It seems to me that ending homelessness is more than just building apartments, filling them with furniture, and then moving someone in. Ask anyone who is housed, but lonely—a senior with no family support, a recent divorcee sitting in an empty new apartment, or a recently housed formerly-homeless person—if their house feels like a real, loving home. Without care and support, a home just doesn’t feel as warm and comfortable to its inhabitants.
Personal encounters always remind me of how the simplest seeds of kindness can dramatically change a person’s world. A community’s world. Your world.
Got a new idea of how to help people in need? Pursue it. That act of kindness just might change someone’s life.
This thought was rolling around in my head waiting for expression and then I read “Homeless Counts Should Be Counting Backwards” and it kicked me into gear.
I speak in public all the time and am occasionally told that it doesn’t seem that any of us (homeless services providers) are making a difference. I am asked “Why should I think you’re effective? I still see too many homeless people on my way to work or way home.”
Some Capitol Hill staffers and other interested parties, including yours truly, got an earful on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program from experts who know it well — five current and former “welfare mothers.”
As I’ve mentioned before, TANF is overdue for reauthorization, i.e., a thoroughgoing review and revision of the law that allows the federal government to spend money on the program and establishes its basic rules.
The latest Census reports sparked a lot of media attention to poverty in America — the issue’s annual 15 minutes of fame.
No surprise to anyone that the poverty rate rose last year — even when measured by the very low poverty thresholds based on food costs.
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.
Raindrops on tents, with weather so cold. To us,
rain’s a nuisance, to some it’s a mess.
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.
Their gloves have torn holes, and are caked with much dirt.
Brown paper packages tied up with strings.
Signs made of cardboard are used to appeal.
For spare change to be spent for a much needed meal.
As you likely heard, Steve Jobs, founder of Apple computer, passed last night. Many call him the greatest innovator of our time.
My Twitter stream is inundated with accolades for both his genius and contributions to humanity. While I have certainly benefited from his great works (I love my iPad), this blog is focused on poverty, which is in stark contrast to Apple’s core demographic of people with significant disposable income.
The stories of celebrities who were formally homeless bring inspiration to millions. They are like ABC Afternoon Specials, filling us with hope. If Jim Carrey or Jewel can overcome the devastating effects of homelessness, then surely we can conquer our own personal struggles.
If Nick Ashford, the legendary song writer and singer can transition from a homeless man living on the streets of New York to a musician respected by America’s musical royalty, then those of us who stumble with mediocrity have a chance to make an impact in this world.
About 400 supporters sat around cloth-covered tables with fine china and silver in a sprawling Beverly Hills hotel ballroom ready to hear about the work of the charity I run. Here in Los Angeles, there are dozens of these sit-down meals each evening geared toward emptying the wallets of potential donors.
At these events, the music is upbeat, the food exquisite, and the alcohol flows incessantly. Videos on big screens tell stories of lives changed, and typically a celebrity speaks on behalf the agency.
Brenda Rosen was recently named Executive Director of Common Ground, the renowned, non-profit organization located in New York City that is celebrated both nationally and internationally for its success in the provision of supportive housing to homeless, disabled, elderly and low-income people.
While it is not unusual for the founder of an organization like Common Ground to have a compelling personal history that has manifested itself in a visionary direction, the executives who follow are often characterized by far more conventional backgrounds.