BATCH OF NEW 500 MILLION DOLLAR NOTES FOR THE HOMELESS
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Over 900,000 Homeless Kids Are Invisible to USA Department of Housing and Urban Development VIDEO
When I worked as an outreach case manager in Los Angeles nothing was more heartbreaking than when I would have to turn a homeless family away because U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development didn't feel the family was "homeless enough". Denying services to homeless families and unaccompanied homeless children and youth happens because HUD doesn't count them as actually being homeless. I literally have had to tell numerous families that paid for a hotel room the night before, they need to sleep in their car with their children or sleep outside on the ground before we can help them.
HUD's definition of homelessness does not include families living in weekly rate hotels or doubling up, nor does it include unaccompanied adults, children or youth who are living couch to couch. Often the condition of low-end hotels are unfit for kids. Today I listened as Stephenie Van Housen, a school liaison from Iowa City, talked about the hotel where most of their families are staying. She said the hotel is also home to seven registered sex offenders because offenders don't have any place else to live. This last year the hotel received 407 police calls.
In HUD's 2013 point-in-time survey, HUD counted 222,197 households that included at least one child as homeless. However, data from the Department of Education show that more than 1.2 million children nationwide are homeless. I would bet younger siblings who have not enrolled in school are under-represented in the data, so the number homeless children is much higher. Basically, our government is saying over 900,000 homeless kids do not exist!
Sadly, we are seeing a drastic increase in school-aged children who are experiencing homelessness. But without being able to access federal services, families cannot get the support they need to get out of their horrible situations. Due to the narrow HUD definition, only one in 10 homeless children in California is eligible for federal housing programs. Ohio reported 23,748 children experienced homelessness last year, while HUD counted only 4,714 households that includes at least one child as homeless. Only one in five homeless children in Ohio is eligible for federal housing programs. That's just unacceptable!
WE CAN CHANGE THAT! “No child should ever be without a home, let alone be forced to navigate bureaucratic red tape just to prove that they are actually homeless” ~ Rep. Steve Stivers
The Homeless Children and Youth Act has been re-introduced in the Senate by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and in the House by Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA). The bill will expand the definition of homelessness used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The change would allow more than 1 million homeless children and families nationwide to access federal housing assistance programs.
We have an opportunity to help homeless families and homeless children in a tremendous way, and your involvement will make a world of difference. Contact your U.S. Senator and U.S. Representatives and ask them to support the Homeless Children and Youth Act. You can find more information including a link to take action on http://helphomelesskidsnow.org.
I cannot stress how important this is and how much we need you to take action. Please share this post with all of your network and let’s help over 900,000 homeless kids become visible!
FORCED OUT VIDEO
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Homeless man gives student his last £3 to get home and is repaid with amazing gesture
Dominique Harrison-Bentzen, from Preston, is spending 24 hours on the street with the man known only as Robbie and the gesture is warming hearts across the globe
A selfless homeless man offered a stranded student his last remaining £3 so she could pay for a taxi to get home safely.
The remarkable act of kindness has been reciprocated, and she is now spending 24 hours on the street - to raise him much-needed cash for the deposit on a flat.
And Dominique Harrison-Bentzen, 22, has already smashed her target of raising £12,500 for the man, identified only as Robbie.
The University of Central Lancashire student realised she had lost her bank card after a night out on December 4, when the good Samaritan stepped in.
She said: "I suddenly realised that I had no money and a homeless man approached me with his only change of £3.
"He insisted I took it to pay for a taxi to make sure I got home safe."
She didn't take the money in the end but was so touched by the man's kind gesture that she has set herself a mission to help him.
Dominique said: "I ended up posting a status on Facebook to try and find him the next day and it turns out I'm not the only person he has helped."
Robbie appears to have come to the aid of many in Preston city centre, returning wallets to pedestrians and offering his scarf to keep people warm.
And now, the Miss Preston finalist will spend 24 hours with Robbie to raise money to help him get back on his feet.
Dominique said: "He has been homeless for seven months through no fault of his own and he can't get work due to having no address.
"It took me four nights of driving round Preston to find him and I was beginning to lose hope that I would see him again, to thank him personally for his kindness.
"Luckily I had my mum and her car to help me."
She added that she met Robbie in the early hours of December 4, four days later she found him again and the next day, December 9, she went live with her Facebook and fundraising posts and the money started rolling in. See the running total here.
"And I simply can't just give him the money, I have to go through the right channels so I will be spending 24 hours through the day and night as a homeless person to understand the difficulties they face each day.
"If people can sponsor me £3 - as Robbie attempted to give me his only £3 - in the hope of collecting enough to get Robbie a flat deposit so that he can be safe and warm."
Dominique has been overwhelmed by the response, and even Ian Brown from the Stone Roses has tweeted about the event.
"Everyone has been so supportive and I'd love to get as many people as possible out with me on Tuesday to show Robbie our support - be it for the full 24 hours or just one," she added.
"I hope my campaign will help people think a little more about the people around them, Christmas is a good time to think about other people.
"If people can see what I am doing then maybe they can take the time to just stop and talk to a homeless person, hear their story.
• Dominique passed her £12,500 within the first six hours of the 24 she had given herself.
It is a very wet and bitterly cold night on the streets of Brussels. Within minutes of having left their office, Red Cross volunteers find someone living on the streets. Homelessness in modern-day Europe has no boundaries. Red Cross volunteers are assisting people of all ages and from all social backgrounds. 41-year-old homeless man, Lionel Plasschaert, says he was ordered, by his dysfunctional parents, to leave home when he was just 17-years-old. He has a college education and in the past has been employed but now feels that the system has let him down.
People without a home in the EU face reduced life expectancy, health problems, discrimination, isolation and barriers to access basic public services and benefits. Official figures from the European Commission estimate that around four million people are homeless in the EU. Charities, however, argue that the true figure is probably considerably higher. Because of the unprecedented economic crisis in the bloc, the profile of homeless people in the EU has changed. It is no longer just drug, alcohol or gambling addicts who fall victim.
Former professional workers are ending up on the streets and so too are many families with young children. When EU governments and institutions let homeless people down, organizations like the Red Cross have to step in to fill the gaps. Campaigners say homelessness in the EU is already at crisis levels and the problem will get even worse unless radical measures are taken to tackle the causes of poverty in the bloc head on.
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Those Londoners that ignore the homeless lining their streets are not fully aware
of the speed at which
they themselves can end up on the streets through their circumstances changing.
They ignore those suffering at their own peril.
High-profile support: Russell Brand joins London anti-eviction march VIDEO
Comedian and activist Russell Brand joins protesters in central London to demonstrate against a US investment firm that plans to evict almost 100 families from their homes. Some 400 campaigners subsequently marched to hand a petition to PM David Cameron.
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