Art at Peoria Public Library Gives Homeless a Voice

“Ford’s interactive display allows library visitors, many of them homeless, to express themselves anonymously. Panels hanging from the ceiling ask visitors ‘What do you need? What can you give?’ Paper, pens, and a drop box allow visitors to answer. Ford periodically empties the box and pins the responses on the five panels in the display.

She’s been surprised by what people have said. The vast majority didn’t ask for money or housing or food — they asked for empathy.”

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Homelessness Concerns Aired to City Task Force

“An employee at the main branch of the Worcester Public Library, speaking for herself and not the library, said the main branch serves as the city’s defacto day shelter for homeless people, but employees there often find themselves unequipped to help the homeless patrons. The employee, Elizabeth McKinstry, said the task force should look at staffing social workers at the library to help the homeless people who shelter there.

‘We really need someone onsite to help us do what we want to do as librarians, which is help people,’ said McKinstry.

She also added she was disappointed no one from the library was included on the task force.”

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Finding Homes, Jobs for Homeless Youth

David Hewitt, director of Minneapolis and Hennepin County’s Office To End Homelessness, at the kickoff for Hennepin County’s 100-day campaign to get 150 homeless youths permanent housing and jobs.

“During a 100-day challenge that ended Nov. 8, a coalition of 30 public, private and nonprofit groups set the ambitious goal of moving 150 young people from homelessness to more stable situations. But they exceeded their benchmark by finding housing and/or employment for 236 local teens and young adults.”

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Empty Pockets, Broken Spirits: Poverty’s Impact Reaches Far Beyond Money

“It’s like if you don’t go into an area that’s poor, you don’t understand or appreciate the area that’s poor,” City Councilman John Garland, a native Roanoker, said during the kickoff meeting at the Jackson Park Library in Southeast Roanoke.

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Libraries Struggle With A New Role: Social Services Center

“We don’t judge anyone as they come in,” said Hawaii State Librarian Stacey Aldrich. “That’s the beauty of a library. That’s the way it should be. We’re one of the most democratic spaces.”

The Hawaii State Public Library System is seeking $146,556 over fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to hire a manager who would be responsible for training library staff statewide and creating partnerships with social service agencies.

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The Hawaii State Library main branch in Honolulu is one of 50 public libraries in the islands.- Natanya Friedheim/Civil Beat

Glastonbury MLK Initiative To Host Community Conversations Feb. 8, 15

Dr. Martin Luther King believed in a “Beloved Community” where racism, poverty, hunger and homelessness were not tolerated.

This Beloved Community is the topic to be explored by the Glastonbury Martin Luther King Community Initiative, which is hosting a two-day “community conversation” on King’s “Beloved Community” and what it means for society today. Sessions will be held at the Friends Room of the Welles Turner Memorial Library.

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