Friday News Roundup: Community efforts to end homelessness

written by naehblog
September 24, 2010

In truth, it’s been a quiet week on the news front. No big surprise. With 38 days until midterm elections, it seems like voracious news cycle has bigger and juicier fish to fry that handle homelessness and housing.

But we know better.

First up, we got the poverty numbers. Last week, we wrote aboutthe numbers coming out of the Census Bureau showing that the number of people living in poverty went up by 4 million people this year. This week, there were some noteworthy pieces floating around about the reaction to those numbers. The good people atNPR wrote about how the numbers are creating some (much needed) stir about aid programs. An editorial in the Detroit Free Press echoed sentiments that growing poverty numbers indicate a need to extend relief efforts to those most vulnerable. Yet theWashington Post observed that – even in the face of such important news – the numbers got a “muted reaction” on the Hill.

There was also some buzz at the local level – both good and bad news.

There’s was a flurry of news coming out of Oregon when the state released a report that homelessness among students was on the rise. Education Weekly also hit upon the affect of schools on homeless youth just yesterday, noting that the school system can offer resources and stability that such students don’t get elsewhere.

There’s some buzz in California about homeless youth too. The State Assembly is considering a piece of legislation, AB 12, that would assist youth aging out of foster care with the transition to adulthood. Also in Sacramento, there’s an effort to shift homeless services from government officials to a nonprofit organization. Without the constraints of state bureaucracy, the argument is, people would be able to access services more quickly and efficiently.

And across the country, as always, communities are acknowledging the importance of ending homelessness and moving forward in their own ways. Baltimorewestern Massachusetts, and Pasco County, FL are moving forward with plans and initiatives to reduce and end homelessness in their neighborhoods. And two leaders in the field out in Washington reiterated the message we all know to be true: that a plan – with a dash of hope – is what’s necessary to fight and end homelessness.

Happy Friday, all.