The day in the life of a homeless person

Through the use of a 35 mm camera carried by a homeless person, viewers of HomelessGoPro can experience first hand what it is like to be Homeless.

Most Americans have never experienced what it is like to be homeless.  Through a San Francisco project called Homeless GoPro, photos and reports are developed to build awareness around homeless individuals’ daily interactions, as a way to experience them together and also address another aspect of homelessness – the empathy divide.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com

Underbelly of unemployment shows homelessness

Rosa Serrano and her seven children at the Days Inn in Shrewsbury, Mass., where they were living since November until being moved to more permanent housing. Worcester Telegram and Gazette photo

The published unemployment numbers show progress in the American economy.  But what the underbelly of the unemployment numbers doesn’t show is that homeless shelters are filling up, and states are picking up the tab by housing people in low-cost hotels and emergency shelters, especially families with children. Damaged by the results of the Great Recession including long-term unemployment, foreclosures, evictions and health care costs has led families into the only housing available to them.

In the state of Massachusetts there is a “right to shelter” budget provision that requires the state to house homeless families that qualify. Yet, these families must show they are victims of domestic violence, a natural disaster, a no-fault eviction, or have spent a night in a place not meant for human habitation.

A New England Center for Investigative reporter, Rupa Shenoy, covers Massachusetts’ raising homeless challenges and how taxpayers are flipping the bill as a result of the lingering effects of the Great Recession.

- Sharon Dunten, editor, SurvivingTimes.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com

Mississippi single mothers poorest in the nation

Shae Hill holds her 3-month-old daughter inside a store May 7, 2009 in Glendora, Mississippi, a highly impoverished town in the rural Lower Mississippi Delta region. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mississippi is the poorest state in the nation.  But its status is not without trying to walk away from this title.  Although social services and benefits have allowed the poorest of the poor to receive more food and health care, the ability for Mississippi’s poor to journey out of poverty has been a long and challenging battle.

The Mississippi poor consist of a large population of single mothers — who are working.  Many have graduated from high school but are unable to find a living wage in the small town and rural communities for which they live.

In an article by NPR’s WUBR, “Women and Children Most At Risk in Mississippi,” Carol Burnett, executive director of the Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative, discusses the situation in Mississippi, as well as underlying issues and myths.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com

School-to-prison pipeline might start as early as preschool

By high school many minority students or students with disabilities could be on the school-to-prison pipeline. palantelatino.com photo

By Sharon Dunten, editor of SurvivingTimes.com

Are we giving up on a large population of our young people in this country?  With minority students and students with disabilities, including teens with emotional and behavioral problems, carrying the majority of school suspensions and high school dropout rates, could the path toward school-to-prison pipeline be condemning a new generation to failure?

When I worked as a reporter in Mississippi several years ago, the self-fulfilling prophecy for many minority students went as far back as preschool. One southern Mississippi school official told to me the state counted the amount of children not attending preschool programs as an indication of how many prison cells would be required for state correctional facilities 20 to 25 years later. Their justification to watch these numbers was due to the inaccessibility or cuts of preschool programs such as a Head Start, and the broad number of illiterate parents unable to teach the fundamentals early childhood skills to prepare their children to enter kindergarten.  As a result, many preschoolers might start out behind in school as early as five years-old.

By the time many of the minority or students with disabilities enter high school, there is an even bigger chance a student could be railed onto the school-to-prison pipeline.

In a comprehensive report by America Aljazeera, the saga of the school-to-prison pipeline is examined with alarming statistics.  Link here.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com

 

Shriver Report website brings issues of women to forefront

The Shriver Report is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary look at how American families live and work today, giving clear insight into one of the most important social trends of our time: the emergence of women into all areas of society.  To view this new website, link here.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com

Unemployment rates dropping, also wages and quality jobs

While unemployment percentages dropped in December, 3.9 million Americans are still on long-term unemployment. overfiftyandoutofwork.com photo

By Sharon Dunten, editor of SurvivingTimes.com

Today’s jobs report at first glance looks promising with the unemployment rate falling to 6.7 percent.  But if you look at the guts of this information, the unemployment crisis is still affecting so many Americans.

In an Associated Press’ article, “US economy adds 74K jobs; rate falls to 6.7 percent,” by Christopher S. Rugaber, this week’s figures are only a weak gain compared to other reports since October 2008. Yes, the unemployment percentages are falling, but the figures might not show the circumstances behind the drop.  For example:

  • Many individuals looking for jobs have stopped looking; therefore, the government no longer counts them as unemployed
  • The jobs acquired might be part-time or contract positions leaving many Americans with lower and unpredictable wages
  • Many new older workers now working again are earning less pay; new younger workers are in entry-level positions
  • December is a time for seasonal employment, and many employers are not hiring for permanent positions, especially in retail
  • US minimum wage has not kept up with the cost of living since the 1970s

To stimulate the economy, U.S. businesses need to provide better paying jobs, support more job training and provide more security in the job market. Without these elements, the dropping unemployment percentages could only be an illusion of statistics rather than the reality of workforce.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com

Blizzard of 2014 hits Midwest, shows kindness of people

Hours later the path that was cleared by neighbors was drifted shut. Indianapolis declared a state of emergency on Jan. 6. Angie Rout photo

Members of an apartment community in Indianapolis start to shovel their way out of their neighborhood. Angie Rout photo

Snow and frigid cold  descended upon the Midwest for what is going to be called the Blizzard of 2014.  But sometimes a weather emergency brings out the best in people to help shelter people or to help dig out a neighbor. Unfortunately, a blizzard might erase those efforts as additional snow, high winds and subzero cold continue to afflict the Midwest.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com

Federal minimum wage issue stalls, states and cities take action

As the 2014 moves forward, some states and local cities are changing the minimum wage. Harvardpolitics.com photo

Throughout the country many states and local municipalities are raising the minimum wage by 50 cents or up to $15 per hour.  So why is the federal government ignoring the wishes of the American people to raise the minimum wage?  To read more, CNNMoney.com gives the details here.

Visit Facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Follow Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com

Research says without government benefits U.S.’s poverty line would be twice as high

realtruth.org photo

The war on poverty declared by President Lyndon B. Johnson 50 years ago might at first look like a failure while 15 percent of Americans in 2013 are living below the poverty line.  But without the armor of government benefits, a Columbia University study states America’s poverty line could have been as high as 31 percent.

New York Times:  In the War on Poverty, a Dogged Adversary

By Eduardo Porter, The New York Times

“… Without the panoply of government benefits — like food stamps, subsidized school lunches and the earned-income tax credit, which provides extra money to household heads earning low wages — the nation’s poverty rate last year would have reached almost 31 percent, up from 25 percent in 1967, according to the research at Columbia …”  To read the complete article, link here.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com