Archive for February, 2009

Each day I read through numerous news articles about homelessness from all around the nation. As I do, I can’t help but wonder what are the biggest obstacles we must overcome in order to effectively remedy the issue.

Lack of funding is one which, I’m guessing, most homeless support services organizations would point to. Obviously, if there’s not enough money to finance outreach programs, then there is a limit to what types of services can be offered. However, lack of funding is only a symptom of a deeper problem.   (more…)

The following statement is from the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness website,

"The elected officials’ agreement, America’s Road Home Statement of Principles and Actions, affirms the roles of the U.S. Interagency Council, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the National Association of Counties in providing jurisdictional leadership through 10-Year Plans to End Chronic Homelessness, adoption of innovations such as Housing First, ACT teams, and Project Homeless Connect, and the involvement of the philanthropic community in investing in results with a focus on permanent housing."

Although the push to implement solutions for helping the nation’s homeless find permanent housing was borne at the federal level, homelessness is nonetheless primarily a community issue. As such, it is one which has to be addressed "locally."   (more…)

In my previous post I outlined why I personally defend a homeless person’s right to panhandle.

I realize that there are those who will disagree with what I wrote. But, that’s fine. They are entitled to their opinions – just as I’m entitled to mine.

They’ll make an allusion that giving to panhandlers doesn’t really help them; so, folks should give to their local area homeless organizations instead. The premise is that the money will do the most good with those agencies – a belief which is somewhat of an incorrect assumption. Let’s face it: traditional homeless support services agencies don’t have a good track record of actually reducing homelessness – the proof of which is quite evident since the numbers of homeless have continued to rise steadily despite all their efforts.   (more…)

I received an email from a woman named Francine a couple of days ago. Her inquiry was about panhandling and what I felt were things she could give that would be beneficial.

Her email caught me a bit off guard. But it was a pleasant change of pace.

Generally, when I’ve written about panhandling, I’ve invariably been sent emails chiding me for my point of view – especially since, unlike many people, I personally don’t see anything wrong with folks giving a homeless person alms. In fact, I have a tendency to defend a homeless person’s right to panhandle.   (more…)

This past Tuesday, President Obama signed into law the $787 billion stimulus bill.

There seems to be quite a bit of disagreement about whether or not the bill will be able turn the nation’s failing economy around. Proponents contend that the bill is the next best thing since sliced bread. Opponents are claiming that the bill is filled with wasteful spending. Sigh.   (more…)