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Allie Kennedy

on 18 March 2014

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Transcript of Homelessness


History of Homelessness
Real Houses Aren't So Easy...
Conclusion: Making a Homeless Person Smile
Statistics of Homelessness
In 2013, there were roughly 1,750,000 homeless individuals in the US
Allison Kennedy, Donna Cretella, Jessica Howard, Matthew Capece, Stephanie Mulligan, Lauren Hierholzer, Jacob Nadeau, John Small & Noah Buck
homeless (adj): having no home or permanent place of residence
“an individual who lacks housing, including an individual whose primary residence during the night is a supervised public or private facility (e.g., shelters), that provides temporary living accommodations, and an individual who is a resident in transitional housing.”
...Of that total, 28% percent of the homeless do not get enough to eat daily
...and 66% of the homeless have problems with alcohol, drug abuse, or mental illness
Morphine use through the Civil War led to homelessness in the 1870's-1890's; this led to the birth of the term "hobo"
Homelessness has been documented since the early 1960's; and being homeless was considered a character flaw.
If you were a good Christian, needs would be met. In order to find a home in a new town they had to prove their worth to get help.
The Civil War was the first war where painkillers such as morphine were used. People purchased morphine and heroine, which led to homelessness
Reasons for homelessness
Natural Disasters such as: The Great Chicago Fire, The San Francisco earthquake, massive flooding, droughts, hurricanes, all cause people to become displaced
Homeless Veterans
Veterans have a greater risk of experiencing homelessness than other US adults.
Combat exposure
Wartime trauma
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Poor veterans are more likely to become homeless than poor non-veterans.
The Department of Veterans Affairs devises many plans to end homelessness for our veterans,
Supportive Services for Veterans Families
Plans to re-house homeless veterans
Launched in 2011
Awarding $60 million across the U.S.
Services 21,500 veterans, 60% of which are moved to permanent housing
Supports the Vet and Family
Grant and Per Diem (GPD) is one Residential Rehabilitation Program that provides moderate transitional assistance emphasizing on completing and exiting treatment ending in permanent housing, offers approximately 14,000 beds for veterans
The VA's plan is to end homelessness among our veterans by 2015
...40% of our homeless population are our own Veterans who have returned from war.
44% of the homeless population are single men
13% of the homeless population are single women
36% of the homeless population are families with children
7% of the homeless population are unaccompanied minors
5 houses available for Homeless Veterans in Rocky Hill that have been empty since 2010...
More than 4,000 people are homeless in Connecticut
11% of 4,000 homeless people in Connecticut are Veterans
5 Rocky Hill VA homes have been empty since 2010
Homeless Veteran's Extreme Makeover
A video of an extreme cosmetic makeover of a 54 year old homeless man who served 10 years in the armed forces
Jim Wolf of Grand Rapids, MI struggles with alcoholism and poverty, he was never ready for what was made available to him when he got out of combat.
They first gave Jim a makeover - turning him from a homeless man to a business professional, then they worked with him and gave him the positive encouragement necessary to take the next step.
Unfortunately, not long after the cameras were off, Jim continued drinking and found himself in jail for trespassing later on...
The problems for veterans are not in appearance alone, they are deeply rooted, although Jim was happy that his story brought awareness to this problem
Laws of Homelessness
During the Industrial Revolution period, migration from farms to cities caused many people to wander the streets.
The first documentation of homelessness youth was in the 1850's, when parents couldn't provide for their children anymore.
In 1996, Bill Clinton signed a bill that would cut welfare.
This bill ended sixty years of guaranteed help to America's poor by overhauling welfare and requiring states to deal with homelessness and poverty more directly.
The states were now dealing directly with the social burdens and the expense of poverty, as opposed to the Federal Government dealing with it.
This ended the "Welfare Wall".
The 2009 Recovery Act boosted the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits
This ended in November of 2013, and cut assistance for every SNAP household, cutting $29 per month in each household.
House Republicans passed deep cuts to the food stamps.
It was said that this cut was needed, since the food stamp program had originally cost nearly $80 billion a year.
Even with the cuts, the program would cost $70 billion over the next ten years.
This law would require adults between 18 and 50 without minor children to find a job or enroll in a work-training program in order to receive benefits.
Laws in St. Petersburg, Florida, include Sleeping in the Right-Of-Way
First section "makes sleeping in or on any part of the right-of-way unlawful and requires, that if the shelter space is available for a homeless individual, that individual must go to that shelter or they will be charged with violating the section.
This forces homeless people into shelters if the space is available, this is aiming to get people off and clean up the streets of St. Petersburg.
The Great Depression was a major part of the spike in homelessness of Americans
Hoovervilles: cities or towns that were created specifically for individuals who became homeless during The Great Depression
Housing for the Homeless
Affordable housing: housing that is deemed affordable to those who have a median income.
Public housing: a form of housing where the government owns the house or property
Mental health
Economic downfall
Domestic violence
While the overall homelessness population decreased between 2011 and 2012, it increased in 29 states.
The average monthly income for a homeless individual is $348
39.5 million Americans live below the poverty line - including 12.9 million children.
The nation's homelessness population has decreased by 0.4%, or 2,325 people.
...7% of homelessness have been sexually assaulted
...25% of the homeless ARE employed
...22% of homeless women claim that domestic abuse is the reason to their homelessness
...20% of people in a soup kitchen line are children
6,252 families lodge in homeless shelters in NYC nightly
Get Informed - Case Studies
Government Benefits
The McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 - A federal law that provides federal money for homeless shelter programs. It was the first significant federal legislative response to homelessness,
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 - Created Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant

Relevant Programs in Connecticut

Jobs First Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) - Provides assistance to families with an employable adult for up to 21 months

The assistance for a family of three in the Hartford area is around $500 per month

Jobs First Employment Service - Designed to move recipients of TFA into employment and toward self-sufficiency.

All families receiving TFA are required to participate in employment services.

Child care and transportation assistance is available for families participating in activities that will lead to employment

The Homeless Emergency and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act 2009

The Continuum of Care program – Housing and Urban development Regulation 2012

provides funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, and State and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families
Continuum of Care Program funds can be given to state governments or nonprofits and may be used for projects under four program components:

Permanent Housing
Transitional Housing
Supportive Services only
Homelessness Prevention
The Connecticut legislature passed “The homeless bill of rights” July 11 2013

Each homeless person Connecticut has the right to:

(1) Move freely in public spaces, including on public sidewalks, in public parks, on public transportation and in public buildings without harassment or intimidation from law enforcement officers in the same manner as other persons;

(2) Have equal opportunities for employment;

(3) Receive emergency medical care;

(4) Register to vote and to vote;

(5) Have personal information protected;

(6) Have a reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her personal property; and

(7) Receive equal treatment by state and municipal agencies.

A 2013 study by the joint center for housing studies of Harvard University found only one in four households eligible for rental subsidies today actually receives assistance due to the overwhelming demand, forcing many families onto lengthy waiting lists.
Purposed changes

1. Align homeless and mainstream services
Utah Model
2. Support the financing of affordable housing:

National Alliance to end Homelessness show that families who are rapidly rehoused are more likely to stay in a home 12 months after exiting homelessness than families who have to rely on temporary shelter before securing permanent housing
3. Increase economic stability and address income inequality
• Protecting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), from cuts;
• Investing in job-creation measures, such as the Pathways Back to Work Fund that creates subsidized work opportunities for low-income and long-term unemployed workers;
• Boosting the minimum wage
• Enacting basic labor standards, such as guaranteed paid sick days.

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