Homeless and in College ~~ reminder


I know firsthand how hard it is to be a homeless college student. Please sign my petition calling on Congress to pass landmark legislation that would make it easier for homeless kids like me to go to college

by Jessie McCormick

.As a formerly homeless young person, I’m so proud to be in my final year attending college. It is estimated that only one out of four homeless youth graduates from high school, so achieving a post-secondary education is quite an accomplishment. However, the journey has not been easy.

I fought through my circumstances to go to college, because I knew that was my best chance for a road out of poverty. Now I’m fighting to make it easier for other young people like me to go to college, too.

The thousands of students who are homeless or foster youth in college often have to worry about where they will live during breaks when campus housing shuts down, often right before midterms or finals. I’ve heard about how some must jump through hoops to “prove” they are homeless every year or risk losing financial aid. And sometimes they cannot qualify for in-state tuition because they have no address. The list of barriers goes on and on, on top of the obvious: it’s really hard to get to college in the first place when you don’t even have a home.

Luckily, there is a new bill in Congress, the Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act, that would make it much easier for students like me to go to college. Will you sign the Change.org petition I started with two other homeless students urging Congress to pass this landmark legislation?

Being homeless in college hasn’t been easy. Other students go home to their families for Christmas, but I would need to spend weeks trying to find a housing plan for the coldest time of year. Sometimes, offers to go home with friends would fall through last minute. Several years, I spent parts or all of school breaks outside or wandering around my city of Grand Rapids.

Finally, I started a successful campaign on Change.org to change my school’s policies about break housing — and I am proud to say that my college, Aquinas College, is now a leader in taking the initiative to develop safe and effective solutions for students like me.

I have seen firsthand how powerful collective action can be, but I have friends who continue to spend their breaks wandering the streets, and I have seen dozens of my fellow homeless students drop out of their studies after encountering traumatic situations. We need to harness that power of collective action now that this crucial legislation has its first real chance of passing Congress.

Will you sign our petition calling on Congress to pass the bill that would make it much easier for homeless and foster kids to go to college?

I am just one student, and there are thousands of young people in your own community who are waiting for their chance to shine. On behalf of all of us, please consider giving us our opportunity to rise above.

Thank you,

Jessie McCormick
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Mayor Bloomberg On Homeless Girl Featured In The New York Times: ‘That’s Just The Way God Works’ ~~ a reminder


Originally posted on The Fifth Column:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and people in his economic class are so out of touch with real world problems..

Think Progress 

Outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I-NY) went on the defensive when asked whether he was moved by the New York Times’ powerful series on a homeless family struggling to survive in New York City. Bloomberg defended his homelessness policies and claimed that 11-year-old Dasani, the star of the piece, ended up in dire straits due to bad luck.

“This kid was dealt a bad hand. I don’t know quite why. That’s just the way God works. Sometimes some of us are lucky and some of us are not,” he told Politicker, calling her plight “a sad situation.”

Bloomberg argued that New York “has done more than any city to help the homeless,” citing the city’s policies of subsidized health care, job training, and shelter counseling. “But if you are poor…

View original 322 more words

Rescind my city’s cruel anti-homeless feeding ban


90 year old punished for feeding the homeless


Ft. Lauderdale City Officials: Drop the charges against 90-year-old Arnold Abbott for feeding the homeless

Nailah Washington
West Palm Beach, Florida

Homelessness in Seattle ~ a repost a reminder


 

OutsideIN: 1,000 Safe by 2015

It’s now 2015 and while the homeless among vets might have been on the decline the cities renewal project has probably pushed a lot more into the label or category of being homeless

By Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project
Seattle, Washington

  • Petitioning Dow Constantine

“Nobody should have to go through what I went through on the streets. When the shelters fill up and people are left outside, they become vulnerable. We all need to act together to end homelessness because we are all connected.” – Susan Russell, Real Change Vendor

Fact: The 2014 One Night Homeless Count found 3,123 people sleeping outside in King County after the shelters were filled.  This was a 14% increase in the unsheltered count from the previous year. 

Fact: The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Homeless Education counts at least 6,188 homeless students in King County, a more than 18% increase from 2011-2012.

Fact: According to the City of Seattle’s “Role of Shelter” report, more than 600 non-disabled single adults have languished in emergency shelter for six months or longer.

This is unacceptable. Strategic investments in the following areas will create the new housing and shelter capacity we need to get more people inside now:

Fund Additional Shelter: The more than 3,000 women, men and children that are living outside in King County on any given night deserve an emergency response. Invest immediately in additional shelter to bring at least 500 more people inside before January 2015.

Support Community Partnerships: Provide funding to expand partnerships between faith communities, civic groups and service providers to get more people off the street and ensure that no child or family sleeps outside.

Meet Immediate Basic Needs: Create a flexible discretionary fund for caseworkers to reunite families with bus tickets, get cars out of impound, or take other actions that quickly and inexpensively get people off the street.

Support Creative Housing Options: Provide financial incentives and support to private landlords and homeowners to match people experiencing homelessness with community members who have space to share.

We hereby call upon the Governing Board of the Committee to End Homelessness and our elected representatives in Seattle and King County to allocate the resources required to make 1,000 more unsheltered homeless people safe by 2015.