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Friday News Roundup: Conference, research, recovery
February 12, 2010
"Never has there been a more salient time to discuss the pressing issue of family homelessness," said Nan Roman. "We're faced with economic instability, rising unemployment, and an anticipated rise in homelessness. At the same time, we see increased attention to the crisis, both from the mainstream media and from the federal government. Now is the time for a serious conversation about systematic change; now is the time to face our challenges head-on."
There's a tidbit from the Alliance's National Conference on Ending Family Homelessness, going on now in LA. PATH Partners' Joel John Roberts reports on the event here.
As we gathered in LA, some leaders in the field of permanent supportive housing got some much-deserved press this week. Jennifer Ho, who recently joined the federal Interagency Council on Homelessness, discussed the transformation of services in Minnesota. In an interview with Good Magazine, Roseanne Haggerty says: "Communities willing to work on getting people housed instead of letting the homeless drift between shelters, hospitals and jails can solve homelessness." Couldn't have said it better ourselves.
And while we've been focusing on the federal this week, folks at the local level have been making some major progress: with youth in Worcester, for veterans in Utah, for chronically homeless people in Alaska (great analysis in this piece), with housing in South Dakota.
There's also been some significant research findings out this week. One finds that despite an increase in public aid programs - TANF and SNAP benefits, for example - for struggling families, many still lack access to assistance they need. Another examines the impact of rising unemployment on NYC's families and the programs designed to mediate it.
In the blogopshere, the Coalition for the Homeless Central Florida posted a moving piece on their clients' New Year's resolutions, while on the Change.org End Homelessness blog, David Henderson talks about homeless service providers working themselves out of business.
Here in DC, business is slowly returning to usual after this week's snowpocalypse, but I'm still thinking about the impact the snow had on the District's most vulnerable residents. Reports from NYC and Philly describe a shelter system stressed to the breaking point. Here's to a weekend that's safe and warm for all.