Showing posts from August, 2013

"We've still got a long way to go"

Fifty years ago 250,000 supporters of Jobs, Justice and Freedom marched on Washington, helping to open the door for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. Last Saturday, when 100,000 people retraced that route and celebrated the famous Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” speech, the event was still very much about civil rights and economic issues, including availability of affordable housing, ending homelessness and creating jobs and opportunities for vulnerable people all across America.
Care for the Homeless was especially pleased to have the opportunity to have ten of our client leaders, all members of a CFH Advisory Board and active in CFH activities, take part in the event. Of special note, two of the participants last Saturday were there for the historic march 50 years ago.
David Broxton and Bill Bryant went to Washington to stand up for civil rights and opportunities for people in need. Both were in their 20s, but ev…

Poetry workshop promotes healing and personal growth.

Meet Rosalind. A minister who fell on hard times and became temporarily homeless, she now lives at Susan’s Place. Two weeks ago, Rosalind organized a poetry workshop at the shelter, using poetry as therapy, reaching out to others in her situation. Rosalind volunteered to lead this one-hour workshop, called Suite Poetry, which teaches the art of poetry, incorporating styles from around the world.

There wasn't a dry eye in the room as seven women read pieces aloud during the workshop. One woman wrote:
I sat down one day to think How come I was born For since I’m black and known as a slave I’m worked till I’m tired and worn…
This week attendance at the poetry workshop doubled.
Susan’s Place is our 200-bed transitional shelter in the Bronx for mentally ill and medically frail homeless women. On average, women stay at Susan’s Place between six and nine months. Since the program opened in 2008, over 800 women have moved out of homelessness and into permanent housing.
Workshops like Suite P…

"Now I feel like a person again"

Last week, the client leaders of Care for the Homelesscompleted their most successful voter registration drive in their history. They turned 247 completed new voter registration forms in to the New York City Board of Elections and handed out more than 1,250 additional voter registration applications.

The drive by the Care for the Homeless clients included 14 outreach activities at Care for the Homeless sites in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, aimed at homeless or formerly homeless people. It was a nonpartisan effort, not endorsing any candidate or party, but urging everyone to exercise their right to register and vote. Outreach efforts were scheduled at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, drop-in centers and places people experiencing homelessness gather.
“The most exciting thing,” according to longtime Care for the Homeless client leader David Broxton, “is that we registered a number of new voters who thought they weren’t eligible.” He said that happened because “some people w…

Can fashion help change a homeless woman's life? You bet it can.

How? Join us on September 12, 2013 for a Fashion Show Fundraiser to benefit Susan's Place. This fun, splashy event will combine awesome runway fashions from new designers, homeless women showcasing their talents as models, a passionate audience & doing good. Help take a stand against homelessness and promote health empowered beauty. 

In partnership with the Bronx Museum for the Arts, the Fashion Show starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 12, 2013. The evening includes light refreshments, music, contests and more.
Health Empowered Beauty Thursday, September 12, 2013 6:00 p.m. @ the Bronx Museum for the Arts Benefiting Care for the Homeless' Classic Re-Runs at Susan's Place

Saving lives through behavior changes

This July, the Health Education Department promoted disease prevention by outreaching in our shelter sites and surrounding communities. These wellness events, offering health screenings and information, were coordinated with the CFH Social Service and medical teams at our Wards Island and Jamaica Citadel sites.

The National Health Care for the Homeless Council states that "adults who experience homelessness die from heart disease at a much higher rate than those in the general population. One study found that men experiencing homelessness, aged 45 to 64, were between 40 and 50 percent more likely to die from heart disease than their counterparts (Lee, 2005)."

Teaching clients about disease prevention and preventative measures is a year-round focus for Health Educators. In our medical clinics, the team has even expanded their services to include one-on-one health counseling on chronic disease management, weight management and sexual health. Behavioral health is critical in ke…

Approaching that all-too familiar Cliff

With an all-too familiar feel to it, we’re heading towards a Washington fiscal cliff with scant reason to imagine an increasingly divided Congress being able to hit the brakes to avoid it.
The House and Senate spending gap in their “appropriations bills in progress” is $91 billion. The two houses of Congress aren't even operating on a shared premise. The House assumes current sequestration levels as a baseline and delivers another more sequestration cuts. Worse, they abandon shared pain between military and domestic appropriations, applying even larger sequestration cuts only to domestic spending. The Senate assumes no added sequestration in the coming budget and essentially rolls back the current fiscal year’s sequestration, too.
The fiscal new year, October 1, is in sight. Reaching October 1 with no resolution leaves the government without authority to spend on “non-essential” programs. That’d “shut down government” for most programs. It would quickly affect health and human s…

5.1 million more hungry Americans by the end of 2013?

We've been writing about issues in Congress and asking people to let their members of Congress know how they feel. Well, Congress is in recess for the summer now, but before they left town they gave us an even better reason to give them a call.
Congress did not reauthorize the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which most people still refer to as “food stamps,” before they left for vacation. This is a vital program that puts food on the table for millions of poor families, mostly providing meals to poor single moms and their kids. It must be reauthorized by the beginning of the fiscal year 2013-14 year, on October 1, or authority for SNAP ends. SNAP has historically been part of the omnibus farm bill, which protected both farm supports favored by rural members and food stamps favored by members representing urban or rural poorer areas. Year after year farm bills with food stamps have been approved overwhelmingly in Congress, typically without much delay.
But not this…

Volunteer Game Festival is a Success!

United Talent Agency and CFH Volunteer Services hosted the first of many Game Festivals last Friday, July 26th at Susan's Place, our transitional residents for homeless women. The event was called Lunch n' Games, and the group of 12 volunteers seeking some team building through service, spent the afternoon serving lunch and playing board games with the woman of Susan's Place.  The volunteers discovered, amongst the many boardgamers; chess geniuses, Spades masters, scrabble wizzes and more.  At the end of the day UTA presented Bingo complete with prizes and a donation of board games for future game festivals at Susan's Place.

The June Toiletry drive was a success, pulling in thousands of toiletry supplies!  Wednesday, The TRIO youth group of The College of Mount Saint Vincent visited Susan's Place to assemble over 700 toiletry kits, to be delivered to our sites across New York City. While at Susan’s Place the CMSV student volunteers served lunch to the women and mad…