Dallas Library Strives To Be Haven For Homeless

“A big city library has turned around the way it deals with some of its most marginalized visitors. The Dallas Public Library has committed to not just tolerating—but welcoming—every homeless person who walks through the door.”

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The downtown Dallas Public Library strives to be a place of welcoming, not just tolerance, for homeless population.
COURTNEY COLLINS / KERA NEWS

Joliet Library Helps Provide Winter Supplies to Local Homeless Population

“Being in the downtown area, the Joliet Public Library is uniquely positioned to be able to partner with other organizations to provide assistance to the unsheltered here in Joliet,” said Megan Millen, Executive Director of the Joliet Public Library, in a news release. “Thanks to the generosity of the Joliet community, events like this are able to provide those winter essentials to the less fortunate residents of Will County.”

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Everybody Reads Picks Evicted

“Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” , by Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond, will be the focal point of the Multnomah County Library’s 2017 Everybody Reads community reading program. Desmond follows eight Wisconsin families who struggle to pay their rent. The book has received much critical praise – The New York Times described it as an “unignorable book,” adding, “after ‘Evicted,’ it will no longer be possible to have a serious discussion about poverty without having a serious discussion about housing.” The New Yorker excerpted it over two issues.

The library’s director, Valley Oehlke, who chose the title, called it “a very timely selection for our community.”

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Carbondale's Homeless Efforts

Shannon Butler, the social work intern at the Carbondale Public Library, has helped to find homes for at least four individuals, said the library’s director, Diana Brawley Sussman.

”(She) has successfully placed a few people in houses simply by talking to landlords, finding a price point that works for the landlord and the person’s budget and getting … asking the landlord to waive some of the upfront fees,” Sussman said.

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Jeffersonville Township Public Library- Vision 2025: A Strategic Plan to End Homelessness in Clark and Floyd Counties

The Jeffersonville Township Public Library achieved one of the objectives outlined in “Vision 2025: A Strategic Plan to End Homelessness in Clark and Floyd Counties.”

The library’s Community Profiles database on its website, jefflibrary.org, now includes a list of social services in both counties that is readily accessible. It replaces a printed resource list the Center for Lay Ministries and possibly other organizations carried.

“I’m sure it was useful, but those things go out of date pretty quickly,” Libby Pollard, Library Director, said. “But with the Community Profiles database, we’re able to provide access to resources really to anybody that’s got an Internet connection. They don’t have to be a card holder.”

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Project Uplift

Project Uplift, an information resource fair coordinated by the Salt Lake Main Public Library, Salt Lake City Corp. and Volunteers of America-Utah, brought direct service providers, nonprofit agencies, government offices and private sector partners under one roof as a resource for homeless people and people at risk of being homeless, said Deborah Ehrman, Deputy Director. About 300 people attended the fair, which grew out of a meeting of library, Volunteers of America and Salt Lake City’s homeless services office employees.

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