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Showing posts from April, 2011

A Homeless Revolution Is Unfolding

UPDATE: On April 10th I did a blog post about how I chased down a robber whom I'd witnessed taking a woman's camera. I ended my post rather abruptly and failed to say that the culprit was caught by police less than 5 minutes after I indicated where I'd last seen him and only a half block away from where my chase ended. We don't need to give people a reason to stop feeding the homeless or the cops a reason to clear the homeless out of the parks where they are often fed by churches and other groups of do-gooders.

A Homeless Revolution Is Unfolding

DC Mayor Vincent Gray's budget proposal was released on April 1st with horrendous cuts to Human Services. The homeless advocacy community, service providers and government officials working on Human Services have all been in an uproar over the negative impact these cuts will have if the budget is passed by the DC Council. Everyone is worried. I have DC Councilmen Jim Graham and Tommy Wells on video saying how terrible it…

DC Mayor Vincent Gray's Proposed Budget Cuts Human Services Spending Disproportionately

Well, it looks like Congress is formulating an agreement on where to cut spending in the federal budget. A government shutdown has been averted once again, though we're not out of the woods yet. They've decided to slash $38.5 billion from the FY 2011 budget (with less than 6 months remaining in this fiscal year). The numbers are still subject to change and the details have not been finalized, though we can be certain that domestic spending on social services will take a hit. The question is "How big of a hit will social services take?". They continue to work on the FY 2012 budget (and hack away at much- needed services).

Here in the nation's capital (which many locals call "the last colony" due to Congress having oversight of what the local government does) DC Mayor Vincent Gray submitted his 2012 budget proposal on April 1st, in accordance with DC Law. On April 8th the DC Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI) issued its analysis of his proposal. The DC Coun…

I JUST STOPPED A ROBBER

I apologize insomuch as this might read more like a detailed police report than a blog post.
I hope that it will serve as evidence against the robber who I helped to catch today and have therefore included much detail:

I left my church, the Church of the Epiphany (1317 G Street, NW in Washington, DC) at 2:50 PM today. I helped a homeless lady friend lug her belongings to the bus stop a block away as we walked with yet another homeless woman. We saw the bus pass the stop when we were still a half block away. I decided to walk the 2 blocks up to Franklin Park; but, they hadn't felt like walking uphill even for that short distance. After speaking with them for a few minutes, I heard my church's bells ring out the 3:00 hour as I began to walk away.

I arrived in Franklin Park a few minutes after 3 PM, entering from the corner of 13th and I (eye) Streets. I spoke to another homeless lady friend who was sitting on a park bench and then turned my attention toward a group gathered on t…

HEARTH Act: Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing

On May 20th, 2009 (exactly 4 months into his term), President Obama signed the HEARTH Act (Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing) into law. The legislation had the lofty goal of moving all who become newly homeless back into housing within 30 days. It also allows for a person or family who is about to become homeless within 14 days, having no other form of support or assistance at their disposal whereby to avoid eviction, to be helped. Now, almost 2 years later, HUD (the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development) is still devising regulations and working on implementing the HEARTH Act.

The impending and imminent publication of those regulations was the reason that NAEH (the National Alliance to End Homelessness) invited dozens of homeless service providers and advocates to an information-gathering meeting at the N Street Village Women's Shelter on Wednesday, March 30th, 2011. Upon publishing the regulations, HUD is mandated by law to allow for public com…