46.5 million Americans, 15% of the population, live at or below the poverty line according to the recently released United States Census Population Survey.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is committed to ending Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 through their Homeless Veterans Outreach Initiative. The VA wants to partner with organizations and individuals in communities across the country to end and prevent homelessness among Veterans.
“The single best way to help Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless is to connect them with VA. Each VA medical center has a homeless coordinator on staff and specific programs that provide Veterans the support they need to establish or maintain safe, stable housing. VA has also established the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans (877-4AID-VET, or 877-424-3838), a toll-free hotline available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trained responders—many of them Veterans themselves—are available to provide support to Veterans and their loved ones who lack safe, secure housing. These services are also available on an online chat at va.gov/homeless. ”
“Upward mobility through the mechanism of a good education, which is a widely held value in this country that cuts across the political spectrum, is in serious jeopardy.”
St. Paul public libraries are providing free lunches this summer. This is the first time the libraries have served free lunches. Librarians saw the need for the service after so many children were showing up hungry.
Protestors march to Pennsylvania’s state capital to oppose Governor Corbett’s planned budget cuts to public education. These cuts will largely affect poor and underserved children. On the state chopping block are art, music, and library programs.
Poverty in households with children is rising in nearly all OECD countries. Governments should ensure that family support policies protect the most vulnerable, according to the OECD’s first-ever report on family well-being.
Doing Better for Families says that families with children are more likely to be poor today than in previous decades, when the poorest in society were more likely to be pensioners.
OECD (2011), Doing Better for Families
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) allotted $15 million in funds to build permanent housing structures for homeless veterans. The following existing HUD grantees or ‘Continuums of Care’ located near the following military installations will each receive $2 million: MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida; Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California; Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas; Fort Drum in Watertown, New York; and Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington. In addition, VA medical centers in the following areas will each receive $1 million: Tampa, San Diego, Dallas, Syracuse, New York; and American Lake in Washington.
“The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) has founded a National Call Center for Homeless Veterans hotline to ensure that homeless Veterans or Veterans at-risk for homelessness have free, 24/7 access to trained counselors. The hotline is intended to assist homeless Veterans and their families, VA Medical Centers, federal, state and local partners, community agencies, service providers and others in the community. To be connected with a trained VA staff member call 1-877-4AID VET (877-424-3838)…
What will happen when I call?
* You will be connected to a trained VA staff member. * Hotline staff will conduct a brief screen to assess your needs. * Homeless Veterans will be connected with the Homeless Point of Contact at the nearest VA facility. * Family members and non-VA providers calling on behalf of a homeless Veteran will be provided with information regarding the homeless programs and services available. * Contact information will be requested so staff may follow-up.”
Washington State Library sees library patrons suffering and they are offering assistance. Their partnership with the Washington State Employment Security Department/WorkSource (ESD) provides information/training; online resources; face-to-face training for library staff with employment services staff; online training on topics of interest; and programs for volunteers to help neighbors in the library all in an effort to get communities through these hard times. See Hard Times online.