Busting Up the Lazy Homeless/Poor Myth

Social Justice Superheroes the

Mythbusters Tackle the “Lazy

Homeless” Stereotype

by Rich and Elizabeth Lombino August 25, 2010 01:04 PM (PT) Topics: Working Homeless http://www.change.org

We’re on the train on our way home. We strike up a conversation with someone sitting next to us. He’s wearing a suit and has a Bluetooth in his ear, an iPhone in his hand and a laptop on his lap. He works for an insurance company in New York City. He asks what we do, and after we describe our careers, the conversation takes an interesting turn. Continue reading

The Cost of Doing Nothing – More Million Dollar Murrays Every Day!

Great post from http:// Homelessness.change.org

The High Cost of Doing Nothing

by Danny Fenster August 28, 2010 11:40 AM (PT)

A Savannah, Georgia paper ran a story this week about a chronic public inebriate and the burden his lifestyle puts on taxpayers in the area. The article talked about the repeated medical issues, the emergency room visits, the shelter stays and the arrests; “at $55 per day, jail administrators say, their efforts have cost taxpayers about $73,480.” Of course, that is the cost of incarceration alone; in a similar story that ran in The New Yorker in 2006, one person stuck in a similar cycle had racked up hospital bills of $100,000 in only six months.

The Savannah story did a good job of pointing out the cyclical nature of how chronic homelessness is so often managed rather than solved. So many chronically homeless become “entangled in a high-priced cycle that takes them from the street to jail, from jail to the … mental health care facility and back to the street. It is a multimillion dollar Band-Aid for a hemorrhaging problem,” writes the reporter, before pointing to the success of the Chatham-Savannah Mental Health Court. That court targets people caught in “the pricey jail-to-(hospital) cycle” and diverts them to monitored care and regular housing. Continue reading

International Overdose Awareness Day – August 31

Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.

SPHERE is an HIV/AIDS capacity-building project that works with health and human service providers to integrate HIV/viral Hepatitis education and services and harm reduction into their work.

We are funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to offer HIV/AIDS statewide capacity-building support to DPH-funded drug and alcohol treatment programs in Massachusetts.

We can come to your DPH-funded drug and alcohol treatment program and provide free training onsite for your staff.  Call us to schedule training (508) 583-2250 x 261 or email sphere@healthimperatives.org.

Tomorrow, August 31 is
International Overdose Awareness Day!

Here are some easy ways to mark the day:

Find out if your state has a Good Samaritan law.

Massachusetts has tried several times to pass 911 Good Samaritan Legislation. The proposed law would help save lives in Massachusetts by offering limited immunity against possession charges, making it more likely that overdose witnesses will call 911 for emergency medical help during an overdose.
Continue reading

Integrating HIV Services into Homeless Services

Integrating HIV into Homeless Services

The Statewide Homeless/HIV Integration Project (SH/HIP) partners with homeless shelters to promote best practices in addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS among people experiencing homelessness.

HIV integration in homeless service settings promotes HIV discussions, education, support, and referrals with people who are experiencing homelessness. Continue reading

Anne Marie House Receives Grant to Assist with Homelessness in So. NH

I found this article in the Lowell Sun on 8/28/10 with regard to a recent grant award to Anne Marie House, which is located in Hudson, NH. This organization provides services/shelter to homeless folks.

Up to that moment, I hadn’t a clue that there was a homeless service provider in Hudson, NH. This will of course set me on the path to search out all homeless service providers in Southern NH. The primary reason behind that, being a border towns/cities - Lowell, Lawrence, Haverhill, receive many families and individuals from Southern NH into Massachusetts services.  In some cases, police departments from Southern NH communities will drop individuals off at our shelters or drop them off at the edge of town. NH encountered a storm from the State of Maine and HUD, when it was determined that officials in NH were transporting their homeless persons over the border to Maine and leaving the State of Maine to provide services that NH did not wish to/ or could not provide.

Anyhow..here is the article, if you wish not to click through in the above link:

Hudson shelter wins grant

By John Collins, jcollins@lowellsun.com

Updated: 08/28/2010 06:35:44 AM EDT

HUDSON, N.H. — Anne Marie House has been awarded two grants from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and town of Hudson totaling $22,500, a spokesman for the homeless shelter announced.

Located at 180 Lowell Road on the grounds of Presentation of Mary Academy, the shelter’s mission is to help end local homelessness “one family at a time,” according to Richard Patterson, a member of the board of trustees.

“The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and town of Hudson have awarded us separate grants of $19,500 and $3,000, respectively,” Patterson said. “Both grants were especially coveted because their unrestricted nature enables them to be flexibly used for operational, capital or other needs at the sole discretion of Anne Marie House.”

Anne Marie House serves Hudson, Pelham, Nashua, Windham, Londonderry, Amherst, Milford, Brookline, Hollis, Merrimack and Litchfield.

“Tireless efforts by Anne Marie House to end family homelessness throughout greater-Nashua” were recognized in July by a proclamation issued by both the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and town of Hudson.

To contact Anne Marie House, e-mail info@AnneMarieHouse.org

MHSA Receives MetLife Foundation Grant

Great news for MHSA and a hearty congratulations on their most recent grant award! We as a region look forward to our continuing relationship with MHSA.

See below for the press release with further details.

Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA) Receives a MetLife Foundation Assuring Quality Initiative Grant Award from CSH to Improve Supportive Housing
BOSTON – August 24, 2010. The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) has announced that the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA) is one of seven nonprofits nationwide to receive a MetLife Foundation Assuring Quality Initiative grant award, which is designed to assist community-based, supportive housing providers improve the quality of their permanent supportive housing. Permanent supportive housing, which combines affordable housing with supportive services, has proven to be a highly cost-effective way to end long-term homelessness for people facing complex challenges, including mental illness, substance abuse and physical disabilities.
Since 2006, MHSA’s Home & Healthy for Good (HHG) initiative has provided permanent supportive housing to more than 450 formerly homeless individuals with a housing retention rate of 84 percent. The annual costs per person decreased from $33,514 before housing to $24,007 after housing placement, resulting in an annual savings of $9,507 per person. An analysis by the state Office of Medicaid showed that on average, Medicaid costs per HHG tenant dropped by 67 percent after participants moved into housing. Continue reading

MHSA Homecoming 2010 Event: City Manager Bernard Lynch to be Honored Along with Lt. Governor Murray

The Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA) cordially invites you to join us on Monday, September 20, 2010 for a special event honoring Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray and regional leaders, including Lowell City Manager Bernard F. Lynch of the Merrimack Valley Regional Network, for their contributions to ending homelessness in Massachusetts.  Event details are below, or click here. Continue reading

Illinois ID’s for the Homeless, Free? Massachusetts, we can do this!

Illinois IDs for the Homeless:

Free, With Paperwork

by Natalie Wendt August 20, 2010 09:34 AM (PT)

It’s common and frustrating problem: practically everything requires identification, but getting an ID if you’re homeless and don’t have one is complicated, confusing, and in some situations nearly impossible.

A year ago we told you how Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into a law an amendment waiving fees for homeless IDs. The amendment finally went into effect last month but homeless individuals can’t get the identification cards on their own. To qualify, an agency or shelter has to fill out and notarize a Homeless Status Certification before application for the ID cards can begin. And since the address of that agency or shelter is used as the official address, every change of shelters or addresses means applying for another card. This makes the process of, um, questionable value for people avoiding harsh winters, staying in shelters with 90-day limits, or frequently changing addresses for any reason. Continue reading

Newark, NJ the Latest to Join With Cities Across the Country to End Homelessness

by Rich and Elizabeth Lombino August 25, 2010 07:15 AM (PT)

Photo credit: Rich Lombino

Plan to End Homelessness:

Newark, NJ Joins the Movement

The city of Newark, New Jersey has officially joined the movement to end homelessness.

Recently Mayor Cory BookerEssex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and other government officials unveiled The Road Home: A Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness in Newark and Essex County (pdf).

The process to develop this plan began over two years ago with the creation of the Essex-Newark Task Force to End Homelessness and the release last year of that body’s Core Principles (pdf). They’ll be familiar tenets of advocacy to homeless advocates. They include: (1) coordinating services to end homelessness, not manage it; (2) preventing homelessness; (3) adopting a Housing First approach; (4) connecting persons at risk of homelessness to existing services; (5) ensuring an adequate supply of emergency shelter beds; (6) adopting housing policies that end homelessness and are cost effective; and (7) holding themselves accountable for achieving the goals of the plan to be designed. Continue reading

San Diego’s Project 25 – Helping the Homeless Whether They Like it or Not

Great article from http://homelessness.change.org. Very similar initiative to others taking hold across the nation

San Diego Will Help the Homeless, Whether They Like it or Not

San Diego has a new plan to end homelessness and save money at the same time, whether the city’s homeless like it or not.

The city is partnering with the United Way in Project 25, a program that aims to get 25 specific chronically homeless people off the streets. How are these people chosen? They are the folks with the most emergency room visits and the most police calls. The project comes out of a study suggesting that chronically homeless people translate to big cost to law enforcement and medical services. The study found that over a year and a half, $1.5 million in medical costs came from the needs of just 15 chronically homeless individuals in San Diego. Continue reading