Pop-up store might provide dignity for America’s homeless

Capetown, South Africa, has found a way to clothe their homeless with dignity. Can we do the same here in America? The Street Store concept is to provide a series of multifunctional cardboard posters that would turn city sidewalks or fences into a shop for the homeless. The posters are designed with holes in them for citizens to donate clothes and shoes they don’t wear and to provide an inventory of clothing for the homeless living on the streets. Instead of rummaging through dumpsters and trash cans, the homeless can with dignity select clothing of their taste and need.

For more information on this movement, link to The Street Store and read the article from the Huffington Post entitled, “Charity ‘Store’ For Homeless Gives Customers So Much More Than Just Clothes.”

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Hunger agency asks for help on Day of Service

America’s are asked to use Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service volunteer at local agencies serving the needs of communities, such as a food pantry. sfgate.com photo

Food banks provide nourishment for millions of people each year. Feeding America encourages people to work at food pantries on the MLK’s Day of Service, Jan. 20. Texans.clubs.com photo

- SurvivingTimes.com staff report

Chicago, Illinois – The nation will pause to reflect and remember the legacy and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 20. To honor his memory, his birthday is now commemorated as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Each year millions of Americans across the country gather on this day to serve their neighbor s and communities, especially for those who are hungry.

Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, is asking people to consider volunteering at a local food bank, food pantry or soup kitchen to honor the holiday this year. Feeding America is a network of 203 food banks providing food and groceries to 37 million Americans each year.

“Why should there be hunger and deprivation in any land, in any city, at any table, when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life?” said Dr. King as a challenge to the nation.

The United States Department of Agriculture reports 49 million Americans are food insecure, including 16 million children. “Our economy continues to be troubled, and many Americans are out of work,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding of America. “Our state and federal governments face enormous budget shortfalls, and there is concern that there will be significant cuts to SNAP (food stamp) benefits.”

Aiken says everyone can do something to help their neighbors who live at risk of hunger whether it is sorting food, packing boxes, or serving a meal at a soup kitchen. “We particularly want to encourage children to volunteer on this national holiday, when most schools will be closed,” said Aiken.  He said it is important for future leaders to learn more about the 16 million children who live at risk of hunger.

“Feeding America believes that together, we can solve hunger.” said Aiken.  To find volunteer opportunities in your community, visit: http://feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx

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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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Most members of Congress are millionaires

U.S. Congress namaddjeiprymc.wordpress.com photo

For the first time in history, most members of the U.S. Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of personal financial disclosure date by the Center for Responsive Politics.  To link to this report, link here.

How do you feel about so many millionaires in the U.S. Congress?  Go to our Facebook page, Facebook.com/survivingtimes1 or Twitter   @_survivingtimes to respond.  We want to hear from you.

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Thank you from SurvivingTimes.com

SurvivingTimes.com photo/Sharon Dunten

Thank you to all of the readers of SurvivingTimes.com! You have been with us as we evolved into a news website covering topics of inequality, poverty, human rights, unemployment, worker safety, struggling education reform and making healthy life choices.  SurvivingTimes.com’s articles and blogs covering the resiliency of individuals during these uncertain economic times were popular with our readers, and we will continue to supply those stories for you.  Our readership is growing and we want you to continue to drop into our website for news, information and articles about people surviving every day to raise their children, to provide financial security for their families  and to become influential for change within their own communities.  As always, we would love to hear from you by contacting Sharon Dunten, editor, SurvivingTimes.com at editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com.  Visit us on Facebook at http://facebook.com/survivingtimes1 or follow us on Twitter   @_survivingtimes.

Happy New Year!

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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Blue-collar temp jobs could be dangerous

A groundbreaking 2010 study of Washington state’s workers’ comp claims found that temp workers in construction and manufacturing had twice the claims rate of regular workers doing the same type of work. theconversation.com photo

By Michael Grabell, Olga Pierce and Jeff Lawson, ProPublica

Working as a “blue-collar temp” in the manufacturing and construction industries might be one solution to earning money while waiting for another job to come through or maybe with the hope of the temp job turning into a full-time position.  Although both concepts could be true, there is an underlying danger in taking manufacturing or construction blue-collar temp jobs.  In a report by ProPublica,  it is revealed that some industries are placing profit over safety for the temp workers.  To read the article, link here.

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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.

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$Millions needed for homeless families in Massachusetts

Lynnicia, 22, and her 15-month-old son, Myshon, were forced to seek emergency shelter after their federal rent subsidy expired and their landlord raised the rent to market rate. With no shelter space available, they were placed in a Brighton motel. Jesse Costa/WBUR photo

Two years ago the state of Massachusetts was distributing $200,000 for families in transition from homelessness.  The program is called Residential Assistance for Families in Transition.  Today, according to the article below, $10 million is require for homeless family assistance.  So, what is going on?  More rental evictions, more long-term unemployment, the end of federal benefits or a spike in rental cost?  For many families, the Great Recession is not over.

WUBR Boston:  Soaring Rents And Stagnant Incomes Leave Record Number Of Mass. Families Homeless

By Bruce Gellerman, Boston NPR News

“… The housing office has contracts with permanent shelters around the state to provide emergency assistance for 2,000 families. In normal times, the safety net works, serving homeless parents and their children under 21. But, Gornstein says, these are not normal times …”  To read the complete article, link here.

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Common Dreams Perspective: How inequality became as American as apple pie

Flickr photo

By Jessica Weisberg, Common Dreams

” … Five days after Black Friday’s Walmart strike and the day before a nationwide fast-food workers strike, President Obama delivered a speech at the Center for American Progress about economic disparity and low wages …”  To read the complete article, link here.

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