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Showing posts from July, 2013

Helping Homeless People Isn’t a Partisan Issue

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Happy anniversary!
Twenty-six years ago, in July, 1987, the first federal legislation specifically addressing homelessness in America became law. They called it the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act. It’s changed over the years – it’s now called McKinney-Vento – but many advocates still consider it the only major piece of federal legislation on homelessness.
The law passed as modern day homelessness was exploding across America. There have always been people experiencing homelessness, but what was happening in the 1980s was different. The numbers were growing and it wasn’t limited to just a section of town, like New York’s Bowery. It wasn’t just big towns. And it was getting worse.  Quickly.
There wasn’t just one cause. Deinstitutionalization, the movement to “mainstream” people previously in institutions was part of it. So was slashing cuts to affordable housing programs. Changes in technology and employment trends added to it. Emotional or mental health problems and addiction, espe…

CFH Volunteer Services off to a running start!

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In April, Care for the Homeless introduced the new Volunteer Services, where New Yorkers who are housed are connected to those who are homeless in an incredible service learning experience. Within only three months, volunteer services has welcomed John Jay: College of Criminal Justice, The College of Mount Saint Vincent, New York University, United Talent Agency, Children of Promise NYC and several other New York City groups and organizations to serve at our sites and join our cause to end homelessness.  
Volunteers have been involved in almost every facet of our mission such as  walking with us in advocacy during the 2013 AIDS Walk, staffing our health fairs, hosting clothing and toiletry drives and assembly dates, staffing our wellness barbecues and leading our recreational events such as game day at Susan’s Place.
Volunteer individuals have joined the team for long term recurring volunteer positions.  Classic Re-runs, our boutique at Susan’s Place for residence is now permanently s…

It's time to empower a homeless child through education!

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Special Thanks to West Side Foods: Employees of West Side Foods, located in the Bronx, led the Back to School Drive in 2012 collecting and filling over 100 new book bags for homeless children. Owner Tom Ryan says: "I'm so proud of our team. As soon as we put the poster up in our employee break room, everyone stepped up. We organized our drive by asking for small donations of $5, which added up quickly to help us fill over 100 new book bags for the kids. Care for the Homeless is a great cause, and we're looking forward to this year's drive." Join us and change a child's life!
Download the poster HERE. 

Feeding the Hungry is no SNAP.

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Congress has been debating a farm bill in Washington to extend farm subsidies, price supports, federal funding for crop insurance and foreign food aid. But the bill that passed the Senate also includes draconian cuts to SNAP – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – usually called food stamps. The Senate version would cost $955 billion over 10 years, but cuts SNAP by $4.1 billion.
The House version is much worse: it doesn't reauthorize SNAP at all, leading to the very real prospect of no food stamps program.
SNAP currently serves more than 45 million Americans, many of them children, in nutritionally unstable families. One in five New York City residents, people living below the federal poverty level, is eligible for SNAP assistance, including about 30% of all kids under 18. SNAP puts food on the table for hungry families, providing a chance at a nutritional and balanced diet. Studies in New York City indicate every $1 in “food stamps” creates $1.80 in local economic acti…

"It's too hot!"

"It's too hot!" That's what many New Yorkers are saying this week as the summer heat has descended on our city and made for a less-than-comfortable commute and a rush to get inside their apartments or workplaces to have a reprieve from the warm weather. But imagine you don't have either of those places to go and you are stuck outside in this heat. That's what's facing homeless New Yorkers this summer.
We've compiled a short list of the items you may not think are needed but can make a huge difference in the day-to-day struggles of being homeless in the heat.

Wash cloths 
Most people don't realize just how important something like wash clothes can be for a person who is homeless. More than just for the shower, the ability to feel confident there isn't sweat dripping down your forehead is something we all want. If you are going in for a job interview, the last thing you want is to be worried about the heat causing you to sweat.

Clothing
Light summ…

CFH Health Educators prove they're the best around

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In October 2012, the CDC finalized its recommendation that all people born between born 1945 through should get a one-time test for the Hepatitis C virus.  One in 30 baby-boomers has been infected with HCV, and most don't know it.  May was Hepatitis Awareness Month, and the New York State Department of Health used this timeframe to help promote awareness of and testing for Hepatitis C.  It offered any agency receiving free Hepatitis C rapid testing kits from the state to enter a contest to do the most tests. Prizes would be given by the test manufacturer, OraSure, for the most number of tests done and the most administered to baby-boomers.  Amazingly, of the approximately 35 agencies that participated, the small but mighty CFH Health Education team won both contests. 
While there is no cure, people with this disease can live a very full and long life with treatment. Testing is so important to connecting those who don’t know they are infected with necessary treatment. At Care for t…

Feeling like a family at Ward's Island

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On Wednesday, July 10th, Care for the Homeless' Social Services, Health Education and Program Evaluation departments joined together with a group of CFH volunteers to have a summer BBQ and wellness event at the HELP Supportive Employment Center - Wards Island men's shelter. A total of 65 residents participated and most of the men did one or two health screenings as well as learned the value of healthy eating choices. 
Case Manager Training Specialist Anisha Perez-Miller organized the event and said, "I can tell that the men felt like they were part of the CFH family. Today, I got so much feedback from both the staff and clients stating what a wonderful event it was. They are requesting another one which proves that we all provided a great service to the clients."
This success is being found with our Social Service teams throughout the city. Senior Case Manager Benny Rodriguez started a group at Bushwick Family Residence for father’s whom are struggling with homelessn…

Join Our Virtual Rally to End Homelessness In New York City

Care for the Homeless is a sponsoring an advocacy effort everyone can join in. This Thursday, July 18th, all day long, CFH and 137 organization partners in the United to End Homelessness coalition (UEH) are holding a virtual rally! Instead of rallying in the heat, we’re meeting online to spread our message via Twitter that better public policy can end homelessness. When you tweet, use the hash tag #endhomelessnessNYC – and don’t forget to include @CFHNYC.
Instead of signs and handouts, we’ll say it all with tweets and postings. Tweet or post about the need to end homelessness, that policies to end homelessness aren't more expensive than what we’re doing now, that people can help end homelessness by registering and voting, or that CFH works every day to aid homeless people and end homelessness.We hope this rally will capture the attention of NYC’s mayoral candidates and encourage people to register to vote this fall.
Follow messages using the hash tag #endhomelessnyc and every tim…

National HIV Testing Day at Success at CFH

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The Health Education Department celebrated National HIV Testing Day with a fun filled carnival. Complete with balloons, popcorn, raffles, giveaways and interactive booths, the carnival was designed to educate clients on the nature, transmission, prevention, and current knowledge and treatment of HIV and AIDS. To coordinate and execute the event, titled “A Summer Extravaganza”, the Health Education team was joined by members of CFH HIV Advisory Council and the Consumer Advisory Board, as well as the CFH Volunteer Core.  The Extravaganza took place at Susan’s Place on June 27th and at Franklin earlier in the week. Free HIV testing was offered throughout the day and altogether, more than 100 women were in attendance and nearly 40 women tested. For more info on HIV testing and care at CFH, click HERE

A Housing Recovery, but Not for All Americans

Last week Harvard Research Center released a Last week the Harvard Research Center released a study (www.jchs.harvard.edu/research/state_nations_housing ) on housing in America under the heading: A Housing Recovery, But Not for All Americans.  They report “even as the recovery gains momentum, millions of homeowners are still delinquent on their mortgages or owe more than their homes are worth, and severe housing cost burdens have set a new record.” 
Here’s some of what Harvard reported: In 2011 there were 12.1 million extremely low-income renter households and 6.8 million housing units affordable to extremely low-income renters.42.3 million households, 37%, had housing costs over 30% of pre-tax income (high housing cost burden)20.6 million, 17.9%, had housing costs over 50% of pre-tax income(severe housing cost burden)IN NY state 22% of all households were severely housing cost burdenedSeverely housing cost burdened households spend 0ne-third less on food, 50% less on clothing and 80%…

“Homelessness is a challenge, but a challenge that can be solved.”

Last week Philadelphia Michael Nutter gave his farewell speech as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and chose to highlight homelessness as one of the themes. Here’s part of what he said: “Another tragedy that confronts all of us…but one that has new hope of being solved is homelessness…the best way to keep families from experiencing repeated bouts of homelessness is to provide permanent housing as quickly as possible through short-term rental assistance. In other words, don’t keep them in homeless shelters any longer than absolutely necessary…I’ve said that I want Philadelphia to be the first large U.S. city to end homelessness, but I welcome competition from all of you. Homelessness is a challenge, but it’s a challenge that can be solved.”       We couldn’t agree more! As proud New Yorkers, and caring people, we want to take up the challenge! That’s why Care for the Homeless has adopted our “Agenda to End Homelessness” – because it doesn’t have to be like this. As Philade…