January 16, 2009

Beyond Bread: A Glance at News Across the Nation

President-Elect Barack Obama will take office next week, and I suspect many, if not all, direct-service providers share my curiosity about whether poverty reduction efforts will make it into the new President's speech. How serious is Mr. Obama about housing, healthcare, and literacy efforts? Is he prepared to expand AmeriCorps, Volunteer Corps, and the host of other stipended programs that provide non-profits with crucial support? Many non-profits are in grave danger of shutting down completely. If the role of government isn't the single determining factor determining whether the safety net strengthens or depletes, it certainly makes the top five list. We'll be keeping a close watch during the first 100 days of Mr. Obama's presidency, and in the meantime we'll take our minds off it by following some links.

~West Coast: The Orange County Register has one of the best articulated arguments I've heard for communities taking responsibility for the issue of homelessness in their neighborhoods.

~Midwest: Stone Soup Station out of Nashville has another great entry about the way in which we conceive of the problem of homelessness (namely, that we never think to fully fund the effort).

~East Coast: The Washington Post reports that before the inauguration, all homeless residents within the security perimeter will be carted off to shelters on the outskirts of DC. The problem with that being that the few shelters remaining in DC don't have the capacity to hold all of the estimated homeless.

~National: Poverty in America has a great roundup of links to organizations producing data on poverty.

~Honorable Mention/Story I Feel Guilty for Missing: The Washington Informer has Mr. Obama's designate to HHS, Mr. Daschle, holding a discussion about healthcare with residents of the Congress Heights Senior Wellness Center.

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