent

In Kentucky, an initiative to bring preschool to the people has provided portable schooling to over 100 families.

In the past decade, 546 coal-fired power units in the U.S. have either been closed or slated for retirement.

Over 720 hyper-local volunteer groups formed across the U.K. to help residents who are vulnerable to the coronavirus stay homebound and healthy.

French luxury perfume makers like Givenchy and Dior are reconfiguring their equipment to churn out hand sanitizer. The gel will be distributed for free to the country’s network of 39 teaching hospitals, serving eight million patients annually.

Credit: FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Center / Flickr

New Jersey fishermen are using sonar to clear the seabed of abandoned crab traps, which can continue to collect and kill crabs for years. So far they’ve hauled up over 2,200 traps.

A hospital in Columbus, Ohio has spent $80 million to build and repair homes in its neighborhood to make them healthier places to live.

Public libraries are booming. One central Florida library tripled their curbside pickup requests from 1,100 to 3,300.

Everyone in the Italian city of Vò was tested for coronavirus. 89 of those tests came back positive. The city instituted a nine day period of isolation and that number dropped to six.

France converted a high-speed train into a 200-mile-per-hour hospital to race coronavirus patients to less-overwhelmed regions of the country.

france high speed railCredit: Enzo Jiang / Flickr

The Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota has more than doubled its graduation rate for Native American students. 

Young writers produced over 1,000 publications through the help of youth writing organizations.

Australian tour boat companies are taxiing scientists to the Great Barrier Reef to repair its coral. So far, over 1,000 pieces of coral have been replanted. 

Cambridge, Massachusetts is paying its restaurants to keep the city’s homeless residents nourished. The initiative delivered 1,800 meals in its first week.

cambridgeStaff of a closed restaurant in Cambridge preparing meals. Credit: Subhash Roy / Flickr

Utah’s “vote at home” system has increased voter turnout by an average of 9%.

Cities are taking advantage of the dramatic decrease in car traffic to speed up transit projects. With Los Angeles traffic down 60% the city will expedite the extension of the city’s Purple Line.

In Brazil’s ranking of 5,000 school districts, the impoverished city of Sobral jumped from 1,366th to number one.

Two-thirds of the world’s people now live in countries where renewable energy is less expensive than coal.

More than 7,000 hotel rooms in California have been secured to house recently released inmates and protect them from the coronavirus.

Over 4,000 volunteers knocked on 125,000 doors to collect the 400,000 signatures that ultimately ended gerrymandering in Michigan.

VNPCredit: VNP

Last year, Texas got 23.4% of its energy from wind — more than any other U.S. state.

The 2,000-mile “Yellowstone to Yukon” corridor helps grizzlies and wolverines safely follow their migration rates through populated areas.

In a recent national poll, 59 percent of respondents said they’d support a government investment of $1.5 trillion in wind and solar.

California has spent nearly $200 million on over 100 machines that convert cow dung into clean energy, mitigating thousands of tons of greenhouse gases.

Paris is creating 650 kilometers of pop-up “corona cycleways” for travel once the lockdown ends.

bike laneCredit: Mikael Colville-Andersen / Flickr

Two years after reforms New Jersey started releasing defendants accused of low-level crimes rather than holding them on bail, violent crime decreased by 16%.

Buffalo in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park have rebounded in number from 500 to 3,500 in 10 years thanks to a partnership between poachers and park officials.

As part of Pakistan’s “Billion Tree Tsunami,” hundreds of thousands of trees have been planted, restoring the depleted Changa Manga forest by 85 percent in the last few years.

Milan has announced that over 20 miles of cycling infrastructure installed for the pandemic will remain in place post-lockdown.

Even though schools are closed, school buses in Ohio’s Kanawha County are dropping off 12,500 weekly meals at “every bus stop along our normal routes.”

50 leading European financial firms endorsed a Covid-19 recovery plan to retrofit buildings, electrify transportation systems and build renewable energy and storage.

In order to receive their government bailout, Air France will have to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030.

An evangelical church in Berlin opened its doors to those of the Muslim faith, giving them the space to worship six feet apart. 

Over 60 German companies issued a joint statement calling for any coronavirus stimulus they receive to be tied to a green transition.

solarCredit: 100% Campaign

In Europe, the source of 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, over a dozen countries will be coal-free by the end of the decade.

In the last decade, the cost of solar has dropped 87% and offshore wind by 62%.

To help black-owned businesses survive during lockdown, one organization is offering them $1,000 per month for six months, no strings attached.

Instead of cops, mental health professionals are deployed to over 20% of 911 calls in Eugene, Oregon.

New York City’s census response rate is 49%. America’s is 60%. But one working-class community in the Bronx is winning the census with a 70% response rate.

In a Milwaukee high school where a violence-interruption group works with students, attendance has risen by 14% and graduation rates have been twice as high as projected.

At least 15 cities are taking steps to divert some of their policing budgets toward social services and neglected communities.

Since Wales switched its organ donation consent from out-in to opt-out, donation rates there have risen from 58% to 75%.

Thanks to conservation efforts, Oregon’s Fender’s blue butterfly, which numbered fewer than 1,500 in the 1990s, is now fluttering 30,000 strong.

Credit: LIHI

To fight homelessness during the coronavirus, Washington State is building tiny houses that cost 62% less than putting people up in hotel rooms. (And they’re permanent!)

After Camden, NJ reorganized its police force under a community-policing model, its crime rate dropped by half and reports of excessive force by police fell by 95%.

Elk were hunted to extinction in Kentucky before the Civil War. Thanks to reintroduction efforts, today some 13,000 elk roam the Bluegrass State.

A jazz club in Paris has re-opened for performances –– for one patron at a time. In just a few weeks, Le Gare hosted over 3,000 concerts for one

At-risk teenagers in North Carolina are turning an abandoned prison into a farm — the program has been 92% effective at preventing recidivism and adult incarceration.

prison farm

West Virginia elected its first transgender official –– the 27th out trans person to be elected to office in the U.S.

Oregon’s vineyards are keeping their farmworkers safe. 400 workers have been tested for Covid-19 –– only two have been hospitalized and they are recovering at home.

A new app, cooperatively owned by 51 Latin American housekeepers, has increased some workers’ average hourly wages from $11 to $25.

The hashtag #NativeTikTok, where Indigenous users perform and share their stories, has reached almost 200 million views.

Lesotho’s Premier League club is the first in the world to fund its men’s and women’s soccer teams equally

detroitEarthworks Urban Farm in Detroit, Michigan. Credit: A Healthier Michigan / Flickr

Researchers in Detroit are making city soil healthier by planting enriching vegetables on over 36 ten-by-five-foot plots.

California’s 2019 budget allocated $12.6 million for safe syringe exchanges and harm reduction grants.

Seattle eliminated parking minimums in most of its central neighborhoods. The result? Some 18,000 fewer parking spaces, saving an estimated $537 million. 

Researchers are reforesting over 4,500 square feet of Tasmania’s kelp forests with climate change-resistant “super-kelp.”

“Talk pedometers” for babies are increasing vocabulary exposure from 8,000 words per day to over 12,000.

The U.K.’s largest pension fund is divesting $7.2 billion from fossil fuels.

One in four Europeans either owns an e-bike or plans to buy one this year.

e-bikeCredit: Zweirad-Industrie-Verband

Residents in a San Francisco housing project set up their own impromptu contact tracing effort and reduced their positive Covid-19 cases from 7% to 1%.

Indiana is requiring that its new 1,400-acre solar farm be seeded with pollinator-friendly plants.

Bogotá pledged to expand its existing 550-kilometer cycleway network by 50%.

The protection of watersheds along the 175-mile route traveled by New York City’s water supply has saved over $7.5 billion.

One voter outreach program connected with 130,000 Muslim households in five states and increased Muslim voter turnout by 25%.

muslim voteCredit: Emgage

A telehealth service is providing “trans-competent” health care in 16 states, which together are home to more than 50% of America’s trans population.

Latino community organizers in Cleveland collected 78 vote-by-mail applications and registered 54 people to vote using a parade.

The World Health Organization has declared Africa free of wild polio — 95% of Africans have been vaccinated against the disease.

Produce prescription programs that serve patients healthy foods at a subsidized price have increased 371% since the pandemic started.

Over 133,000 acres of Hawaiian watershed have been protected from an invasive species attacking the native koa tree.

A start-up that helps people with disabilities find roommates and vacation rentals boasts over 2,500 members.

A group therapy initiative in California is helping to extinguish the anxiety that 60% of survivors of wildfires, hurricanes and floods experience.

An organization promoting civil discourse at universities has spread to 24 campuses.

7.6 million acres of the Great Bear Rainforest are completely off limits to logging thanks to a unique partnership between loggers and conservationists.

In Atlanta, cops and community organizers are working together to re-imagine a 471,000-square-foot jail as a community center.

Credit: Karsten Moran for The Marshall Project

A program at a Connecticut prison houses 14 incarcerated young women with 10 older mentors who offer counseling, classes, job training and addiction help.

15 streets and intersections in Oakland were designated “essential places” to help essential workers get where they need to go.

Between April and June, grassroots organizations trained over 16,000 people on how to address everyday racism. Aftereward, 99% said they felt equipped to help if they witnessed a racist incident.

Last week Colorado passed Proposition 118, which guarantees new parents the right to three months of paid family leave.


After opening a supervised injection site for drug users, Vancouver saw overdose deaths within a 500 meter radius decrease by 35 percent.

When Switzerland started prescribing heroin to addicts in combination with methadone and therapy, their daily heroin use dropped from 81 percent to six percent.

The Mall of America is renting out space to 17 minority-owned businesses rent-free for the holiday season.

The Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte, population 2.5 million, has virtually eliminated hunger.

After a tornado, Greenburg, Kansas rebuilt itself as a wind-powered town, making it one of the few places in the U.S. that runs on 100 percent renewables.

In an effort to become a “zero-waste city,” one of Berlin’s best-known department stores has dedicated 7,000 square feet to used goods.

berlinCredit: Jacobia Dahm

Over the past five years, scientists have grown more than 100,000 plants from seeds almost lost in Syrian’s civil war.

Chattanooga is providing ultra-fast 1 gigabit-per-second fiber optic internet service to low-income families for free.

In the race for carbon neutrality, the Paris suburbs are using district energy to provide geothermal heat to over 40,000 residents.

A rainwater reuse program in Tucson has saved over 52 million gallons of water this year.

New Zealand fishers are donating over one ton of valuable fish heads per week instead of throwing them away.

Lisbon is offering landlords 1,000 euros per month to turn their Airbnb-style apartments into affordable housing.

Los Angeles will use artificial intelligence to decide where to plant 90,000 trees next year.

CREDCredit: Monica Guerrero

A program in Chicago that replaces guns with jobs has decreased gun violence by 33%.

A California program offers rent assistance for middle-income folks who make 80% of their area’s median income but don’t quite qualify for subsidized housing.

The post The Year in Cheer appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

A New Kind of Housing for Homeless Indigenous People

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 30/12/2020 - 7:00pm in

Three great stories we found on the internet this week.

“It puts me at ease”

In Seattle, the Indigenous community comprises just one percent of the population, yet 15 percent of people experiencing homelessness. A project set to open next year will embrace this community with a housing solution built just for them.

The ʔálʔal (pronounced “all-all”) means “home” in Lushootseed, a language of the Coast Salish People of the area. Eight stories tall, it will have 80 studio apartments, the vast majority of which will be dedicated to moving people out of homelessness. Out front, a 25-foot statue of an Indigenousmother will beckon residents inside, where Coast Salish art will decorate the walls and a cafe will serve traditional Coast Salish food. A primary care clinic run by the Seattle Indian Health Board will offer traditional healing methods alongside Western ones. “I am comfortable being around Native people — it makes me feel at home and puts me at ease,” one homeless man who hopes to move in next year told CityLab.

Colleen Echohawk, one of the organizers, emphasizes that ʔálʔal will provide conventional services such as vocational training, as well. “We’re not just the folks experiencing homelessness,” she said. “We’re builders. We’re developers. We’re homeless advocates and providers.”

Read more at Bloomberg CityLab

Waste not, want not

One dollar per year — that’s how much Carolyn Phinney is paying for 15 acres of land in Martinez, California directly adjacent to a wastewater treatment plant. Not exactly prime real estate. Or is it?

Phinney leased the land from the county in May with a clear intention: use the treated wastewater, which is absolutely free, to grow produce to donate to local schools and food banks. So far Phinney is only cultivating half an acre of the farm (she’s the only employee). Nevertheless, she’s already used that half acre to grow and donate over 13,000 pounds of produce. 


Phinney’s project shows the incredible potential of wastewater irrigation. Not only is the project getting healthy food to those who need it, it’s saving the earth in the process. For years, the county had been dumping the wastewater into the nearby bay. Now, instead of polluting the ocean, it’s growing supersized eggplants, tomatoes and radishes with what Phinney calls “liquid fertility” — wastewater’s naturally occurring nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. She hopes to have the entire 15 acres flourishing within the next few years. “We could produce several hundred thousand pounds of produce [if we were] in full production,” she said.

Read more at Civil Eats

Safe but not boring

A number of cities are re-engineering their busy intersections to make them safer for pedestrians. But how many are doing it with pizzazz? Sure, a few posts and curb bump-outs can do the trick, but some cities are making safety stylish. 


Streetsblog has some great photos of cities that are turning their pedestrian safety measures into art, including the one above, from Kansas City, Missouri, where a reimagined intersection doubles as public art. As cities consider making some of their Covid-sparked street redesigns permanent, it could be a golden opportunity to turn those sites into spaces that dazzle pedestrians as they protect them. 

Read more at Streetsblog

The post A New Kind of Housing for Homeless Indigenous People appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

‘I’ Report on Macron’s Vow to Fight Islamist Separatism in France

Here’s another piece from the I about extremism, from last Saturday’s edition for 3rd October 2020. Written by their columnist Michael Rose, it discusses the announcement by French president Macron that he intends to fight against the separatism and extremist Islam in Muslim communities on the other side of la Manche. The article runs

President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to fight “Islamist separatism”, which he said was threatening to take control in some Muslim communities around France.

France has struggled with Islamist militancy for years but the government is increasingly worried by broader radicalisation within Muslim communities. Officials cite the refusal of some Muslim men to shake women’s hands, swimming pools that impose alternate time slots for men and women, girls as young as four being told to wear full-face veils, and proliferation of Islamic schools.

More than 250 people have been killed on French soil over the past five years in attacks by Islamist militants or individuals inspired by Jihadist groups. “What we need to fight is Islamist separatism,” Mr Macron said during a visit to the impoverished Paris suburb of Les Mureaux. “The problem is an ideology which claims its own laws should be superior to those of the Republic.”

France follows a strict form of secularism which is designed to separate religion and public life. The principle was enshrined in law in 1906.

Many French Muslims have long complained of discrimination and marginalisation that have contributed to poverty and social alienation.

Foreign imams will no longer be able to train clerics in France and there will be tighter controls on the financing of mosques.

“There is a crisis of Islam everywhere, which is being corrupted by radical forms,” Mr Macron said. But he added France had a responsibility . “We have created our own separatism,” he said, citing the ghettoization of minority neighbourhoods.” (p.30).

We were taught a little about the French suburbs, the banlieus, or at least those in Paris, in Geography ‘A’ Level when I was at school nearly 40 years ago. I don’t know about now, but they were then hit by poverty and marginalisation. They were built simply to house people and so consist of nothing, or at least precious little, except tower blocks. It was assumed that the residents would go into the centre of Paris for their shopping and amusement, and so there are no, or very few, shops or local amenities. As for poverty and marginalisation, Ali A. Allawi describes the deprivation, poverty and underprivileged conditions of European Muslims in his book, The Crisis of Islamic Civilisation.

There’s also been much prejudice against Arabs and Muslims in France. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown described the very cold reception her mixed race family got there when they went for a holiday a few years ago in the Independent. I thought things had improved somewhat, as a few years later she wrote another piece about a recent holiday there in which she and her family were welcomed and treated with courtesy. There was also a series of anti-racist protests a few years ago, the name of which translates as ‘Don’t Touch My Mate’. This consisted of White young people showing their solidarity by standing up to racism and discrimination against their Black and Muslim friends.

But there has also been trouble with Muslim extremism and Islamist violence. Over a decade ago there were protests across France when the government ruled that under the doctrine of laicism, the official policy of French secularism, Muslim girls were banned from wearing the hijab in schools. This broke out despite leading French imams declaring that the ban didn’t contradict Islam and could be observed by pious Muslims. The insistence that girls as young as four should wear full-face veils is definitely extreme and not required by Islamic law. From what I remember from when I studied Islam at college as part of the Religious Studies course, girls up to seven years old can wear whatever they like. The dress requirements gradually come after they reach that age, and I think that they are only required to wear the full veil at puberty.

There have been fears about Islamic separatism in other European countries. In the 1990s there was controversy in the main Germany trade union organisation. This claimed that while the affiliated Muslim organisations or its Muslim members claimed to support integration, in reality they had a separatist attitude towards their non-Muslim brothers and sisters.

I also wonder if the accusation of separatism may not be literally true, in that some Muslims extremists may be pursuing a conscious policy of apartheid. I’ve written in previous posts how, when I was studying Islam, I came across passages in books published by British Muslim presses that demanded autonomous Muslim communities. And way back in January 2000, right at the dawning of the new millennium, the Financial Times included a brief piece featuring Anjem Chaudhry, who never met an Islamist terrorist he didn’t like. Chaudhry was then running an outfit called Sharia4Belgium, which wanted Belgian Muslims to have their own autonomous enclave with Arabic as it official language, governed by sharia law. Chaudhry’s now in jail for his support for al-Qaeda and ISIS. I don’t know if such demands are still being made by sections of British and European Islam following the 9/11 attacks and the government’s attempts to curb Muslim radicalism and promote integration. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was, somewhere, though the vicious Muslim firebrands like Kalim Siddiqui, who declared that British society was a monstrous killing machine and that killing Muslims comes very easily to non-Muslim Brits, seem to have gone quiet. The imam, who received Salmon Rushdie back into the faith, also recommended that Britain should train its own imams. When he was writing their was a shortage of Muslim clergy in Britain, and he was afraid that religious extremists from places like Pakistan were being allowed in thanks to this.

Macron’s comments also came at the same time that the Spectator published a piece claiming that the Swedish authorities had announced that immigrant communities in some of their cities were dominated by criminal gangs and had turned whole areas into a no-go zones. There was a war going on between a number of immigrant criminal gangs, in which firearms and even rocket launchers had been used. The Swedish chief of police had supposedly appeared on television to state very clearly that the immigrants responsible for the violence were not proper asylum seekers, but had come to the country simply to make money through selling drugs. This was apparently confirmed by the Swedish prime minister, Lofven, who said that his country would not be taking any of the former residents of the destroyed immigrant camp in France. Or so it has been claimed by right-wing, ant-immigration websites.

A few years ago the Islamophobic, ‘counterjihad’ websites Gates of Vienna and Vlad Tepes wrote pieces praising a book by the former mayor of one of the German towns. He claimed that his town had effectively been overrun by Muslims, who maltreated and forced out ethnic Germans. The book was widely attacked and criticised. They also claimed that Malmo in Sweden, or at least parts of it, had been taken over by Muslim immigrants and become violent, crime-ridden no-go zones for non-Muslims. I don’t know how true these reports are as they come from the racist right, websites which did have connections to the EDL. Certainly Fox News’ claim that British cities like Birmingham had been taken over by Muslims and were now no-go zones for White and non-Muslim Brits provoked widespread criticism and hilarity when they made it a few years ago.

It seems to me that nevertheless, even if these claims are exaggerated, there is nevertheless a real fear of Islamic separatism throughout Europe and that Macron is reacting to it in France.

One contributory factor, I have no doubt, is neoliberalism and the destruction of the welfare state. The French scholar, Alfred Kepel, advances this argument in his book on the resurgence of Christian, Muslim and Jewish fundamentalism, The Revenge of God. When Thatcher started her attacks on the welfare state in the 1980s, she hoped that it would lead to a resurgence of charity. This didn’t happen. But Muslims are obliged to support the poor through the zakat, the alms-tax paid to the local mosque. I think this concern to give to the local poor amongst Muslims isn’t confined just to their own community in Britain. There were Muslim restaurants giving free meals to the homeless at Christmas, and my parents bumped into a young Muslim woman, who was also buying stuff she could give to the food bank, in our local supermarket. But the support provided by the mosques in the absence of state aid does mean that communities may become more isolated and inward-looking.

If we really want to stop Islamic separatism, as well as White racism, not only should Britain and Europe take measures promoting racial integration, but neoliberalism urgently needs to be ditched. It’s dividing communities as it pushes people into real, grinding poverty. But there’s no chance of that, at least in this country, as the very rich are making too much money at the expense of the rest of us, regardless of our colour and religion.

Report Demands Reform of Major Public Inquiries

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 28/08/2020 - 11:28pm in

This is another interesting piece from Tuesday’s issue of the I for 25th August 2020. Written by Jane Clinton, it discusses the publication of a report by the Justice reform group demanding extensive reforms of major public inquiries. The piece, ‘Major public inquiries ‘need radical reform’ runs

The way the justice system responds to incidents ranging from the Manchester Arena bombings to the Grenfell Tower fire needs a major overhaul, according to a report.

Official investigations to discover what happened and how to stop it recurring are too slow, insufficiently concerned about victims and their families and too often limit the likelihood of preventing similar events in the future.

The report, When Things Go Wrong, by the influential Justice reform group warned public trust in how the justice system responds to deaths has been “eroded” and says a “consistent, open, timely, coherent and readily understandable” response is required to restore public confidence.

The report, chaired by former High Court judge Sir Robert Owen, who conducted the inquest and public inquiry into Russian poisoning victim Alexander Litvinenko makes recommendations for improvements. It highlights “costly delay and duplication” of a system that has “insufficient concern for the needs of those affected by disasters” with the bereaved and survivors “often left confused, betrayed and re-traumatised”.

It calls for a central inquiry team to run such investigations. “Previous experience has not been routinely captured,” it said.

It also calls for greater collaboration between investigating agencies to prevent those affected from having repeatedly to recount traumatic events. Sir Robert said that a system cannot provide justice if its processes “exacerbate the grief and trauma” of participants.

I think Sir Robert Owen and his group are right about the public having low confidence in official inquiries. It seems to me that we’ve seen them repeatedly used, especially by Boris Johnson and the Tories, as a way of whitewashing or trying escape the blame for their catastrophic decisions. The Grenfell fire, and the way its victims have been treated, with many still homeless years after the government promised that they’d be rehoused, is a case in point.

But I have absolutely no doubt that these reforms won’t be implemented by Boris. He’s used public inquiries himself as a way of deflecting blame and attention away from his government. It’s not just with major disasters, but also lesser issues like the allegations about islamophobia. There are revelations that the Tories are riddled with it, and the Equalities Commission was prepared to launch an inquiry. Until Boris said that he was going to launch one himself. So the Equalities Commission backed down. So far, there has been no Tory inquiry into islamophobia in the party, and I doubt there ever will be. But as Mike has pointed out, this incident also shows that the Equalities Commission is politically biased and unfit for purpose. It spent years trying to uncover the largely spurious anti-Semitism in the Labour party. But when it comes to casting the same critical glance over the Tories because of the very real, poisonous hatred of Muslims there, it does nothing.

And then there’s Boris’ promise at the time of the Black Lives Matter protests to do something about the Black community’s condition in Britain. This was going to be another inquiry. Just like Tweezer promised one.

The government has made too many broken promises, and arranged too many public inquiries to allow officials and senior MPs and government leaders to escape blame. The Justice reform group are right – the system’s reform is urgently needed. But Boris and co. will continue abusing it for as long as they can get away with it. And with a mendacious, complicit press and media, that’s going to be a long time.


Guides for Life After a Life Sentence

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 27/08/2020 - 2:35am in

Three great stories we found on the internet this week.

Lifers find a way

For prison “lifers” who finally make parole after decades of incarceration, navigating life on the outside can be daunting. A program in California is linking up these new releases with their formerly incarcerated peers, who provide guidance as they build their new lives. 

The Peer Reentry Navigator Network (PRNN) was launched five years ago in response to the huge number of lifers being released from California prisons following a shift in parole regulations. Many of the participants, now in their fifties or sixties, come out with chronic health conditions, not to mention little experience with modern technology — some have never used the internet or even an ATM. Their peers, who have learned to successfully navigate post-prison life, show them the ropes through group meetings, one-on-one counseling, life skills, job leads, even relationship advice.

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The program builds on the simple fact that most people age out of criminal behavior — one researcher at Montclair State University found that inmates who are released late in life have a recidivism rate of just 1.14 percent. “Lifers build communities with each other in prison, so the group is a way of extending the runway,” says one social worker who helped develop the program. “So having people they can talk to, check in with, and give and get ‘pull ups’ instead of ‘push downs’ is important.” 

Read more at the Christian Science Monitor

Space invaders

Occupants of homeless shelters often reside in large communal rooms. But since the pandemic began, many of those individuals have been moved into hotel rooms to prevent the spread of the virus. Now, those individuals are showing dramatic, often unexpected improvements in many areas of their lives, particularly the ones who struggle with mental health issues. 

Residents of Seattle’s Downtown Emergency Service Center are living at the Morrison Hotel. Credit: Wikipedia

“What we’ve realized is that the physical environment contributed to the stress and difficulties that people were under, and we had a lot of crisis events,” said the director of the Downtown Emergency Service Center, a Seattle shelter. In this shelter, where 230 people were living in congregate housing before the pandemic struck, tempers would flare and misunderstandings would sometimes escalate into physical conflicts. Since the residents were moved into a local hotel, however, such interactions have diminished, and many residents report that their mental health has improved. The data reflect this: During a five week period in the summer of 2019, shelter workers had to call police or medical services 128 times. During the same period this year, they called 25 times. 

“In a congregate setting, my patients hardly ever feel safe. They have to be concerned with their things being stolen, have no privacy, and that leads to trouble sleeping and feeling like they’re always on edge,” said a physician at another Seattle shelter that moved its residents into a hotel. “Once they moved, you just noticed how people could relax and have the bandwidth to start healing.”

Read more at Shelterforce

Classroom with a view

Kids in Kashmir are keeping their education on track against a breathtaking backdrop. In the India-administered region, few kids have access to laptops or tablets, and internet service is often too spotty for remote learning. So when Covid-19 forced Kashmir’s schools to close, teachers in Doodpathri, a town in Budgam district, set up outdoor classrooms in a spot normally teeming with tourists.

kashmirThe India-administered Kashmir region.

Now, in grassy meadows six feet apart from each other, children are getting an education with the snow-capped Himalayas towering above them. “Their eager participation has made the entire concept click and created similar demand elsewhere,” said one teacher. A parent adds: “It’s far better that our kids attend such schools than grow weary in homes where they often end up frustrating themselves.”

Read more at the BBC

The post Guides for Life After a Life Sentence appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

New York Is Using Data to Stop Homelessness Before It Starts

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 10/08/2020 - 11:33pm in

In 2014, Jamilah Seye, a 54-year-old mother of two teenagers, lost her job as a shelter supervisor because of health issues. She became permanently disabled and could not go back to work, and over the years her financial situation worsened. Seye lived in Urban Strategies housing, and her family was supported by the Family Eviction Prevention Subsidy, a state program that provides rental support for up to five years. But in 2016, when her disability subsidy kicked in, she made too much to receive public assistance, and lost the eviction prevention subsidy. She eventually fell behind on the rent. Without an income, she couldn’t keep her apartment. On the verge of losing her home, at the beginning of 2020 she went to Homebase, New York City’s homelessness prevention program, and asked for help.

Seye is far from the only person in New York City who has had difficulties paying rent. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in the United States, about a half-million people go homeless every night. Even though homelessness across the country has been decreasing since 2010, the trend has been the opposite in New York. From 2007 to 2018, the state has witnessed a staggering 47 percent increase in homelessness.

An innovative program in the city is seeking to get ahead of the problem, however. Founded in 2004, Homebase is a neighborhood-based grassroots program that merges knowledge of the community’s services with state funds to help those in danger of becoming homeless before they lose a home or other living arrangements. The group, which has 26 locations in New York’s five boroughs and is funded partly by New York state, provides any kind of assistance people need to keep their homes: cash for rent; cash advances for utilities; lawyers to solve disputes with landlords and fight evictions; and coaching and training for jobs and job-hunt assistance. By 2019, Homebase had a budget of $53 million and helped about 29,600 households annually.

When Seye arrived at a Homebase office in 2020, she was immediately assigned a case manager. Homebase worked with Seye for two months and helped her obtain more help with her rent through the subsidy program. After five years of serial crises, Seye and her two teenagers were able to stay in their home, thanks to Homebase’s support.

“They were very instrumental,” Seye said. “They helped me at a time when I was really down financially.”

homelessRather than trying to help everyone, Homebase focuses on those people who are known to be at risk of losing their homes. Credit: MTA

The city of New York shelters about 60,000 people per night. Federal government data show that New York alone accounts for more than one-fifth of all sheltered houseless people in the United States. And once someone loses a house in a city such as New York, where rent is already unsustainable for many people, it can be extremely tough to get out of a shelter and find another place to live.

Many studies have shown that it is difficult to transition from homelessness to being housed, and that not having a home exacerbates existing mental and physical illnesses. But where solving homelessness presents many obstacles, many places have found prevention to be a better solution. Cities such as Salt Lake City, and the countries of Wales and Canada have successfully implemented homelessness prevention programs. Still, the scale of the problem is different in New York City; while Salt Lake City or even Canada were dealing with a leaky tap, number-wise, New York had to build a dam to stop the flood.

In 2004, Linda Gibbs, at the time the commissioner for the city’s Department for Homeless Services, founded the Homebase program. The city could not open shelters fast enough to meet the rising demand, so this new idea arose. The city already had an elaborate data collection of profiles of homeless shelter applicants, so it used this data to start looking for those within the applicant pool who were at high risk of becoming homeless in the first place — and then try to help them keep their homes.

Seye described the help from Homebase as comforting and reassuring. She emphasized the importance of this approach towards people who lack confidence and find themselves in such a delicate situation.

“They offer so much encouragement. I began to rebuild my confidence that I would not be on the street,” Seye said.

And amid the Covid-19 pandemic, nearly 700,000 newly unemployed New Yorkers still need to pay for housing, even with a statewide moratorium on evictions (which is set to expire September 4).

“Homebase is extremely needed, especially right now,” Seye said. “People are not employed anymore. And they’re going to be in a position of wondering if they’re going to be in the street with their children.”

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Mirtha Santana, vice president of empowerment at RiseBoro, the Homebase location that helped Seye, has been working with Homebase since 2007 when it was a pilot program. She said that the research behind the Homebase program revolutionized the way the organization approached homelessness by new statistical tools to a problem that formerly had only been addressed by a case worker’s subjective judgment.

Between 2004 and 2008, Marybeth Shinn, professor of human and organizational development at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, studied 11,105 New York Homebase applicant families. “The city at that time was giving services to some people who were at quite a low risk, and was missing some people who were at a much higher risk,” Shinn said. Her work aimed at predicting, using a series of variables including disability and shelter history, which families were most vulnerable to becoming homeless. The study showed that using a targeting model to supplement the judgment of case workers would identify 26 percent more families at risk, and decrease the number of families overlooked by two-thirds.

The Homebase high-risk prevention program seems to work if, rather than trying to help everyone, it focuses on those people who are known to be at risk of losing their homes. “We developed a statistical model that helps determine which people were at highest risk of coming into the shelter,” Shinn said. Ever since, Homebase has used Shinn’s model to help people in need before they become homeless.

The program has made a measurable difference. A 2014 study in the Journal of Housing Economics compared neighborhoods where there was a homeless Homebase program to similar areas where there was no program. The authors, from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and Columbia University, found that the work of Homebase, in the long run, would reduce the number of people entering shelter by five to 11 percent, saving the city $20 million to $44 million in expenditures each year.

But that’s not a huge impact. “It works, but it’s not incredibly powerful,” said Brendan O’Flaherty, a professor of urban economics at Columbia and one of the study’s co-authors. “It’s nice to have a sump pump if your basement gets flooded, but if the Mississippi River or the Atlantic Ocean goes into your house… That’s what happens.”

That doesn’t take away from the critical need for services, even those that can’t solve the entire problem.

“New York City has most likely the most sophisticated homelessness prevention program in the country,” said Daniel Farrell, vice president of HELP USA, another Homebase location in the Bronx. The program has served as a model for many other prevention programs around the country. RiseBoro’s Mirtha Santana said that the organization has consulted with Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., on their prevention programs.

“The program is unique, and I think that one of the aspects because Homebase is so successful, it’s because it operates within the community,” she said. “We know the devastating effects of homelessness on children,” she said.

Without Homebase, thousands more families would be living in shelters, Santana added.

“But we do not solve all problems. If we truly want to have housing for everyone, we need more than this program provides. Homelessness is very intertwined with urban poverty, and for that we need more government policies,” Santana said.

This story originally appeared in Yes! Magazine. It is part of the SoJo Exchange of COVID-19 stories from the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous reporting about responses to social problems.

The post New York Is Using Data to Stop Homelessness Before It Starts appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

Unrest in the USA: A Perfect Storm

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 07/08/2020 - 6:46am in

image/jpeg iconunrest_usa.jpg

The spread of COVID-19 to the United States earlier this year both triggered and exacerbated the economic crisis which has been building up for decades. Around 50 million workers in America have been thrown out of work since the start of the lockdown, the great majority of whom have no alternative source of income for the necessities of life.

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Global Hungers: The Problem of Poverty in Postcolonial Literature - Part 2

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 26/07/2018 - 10:59pm in

A One-Day International Conference held at the Faculty of English, University of Oxford, on June 25, 2018. This conference showcased interdisciplinary research on poverty in the fields of postcolonial, comparative, and world literature.