Springtime is one of the neediest months for families of the working poor in Minnesota (and elsewhere).
What do these families need? More food at food pantries (80% of the contributions to Minnesota’s food shelves come from individuals). Food pantries keep food that often needs to be cooked, which what working poor families can use. Those people who are homeless are often directed to homeless shelters, not food pantries.
To find a food shelf or make a contribution to one in Minnesota call 651-721-8687 ext. 331 or go to Minnesota Food Share’s website.
The University of South Carolina School of Medicine will receive a $1.2 million grant from the City of Columbia in order to implement Housing First, a program that will place 25 homeless people into apartments and homes in the city of Columbia beginning in April.
Columbia is the first Housing First program to have a medical school coordinate services for the clients.
To find out more about the project, contact David Parker, director of Supportive Housing Services at the university’s medical school email@example.com.
Emilio Estevez will explore the issue of homeless people and public libraries in his next movie, The Public.
The story is based on librarian Chip Ward’s Los Angeles Times op-ed piece that discussed how libraries become de facto shelters for homeless and mentally ill people in times of budget cuts.
According to the article, Libraries balance patrons, homeless, Metro Detroit libraries have tightened security and hygiene policies in order to serve patrons. The libraries serve homeless people by making data available on shelters, mental health services and job-training programs.
Washington, DC’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library offers music appreciation and arts classes for homeless patrons
Jacksonville Public Library teaches Internet use to homeless job seekers
San Franciso Public Library staff refer homeless people to housing and mental health service agencies
The Free Library of Philadelphia employs homeless people at their Central Library
The Los Angeles Public Library hosts a summer camp for homeless children
New York Public Library has monthly story time sessions for homeless children
Feeding Intolerance: Prohibitions on Sharing Food with People Experiencing Homelessness , a recent report from The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and the National Coalition for the Homeless, reveals how local governments across the nation are prohibiting and restricting groups from sharing and distributing food to hungry and homeless people.
It is believed that common myths about homeless people fuels such food-sharing restrictions, namely:
Myth #1 Ease of access to food stamps
Reality- Over half of the homeless population receive food stamps because of lack of transportation, lack of shelter, lack of knowledge and proper documentation.
Myth #2 Food pantries and soup kitchens provide adequate amounts of food for hungry and homeless people
Reality- Many food pantries lack kitchen facilities and cannot cook food for people to eat. Many food pantries restrict the amount of food they give to people. There are not enough food pantries and soup kitchens to feed everyone who is hungry.
*Myth #3 Food programs enable homelessness
Reality- Food is not an addiction! People remain homeless due to lack of affordable housing, lack of transportation and lack of health care.
Earlier this year U.K. libraries partnered with Bristol-based anti-poverty groups to launch a unique city-wide action on free-to-use cash machines.
The U.K. is expanding such initiatives into the larger arena of digital inclusion.
Is begging constitutionally protected speech?
Columbia City Council passed an ordinance in 1991 banning begging “with intent to intimidate another person into giving money or goods.”
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