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Showing posts from August, 2010

The Exit Strategy Is Endorsed By DC's Congresswoman, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton

The Exit Strategy

The saga that began with a homeless man photographing Michelle Obama with his camera phone and led to homeless advocates at STREATS working with the U.S. Dept. of Labor and DC Government's Dept. of Human Services to create a job-training program for DC's homeless community continues. In May STREATS and DHS filed paperwork with DOL in order to get funding for the "Exit Strategy". a program that would train the higher-functioning homeless people to do jobs that pay a living wage so that they wouldn't need to depend on the government for anything -- not food stamps, rental assistance or any other government assistance. However, the paperwork was filed too close to the end of DOL's budgetary funding cycle, which means that now we must wait until the next fiscal year to be funded by DOL.

STREATS recently met with Clarence Carter, the director of DC's Dept.an Services, to discuss the development of this program and other funding op…

The Ups And Downs Of Being A Homeless Homeless Advocate (A Status Update)

It's not often that I do a blog post about my personal situation. However, many people have said or insinuated that they wanted to know how I am doing. Therefore, I've decided to oblige. But not before addressing issues pertaining to homeless advocacy as a whole first.

As indicated in the post that precedes this one, it is still extremely difficult to get local politicians to commit to the production and preservation of public and affordable housing. This means that many people who have lived much of their lives in Washington, DC are being priced out of the District. And while the Dept. of Human Services is quite willing to help the "most vulnerable" homeless people, there is very little political will to help the "higher-functioning" homeless. This can result in those who just need a little help to get back on their feet instead remaining in shelter and just stagnating there. All in all, you need to be wealthy or totally incapacitated to remain in thi…

How The City Might Shut Down The Tent City @ 7th And R Streets NW (Unless We Stop Them)

The tent city at the intersection of 7th, R and Rhode Island in northwest DC is over 3 weeks old now. Many people are surprised to see that it hasn't been shut down by the city yet. It is firmly believed that Mayor Fenty doesn't want the images of protesters being arrested for defending their human right to housing plastered all over people's T.V. screens and that that may be the reason for the longevity of the camp. Let's bear in mind that he is fighting for his political life and that such images could be his political death knell. Some of us were actually anticipating getting arrested and that may still be a prospect.

On the evening of July 30th, a DC Government employee named Pat Handy stopped by the tent city. She works for DC Government's Dept. of Human Services as the Homeless Outreach Manager. She is the troubleshooter for various homeless services. She managed the process on September 10th, 2008, as Franklin School Shelter residents were made to sign …