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Will Work for Connectivity. God Bless.
July 21, 2004 9:37 PM   Subscribe

Your Tax Dollars At Work! What better way to help the homeless find housing and employment than through a website? Surely the Internet is the solution to all society's problems.
posted by ilsa (8 comments total)

 
I think the tone of your post is pretty condescending. Libraries give internet access, so it is not difficult to get online if you want to. Of all the pork in the federal budget this can't be much more than chump change, and it has a real and valuable use.

If you want to get outraged about federal waste take a flip through the defense budget.
posted by shotsy at 9:45 PM on July 21, 2004


Judging by the interactive tool FirstStep accessible through the actual website, the targeted audience does seem to be mainly "case managers, outreach workers, and others working with people who are homeless". In other words, this is simply centralizing the information available to make it easier for those social workers to do their jobs. It isn't "You Da Homeless Monster!" -- if anything, that's the longstanding America's Job Bank, which is subordinated through state unemployment programs. There's nothing new here, really, but that's the beauty of the thing; it costs virtually nothing to organize resources together on a page for a specific audience. Nowhere on the page do I see anything along the lines of "Homeless? Click here to get off your ass."

My mother is a case manager, not specifically for homeless but for people who might become homeless, and this will probably be useful to her.

Sorry, ilsa, but what a crap post. It's the damn web. You can fact check your own damn ass before you post.
posted by dhartung at 9:58 PM on July 21, 2004


Even if it was for homeless people themselves, the web is one of the priveleges that is available to the homeless, via libraries. It's easier to get web access than than warm meals.
posted by abcde at 10:19 PM on July 21, 2004


This website is pretty clearly targeted at social service workers. The press release made it sound like it was a "Hey you bum, click here!" kind of thing, but I think they were being a little overzealous in their touting of the website.

I found this part of your post, the title, particularly condescending:
"Will Work For Connectivity. God Bless."

I've been homeless, and I've known a lot of homeless people. Flying a sign/spanging/panhandling, whatever you want to call it, is really, really degrading. Because it's so degrading, only a very small percentage of homeless people engage in it on any regular basis. Honestly, it's not fucking funny to trivialize the daily humiliations that someone without a legal place to sleep goes through.
posted by cmonkey at 12:59 AM on July 22, 2004


"In 2001, the U.S. Conference of Mayors' survey of homelessness in 27 cities found that children under the age of 18 accounted for 25.3% of the urban homeless population (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2001)....The number of homeless families with children has increased significantly over the past decade; families with children are among the fastest growing segments of the homeless population. In its 2003 survey of 25 American cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors found that families comprised 40% of the homeless population, a definite increase from previous years (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2003). On a national level, the numbers are higher: the Urban Institute found that approximately 39% of the homeless population are children (Urban Institute 2000). These proportions are likely to be higher in rural areas; research indicates that families, single mothers, and children make up the largest group of people who are homeless in rural areas (Vissing, 1996)........Nationally, approximately half of all women and children experiencing homelessness are fleeing domestic violence (Zorza, 1991; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 2001.....Research indicates that 40% of homeless men have served in the armed forces, as compared to 34% of the general adult male population (Rosenheck et al., 1996). In 2003, the U.S. Conference of Mayors' survey of 25 American cities found that 10% of the urban homeless population were veterans.... " ( National Organization of the Homeless )

Numbers? - hard to determine :

"For 1987, the most current year for which estimates of the size of the national homeless population are available, the population was estimated to be between 250,000 and 350,000. .....The major causes of homelessness are poverty, unequal access to housing, inequality in the labor market, family disruption and health issues .....12% of the US homeless population is composed of children under the age of 18 .....30 to 50% of the homeless population face mental health issues.....About 17% of all homeless persons receive income from handouts" ( from Homelessness Awareness at Woman's World)

"About half of homeless people have not completed high school and a substantial percentage are functionally illiterate, unable to deal with job applications or questionnaires." (from a 1999 student study)
posted by troutfishing at 4:17 AM on July 22, 2004


And the ranks will be, and are, growing: Bacino, 44, is part of a phenomenon occurring at urban, rural and suburban food banks nationwide - a surge of first-time clients who never before considered themselves needy but suddenly, because of a layoff or other challenge, cannot pay their rent or living costs.
... Many families first seek help with back rents, mortgages and utility fees, but Joyce Campbell - director of Catholic Charities Emergency Services in Delanco - said her agency lacks the cash to help with such requests.
"We suggest they come into the program to get some food and clothing and save their money to pay their bills," she said. ...
--from Even in the Suburbs, Demand for Food Aid Surges as Families Face Hard Times
posted by amberglow at 6:13 AM on July 22, 2004


I work at a non-profit, and have just passed this link on to coworkers who will find it helpful in gathering information on programs and services available... why exactly was this posted in a sarcastic manner? Did you read the site?
posted by madmanz123 at 6:29 AM on July 22, 2004


Your Tax Dollars At Work!

Admittedly, I have not read the article, so perhaps this is being funded by tax dollars. But my point is, many of these types of ventures are hosted freely by dozens ISPs out there. The company I'm associated with, hosts hundreds of non-profits and other community service websites for free.
posted by Witty at 11:17 AM on July 22, 2004


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