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.

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How long will it take for the unemployed to find a job?

While market reports seem to be noting an upswing toward recovery in the U.S. economy, there are still many people who are unemployed that lost their jobs as a result of the Great Recession.  How long will it take for these individuals to find a job … a lasting job …?  The Brookings Institute Papers on Economic Activity reveals:

“The short-term unemployment rate is a much stronger predictor of inflation and real wage growth than the overall unemployment rate in the U.S. Even in good times, the long-term unemployed are on the margins of the labor market, with diminished job prospects and high labor force withdrawal rates, and as a result they exert little pressure on wage growth or inflation.”  See the study report here.

In addition, a FiveThirtyEight analysis says Americans who had the misfortune of losing their jobs during the height of the most recent recession in 2009 were more than four times as likely to end up out of work for a year or longer than those who lost their jobs during the comparatively good economy of 2007.  See analysis report here.

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Purdue shooting gives anti-gun advocate a first-hand experience

Purdue University students huddle in the hallways of classrooms after they received a text message to shelter-in-place because of shooting at the Engineering Building. Purdue University is located in West Lafayette, Ind.

By Sharon Dunten, editor of SurvivingTimes.com

West Lafayette, Ind. — Today marks the 35th school shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in Newtown, Conn., Dec.14, 2012. Around noon on Tuesday, Jan. 21, Purdue University students and staff were placed in shut down as a lone gunman entered a classroom in the university’s Engineering Building and shot a man to death.

One woman, Julia Chester, took this shooting very personally because it touched too close to home. She is the Regional Manager for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which is a nonpartisan grassroots movement of American mothers demanding new and stronger solutions to gun laws and loopholes that might jeopardize the safety of U.S. children and families.

Chester is also Associate Professor of Psychological Studies at Purdue University.

In a statement released by Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action, Chester said for over a year she has worked with hundreds of thousands of U.S. moms to help stem the “tide of gun violence in America.”

“Today, I experienced the terror of an active shooting first-hand,” said Chester. While in her office at Purdue University, she was alerted through the university’s text messaging system that there was a shooting on campus. Along with her colleagues and students, she was alerted to shelter-in-place.

Shelter-in-place is an emergency procedure now used in homes, offices and schools throughout the country.   U.S. Homeland Security gives tips on what an individual or individuals should do during such an emergency.

“The fear and confusion on campus was palpable. No matter how many drills you’ve been through, panic takes its toll on logic,” said Chester.  She says she feared no matter how many doors you try to shut between you and the shooter, a bullet could find its way through even though the shooting took place a couple of buildings away from her office.

“We owe our children and ourselves a world where we don’t have to live by lockdown,” Chester said.  She said Americans need to call on Congress immediately to act on gun violence and pass new and stronger gun laws.

Again, one man died in the university shooting.  One man is in custody.  No motive for the shooting has been released by local law enforcement officials. Purdue University officials said all classes were cancelled today and Wednesday.

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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.

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Unemployed over age 55 face only 47 percent chance of new job, statistics reveal

The unemployment trend since the beginning of the Great Recession is to layoff workers over the age of 55. Many are joining the college graduates in search of career opportunities. Phys.org photo

At the beginning of the Great Recession and continuing today is the trend to layoff individuals over the age of 55. The layoffs or firings have nothing to do with job performance or loyalty to a business or corporation. Employees over 55 just cost to much. If you think about it, most 55+ are at the highest salary of their careers and are looking toward the end of the tunnel called retirement. Another reality check facing 55+ employees is their increase use of health insurance to cover medical needs as they grow older.  In return, those medical needs could possibly cost an employer more and affect their financial bottle line.

Read Tom LeCompte’s blog from Boston’s NPR news station website, WBUR, which discusses job loss statistics and why over 55 might mean delayed retirement and new career challenges.

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Today’s workforce schedule concepts are outdated for 21st Century

In rigid shift situations with “no-fault” attendance policies—through which workers accrue points for every unforeseen absence from work, regardless of the reason—being a few minutes late can cost someone his or her job.
elev8.com photo

By Sarah Jane Glynn and Emily Baxter, Center for American Progress

In the 1950s close to 20 percent of the workforce were made up of women.  Today, women make up 55 percent of the workforce.  For both male and female workers, life has changed since the days where mom stayed home with the kids and dad went to work to give allegiance to the corporate god.  In 2014, it might take two incomes or a single parent might face the load alone to  live above the poverty line or even reach the middle-class status.  But even though more than 50 years have passed, the workforce concept of strict schedules has not changed with the times. Families now face more daily childcare and older-adult care circumstances, mandatory overtime work hours and an unchanged living wage.  To read more about these workforce issues and possible solutions, link here.

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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.

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Entrepreneurship and urban justice planned for rebirth of bankrupt Detroit

Once the mecca of the American automobile industry, Detroit has watched the foreign car market invade the American landscape and with it, the love of cars built in America.  Slowly, Detroit residents exodus the city, jobs were slashed and local leaders were left without a dime.  Today, with a population of  300,000, only 27 jobs are available per 100 people in the city.  Even with the federal bailout to insure the American auto industry’s demise, the city of Detroit never recovered.  Recent headlines pronounce bankruptcy for the Motor City, while other U.S. cities struggle not hit rock bottom along with Detroit.

But urban developers have plans to re-energize the city, promote economic growth and bring back home ownership to this once thriving metropolis.  Watch the TED video and listen to Toni Griffin, an urban planner, speaking in New York City, as she reassures audience members that entrepreneurship and implementing great change will reinvent Detroit.

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Many U.S. families losing ground against the poverty line

If you have an emergency fund or savings for unexpected car repairs, medical bills or want to help a person in need, it might be as easy as making a digital payment or sending a cashier check to pay want needs to be paid.  But if you are living on a fixed income in combination with government assistance, these expected debts might throw a family’s budget and security into a tailspin. Do you pay for the car repairs because it is necessary to get to work? Or do you pass on going to the doctor’s because the bill would interfere with putting food on the table?  The whole idea of living paycheck to paycheck cannot alter from its assigned rhythm, otherwise, the accumulation of indebtedness could become all-consuming in your life. The balance is shot. You are swimming against the strong current leading to the poverty line.

Northwest Herald:  Living on the Poverty Line

By Emily K. Coleman, Shaw Media

” … But the other problem has been a series of minor disasters that chip away at any earnings she might have saved: the washer and dryer breaking down or a broken brake line on a car. There was the pipe that burst two Octobers ago and flooded the basement with 10 inches of water, ruining baby pictures and family mementos …”  To read the complete article, link here.

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