Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Goggled Articles on Homeless In Amerika: Compiled by Peter S. Lopez

Note: There is always a lot more going on in the world and in the United States that anyone can possibly scan. If you want to know the true nature of a given society and its level of humaneness witness how it treats its homeless! These are just a few articles.... what are you doing for the homeless where you live at? What can you do? The homeless in Amerika are our own domestic refugees!




New Study Shows That One-Third Shelter Youth Have Been Institutionalized; Almost One-Half Suffered Violence in the Home           

March 10, 2009


New York -- In one of the largest-ever studies of homeless youth in New York City history, researchers at Columbia University's Center for Homelessness Prevention, in partnership with Covenant House -- the City's largest agency serving street youth, offer a stark portrait of youth disconnected from the world of work and education and with intense histories of family violence.


"This has got to be a wake-up call for all of us who care about kids," said Kevin M. Ryan, President of Covenant House. "Half of our kids are reporting violence in the home. One in five report being beaten by an object. These kids shared experiences with us that no young person should have to experience."


This joint study is the first released by the Covenant House Institute, established last year to advance research on homeless youth through research partnerships. The study included 444 youth between the ages of 18 and 21 who entered the Covenant House Crisis Shelter for the first time between October 2007 and February 2008.


Other findings from the study revealed much about the path that leads young people to Covenant House in New York:


    * 35 percent had a history of foster care or other institutional placement, averaging three placements and an average of four years. The average of the first placement was nine years old.

    * 68 percent lacked a high school diploma and 77 percent were not currently enrolled in school.

    * 38 percent of youth did not have a birth certificate, 29 percent did not have a social security card, and 57 percent did not have Medicaid.


The report singled out for criticism a budget proposal by New York Governor David Patterson to slash support for runaway and homeless youth services. "It's appalling," said Mr. Ryan of the proposed cuts. "Mayor Bloomberg understands we can't balance the State budget on the backs of homeless youth, and he's right. We hope the Governor will reconsider after he hears about the suffering so many of these kids have endured."


"As disturbing as these results are, this collaboration with Columbia University is an incredible step forward in our efforts to help kids and impact policy," said Bruce Henry, Executive Director of the Covenant House Institute. "This is an in-depth look at who our kids are, their experiences, their backgrounds, and their needs. Four out of five who came to us at Covenant House in New York City are unemployed. It is our job to use this knowledge to build better programs and better policies that these kids need and deserve."


"This is a ground-breaking study," said Howard Andrews, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Biostatistics at Columbia. "I have been involved in many projects that can help inform policy in the long-term. This study has immediate policy implications. This is a perfect example of how academia and an organization that does great work can collaborate to truly inform homeless policy."


"Early intervention is crucial to prevent at-risk youth from becoming chronically homeless adults," said Dr. Carol Caton, Professor of Clinical Public Health at Columbia University and the Director of the NIMH-funded Columbia Center for Homelessness Prevention Studies. "The young people in this study are at a critical period in their lives, a time when they are at their most vulnerable. The findings will help us implement programs specifically designed to help young people into the mainstream and make them self-sufficient."


"For many of the kids who come to our shelter, we have to start over," said Jerry Kilbane, Executive Director of Covenant House New York. "They come to us with so many needs. But they also come to us with a tremendous spirit, and a desire to be acknowledged as the good people they are. This study gives us a better look at their family environments and will help us develop strategies for connecting them back to the world of work and education. I'm very grateful to our partners at Columbia University for their collaboration."


Founded in 1972, Covenant House is the largest privately funded agency in the Americas helping homeless kids, providing 24/7 crisis care and ongoing support at 20 facilities, www.NINELINE.org, Covenant House NINELINE (1-800-999-9999) and www.CovenantHouse.org.


    * Download the study P.D.F. icon



    * Study Reveals Harsh Life for Homeless Youth in New York (The New York Times)






Homeless kids suffer in Texas

Posted on Tue, Mar 10th, 2009| Categories: Top Stories, U.S.|


DALLAS - Texas is the worst place in the nation for homeless children and the faltering economy will push even more families with little ones into the streets, according to a new report.


A study by the National Center on Family Homelessness released Tuesday placed Texas 50th - last of all states - in how homeless children fare.


The ranking considered four areas: the percentage of homeless children; their overall well-being; risk factors for homelessness, such as poverty and foreclosure rates; and what the state is doing to address the problems.


"You've got a difficult context," said Dr. Ellen Bassuk, president of the national center that produced the report and an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.


She said that the child poverty level in Texas is 23 percent, compared to 18 percent nationwide. Add to that the state's high foreclosure rate and Texas children start off at a disadvantage....


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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Homeless population totals 15,759

Kyodo News


Officially, Japan had 15,759 homeless people as of January, almost unchanged from a year earlier, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Monday.


The figure has declined since 25,296 were recorded in the first study in 2003, falling to 18,564 in 2007 and to 16,018 last year, but the downward trend seems to have ended due to the worsening economy, according to the ministry.


Of the 15,759, 14,554 were male and 495 were female, while the gender of the remaining 710 was unknown.


While homeless were found in all 47 prefectures, Osaka had the most at 4,302, followed by Tokyo with 3,428, Kanagawa with 1,804, Fukuoka with 1,237 and Aichi with 929.


Homeless people in the 23 wards of Tokyo and in government-designated major cities accounted for about 70 percent of the overall figure at 11,245.


The ministry expressed concern that the figure could rise because an upward trend has been seen in many urban areas.





Study Reveals Harsh Life for Homeless Youth in New York

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Published: March 9, 2009


Many homeless youths in New York City are victims of abuse who grew up in foster care or other institutions and now lack jobs, a high school education, birth certificates and adequate health care, according to a study to be released on Tuesday.


And the study, one of the largest-ever examinations of young homeless people in New York, found that their future did not look much better — because they are dangerously isolated from mainstream channels of work, family life and basic schooling.


The study, conducted by Covenant House, which operates shelters for young people, examined 444 people between the ages of 18 and 21 who entered the Covenant House Crisis Center between October 2007 and February 2008.


Related Link: http://www.nineline.org/


Forty-seven percent of the group said they had been disciplined physically before entering the shelter, 37 percent said they had been victims of physical abuse, and 19 percent had endured sexual abuse. Forty-one percent said they had witnessed violence in their homes.


The vast majority said they found it difficult or impossible to find a good job. Seventy-eight percent said they were unemployed when they entered the shelter. Among those who had jobs, 41 percent said those jobs were "off the books."


Kevin M. Ryan, the president of Covenant House, a privately financed agency with facilities in 20 cities nationwide, including Philadelphia, Detroit, Newark and St. Louis, said he hoped the study alerted the public "to the growing crisis of homeless youth in New York City."


"It is a wake-up call to all of us that we have to be incredibly vigilant on behalf of our kids," Mr. Ryan said. "Especially in a time of economic crisis, when families are feeling stress and strain that, in many instances, can cause kids to become even more disconnected from school and work and family."


Adding to the urgency, Mr. Ryan said, was the recent discovery that the number of young homeless people seeking shelter at Covenant House had increased by one-third in the past year.


In 2007, a study by the Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services, an advocacy group in New York, found that on any given night, roughly 3,800 homeless young people were on the street in New York.


Severe cuts in the state budget are threatening the financing for many programs for runaways and homeless youths across the state, said Margo Hirsch, the executive director of the Empire State Coalition. "Every single one of these programs is going to be affected," Ms. Hirsch said.


Carol L. M. Caton, a professor of clinical public health at Columbia University and the director of the Columbia Center for Homelessness Prevention Studies, which helped sponsor the 2009 study, said the report exposed at least three major areas that were ripe for further research. They are family relationships, and the events within families that might force a young person out; the impact of institutional experiences like foster care placement; and the challenge of connecting youths to the work force, she said.


"They're just on the cusp of adulthood," Dr. Caton said. "And we want to help them transition to adulthood in a way that is positive, so that they won't go on and continue to have some of these bruising experiences."


Nearly half of the youths who participated in the 2009 study said they had been arrested, 15 percent had been convicted, and 4 percent were on probation or parole. Twenty-nine percent said they drank alcohol, 20 percent reported using marijuana on a regular basis, and 36 percent said someone in their family used drugs regularly.


Mr. Ryan said he was concerned that after leaving the shelter, where youths typically stay for just under three months, they would enter the adult homeless system, which can be harsh for teenagers — or even worse, they could "slide into gang affiliation, drugs and despair."

More Articles in New York Region » A version of this article appeared in print on March 10, 2009, on page A23 of the New York edition.





Council votes to sell land for homeless shelter

By JASON PULLIAM • jpulliam@dmreg.comMarch 9, 2009


A plan to build a $5.7 million homeless shelter near downtown Des Moines got a major boost from the City Council today despite droves of critics who argue the location is too close to residential neighborhoods.


Council members voted 5-2 to sell public right-of-way near Keosauqua Way to Central Iowa Shelter and Services for $1,000 once financial and planning benchmarks are met. Mayor Frank Cownie and Councilman Tom Vlassis voted no. The council's third and final vote on the ordinance allows the agency to continue efforts to buy a 2.4-acre site in the 1300 block of Keo Way from the Iowa Department of Transportation and keeps plans on track to open the new shelter in March 2011.


"It's the wrong place," Vlassis said. "It's the wrong process. Everything about it is wrong except the need for a new shelter."


Shelter officials hope to buy the property from the state within the next three or four months.


The project still faces strong opposition from residents in the Cheatom Park, River Bend, King-Irving, Sherman Hill and Oakridge neighborhoods, who say their area is saturated with social service agencies. Opponents have also expressed concerns about crime, safety, property values and quality of life. Critics are concerned the shelter will disrupt efforts to revitalize their neighborhood.


"You are burdening an area that is already distressed," said Don Curry, a Cheatom Park resident.


Curry and fellow opponents say they feel ignored and dumped on.


Shelter leaders today stressed that they want to move to the Keo Way site. They said it is their first choice and they are not being forced from their current location at 205 15th St. by development pressures or anything else. They say the current shelter is too small and worn down to further expand and improve their programs for homeless people. Public debate over the issue has spanned more than nine hours at City Council meetings since late December.


Central Iowa Shelter and Services executive director Tony Timm said neighborhood residents will be invited to serve on various boards and committees at the shelter, in the hope that they'll have a say in how things take shape at the new building.


"Our hope is they would have some quality input," Timm said. "We will always have an open-door policy for suggestions, comments and concerns. It's important that neighbors feel comfortable picking up the phone and calling us if they're experiencing a problem, and then it's up to us to address that."


Opponents say they support the shelter's mission, but they think the Keo Way location is inappropriate.


The final building design will have to go before the city's Plan and Zoning Commission for review. Shelter officials plan to construct a single-story, 25,000 square foot building made predominately of brick with space for up to 210 people – 94 more than the current shelter. Its clients would have 24-hour access to the shelter instead of being asked to leave early in the morning as they are now.


City officials will pursue a "good neighbor agreement" to bring shelter officials together with neighboring residents and businesses to resolve potential issues and disagreements.


"Give us a chance," Councilwoman Christine Hensley said. "We're going to need to work together."



San Jose homeless man found dead identified

By Sandra Gonzales

Email: sgonzales@mercurynews.com  or 408-920-5778.

Mercury News

Posted: 03/09/2009 07:18:20 PM PDT


A homeless man found dead Friday morning behind a florist shop in San Jose has been identified as 48-year-old Thomas Joseph Borbeck of San Jose. Borbeck was found in the parking lot behind a florist shop at the 200 block of Race Street early morning. The cause of his death is pending and the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office has classified it as "suspicious.


Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office Investigations Division at 408-808-4500 or 911. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the Anonymous Tip Line at 408-808-4431




Minneapolis man pleads guilty to killing homeless man with baseball bat

Last update: March 9, 2009 - 11:16 PM


A Minneapolis man who confessed to killing another man at a homeless camp last summer has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Jon Fitzgerald Posey, 44, was charged with first-degree murder in the beating death of Brian Wayne Lumbar, 47, with a baseball bat. He will be sentenced on April 8 in Hennepin County District Court.


Lumbar's body was found the morning of Aug. 3 in the 600 block of Olson Highway, a commercial district near downtown Minneapolis. Officers spoke with Posey and noticed he had blood on his shoes, according to the charges. When the officers asked Posey to take off his shoes, he said "he was going to make their job easier" and confessed to killing Lumbar because he thought "Lumbar may kill him sometime in the future," the charges said.


According to the criminal complaint, Posey told police that after he hit Lumbar with the bat, Lumbar tried to run away but he chased him and continued to hit him in the head.







1 in 50 American children experiences homelessness

The Associated Press

Monday, March 9, 2009


NEW YORK: One of every 50 American children experiences homelessness, according to a new report that says most states have inadequate plans to address the worsening and often-overlooked problem.


The report being released Tuesday by the National Center on Family Homelessness gives Connecticut the best ranking. Texas is at the bottom.


"These kids are the innocent victims, yet it seems somehow or other they get left out," said the center's president, Dr. Ellen Bassuk. "Why are they America's outcasts?"


The report analyzes data from 2005-2006. It estimates that 1.5 million children experienced homelessness at least once that year, and says the problem is surely worse now because of the foreclosures and job losses of the deepening recession.


"If we could freeze-frame it now, it would be bad enough," said Democratic Sen. Robert Casey of Pennsylvania, who wrote a foreward to the report. "By end of this year, it will be that much worse."


The report's overall state rankings reflect performance in four areas: child homelessness per capita, child well-being, risk for child homelessness, and state policy and planning.


The top five states were Connecticut, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Rhode Island and North Dakota. At the bottom were Texas, Georgia, Arkansas, New Mexico and Louisiana.


Reflecting the disarray caused by Hurricane Katrina, the report said Louisiana had the most homeless children per capita in 2006, followed by Texas and California.


However, Bassuk a psychiatry professor at Harvard Medical School said many states fell short in regard to policy and planning. Only six were praised for "extensive" planning to curb child homelessness. Twenty-four states received an "inadequate" grade.


Ken Martin, executive director of the Texas Homeless Network, said the large number of homeless children in Texas was predictable.


"It's not surprising when you don't put money into human services that you have issues come up," said Martin, who expressed hope that improvements are forthcoming.


The Texas Interagency Council for the Homeless is fine-tuning a plan for curbing homelessness. Lack of such a plan earned the state an "inadequate" rating in the report.


Michael Gerber, executive director of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and chairman of the interagency council, said officials are assessing how to use $41 million in federal stimulus money Texas expects to receive for homeless programs.


In Arkansas, relatively few homeless shelters cater to families or single fathers, so it took a while for Vaughn Summerville to find Our House Shelter in Little Rock. Because it has separate housing for families, Summerville can stay with his two daughters, who attend an after-school program at the shelter while he works at a museum.


"It was horrible at first, but it's getting better," said Tiffany Summerville, 13. "I guess I'm still reacting, because we've never been in a shelter before."


Many homeless families miss out on such support, foregoing shelters because they fear having their children taken from them, said Sandra Wilson of the Arkansas Homeless Coalition.


Shelters in Arkansas are funded mostly through private donations, along with some federal money, said Julie Munsell of the state Department of Health and Human Services. There's no state funding, and backers of a bill to create a housing trust fund said they are not sure where the money would come from.


In Georgia, one challenge is serving homeless youth who are on their own.


"We need to make it safe for kids to ask for help," said Becca Orchard of StandUp for Kids in Atlanta. "The focus is on the homeless adults because we can see them, and they're a nuisance. We can't see the kids, so we don't think they're there."


New York was ranked 38th, worst of any northeastern state. According to New York City's Coalition for the Homeless, the number of families in municipal shelters reached a record high at the end of November 9,720 families, the most since the city began reporting such data 25 years ago.


Among the families in shelters now are Galina and Mark Turner, and their 18-month-old son, Nareem. They were evicted two weeks ago from their apartment, unable to keep up with the rent.


"It's decent," Galina said of their city-run shelter. "The worst part is it feels like jail."


Mark, 27, is jobless, and thus able to take care of Nareem while Galina works as a security guard.


"We're trying to hold our heads up and be optimistic," Galina said.


The report said homeless children are far more likely than other children to experience hunger, suffer chronic health problems, repeat a grade in school and drop out of high school.


It stressed the long-term damage that can result from disruptions to friendships, health care and family routines.


"These factors combine to create a life-altering experience that inflicts profound and lasting scars," the report said.


It offered 19 recommendations for government action, including beefed-up federal spending on low-income housing, assistance to struggling renters and homeowners, and investment in child care for homeless children. It urged states to place homeless families directly into permanent housing rather than into motels.


Ending homelessness for all U.S. children within a decade is possible, despite the recession, said the report, which Bassuk's center issued to launch a campaign pursuing that goal.


"If we fail to act," the report said, "the consequences will play out for years to come as a generation of lost children grow to adulthood."


Associated Press writers Linda Stewart Ball in Dallas, Daniel Shea in Little Rock, Ark., and Dionne Walker in Atlanta contributed to this report.


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News - Breaking News

Monday, Mar. 09, 2009

Bail set for man charged after homeless man set on fire

Janelle Frost - jfrost@thesunnews.com


Bail has been set at $25,000 this afternoon for a man charged with assault and battery with intent to kill after a homeless man was set on fire, according to police officials. Jerry Broadie currently is at the Myrtle Beach jail and is expected to be transferred later today to the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.


Myrtle Beach police officers responded around 4:25 a.m. Sunday to a wooded area located behind 1018 8th Ave North in reference to a fire and a person being injured, according to a news release from Capt. David Knipes, public information officer with the Myrtle Beach Police Department.


The homeless man told an officer that while he was sleeping in the wooded area he was awaken by Broadie, who was actively setting him on fire, Knipes stated. The homeless man attempted to get up once he was awake and realized he was being burned, Knipes stated. Broadie allegedly held the man down and continued to hold a lighter to the back of his head, setting his clothing on fire. Broadie then allegedly said to the homeless man, "You are not going to be able to tell the police nothing," Knipes stated.


Someone passing by called 911 after observing the victim lying on the road near the railroad track near Canal Street asking for help and the fire in the wooded area. Broadie was located about 5 p.m. Sunday, waiting for the victim to return at the same burned out campsite where the incident took place, Knipes stated.


The homeless man was released from the Grand Strand Regional Medical Center Sunday and is recovering from burns to his head and hands, Knipes stated.




Help the Homeless Get Safe at Home!

Education for Liberation! Join Up!
Peter S. Lopez aka: Peta
Email: peter.lopez51@yahoo.com


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