Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Every 3.5 minutes, Care for the Homeless transforms a life

Photos by: (clockwise, l-r) Harvey Wang, Nancy Ribeck, Harvey Wang, Nancy Ribeck, Nancy Ribeck
In less than 3 minutes, you too can change a life by donating to our End of Year fundraising campaign on Crowdrise

Six-year old Jake's medical record includes something that may seem unusual: a copy of his most-improved student award. 

When his dad first came to the Care for the Homeless clinic frustrated and concerned about his son's hyperactive behavior, Jake was failing kindergarten. After his parents lost their jobs, the family fell on hard times and lost their apartment.  

Jake's family has joined a group of more than 60,000 New Yorkers experiencing homeless every night. Unfortunately, his experience is not unique. Families like Jakes' now spend more than 435 days living in NYC homeless shelter before they can find affordable housing. 

Your gift makes life-changing care for Jake and his parents possible. Donate Now. Every $25, 50 or $75 donated to this Crowdrise campaign will be matched by a very generous donor.  

Your investment in health today, will help end homelessness tomorrow. On behalf of 8,000 homeless men, women and children we serve, THANK YOU.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Still Unmet Promise of Universal Basic Human Rights

Jeff Foreman, Director of Policy

Tomorrow, December 10th, is Human Rights Day. It marks the 66th anniversary of the adoption of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Care for the Homeless joins in recognizing the fundamental human rights proclaimed in that document in 1948 including the right to housing.
When the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights it was a vow by the community of nations still standing in the shadow of the horrors of World War II. It was drafted initially by an 18 member international “Drafting” Committee chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, and eventually by a committee composed of delegations from 50 nations. When it was overwhelmingly adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948, eight nations abstained but not a single country voted in opposition.

The Declaration is based on the inherent dignity and equality of all people and the “inalienable rights of all members of the human family”. Among those fundamental human rights enumerated, the Declaration recognizes: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

Today that fundamental human right to food, clothing, housing, medical care, social services and security are still a daily struggle for nearly 59,000 New Yorkers who will sleep in city homeless shelters tonight, and more than 3,000 who sleep rough on the streets on any given day. More than 4 out of ten of our neighbors experiencing homelessness in shelters or on the streets are children.
Even as we celebrate the commitment and positive actions taken by the Mayor and City Council to prevent and fight homelessness, CFH will pause tomorrow to recognize how much more we need to do. We believe modern day homelessness in the U.S. and New York City was created by public policy choices and that better policies can end it. Please join with us in advocating for those policies we know can work to prevent, fight and end homelessness as we know it.

And as we fight for those fundamental values officially adopted out in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Care for the Homeless will continue providing critical medical and social services to many thousands of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness.       

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Care for the Homeless Observes World AIDS Day

Yesterday, December 1st, client leaders of Care for the Homeless (CFH) observed World AIDS Day at the CFH offices at 30 E. 33rd Street in Manhattan. Members of the CFH Consumer Advisory Boards led presentations and discussions about services for people living with AIDS/HIV, current medical programs and advances and the New York State strategy to end the AIDS epidemic in the state by 2020.

Clients, CFH staff and others in attendance heard presentations for consumer leaders including
Calvin Alston, Gayle Dorsky and George Phipps. They lauded efforts announced by Governor Cuomo to end the AIDS epidemic – which he has defined as reducing new cases to the point where there is no net increase in AIDS cases in the state annually – by 2020.

“That’s a lot of ground to cover in the next five or six years,” according to Alston, “but the Governor and the AIDS Task Force have developed a workable three part plan to do just that.”

“As part of the Governor’s plan, advocates and activists like those of us who are client leaders are responsible for raising awareness and educating people about what needs to be done,” Ms. Dorsky said. “And along with promoting AIDS health education we need to work at reducing the stigma for people living with AIDS.”

The two CFH consumer boards are made up of leaders who are CFH patients receiving medical or social services at CFH locations across four of the five city boroughs. The boards provide feed-back and consumer input about CFH operations, organize and run various activities throughout the year including events like the World AIDS Day observance and voter registration drives, and advocate for public policies to prevent, fight and end homelessness.