invisible homeless kids

Hard to imagine that in this country way over 3 MILLION kids are without homes. H-O-M-E-L-E-S-S Kids. I don't get it. Are we willing to discard these kids? Not me. So this blog will relentlessly focus on this issue, hoping to light a spark to fuel a compassion epidemic. Chime in, argue, but do something....

Friday, July 25, 2008

DEFINITION DEBATE--Update & Interesting Info


In the next few days, probably July 28 or so, the US House Financial Services Committee will consider legislation covering HUD's definition of homelessness. YOUR CALLS/FAXES ARE STILL URGENTLY NEEDED!

Since this issue (the HEARTH ACT) has caught fire, some interesting behind-the-scenes info has emerged. It appears that the crux of the issue is the so-called research the feds use to define homelessness. In my humble opinion, that's where the process needs to be fixed.

We would like to assume that the feds paid for good research. After all, countless (an operative word!) families and teens will be affected by the outcome of this research.

Those of us who have been around for long enough to know better realize that the feds never did really acknowledge the existence of homeless young people. Perhaps that's too painful of an issue to address, because it means our wealthy nation isn't quite taking care of the vulnerable among us. SEE THE AURORA (IL) BEACON EDITORIAL

Two key happenings this past week confirmed my worst fears about the policymakers' knowledge base. One was our interview of Phillip Mangano, the Bush-appointed "homelessness czar," and the other is a an email by a prominent researcher (I'll protect her identity at this point) frequently quoted in the policy-wonk world.

When asked if the "expert" would be able to address an audience of educators concerned with homeless children's issues, she replied,
yes in the abstract, but no with respect to the particular subject matter. about the only thing related to homelessness I don't know very well is the education/school part. so I'd have to decline if you asked me."
Argh! You don't know the education/school part--the main part of a homeless child's world. How interesting--and dismaying!

And the Phil interview, well, you'll have to wait to see the HEAR US documentary, On the Edge, but let me just whet your does vehemently denying the problems/needs of families strike you? It's not in line with HUD's "business approach" to addressing homelessness. It's not cost effective.

Citing "Million Dollar Murray*" as the poster child for non-cost effective approaches to homelessness, and relying on outdated, incomplete research limited to 2 major metropolitan areas, the administration's super-spiel-spewer to keep homeless families and youth from spilling over HUD's floodgates, confirmed my worst guesses about existing policies.

Seems to me that it's time to pull back the curtain covering the Wizard of HUD, and expose his accomplice, the Wicked Witch of the East, freeing the children and teens from their tyranny. You can help to do that by reading details of the simple calls/faxes needed and doing it.

* Million Dollar Murray is a guy used by Phil to point out the insanity of spending millions of dollars on individuals who bounce from streets to emergency rooms, jails, hospitals and around again. Your point is??? Is this Murray's fault? Or does HUD and Congress and the President have any accountability for dismantling every safety net known as it restructured the federal budget to....ah, forget it....

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