“A rebuilt branch of the Brooklyn Public Library is opening with a new feature: on the seven floors right above the library, there will be 49 affordable housing units. Michelle de la Uz, executive director of Fifth Avenue Committee, a nonprofit that builds affordable housing and which partnered with the Brooklyn Public Library on the project, said she’s excited to see how those tenants engage with the library, and that the branch’s programming and resources could help people feel less isolated.
Linda Johnson, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Public Library, and de la Uz hope to see it replicated, throughout New York and beyond. “There’s an urgent need for affordable housing, and there are a lot of underutilized libraries that need modernization anyway,” de la Uz says. ‘Why not kill two birds with one stone?'”
“The Girl From the Red Rose Motel” is different from her debut, Zurenda said. It follows the story of Hazel Smalls, a homeless high school junior, and Sterling Lovell, an affluent high school senior, in 2012 South Carolina. The story outlines the lessons the two, and their teacher, learn as their relationship grows.
“More than anything, I want people to find meaning in the book, to find something to take away from it,” Zurenda said.
Chris Indorf, the assistant superintendent for schools in Biddeford and Saco, said that before the pandemic, student homelessness was typically temporary — just a month or so — as a relatively ample housing supply made it somewhat easier for families to find a new apartment.
“Now the homelessness seems to be endemic. It’s lasting an entire year, or it’s spanning years,” Indorf said. “Most of those cases aren’t destitution — aren’t tents out behind the Starbucks. They tend to be intergenerational, families living with other families. Part of that is due to the economy. And a good part of that is owing to just extremely limited housing stock in Biddeford and Saco, and what is available is exorbitantly expensive.”
A study by Peter Dreier, a professor of urban and environmental policy at Occidental College, found fewer than 3 percent of single-family properties sold in L.A. in the 2021-22 tax year cost above $5 million.
He told the Washington Post: ‘Ninety-eight percent of the homeowners in L.A. won’t feel this at all, and the ones who will feel it can afford to pay it.
Come September, Massachusetts will let people receiving food assistance use their benefits at restaurants for the first time.
What’s happening: Fourteen Boston-area restaurants were selected by the state to participate in a pilot program with the federal government, called the Restaurant Meals Program. There were 27 total restaurants selected statewide.
“For those who are trapped in poverty and have many other circumstances that make daily existence difficult, it is even more challenging if you’re not connected to the internet,” said Sunne Wright McPeak, CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund. “This is as much a problem if not more so today if you’re trying to navigate any system or get assistance, find shelter, find food and help without having the internet.”
How should we understand the increasing demonization and criminalization of homelessness across America? Is shelter alone enough for meeting the call of this moment, or merely an essential starting place? What can leaders in this field teach us about invoking empathy and critical analysis in responding to this complex set of issues?