Friday, April 3, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Hawaii has unorthodox plans to help control homelessness in the 50th state:
Plan would buy airfare to send Hawaii homeless to mainland
Honolulu Advertiser, January 25, 2009
Homeless service providers are supporting a proposed state-funded program that would provide airplane tickets for people who have come to Hawai'i from the Mainland and then find themselves homeless — and stuck.
State Rep. Rida Cabanilla, chairwoman of the Housing Committee, said she plans to ask for $100,000 this legislative session for a pilot program that would fly people who have recently arrived from the Mainland and are now homeless back to where they came from.
Relocating to Hawaii seems like an exotic idea. Who wouldn't want to live somewhere that feels like a permanent vacation? But because the cost of living is expensive and jobs are scarce which can result in homelessness. As much as 19% of the shelter population in Hawaii were in the state for a year or less before finding themselves homeless. As a result, Hawaii is funding programs that provide individuals who find themselves homeless soon after their arrival with a plane ticket home.
Other states employ similar techniques but it seems more extreme in Hawaii because the state is so isolated. When I first read this article I thought that it sounded like an obvious case of Not In My BackYard Syndrome (NIMBY) but now I'm not so sure. They only offer the tickets to people who want them and they make sure that services are in place wherever home is before sending someone away. For those who will return to family and friends, or service providers, who know them and care about them this ticket could be the ticket out of homelessness.
Monday, December 15, 2008
My partner and I didn't find a single person in our assigned area, but I still didn't consider the evening a waste of time. My partner had 15 years of experience working with youth in the city of Boston. I learned about how the Department of Youth and Families responds to gang violence, conflict resolution, and treatment of the family (not just the individual). It was a great learning experience; much more valuable than adding tick marks to our sheet.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
As a volunteer I never really get to know these guys (and some gals). I'm only there one day a week so even though I develop rapport it's only surface deep. I often can't tell when they are making up stories to pull one over on me. Tonight one told me that he had a partial lobotomy when he was 26, staff confirmed that this wasn't true but I believed it for a good 15 minutes.
When Will told me he was going to get an apartment I figured that some optimistic caseworker was putting silly ideas in his head. Turns out that the optimistic caseworker was right and I never had a chance to say goodbye.
I'm truly going to miss him, he was at the shelter the whole year and four months that I've been going there. Every week he'd tell me my eyes were so blue with such curiosity that I am certain that he doesn't remember the majority of our conversations. He was inappropriate enough to make me blush but not so bad that I was truly uncomfortable. And he had great stories. I'll miss him but I don't know if he ever even knew my name.
*Name changed to protect confidentiality
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Last year was the first time that I came to this conference. At the time, I had been at my job for just under six months and I was incredibly overwhelmed by the conference. It made me realize how little I really knew about the homelessness world even after a half year of working in the field. This year has been a completely different experience; I can read through the list of sessions and know what they all mean, I'm seeing people that I know and people who I have emailed back and fourth with, and I have interesting and provoking questions to add to the conversations. There are still moments that make me feel like I know nothing at all but they are few and far between.
I can't wait to get back and apply what I'm learning to my work... and go for a run.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
One of the major criticisms of Project Homeless Connect is that it is a ONE DAY one stop shop. It would be impossible to bring together all of these services in the career-fairish way that Project Homeless Connect does on a daily basis but there are some programs that are beginning to try to deliver a breadth of services with one point of entry.
For the City's Homeless: A One Stop Center
Mercury News, May 17, 2008
[Christine Burroughs] described how the new operation would work for an estimated 7,000 chronically homeless folks in the county and thousands more in danger of losing their homes. Caseworkers would determine their housing needs, physical and mental health, and qualifications for government, insurance or other financial assistance. The next step would be to help them apply for benefits and services.