Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fewer Homeless Veterans Using Shelters, Study Finds

Among the various findings in a just-released government report entitled "Veteran Homelessness: A Supplemental Report to the 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to
Congress" by the U. S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veteran Affairs, as reported in the New York Times - are:
  • Homeless veterans are most likely to be middle-aged white men with a disability.
  • Younger veterans are more than twice as likely to be homeless than nonveterans in the same age group.
  • California has the most homeless veterans of any state, about 25% of the total.
  • The number of veterans who used emergency shelters or transitional housing for the homeless in 2010 dropped 3% from the year before, to 144,842, from 149,465.
  • Veterans continue to be overrepresented in the nation’s homeless population. They are 13% of all homeless adults in shelters, although just over 9% of the total adult population. Once veterans fall into poverty, a higher percentage of them become homeless, about one in nine.

Baltimore's Role in Civil Rights History Discussed in New Book

Amy Nathan's just-published Round and Round Together: Taking a Merry-Go-Round Ride into the Civil Rights Movement (The Nautilus Series) (Paul Dry Books, , 2011) is, according to Kirkus Reviews, "A snapshot of the civil-rights movement in one city provides insight into the important role of individual communities as change moved through the country... a case study of how citizens of one city both precipitated and responded to the whirlwind of social change around them." The city is Baltimore, and the book entertainingly chronicles the integration battles at Gwynn Oak, Kresge's, etc. Jacques Kelly has a very interesting article on this in The Baltimore Sun. You can read it here. If you want to buy the book, Amazon has it, among many others.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"A Nation Under Our Feet" Highlights Black Political Struggles

Amazon has it here.

Have you ever read this one? A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration by Steven Hahn (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2005) won the Pulitzer Prize in history when it was published, and deservedly so. It chronicles the various, long, difficult struggles for political, social, and economic equality for blacks in the rural South. One interesting finding is that slave associations (kinship, work, religion) were very strong, and plantation life was the beginning of black political movement. Recommended.





Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth Passes

Shuttlesworth, one of the leaders of the civil rights movement, has passed at 89. Shuttlesworth is one of the figures in the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta. King once called Shuttlesworth "the most courageous civil rights fighter in the South." Shuttlesworth organized two weeks of daily demonstrations by black children, students, clergymen, and others against segregated Alabama. After much struggle, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed, after the historic Alabama marches that year from Selma to Montgomery, which Mr. Shuttlesworth also helped organize. Read the October 5, 2011 New York Times article.

New Approach to Getting Homeless Off the Streets Is Working

At the Safe Havens in New York City, which started in 2007, nonprofit groups help homeless adults find permanent homes with adjacent social services. The City said it had been able to lure them off the streets by opening smaller and more welcoming shelters, averaging 40 beds. The City's Department of Homeless Services has also contracted with one nonprofit group in each borough to scour the streets around the clock, seven days a week, and persuade homeless people to move inside. The number of single, homeless people in the borough has fallen 80% since 2005, according to a City estimate. Read the October 17, 2011 New York Times article.

Indian Legal Leader Passes

Elouise Cobell - whose Indian name was Yellow Bird Woman and who was a great-granddaughter of a renowned tribal leader, Mountain Chief - was a heroine to American Indians for winning a 15-year legal battle on June 20, 2011 so the federal government has agreed to pay $3.4 billion in compensation for mismanagement of Indian trust funds since the late 1800s. She was 65 and lived on the Blackfeet reservation near Browning, Montana. Cobell was the lead plaintiff in Cobell v. Salazar, one of the largest and most complicated class-action lawsuits ever brought against the U. S. Over 300,000 members of many tribes will receive payments under the settlement. Read the October 17, 2011 New York Times obit.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Free Film on Maryland Victims of Financial Fraud

The MCRC (Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition) - which advances and protects the interests of Marylanders through research, education and advocacy - is showing an interesting new free film on financial fraud in Maryland. As their press release reports:

"These are tough times for hardworking Marylanders. Many are just a divorce, a medical injury, or a job loss away from poverty. MCRC has captured some of their stories in “Stealing Trust,” our powerful new documentary about Maryland victims of financial fraud. Join us to see the film during our Fall film series. Screening dates:

Tues. Oct. 4 at 6 p.m.
Kittleman Room (Duncan Hall, Room 100)
Howard Community College
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD.
Co-sponsored by Howard Community College’s Office of Student Life and Howard County’s Office of Consumer Affairs.

Thurs. Oct. 6 at 6:30 p.m.
La Plata United Methodist Church
3 Port Tobacco Road, La Plata, MD
Co-sponsored by Lifestyles of Maryland, Inc.

Tues Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.: Special Screening featuring remarks by Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-4th)
Oxon Hill Public Library
6200 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, MD.

At the Oct. 18 event, Rep. Donna F. Edwards will provide opening remarks on the importance of protecting working families in tough times. The screening is co-sponsored by State Sen. Joanne Benson, Del. Aisha Braveboy, AARP Maryland, Councilman Obie Patterson, the Prince George’s County Dept. of Family Services and Advisory Committee on Aging and the Psi Epsilon Omega chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. If you would like to attend a screening, please RSVP to Franz@marylandconsumers.org.

To learn more about the film, read some of the rave reviews, and download flyers for the screenings: http://www.marylandconsumers.org/Advocacy/MCRCDocumentaryFilmStealingTrust/tabid/153/Default.aspx

MCRC will be scheduling more screenings later in the Fall and Winter. If you or your organization would like to host a screening or a house party, please contact Franz@marylandconsumers.org."

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