BOSTON, Mass.—In 2013, Massachusetts’ homeless population was up 25 percent from five years ago, totaling about 19,000 people, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.). In response to this trend, the Joint Committee on Housing called for a legislative oversight hearing in mid-December 2013 to examine the issue from the perspective of advocates, the administration, and even the homeless themselves.
There’s no place like home, but for some disabled and elderly residents across the country home is at a hospital, nursing home, or intermediate care facility despite their desire to transition out of these institutions. In 2011, the Disability and Health Data System (DHDS) reported that over 20 percent of adults in Massachusetts are disabled. Today, 1,800 disabled and elderly residents will be one step closer to a humble abode because of the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Rebalancing Demonstration Grant.
OLYMPIA, Wash.—The state-level campaign to turn off power to the NSA got a big boost January 15, 2014, as Washington became the first state with a physical NSA location to consider a Fourth Amendment protection act designed to make life extremely difficult for the massive spy agency.
When, during the credits of the new Robert Reich documentary, Inequality for All, a Jon Stewart clip appears in which he reveals that the United States ranks 64th in the world in income inequality—the highest in the developed world and beating many third world nations in income disparity—it signals that Reich is going to attack the redistribution of wealth in the United States head on.
Always at our summer party
you would roar up an hour late
on your big Harley Davidson,
late because the cops in Eastham
never let you pass without a ticket.
All those over the years would
pay for a new bike. After fifty
or so guests drifted down the drive
you’d come inside to smoke a joint,
share Ann’s Irish whiskey, lie
back on the red couch, schmooze,
Every six months a different lady
all of them pleasant enough but
none would last, except Josey
finally. You wed her at a pond,
Outside Club Passim, before the show
the reporter asks if JoeGo will give her
a ride; he nods his head, throws his long
leg over the Harley, and says, “Let’s go.”
And she does, but she doesn’t let go; she
holds JoeGo tight around his waist as the
engine roars and he whips out the back alley
onto Brattle Street. I look at my watch and
see that the show is supposed to start in 5
minutes and wonder if they will get back
in time. In time. In time. We’re all running
out of time but most of us don’t think about
Tall, well-dressed and well-spoken, Doug is engaged in a lively conversation about the relative merits of different forms of psychotherapy when we first meet. Doug suffers from what he calls ‘a neurological inefficiency’ and, while this disability is not visible in his appearance or in general conversations, it affects and limits his employability and his ability to engage with the world.
Just before Christmas, a friend sent me an article from the Huffington Post about Pope Francis: “Is Pope Francis Leaving Vatican at Night to Minister to Homeless?” Naturally, I was curious. It seems that the pontiff has “ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women.” While he isn't the first pope to travel about Rome in the evening, he is probably the first to mingle with the homeless, though there are those who claim that Pope John Paul II did the same.
“I recall a tale that my mother told me. It was an old fable about the child in the womb. She said that we, as unborn, contain all the knowledge of our past and future lives within us as we rock in the sea of salt, the ocean of time connecting us to all things inside our mother. Then, in the few moments before we are born, an angel visits us in the womb, whispers into our ears and then says, ‘Sshhh,’ as it presses a finger of heat onto our upper lip below the nose. We forget everything with that touch but the impression of that finger never leaves us.
Homelessness among veterans may become a thing of the past.
In 2009, President Barack Obama and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) secretary Eric Shinseki announced an initiative to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. Veterans are overly represented in the homeless population. They have made up as much as 30 percent of the country’s homeless population at various times over the past two decades, according to a 2013 Congressional Research Service report.