46.5 million Americans, 15% of the population, live at or below the poverty line according to the recently released United States Census Population Survey.
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There is a common misperception that people experiencing poverty do not have enough discipline to save and pull themselves out of poverty. The truth is that it is expensive to be poor.
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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is committed to ending Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 through their Homeless Veterans Outreach Initiative. The VA wants to partner with organizations and individuals in communities across the country to end and prevent homelessness among Veterans.
“The single best way to help Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless is to connect them with VA. Each VA medical center has a homeless coordinator on staff and specific programs that provide Veterans the support they need to establish or maintain safe, stable housing. VA has also established the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans (877-4AID-VET, or 877-424-3838), a toll-free hotline available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trained responders—many of them Veterans themselves—are available to provide support to Veterans and their loved ones who lack safe, secure housing. These services are also available on an online chat at va.gov/homeless. ”
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“I think we’ve paved the way,” said Leah Esguerra, the SFPL’s social worker, who is in demand as a speaker at library and social worker conferences. She estimates that the library has helped more than 60 patrons find permanent housing and hundreds of others find social services.
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This free webinar will feature Lisa Gieskes, coordinator of the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) Hunger, Homelessness, and Poverty Task Force, and Julie Winkelstein, Ph.D., University of Tennessee – Knoxville, who will explore resources, best practices and model programs geared towards creating positive library experiences for those experiencing poverty and homelessness.
Information on accessing the webinar can be found on OLOS’ Online Learning page.
The ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) is a unit within the American Library Association. It works to make ALA more democratic and to establish progressive priorities not only for the Association, but also for the entire profession. Concern for human and economic rights was an important element in the founding of SRRT and remains an urgent concern today. SRRT believes that libraries and librarians must recognize and help solve social problems and inequities in order to carry out their mandate to work for the common good and bolster democracy. SRRT’s main website is hosted at http://libr.org/SRRT.
The mission of OLOS is to identify and promote library services that support equitable access to the knowledge and information stored in libraries. OLOS focuses attention on services that are inclusive of traditionally underserved populations and people generally discriminated against based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, language and social class. The Office ensures that training, information resources and technical assistance are available to help libraries and librarians develop effective strategies to grow programs and services for library users.
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