News Briefs for the Week

Chef Arnold Abbott named Advocate of the Year by National Coalition for the Homeless.  He stood up to the bullies in Florida who were holding food hostage down in Ft. Lauderdale.  He is 90 years old and has been repeatedly ticketed for following his religious belief to give out food to homeless people.  He was ticketed on a regular basis after trying to distribute food to homeless people as he had done for over a decade.  Chef Abbott appeared on national news programs regularly to demonstrate the injustice of not being able to get food to its people.  He also challenged the law in court and was able to get a stay of the tickets until a judge makes a decison.

More Republican Governors are opting to expand Medicaid.  This is free money from the health care reform to get the lowest income residents to access affordable health care and it is 100% paid by the federal government.  It is purely political to not accept these funds.  We provide a chart of the amount of money being lost by the states refusing to accept Medicaid expansion

Number of homeless families increasing in the Bay area. As in the Cleveland and many other communities, there is a sharp rise in the number of homeless families.  We have focused our attention on the long term homeless, and families have suffered.  

NBC News covers large number of homeless families.  This is one of the typical stories during the holidays when we turn our attention to those struggling with housing.  It is especially accute this year when families are overwhelming the system or when we have so many kids sleeping in a church floor in the overflow shelters.

National Alliance to End Homelessness has a good summary of the results of the budget compromise on homelessness.   It is $271 million less than the President had requested.  This will keep funding level for the homeless programs and only the housing vouchers for veterans will increase.  It is an amazing change in Washington when advocates are championing that "at least the government will not shut down" as good news. 

Finally, some good news out of Washington with the funding of the National Housing Trust Fund.  The program was created in 2007, but the housing market collapsed and so no funding was ever delivered.  This fund should create and preserve affordable housing in the United States.  Ohio has a state Housing Trust, but Cuyahoga County does not have a local resource to build new housing

Brian Davis

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