Humanizing homelessness in Long Beach

Joel Roberts’ LA’s Homeless Blog ran a series of posts on the effort last week in Long Beach to survey chronically homeless persons living on the streets, part of the Long Beach Connections Initiative. The goal of the survey was to identify the most vulnerable people living on the streets as part of a community-wideContinue reading “Humanizing homelessness in Long Beach”

Inequality and insecurity, Latin American style

I am currently visiting family and friends in Ecuador, where I cannot help but be confronted daily with poverty and inequality. Having lived here in the early 1990s and returning at least every couple years since then, I’ve been able to observe the changes occurring – some positive but many negative – in this countryContinue reading “Inequality and insecurity, Latin American style”

Vulnerability and hope for foster children

Kids in the child welfare system are among the most vulnerable people in our society.  The educational and socio-economic outcomes for foster youth are staggeringly abysmal.  According to the Child Welfare League of America: There are more than 500,000 in foster care in the U.S., at an average age of 10 years and an averageContinue reading “Vulnerability and hope for foster children”

Steep rise in mass layoffs

Analysis by researchers at the Economic Policy Institute clearly shows the extent to which the economy is losing jobs. Mass layoffs – defined as letting go of 50 or more people by a single employer – have doubled over the last couple years and are at their highest level in the last 15 years. InContinue reading “Steep rise in mass layoffs”

Humanizing homelessness

The Los Angeles Times is largely a shell of its former self, part of an overall downturn in the quantity and quality of newspapers. However, the paper is developing quite a niche in reporting on homelessness (which I guess makes sense because Los Angeles is home to more homeless persons than any other city inContinue reading “Humanizing homelessness”

California Parolees Have a High Need for Health Services; Accessing Services Is a Challenge

By Lois Davis, RAND Corporation As California continues to release more prisoners, most will return to California communities, bringing with them a host of health and social needs. This raises key public health challenges, especially because ex-prisoners are returning to communities whose safety nets have already been severely strained. The RAND Corporation has just releasedContinue reading “California Parolees Have a High Need for Health Services; Accessing Services Is a Challenge”

Trends in LA and CA over the next few years

A common problem in trying to discern trends in poverty and inequality is that the data that we often have at hand are usually not particularly recent. The lag between when data are collected and publicly available can be significant, especially in a rapidly changing economy like we’ve been in over last several months. Also,Continue reading “Trends in LA and CA over the next few years”

The New and Already Poor

Barbara Ehrenreich is perhaps the best popular writer on issues of poverty, inequality and increasing financial insecurity in the U.S.,  chiefly through books such as Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America and Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. In a recent New York Times op-ed, “Too Poor toContinue reading “The New and Already Poor”

Giving was down in 2008; Human service organizations hit hard

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that according to Giving USA’s report findings released today, charitable donations fell by nearly 6% in 2008, the sharpest drop in 53 years. Americans gave over $300 billion to nonprofit organizations in 2008, amounting to about 2% of the gross domestic product. As the article points out, the decline from theContinue reading “Giving was down in 2008; Human service organizations hit hard”

The high cost of poverty

The Washington Post ran an article by DeNeen Brown last month that began with the seemingly contradictory statement, “you have to be rich to be poor.” How can that be? As the article explains, the poor often pay higher prices for goods and services in their neighborhoods, and, perhaps more importantly, they pay much moreContinue reading “The high cost of poverty”