5 MAR 2015 :: An intersting online visual story about Homelessness in Silicon Valley

I was checking my emails and the one for Sisters of the Road Café (for homeless populations and other who support them) in Portland (Oregon, USA) led me to a site called WRAP, which is an advocacy group for poverty populations, which led me to a story about a woman and child living in a garage for $1000/month.  Somewhere in the process of reading the text and viewing the photo gallery for that story, I found a link to a CNN.com article about children in poverty in the Silicon Valley, CA, which is where all the rich technology companies are. 

This is the link it led me to  ::  http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2015/03/opinion/ctl-child-poverty/  It worked when I checked it. I hope it works for you.

I don't normally watch such long news items (this is a gallery format with video interviews and visuals mixed in with PowerPoint type pages), but this was a subject I am interested in. I had the volume off.  I didn't realize it would be a longer program. I think it would be worth your time.  At the end of the program you are able to link to one of four suggested interventions, or you can link to a place where you can suggest your own strategy for dealing with poverty issues.  I chose to give my own... some of my favorites.

Here are the three questions you can answer, and my replies...


Over the years, I have created and shared many ideas about poverty and its effects.  In watching this presentation, the San Jose campground stood out as a change vehicle.  It looks like a perfect location for an "official" campground for homeless populations... something like a KOA that has necessary facilities for ongoing living, a store that takes food stamps to serve the populations that would live there, an opportunity for tents, pets, food gardens, access to city services, the option for parking homeless vehicles, safe cooking, electricity for lights and heat and other needs, work trades for small fees, separate areas for families and singles, day workers and night workers, possibly safe childcare and education and mentoring options, and more...   -----------  About your suggestions for subsidies...  If the government is willing to pay so much money in subsidized rent, why isn't it willing to create a sense of permanence in housing with mortgage payments instead... which could become equity partnerships... which could become loans from a revolving fund that will increase to help the next homeless family....   Why isn't it willing to invest in tiny homes on small pieces of land and do the financing that no bank will ever do for homeless families...  Why doesn't it use the subsidy money to create Habitat for Humanity partnerships to help homeless populations help each other build their houses and learn those skills in the process...  and Why doesn't the government let homeless families buy the properties they take away and sell to homeless programs for $1.... and Why doesn't it help groups like  Street Roots in Portland to purchase apartment buildings that will house their homeless vendor populations as they rise from the gutters, making the program more involved in the change process with the people they affect....   I could go on and on and on and on....

I used my business email because it would lead you to what poverty inspired in me.  I also have attempted to learn blogging (working-together-inc.blogspot.com) for that reason.  In the past, I tried to increase my income through ebay.com/usr/work2gather  and fiverr.com/work2gather.  I recently discovered etsy.com/shop/work2gather as an income effort. Since then I have been learning about Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest because of my interest in several issues.  I started Working Together in 1987...but poverty issues and other things seem to have taken their toll.  In 2004 I tried to build an online presence.  So far, it hasn't helped too much, but there are other issues that affect my efforts. --  My struggles have led me to see how traditional services that are made flexible for the poverty population could avoid endless cycles of suffering and pain and abuse in poverty populations.   I think each person know what they need... they just need access to those things.  Poverty households don't have access to anything that helps them, they have access to things/programs that help other make money off them.

I think the main suggestion I have been trying to advocate lately is the idea of prison reforms by bringing both the government and the inmate into the internet income arena... creating one site where all US jails and prisons (all levels) can connect and sell the creations of inmates to change the lives of inmates, their families, their victims, the system, and whatever else can be changed, including staff at prisons.  -- The government has to do it because of security and shipping issues, financial issues like restitution and child support, etc.  This also creates another level for fraud and abuse, but I think safeguards could be created to protect inmates and their efforts/income.  ---   At a personal level, I have been trying to create a printed newspaper/newsletter that would reach inmate populations with the news and information they never get in prison...to keep them aware of changes in the world and help them to contact people who will help their situation.  Inmates are forgotten after time passes, and so many don't even get letters from anyone... it would help connect them with the world and offer them information they might not get anywhere in the system, and help with education and connection issues that might keep them going in a better direction...and help them after release.


I hope this will prompt you to view the CNN production, and enter your own suggestions.  They may be able to reach more people with the best of them.