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November 10 - 23, 2010

Where the poor and homeless

earn and give their two cents

November 10 - 22, 2010

Volume 8 Issue 2

D STE GE ON G I S U N AT DO

65 cents for the Vendor

35 cents for production of the paper

A Veteran’s Long Journey Home A formerly homeless vet helps his comrades See page 4

Sitting down with formerly homeless veteran Tommy Bennett in his own apartment

Roma still seek a place to call home See page 6

See page 5

Five reasons why veteran homelessness can and will end See page13


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November 10 - 23, 2010

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Our Mission

Street Sense aims to serve as a vehicle for elevating voices and public debate on issues relating to poverty while also creating economic opportunities for people who are experiencing homelessness in our community.

Do you want to continue to support Street Sense throughout the year? Order a subscription today! Not only will you receive 26 issues packed with all our latest news, poetry and photography, you will also help raise awareness about poverty in the D.C. area.

___ YES! I want to subscribe to Street Sense for just $40 a year for 26 issues. ___ YES! I want to give half of the cost of a subscription to my favorite vendor: ______________________________ Name:_________________________ Address:_______________________ City:____________State:__________ Zip: ___________________________ Phone: ________________________ E-mail: ________________________ Please make checks payable to: Street Sense. Mail to: Street Sense, 1317 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20005.

The Story of Street Sense Street Sense began in August 2003 after two volunteers, Laura Thompson Osuri and Ted Henson, approached the National Coalition for the Homeless on separate occasions about starting a street newspaper in Washington, D.C. A street paper is defined as a newspaper about poverty, homelessness and other social issues that provides an income to the homeless individuals who sell it. About 28 street papers operate in the United States and Canada in places like Seattle, Chicago, Montreal and Boston, and dozens more exist throughout the world. After bringing together a corps of dedicated volunteers and vendors, Street Sense came out with its first issue in November 2003, printing 5,000 copies. For the next three years the paper published on a monthly basis and greatly expanded its circulation and vendor network. For the first year, Street Sense operated as a project of the National Coalition for the Homeless, but in October 2004, the organization incorporated and moved into its own office space. In March 2005, Street Sense received 501(c)3 status, becoming a nonprofit organization. In October 2005, Street Sense formed a full board of directors, and in November the organization hired its first employee, a full-time executive director. A year later in November 2006, the organization hired its first vendor coordinator and began partnering with several service providers. In February 2007, the paper started publishing twice a month and to support the increased production brought on its first full-time editor– in–chief in April. As of January 2010 the paper had 72 active vendors and prints about 30,000 issues a month.

Vendor Code of Conduct 1. Street Sense will be distributed for a voluntary donation of $1. I agree not to ask for more than a dollar or solicit donations for Street Sense by any other means. 2. I will only purchase the paper from Street Sense staff and will not sell papers to other vendors (outside of the office volunteers). 3. I agree to treat all others – customers, staff, other vendors – respectfully, and I will not “hard sell,” threaten or pressure customers. 4. I agree to stay off private property when selling Street Sense. 5. I understand that I am not a legal employee of Street Sense, but a contracted worker responsible for my own well–being and income. 6. I agree to sell no additional goods or products when selling the paper. 7. I will not sell Street Sense under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 8. I agree to stay a block away from another vendor and respect the space of all vendors. 9. I understand that my badge is the property of Street Sense and that I will not deface it. I will present my badge when purchasing the papers and display my badge and wear my vest when selling papers. 10. I understand that Street Sense strives to be a paper that covers homelessness and poverty issues while providing a source of income for the homeless. I will try to help in this effort and spread the word.

We are proud members of:

1317 G Street, NW Washington, DC 20005 Phone: (202) 347–2006 North American Fax: (202) 347–2166 Street Newspaper info@streetsense.org Association www.streetsense.org BOARD OF DIRECTORS Lisa Estrada Ted Henson International Brad Scriber Michael Stoops Network of Manas Mohaptra Sommer Mathis Street Papers Kristal DeKleer Robin Heller Jeffery McNeil Jordan Rummel John Snellgrove Dameon Philpotts Martin Walker EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Abby Strunk EDITOR–IN–CHIEF Mary Otto MANAGING EDITOR Lisa V. Gillespie COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND PROGRAM MANAGER Amy Vokes INTERNS Jennifer Steadman, Hayley Burgess, Sam Giffin, Shadaye Hunnicutt, Cynthia Ribas-Santos, Kimberly Kroll Founders Ted Henson & Laura Thompson Osuri VOLUNTEERS/WRITERS Adam Dangelo, Bobby Corrigan, Brett Topping, Carol Cummings, Elia Herman, Elle Leech-Black, Elsie Oldaker, Holly Caesar, James Clarke, Jane Goforth, Jesse Smith, Julia Sanders, Katinka Podmaniczky, Maggie Smith, Mandy Toomey, Margaret Chapman, Mike Plunkett, Nikki Conyers, Parisa Gropper, Rachael Petterson, Rachel Estabrook, Rhonda Brown, Robert Fulton, Roberta Haber, Sara Dimmitt, Sarah Ficenec, Sharon King, Tim Mazzucca, Tracie Ching, Trisha Knisely, Vicki Ann Lancaster, Willie Schatz VENDORS Michael Anderson, Charles Armstrong, Jake Ashford, Lawrence Autry, Daniel Ball, Donna Barber, John Bayne, Kenneth Belkosky, Patricia Benjamin, Tommy Bennett, Jimmy Bigelow, Reginald Black, Emily Bowe, Debora Brantley, Andre Brinson, Cliff Carle, Percy Carter, Peggy Cash, Conrad Cheek, Virginia Clegg, Aaron Conner, Anthony Crawford, Kwayera Dakari, Louise Davenport, Charles Davis, James Davis, David Denny, Ricardo Dickerson, Muriel Dixon, Alvin Dixon El, Deana Elder, Richard Emden, James Featherson, Tanya Franklin, Samuel Fullwood, Larry Garner, David Ger, Marcus Green, Barron Hall, Dwight Harris, John Harrison, Lorrie Hayes, Patricia Henry, Shakaye Henry, Shawn Herring, Derian Hickman, Phillip Howard, James Hughes, Richard Hutson, Margaret Jenkins, Donald Johnson, Alicia Jones, Mark Jones, Clinton Kilpatrick, Hope Lassiter, Brenda Lee-Wilson, Mary Lisenko, James Lott, Michael Lyons, Johnnie Malloy, Kina Mathis, John Matthews, John C. Matthews, Charlie Mayfield, Herman Lee Mayse, Robert McCray, Marvin McFadden, Jermale McKnight, Jennifer McLaughlin, Jeffery McNeil, Kenneth Middleton, L. Morrow, Saleem Muhammad, Tyrone Murray, Charles Nelson, Sammy Ngatiri, Evelyn Nnam, Moyo Onibuje, Franklin Payne, Edward Perry, Gregory Phillips, Tracey Powell, Ash-Shaheed Rabbil, Michael Reardon, Ed Ross, Melania Scott, Chris Shaw, Ronald Simms, J. Simpson, Veda Simpson, Gwynette Smith, Patty Smith, Franklin Sterling, Warren Stevens, James Stewart, Leroy Studevant, Beverly Sutton, Paul Taylor, Sybil Taylor, Steve Thomas, Larissa Thompson, Louise Thundercloud, Deborah Tibbs, Carl Turner, Ronald Turner, Christopher Walker, Jeanette Walker, Joseph Walker, Martin Walker, Robert Warren, Lawless Watson, Paul Watson, Michael J. Welsh, Edna Williams, Sherle Williams, Wendell Williams, Susan Wilshusen, Ivory Wilson, Mark Wolf, Charles Woods, Tina Wright


S treetS ense.org

November 10 - 23, 2010

Canada Outlines Plan to Help At-Risk Youth At least 300 rural youth in Canada will get assistance to avoid homelessness, as a result of support from the Canadian government. “Our government is giving a hand-up to Canadians with housing needs, and is helping those seeking to break free from the cycle of homelessness and poverty,� said Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for LeedsGrenville, “We are pleased to partner with Town Youth Participation Strategies. Through this project, we will help vulnerable rural youth tackle the obstacles that can lead to homelessness, helping them move towards self-sufficiency.� Through the Homeless Partnering Strategy, Town Youth Participation Strategies will receive $225,000 Canadian Dollars to test a project to aid at-risk youth in rural areas and ensure that they get the proper attention to avoid homelessness.

Boston City Council to Hold Hearing on Veterans The Boston City Council is ready to hold hearings on the challenges facing veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, The Boston Globe reports.

The City Council members will address services and resources for veterans to help them readjust to life in the area, and avoid pitfalls such as homelessness and unemployment. The local effort comes on the heels of the White House’s announcement of a five-year proposal to end homelessness among the more than 100,000 veterans in the U.S., The Globe reports.

Churches Offering Addtional Beds to Homeless Sacramento-area faith congregations will house and feed 100 people each night in the coming months to make up for budget cuts that have slashed the county’s winter shelter program. Major Kevin Johnson and other key players announced the shelter plan at a news conference Monday at Trinity Cathedral in midtown Sacramento. Trinity has been housing homeless people for about a year, and a dozen other congregations have agreed to do so this winter or are talking with officials about the possibility, the Sacramento Bee reported. The church-based “nomadic shelter� program is a key part of an overall plan to end homelessness in the region, said Johnson. “Permanent housing for everyone is the

goal,� he said. In addition to churches, homeless people also will be offered beds this winter at existing shelters. A total of about 320 beds will be made available through various funding sources, officials said. “We’re going to make sure that every single person in the city of Sacramento as a place to lay their heads this winter,� said Johnson.

Vigil Honors Homeless Who Died on San Diego Streets Hundreds held a candlelight vigil on Sunday to honor the 50 homeless individuals who died on the San Diego streets during the past year, 10news.com, a local San Diego television station, reports. Many participants carried shoes on the walk, bearing the names of homeless people who died. Walter Swane, who lives in the San Diego Rescue Mission, carried a pair of shoes in honor of Danny Staples, 10news.com reports. “Danny Staples was a very good friend of mine for over 20 years. Lord be with him,� Thane Ansel Emmert said.

U.S. Affordable Housing Lacking, United Nations Finds The United States has a severe shortage of

affordable housing, according to a first-ever Universal Periodic Review (UPR) before the United Nations Human Rights Council.The Universal Periodic Review process holds all UN member nations accountable to international human rights standards. Each country is reviewed every four years. “We welcome the U.S. government’s engagement with the Human Rights Council as an excellent way to lead by example on human rights,� said Maria Foscarinis, executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (NLCHP). “But this engagement internationally must be matched with a commitment to bring human rights home to the U.S. This is especially important for our most vulnerable populations - people fearing eviction or foreclosure, or those already on the streets.� One of the major issues identified by the council was the failure of the U.S. to recognize housing as a human right. The U.S. is expected to respond in writing to concerns raised through the UPR and indicate which recommendations it will accept. The Council’s report, and the U.S.’s written response, will then undergo editing before formal adoption in March 2011. Compiled by Dianna Heitz, from previously published reports.

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November 10 - 23, 2010

One by One Formerly homeless veteran harnesses local and federal housing resources for others Geoffrey Millard is no stranger to the challenges faced by homeless veterans. In fact, he was once a homeless veteran himself. Yet he feels optimistic about reducing the number of homeless veterans thanks to recent local and national policy initiatives. Millard wears pastel business shirts and talks cheerfully about his work, but it isn’t hard to imagine that he was once a soldier. He served in the Army National Guard from age 17 to 26, while taking college classes part-time. Then in October of 2004, Millard was sent to Iraq where he was stationed for 13 months. Upon returning to the United States, Millard joined Iraq Veterans Against the War. He became involved in politics as a grassroots organizer for the group. While organizing on Capitol Hill, Millard sometimes lived hand-to-mouth and slept on park benches. At the time he didn’t realize he was homeless, but it put fire beneath him to “change the world.” “It’s naïve,” he says. “I know. But I still believe that if we do the right work, we can change the way the world works.” It was in 2009 that the Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place (CCHFP), a non-profit organization that aims to enable homeless and formerly homeless adults in upper Northwest D.C., decided to make homeless veterans the focus of its annual symposium. Millard decided to attend. Before long, Millard found himself applying for and then accepting the position of Director of the Homeless Veterans Initiative at CCHFP. While it is clear that the credit belongs to the efforts of many people, Millard has seen the rate of homeless veterans decrease. From 2009 to 2010, the number of homeless people in the District rose by five percent, but the number of homeless veterans fell. The annual homeless enumeration sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments found 497 homeless individuals who identified themselves as veterans living in the District in January of 2010, a 13 percent decrease from 2009. Mayor Adrian Fenty and President Barack Obama have both placed emphasis on the need to house homeless veterans. The US Interagency Council on Homelessness created the first comprehensive plan to end veteran and chronic homelessness by 2015. Last year the Obama Administration an-

PHOTO By Geoffrey Millard

By Adam Sirgany, intern

nounced plans to expand Veterans Administration services to 500,000 by 2013, in par t by increasing the VA budget by $25 billion dollars through that time period. Millard speaks excitedly about the HUD-VASH initiative, a supportive housing program piloted in D.C. “Both the White House and the VA want DC to be the flagship for the country,” he says of the program, which prioritizes homeless vets. “We are the model. We want to make it a model where we end homelessness among veterans.” The D.C. HUD-VASH program has tried to do the same. The first HUD-VASH vouchers were granted on December 17th, 2009, and in that round, 175 veterans were placed in housing. Another round of 175 veterans are being housed now. And federal efforts have trickled down to encourage other programs to assist homeless vets as well, Millard said. Millard explains that, in the case of D.C., progress made through programs such as HUD-VASH is being assisted by positive “mentality changes” in the VA, including reduced caseloads for VA caseworkers, especially among those serving the most vulnerable vets. “We have a lot of work to do,” he says. “We are nowhere near ending homelessness among vets.” Millard explains that homeless Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans are usually quickly identified and housed. In spite of progress, an estimated 107,000 former service men and women remain homeless nationwide, nearly half of them veterans of the Vietnam War era. For Millard, these are harsh truths, but not insurmountable ones. When asked about the potential of ending veterans’ homelessness, he is very optimistic. “I think we can do it,” he said. “We just need to put the resources where they need to be.” “There are neighborhood meetings all the time that influence policy. If you are involved in your local community, you’re involved in public policy,” he said. “I’m a believer in participatory democracy. Not vote-every-four-years democracy. Democracy is every day.”

Using a Holiday for Action By Shadaye Hunnicutt, intern Emily Button, Washington program director for the United States Veterans Initiative spends her days trying to help homeless vets back into housing. “Seeing veterans everyday who are homeless is very difficult,” she said. “It’s the highlight of my life when I do my job effectively and am able to put people in housing permanently.” Button is convinced that housing is a essential component in rebuilding veterans’ lives. “Housing is the corner stone in making sure they get stable jobs,” said Button. On November 11, The United States Veterans Initiative and another nonprofit, A Wider Circle will team up for a special Veterans Day project. They will be furnishing four, two-bedroom units of permanent supportive housing for eight formerly homeless and disabled veterans. The US Veterans Initiative has the goal of helping military veterans and their families with provision of housing, counseling, career development and comprehensive support. The organization says it

has helped 19,000 at risk veterans in some way. Getting an accurate idea of the size of the homeless population is notoriously difficult, and estimates of homeless veterans vary widely. The United States Veterans Initiative believes that more than 1,400 veterans are homeless in Washington, D.C. a far larger estimate than that provided by the annual homeless enumeration conducted by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. “We do a veterans day event every year, but this year we decided to actually make the action our event,” said Button. With the generous donation of new bed sets from Mattress Discounters, and logistical help from A Wider Circle, which has helped to furnish 7,159 home since 2002, eight veterans will be able to move into the Washington View housing complex and begin getting their lives back on track. “We are so grateful to A Wider Circle and all of our partners in this project for creating a special move- in day for the veterans,” said Button. For information on how to volunteer email ebutton@usvetsinc.org.

Pausing to Remember on Veterans Day Veterans Day began as Armistice Day, established to honor Americans who had served in World War I. While the holiday is still observed on Nov. 11, the day World War I ended in 1918, these days, Veterans Day pays respect to veterans of all wars, honoring their patriotism and willingness to sacrifice for their country. Here are some local events planned to honor veterans and their service this Veterans Day, Nov. 11: Vietnam Women’s Memorial, 9 a.m. to noon and 2p.m. to 5 p.m. Vietnam-era veterans and the children of veterans tell personal stories about their wartime experiences. Constitution Ave. and Henry Bacon Drive NW, Washington D.C. For more information call 301-314-8505. Arlington National Cemetery, 11 a.m. Annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Across the Potomac River from Washington in Arlington, Virginia at the end of the Memorial Bridge. Seating in the amphitheater is limited so guests needing seats are encouraged to arrive at least half an hour early. For more information call 703-607-8000. Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, a day of special activities include at 11 a.m., a patriotic concert by all-veterans barbershop chorus; at 2 p.m., a wreathlaying

ceremony at the tomb of George Washington and, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. a costumed “Martha Washington” re-enactor relates her wartime experiences. Active duty military and personnel and veterans admitted free of charge. Wreathlaying included in regular Mount Vernon admission. The barbershop concert and the Martha Washington programs are free. Mount Vernon Estate is located at the southern terminus of the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Mount Vernon, Virginia. For more information call 703-780-2000. Luncheon to Honor America’s Forgotten Heroes, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Central Union Mission will host a lunch for local homeless veterans. Special guests will include retired military officers and officials from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Central Union Mission 1350 R St NW, Washington, D.C. For more information call 202-MISSION. Welcome Table Dinner in Honor of Homeless Veterans, noon to 3 p.m. Music, fellowship, homemade chicken cacciatore and pasta with meatballs. Meal limited to first 300 guests. Sign up at front entrance. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. The Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G Street NW, Washington, D.C. For more information please call 202347-2635.


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November 10 - 23, 2010

After the War, Veteran Continues Battle

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Street Sense Vendor relays his story of war and homelessness

Back in the early 70’s, as Tommy Bennett said, they didn’t call it the Vietnam War. They called it a conflict. At first, his job as a member of the U.S. Navy was just to watch the border; they weren’t supposed to be fighting. Then they got the orders to go to war. Bennett’s focused gaze became distant as he recounted stories of the war. Although he wasn’t able to reveal any information about his mission, he said “I had to do what I had to do. When you got orders you’ve got to carry them out.” Upon returning to the United States, Bennett and his fellow soldiers were faced with criticisms by protestors of the war, who called them “baby killers” and said that they had no business being in Vietnam. The veterans received therapy and were monitored for signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In addition to that help, Bennett and his friends from the war got together to talk about their experiences in Vietnam and helped each other through it, because nobody else understood what they had gone through. Some of his friends were so stressed they wanted to kill themselves, but he told them not to. The world seemed changed. Depression enveloped him. He got help, but was still depressed. He drew into himself. “I saw so much over there…When I get depressed, I don’t want to be around nobody,” he said. To cope with the depression, Bennett started doing drugs and drinking. “I gave up,” he said. “I gave up on life. I gave up on everything… It was the seven most miserable years of my life.” When he began using drugs, which he refers to as entering the “dark world,” he found himself without an apartment and living in shelters in D.C. He started off at the Franklin School shelter, in Northwest, and later, he moved on to 801 East in Southeast, or as he calls it, “Hellhole 32.” He disliked having no privacy and always having to watch himself. The shelters were anything but home. So he made a plan to get out, to reclaim his life. Six years ago, he met a man named Jose, who told Bennett to give himself a chance and encouraged him to attend a Street Sense seminar. Although he was skeptical at first, “When I sold my first paper, I said ‘Oh man, this thing does work!’” He turned to a treatment center to get help and his counselors told him he could start his life over. They stressed the need

for him to surround himself with the right people, places, and things. He followed their advice. Bennett has now been sober for seven years. Other fellows in the shelters where he was staying started turning to him for advice. He decided he wanted to pursue drug counseling as a career. To make this a reality, he is currently going to school to get his GED and is a junior drug counselor at his former clinic, where he is currently working with veterans from Virginia. He ultimately wants to help everybody, and not just veterans. “I can’t keep this, I have to give it away,” he said. “It’s not about me, it’s about helping.” In the meantime, he kept up his fight for housing. And seven months ago, Bennett stepped foot in his own apartment in Southeast D.C. It’s a one bedroom place. He smiled as he talked about its wall to wall carpeting, but the best part isn’t in the aesthetics: it’s having some place he can call his own. “I can go in there anytime I want,” he said. “[I can] watch TV, eat what I want to eat, relax, get peace of mind.” In terms of advice for others, Bennett said you have embrace a goal and not let go. You must say to yourself “I’m going to do this thing. It’s mine. I’m going to get it.” Hope is a start, but the rest is work, Bennett says. “Hope is only getting halfway there.”

PHOTO By jane cave

By Hayley Burgess, editorial intern

Tommy Bennett makes a cup of tea in his apartment in Southeast D.C., which he’s lived in for seven months. Bennett was on drugs for seven years and has now been sober for seven years.


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November 10 - 23, 2010

Will the New Winter Plan Work? Officials in charge still doubt that the accomodations will suffice By Cynthia Santos, intern For city officials responsible for protecting the homeless from hypothermia, the winter season began Nov. 1. Homeless advocates generally agree that in theory, the new winter plan provides enough beds to shelter the city’s homeless single men and women during hypothermia season. It allocates a total of 1,396 shelter beds for men and 431 for women. Yet those familiar with the plan also continue to worry about whether the plan will actually work. “Here’s the plan. Now we have to talk about implementation,” said Chapman Todd of Catholic Charities, who serves on the city’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, which is charged with developing the winter plan. Todd was speaking at a recent meeting of the Coalition of Housing and Homeless Organizations, where the people who run shelters and other homeless programs had

The District’s annual homeless enumeration found a total of 800 homeless families, an increase of nearly 14 percent since last year.

gathered around a long table to ponder the challenges of the winter ahead. Those gathered for the meeting and those back at their offices worried whether shortages of shelter space in some neighborhoods or failures in the system designed to move homeless people from one place to another might leave someone stranded with tragic consequences. “It’s our responsibility to let the District know what’s happening on the ground,” Todd said. According to data from previous winters, problems often arise when people seek shelter late at night only to find all the beds full. In order to avoid being turned away, transported to a distant shelter, or stranded without a place to stay, homeless people in need of beds are being urged to arrive at shelters as early as possible. A hotline monitoring system has been established to track such incidents, which is designed to keep a running tab of available beds in each shelter and updated every hour. Despite these efforts, many of the people who provide homeless services agree that the system sometimes does not work perfectly. In addition, the growing number of families in need of shelter space is a continuing concern as the cold weather settles in. This year, the plan the plan provides for 315 living units for families.

Last winter, the city’s largest family shelter, the currently closed D.C. General Hospital, was overwhelmed by needs. More than 200 families were lodged in the aging facility, in space normally used for 135 families. The facility is slated to accept 135 families again this winter. Yet demand is growing. “The number of families experiencing homelessness in our city is growing steadi- -Jamila Larson, executive director and ly,” said executive director co-founder of Homeless Children’s Playand co-founder of Homeless Children’s Playtime time Project Project (HCPP) Jamila Larson, which provides activifigures compiled by the Interagency Council. ties for the children staying at DC General. For the 2010-2011 hypothermia season, the “This year we’re concerned that the need is government has allotted $2.2 million to opagain underestimated…they allotted space erate hypothermia shelter locations. for only 135 families (at DC General), but in “The bottom line is there aren’t enough our opinion, that’s not enough.” shelter beds for families and there aren’t Homeless families have often been called enough affordable housing opportunities the hidden homeless because they aren’t to stem the tide,” Larson said. “Last year the obviously spotted, said Larson, but the city’s winter plan wasn’t adequate, especially for problem has become hard to ignore. The families. That’s where the city fell short.” District’s annual homeless enumeration found a total of 800 homeless families, an See video on the plan on increase of nearly 14 percent over last year. streetsense.org Between April and June of 2010, 517 families applied to the city for shelter, according to

The number of families experiencing homelessness in our city is growing steadily. This year we’re concerned that the need is again underestimated...they allotted space for only 135 families (at DC General), but in our opinion, that’s not enough

Residency Requirement for Homeless? By Tim Young, volunteer

Local officials are discussing controversial new legislation that would require homeless people to prove city residency in order to receive government-funded housing in the District. The legislation is aimed at preserving scarce housing resources for homeless families who are District residents, officials say. But homeless advocates worry the law is unfair and too broad and will make it even more difficult for vulnerable people to find shelter in the District. On Monday, November 8, the city council met to mull the changes to the Homeless Services Reform Amendment Act, which are set to be voted upon no later than mid-December. According to critics, including the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, asking desperately poor and homeless people to produce proof of their residency is imposing an unrealistic burden.  Representatives from the city Department of Human Services disagreed.  According to the new legislation, residency can be proven by multiple methods:  chil-

dren registered in school and families successfully registered with other safety-net programs will be considered to have residency in the District of Columbia. There are currently 185 homeless families living in government-provided housing in Washington.   According Clarence Carter, Director of the City’s Department of Human Services, the plan is to nearly double this number and to house 335 families in the next 10 months.   According to Carter, in order successfully accomplish this and truly aid those in Washington, stricter verification of residency must be met.   Council members Tommy Wells and Michael Brown spoke in support of the residency requirement.   Wells, who presided over the hearing, said he has a deep concern that funding which is set to aid residents of Washington should be preserved for D.C. natives. “(The District of Columbia is) going to have to ration resources,” in order to provide homes to families in need. Invoking the city’s budget troubles, Wells continued by saying that in rationing the City’s limited resources. “The most difficult choices (must be made to benefit) the most vulnerable.”

Councilman Brown said he sympathized with those who have found themselves without homes in the District and hoped that this legislation aids their cause.  “The face of homelessness has changed,” began Brown, it now includes those who are “enrolled in school and working.”   He said his main concern in passing these new regulations is that money set aside for residents in the City do not go to residents of other states who cross the border to attempt to receive benefits.  According to Director Carter, only 25 percent of the total number of homeless families are funded solely by the District of Columbia.  Federal stimulus money that had been earmarked to fund the remaining 75 percent of this population run out at the end of 2011, creating a $25 million dollar gap in the budget for 2012.   This gap will increase again in 2013, leaving the city to either cut programs or find new sources of funding.   The Homeless Services Reform Amendment Act does nothing to stop these budget shortfalls, creating only stricter methods for receiving city provided benefits.


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November 10 - 23, 2010

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‘We are not ashamed, we are proud of being Roma’ The racist slurs are shrugged off by Marcella Ungureanu, 32, who was one of the first Roma to move to Manchester in search of a better life.   “People sometimes make us feel that we should have shame for being Gypsies but there is no shame in it,” she says. “In Romania the word for Gypsy - tsigan - is a negative thing, an insult. But it is our identity - this is what we are. We are not ashamed, we are proud of being Roma and of our culture. Yes, there are some people in Manchester who say bad things about us, but you get that everywhere and most people here are kind.” Ungureanu is dressed in the typical style of a Romanian Roma woman - with a long patterned skirt and a loose headscarf. She has an open face, sparkling eyes and wears a permanent, disarming smile. Speaking partly in English and partly through an interpreter, she explains that like many Roma from her country she never got the chance to go to school and married young, at just 14. She gave birth to her first child two years later but life was difficult and jobs hard to come by for anyone, especially Roma. In 2003, she and her husband Daniel came to the UK and settled in the Gorton neighbourhood of Manchester. Today, two of their four children live in Romania with their grandmother, and the family share their home with another Roma woman. The main challenge for her community is work, she says, before asking whether we know of any jobs. The Ungureanus make ends meet by selling The Big Issue in the North but she would like to clean or look after children and her husband wants to find work fixing satellite dishes. She smiles. “Most of us want to work but the problem is that we can’t get jobs. I think it’s unfair that people judge us because a few Romanian Gypsies do bad things. British people look at us and are scared because they think we are different. They say we are criminals but they are wrong. We go to church and we don’t drink or smoke. We are not fighters. We like to stay together, we like to be quiet and stay out of trouble. There is no reason to be afraid of us because we are good people.” There are between 10 and 12 million Roma across Europe. Linguistic clues sug-

PHOTO By The Big Issue

By Ciara Leeming, The Big Issue

There are between 10 and 12 million Roma across Europe. Linguistic clues suggest they originate from northern India and moved through Persia, Turkey and into the Balkans, with migrations brancing off into Russia, Scandinavia, France and the Iberian peninsula and the British Isles.

gest they originate from northern India and moved through Persia, Turkey and into the Balkans, with migrations branching off into Russia, Scandinavia, France and the Iberian peninsula, and the British Isles. Over recent years a new wave of migration has been taking place, with central and eastern European Roma moving west - first as asylum seekers and more recently as members of the enlarged European Union. Slovakian Roma have been living in Glasgow for the best part of a decade, and other UK cities are home to Ro m a f r o m Po land, Hungary and elsewhere. A community of Czech Roma has formed in Salford. About two million of Romania’s 22 million people are thought to be Roma. Not all are poor but the vast majority live in poverty and face high levels of discrimination. It is not difficult to understand why so many have left but the hysterical reporting of the recent crackdowns in France and other countries risks turning some into pariahs in their chosen cities. Standing with his friends on a tightly packed terraced street on the border between Gorton and Longsight, one of the

most multicultural areas of Manchester, 16-year-old Florin Calin, one of a handful of young Roma men who speak really fluent English. A thoughtful and articulate young man, he is exactly the kind of Roma that some believe could help his community thrive in Manchester if offered some encouragement and a helping hand. For Calin’s family too, life in Gorto, however imperfect, is preferable to the alternative back in Romania. They arrived as asylum seekers in 2002 and were sent to Gorton after an initial stint in London. Once given . leave to remain, father Gima found work selling The Big Issue in the North. Calin and his brother were the first to complete high school. “Until about two years ago, very few of the children went to school,” he says. “My brother and I were the only ones for a long time but now about 70 percent are being educated. In many countries you have to pay to put children through school so Roma families can’t always afford it. There are about five of us young people who speak really good English now and two of my cous-

We like to stay together, we like to be quiet and stay out of trouble. There is no rea-

son to be afraid of us, because we are good people

ins are working at the school as translators. So it’s worthwhile. Once I get my papers from Romania I hope to find work doing this as well.” It was partly economics that drew many within the community to the UK, he explains, and cultural preferences are behind the fact that so many Romanian Roma moved to one relatively small neighbourhood. They have links to another community in London. “What a lot didn’t realise though is that it is not really possible for them to find jobs in the UK because of the law. That’s why so many of them are selling The Big Issue in the North. “Now the council has started making that difficult. My family used to receive housing benefit but in February that was stopped because they say selling the magazine is not self-employment. This happened to a lot of people. We have appealed. It is very difficult but we just have to find other ways to get on. A lot of Roma people believe this is happening because they want us to leave Longsight. “Manchester’s my home though - I’ve grown up here. If I went to Romania I wouldn’t know how to find my house. People around here are generally fine. There are some rude people who shout names but we are okay. We try to keep out of trouble. We just want to get on with our lives.”  


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November 10 - 23, 2010

Dear Street Sense Supporters, As you may know, The Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Walkathon is fast approaching, and we're excited about participating. We are proud to walk in partnership with four area organizations. If you haven’t already done so, please remember to sign up for the November 20 walkathon at the National Mall. This event raises money that goes directly to help those affected by homelessness in the Washington, D.C. area, and it is such a great way to show our support for the cause. As Street Sense is not a direct beneficiary, we are walking on behalf of our partners: DC Central Kitchen, Miriam’s Kitchen, Back On My Feet, and Sasha Bruce Youthwork. I strongly encourage you to sign up to choose one of these wonderful organizations to support that day. Please pass this information on to your friends and colleagues. Read on for information on each organization: Help support DC Central Kitchen’s innovative approach to ending hunger and homelessness through its Culinary Job Training program, its Fresh Start Catering company, and its First Helping Homeless Outreach program. With every dollar, Miriam’s Kitchen can prepare a healthy, homemade meal for our guests. That means your registration fee will help us provide meals for 25 of our guests! You can enjoy a nice morning with fellow volunteers (and maybe friends and family too!) on the Mall. We will even meet before the walk for a brief street yoga session and some tasty breakfast treats made by our bakers. If we recruit 1,100 people to walk with us, we’ll receive an extra check for $20,000! Help Back On My Feet meet their GOAL of 3,000 WALKERS (there's a big bonus for hitting that goal!) to walk on behalf of BOMF during the event at the National Mall on Saturday, November 20, 2010, in a separately organized mini-walk, or as a virtual walker. Stay tuned for more information on its post-walk Thanksgiving turkey picnic! 100 percent of ALL registration fees and sponsorship contributions benefit Back On My Feet! The mission of Sasha Bruce Youthwork is to improve the lives of runaway, homeless, abused, and neglected and at-risk youth and their families in the Washington area. We achieve this by providing shelter, counseling, life skills training and positive youth development activities to approximately 1,500 youth and 5,000 family members each year. Sasha Bruce Youthwork seeks to support and empower vulnerable young people and families by building on the strengths of each young person and family. Through its 16 different programs, SBY works to provide youth with the tools they need to curb high-risk behaviors, stabilize their living situations, and lead meaningful and productive lives. Amy C. Vokes Community Development and Program Manager


*Messaging and data rates may apply. © 2010. Fannie Mae. All rights reserved.

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November 10 - 23, 2010

Use your feet to lend a hand JOIN US FOR THE HELP THE HOMELESS WALKATHON Saturday, November 20, 2010 on the National Mall Register online at helpthehomelessdc.org or text “HOME” to 69866* FAN300 | HTH 2010 | Pub: Street Sense | Full Pg | Trim: 10x12.25 | 4C | Issue Date: 11/10

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November 10 - 23, 2010 Street Sense and Miriam’s Kitchen, which provides healthy homemade meals and comprehensive case management services to homeless men and women in Washington, DC, have formed a “Poetry Partnership.” Through this collaboration, Street Sense vendors and Miriam’s Kitchen guests will have the opportunity to express themselves on a wide range of topics. These poems are among the first fruits of this partnership. We look forward to publishing many more.  

o R e

h T

Mr Frost, I so often ponder upon your words of wisdom.

k o

o T I

For Now By Paul Lee Taylor

It is so quiet and still. Calmness is all around me and it feels so good! No worries or cares do I have for now.

I am highly conscious of times past. I think of prehistoric people and how they wonder at the world.

Future civilizations traveling through space, looking for something complacent to set their feet down on. No worries or cares do I have, for now.

But, now life's struggle recently left me homeless and forelorn.

Now, the Office of Veteran's affairs becomes a place of safe refuge.

For this homeless Vietnam veteran, no longer hanging upon a ledge.

Oh, woe is me, what happened to me, how did I arrive here? Woe is me.

I can't recall the road I took, I don't know what happened. I just cannot see. I look back at my last journey and it's all a fog. It's as if I’m experiencing deep grog.

I see something strange, I never saw the road I followed, I must have been blind. Was this the reason I stumbled along and fell behind?

photo courtesy of Flirckr/wisargerich

d a

By James Morris

As I try to recall my adventures, all I see is "The road not taken."

I never saw the road I was on, for all I dreamed about was the road I had forsaken.

Injured and lame I cried and wished for the road that forked away, an Air Force career. Tears roll down into a glass of water that for others might have held steady beer. For it seems, others have fallen harder than my tumble

For, in retrospect, compared to their state, it only seems a stumble. I no longer dream of the road I did not take. For now, I see the road I did follow.

I see much learning and wisdom on the path which I did stumble and had much strife. I wish to now begin to aid others to pick up their lives and return to their road of life. My new purpose and goal now shines bright, now I seek to unravel. So I can get back on my road of life, and this time, really travel. Getting healed is now teaching me all kinds of new excitment. I'm discovering life is now losing my resentment.

For now, as I recover my senses, I feel like a kid again.

Wanting to tell everyone I meet, just how and why I fell into strain.

Further, I want to grab one and all and tell of exciting things in store for my life.

In which I now expect to have a new life in which I can march to the tune of a fife. Off I go into the wild blue yonder, flying high into the blue.

Up I do soar, into the stratosphere, where eagles are not taboo


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November 10 - 23, 2010

11

The Boston Tea Party, Let freedom ring.

By Robert Warren, vendor

Let

Freedom Ring The signs with words of protests what does it all mean? The look of the Red Coats loudly proud as can be. They are a part of America, Let freedom ring. They call themselves the Tea Party, of all things, they don’t believe in taxes for healthcare and things, and helping poor Americans it seems. Let freedom ring, They are the Tea Party, marching on Washington asking for things, not representation, what does that mean? No taxation without representation, was the Boston tea party plea. Let freedom ring. No representation is the tea party dream, they don’t like the president, is it a color thing? Let freedom ring. A call to bear arms is it a racist dream? One nation under God. Do the Tea Party followers believe, in helping your fellow American and letting freedom ring? They talk of state rights is it a white thing? In what state right do Tea Party follower believe? Men would say not as most Americans believe. God bless America and let freedom ring. One man one vote the Tea Party of America Let freedom ring. The Tea Party followers of America are free to say what they believe Let freedom ring. I don’t believe they’re real Americans, who believe in the American dream, helping your fellow American is not the tea party plea. God bless America and let freedom ring. The old thoughts of the Tea Party will always be, tell LORD of us all set us in heaven or hell to be forever Let freedom ring.

GOD bless America


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November 10 - 23, 2010

How Democrats can Restore Dignity By Jeffery McNeil, vendor The dust has settled from the seismic shift from liberal progressives to cultural conservatism. The message Democrats received was that America went too far left and alienated the heartland. However, when a team is blown out, such as the Democrats were this midterm election, it’s time to go back and evaluate what we did right and what is needed to prevent the Republicans from winning the ultimate prize, the presidency. President Obama has miffed many of his supporters who believed in his message of hope. We did not elect him to be the great conciliator. I do not understand his strategy of tea settings and olive branches, while his enemies bring bats and axes for a meeting. In his effort to please his enemies and independents, he has alienated his base, which are minorities, labor, and defenders of civil rights: his base. He’ll need us in the reelection. His “Team of Rivals”’ strategy has been

an overwhelmingly disaster and that is one reason there was a break from him to the republicans. We do not want him to be a conciliatory president. We want some fight in him and to make a stand for the people who got him there.

Underestimating the Heartland The Madison Avenue liberals and college educated professors kill elections with their intellectual snootiness. Their strategy of portraying southerners as a bunch of inbreeds that are far removed from the sophistication of the more refined Bostonians and New Yorkers, this elitism did not work with Reagan, it did not work with Bush, and I feel they are underestimating Sarah Palin. The heartland may not no the intricacies of the Geneva Convention, but they know that there are no jobs in their town, and the few jobs that are available are given to immigrants, and their misguided anger is directed at liberal policies that come from Washington. Many are homeowners whose land has

been passed on for generations and feel government is far reaching with taxes. They are gun owners that don’t want environmentalist telling them they don’t want them to live off the land or use there boats They do not want government intrusion, and the Democrats fail to realize, to win the heartland, you must be one of them. You have to win their trust; candidates can win in the south by dinner table conversations. Quote scriptures, from the bible, be their equal rather than some arrogant liberal who tells them how bad the republicans are. Harry Truman once said “I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they think its hell.”

The Madison Avenue liberals and college-educated professors kill elections with their intellectual snootiness. Their strategy of portraying southeners as a bunch of inbreeds that are far removed does not work.

The Money Train James Madison foretold in a must read for everyone “Federalist Papers 10” who loves freedom. The return to the “Golden age of Capi-

talism” is in full swing, We saw the war to come with enormous amount of money to oust Democratic stalwarts such as Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer. According to James Madison, “controlling its effects,” creates opportunity for Democrats to counteract against this assault on Democracy. Harry Truman countered an utter rout by using “The Whistle Stop Tour” Democrats should spend less time in Washington and go to your districts and listen to their constituents. Have lunch with your town, go fishing with them, win the hearts and minds and show you care and we can beat back greed.

Thank you to our October Donors! Catherine Crum David Greenberg George Trecarten

Gail Knisely John and Phyllis Otto Marilyn Ginsberg

Schwab Charitable Fund Tanya Abrams Veronica Slajer

Robert Fehrenbach in recognition of The City Church Jason Eichelbaum in recognition of the Hronis-Eichelbaum Wedding

A special thanks to our recurring contributors, who make it possible for Street Sense to depend on monthly funds to support important strategic initiatives. Alysha Chadderdon Bill Perkins Heidi Schoenberger-Cobert Lara Thornely Hall

Lauren Lipchak Melani McAlister Michael Mavretic Robin Goracke

Sharyn Meister Valorie Lee Brenda Lee Wilson

And thank you to all of our 2010 Silent Auction Winning Bidders! With special thanks to Evan Knisely and Roland Arteaga for supporting the creation of a Street Sense Office Art and Photography Wall, featuring the photography of Washington Post photographer, Mark Gail; cartoonist Gene Weingarten and others.


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November 10 - 23, 2010

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FIVE REASONS

Veteran Homelessness is a Solvable Problem By Mary Cunningham

Are the Huge Numbers Manageable?

According to VA estimates, some 107,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. While this number demonstrates that far too many veterans are homeless, it’s a number policymakers can wrap their hands around. It shows that with some investment in housing and services, we can help those currently homeless get back into permanent housing.

PHOTO cOurTesy Of sTevenMcdOnald

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki is spearheading a plan to end homelessness among veterans in five years. Is homelessness a solvable problem or is this an empty promise? Here are five reasons why research suggests that it’s possible for the VA to reach its goal.

Does Avoiding the Issue Cost More?

Adults who are homeless for long periods are frequently users of public services. They are in and out of emergency shelters, jails, hospital emergency rooms and substanceuse detox and treatment facilities. These services are costly. Research conducted by Dennis Culhane at the University of Pennsylvania shows that permanent supportive housing is successful in helping chronically homeless adults stay housed and that the bill for providing supportive housing can be offset by a decrease in the use of other public services. In other words: it costs a lot to do nothing about homelessness.

New Veterans, Same Problems?

G N I H T Y EVER y 2010

Are Housing Vouchers Successful?

Research shows that supportive housing

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Most veterans who are homeless served in the Vietnam era, and many showed up in homeless shelters years after the war. New data show that veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are slowly trickling into homeless shelters too, and their numbers will most likely swell if nothing is done to help them. The VA has learned a lot since the aftermath of Vietnam and appears determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past. The VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced a new homelessness-prevention demonstration program that will target veterans, particularly those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom are suffering from high rates of PTSD, before they show up at the front door of emergency shelters.

8:30 pm

– housing linked with intensive services – for chronically homeless veterans with serious mental illness or disabilities can help even the most vulnerable veteran come in off the street. In the past few years, Congress has expanded HUD-VASH, the supportive housing program administered jointly by HUD and the VA, by about 30,000 housing vouchers. If congressional appropriations for this program remain constant over the next five years, the VA will be very close to reaching its goal of ending homelessness among veterans.

Innovation is a Must!

Just as a corporation invests in product testing and market research to improve its bottom line, the VA must invest in research and development to identify new, successful interventions for homelessness and measure and monitor progress. Policymakers have learned a lot about how to end homelessness among veterans; the next step is more

research on prevention. To incubate and test innovative responses, the VA launched its National Center on Homeless Veterans in 2008. Staffed by practitioners and researchers, this center over the next few years will provide the VA with better estimates of the size of the problem, share best practices from around the country, and pilot new interventions to prevent and end homelessness among veterans. If you are currently homeless or at risk of homelessness and are a veteran, you can call 1-877-4AID VET. The call center is open around the clock and a counselor will direct you to the appropriate services at a local community organization or VA Medical Center. Mary Cunningham is a senior research associate wit the Urban Institute This article first appeared in Veterans’ Vision

www.listentothebody.com

Over 400 volunteers needed to prepare over 10,000 servings of food

Give thanks this Thanksgiving holiday, in a very special way: prepare Thanksgiving side dishes for people in need at local community kitchens, transitional housing facilities and homeless shelters. Don’t wait—this volunteer program fills up quickly every year!

Get all the details you need at washingtondcjcc.org/volunteer

Massage Therapy Elizabeth Bourne, LMT Adams Morgan 202.253.0941 30% off 1st massage with this ad


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November 10 - 23, 2010

Galaxy Baseball: Part 4 By Ivory Wilson, vendor Tim said, “Okay, let’s play baseball, guys. I guess I’ll be the umpire.” To decide who will bat first, Tim pulled cotton strings from his T-shirt, put them together in his hand and made a fist. Tim said, “Okay Jumper, pick one. Whoever gets the short string will take the field.” Tim had made one long string and one short string. Jumper’s team got the short string. Jumper, number 1, was the catcher for his team. Ross, number 2, was the back catcher. Ford, number 6, was the first batter for the Sun Scorchers. Bob, number 9, was playing first base. Second base was played by Dave, number 4. Shortstop was played by Will, number 12, and Steve, number 9. Left field was played by Carl, number 5. Ford was standing in the batter’s box and Jumper pitched the baseball so it looked like slow motion. It was going 250 miles per hour

when it came over the plate. Tim shouted, “Strike One!” Jumper pitched a curve ball that went right over home plate. Tim shouted, “Strike Two!” Jumper pitched again. Ford swung and missed. Tim shouted, “Strike Three. You’re out!” Jumper’s team started bobbing up and down, happy he struck out the batter. Next batter up was Paul, number 7. Jumper’s pitch missed home plate and struck Paul in the head, picking him up off his feet. Paul fell backwards, toppling over the back catcher and Tim, knocking them to the surface. Paul walked to first base after being out cold for 45 minutes. The new batter up was Zeff. Jumper pitched. Zeff swung wildly and missed. Tim shouted, “Strike One!” Jumper pitched and Zeff tried to bunt and missed. Tim shouted, “Strike Two!” Paul thought Jumper didn’t see him trying to steal second base. Paul ran and Jumper

threw the baseball between Paul’s legs as he was running to second. Tim shouted, “You’re out!” It was the end of the ninth inning. It had been a battle between pitchers. Jumper with his red hot high speed power pitching had struck out the Sun Scorchers for nine innings. For Tim, things went blank. When he woke up, he was standing in the middle of his hometown ballpark. Tim pulled out his brother Matt’s uniform and cap from the pile, putting on his brother’s cap, picking up his leg braces, slinging them over his shoulder and walking out of the ballpark, headed home. Sheriff Park was parked at the Dairy Queen. The dispatcher, Bruce, called. “Sheriff Park!” “Go ahead, Bruce,” the sheriff said. “Sheriff! It’s back. We are getting a lot of calls that something really big is over the ballpark!”

FOUNDRY A Reconciling Congregation Invites you to join us in worship on Sundays at 9:30 and 11:00 AM Homeless Outreach Hospitality: Fridays 9:00 AM

Foundry United Methodist Church

1500 16th Street, NW Washington, DC 20036 (202) 332-4010

www.foundryumc.org

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The District SHELTER Calvary Women’s Services 110 Maryland Ave, NE (202) 289-0596 (office) (202) 289-2111 (shelter) www.calvaryservices.org

Central Union Mission (Men) 1350 R Street, NW (202) 745–7118 www.missiondc.org CCNV (Men and Women) 425 2nd Street, NW (202) 393–1909 users.erols.com/ccnv/ Community of Hope (Family) 1413 Girard Street, NW (202) 232–7356 www.communityofhopedc.org

November 10 - 23, 2010 (202) 232–3066 www.stmargaretsdc.org/charliesplace Church of the Pilgrims (Sundays only) 2201 P Street, NW (202) 387–6612 www.churchofthepilgrims.org Thrive DC (breakfast Mon-Fri, 9:30-11, all welcome/dinner for women and children, Mon-Fri, 3-6 pm) St. Stephens Parish Church 1525 Newton St, NW (202) 737–9311 www.thrivedc.org Food and Friends 219 Riggs Road, NE (202) 269–2277 www.foodandfriends.org

Covenant House Washington (Youth) 2001 Mississippi Ave SE (202) 610–9600 www.covenanthousedc.org Housing, education, job prep

Miriam’s Kitchen 2401 Virginia Avenue, NW (202) 452–8089 www.miriamskitchen.org

John Young Center (Women) 119 D Street, NW (202) 639–8469 www,catholiccharitiesdc.org

The Welcome Table Church of the Epiphany 1317 G Street, NW (202) 347–2635 http://www.epiphanydc.org/ ministry/welcometbl.htm

My Sister’s Place PO Box 29596 Washington, DC 20017 office (202) 529-5261 24-hour hotline (202)-529-5991 shelter and other services for domestic violence victims N Street Village (Women) 1333 N Street, NW (202) 939–2060 www.nstreetvillage.org 801 East, St. Elizabeths Hospital (Men) 2700 MLK Avenue, SE (202) 561–4014

MEDICAL RESOURCES Christ House 1717 Columbia Road, NW (202) 328–1100 www.christhouse.org Unity Health Care, Inc. 3020 14th Street, NW (202) 745–4300 www.unityhealthcare.org Whitman–Walker Clinic 1407 S Street, NW (202) 797–3500; www.wwc.org

Open Door Shelter (Women) 425 Mitch Snyder Place, NW (202) 639–8093

OUTREACH CENTERS Bread for the City 1525 Seventh Street, NW (202) 265–2400 AND 1640 Good Hope Road, SE (202) 561–8587 www.breadforthecity.org food pantry, clothing, legal and social services, medical clinic

FOOD Charlie’s Place 1830 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place

New York Ave Shelter (Men 18+) 1355–57 New York Avenue, NE (202) 832–2359

4713 Wisconsin Avenue NW (202) 364–1419; www.cchfp.org housing, medical and psych care, substance abuse and job counseling Bethany Women’s Center 1333 N Street, NW (202) 939–2060 http://www.nstreetvillage.org meals, hygiene, laundry, social activities, substance abuse treatment Father McKenna Center 19 Eye Street, NW (202) 842–1112 Green Door (202) 464–9200 1221 Taylor Street NW www.greendoor.org housing, job training, supportive mental health services Friendship House 619 D Street, SE (202) 675–9050 www.friendshiphouse.net counseling, mentoring, education, youth services, clothing Georgetown Ministry Center 1041 Wisconsin Avenue, NW (202) 338–8301 www.georgetownministrycenter. org laundry, counseling, psych care Martha’s Table 2114 14th Street, NW (202) 328–6608 www.marthastable.org dinner, education, recreation, clothing, child/family services Rachel’s Women’s Center 1222 11th Street, NW (202) 682–1005 http://www.ccdsd.org/howorwc. php hygiene, laundry, lunch, phone and mail, clothing, social events Sasha Bruce Youthwork 741 8th Street, SE (202) 675–9340 www.sashabruce.org counseling, housing, family services So Others Might Eat (SOME) 71 “O” Street, NW (202) 797–8806; www.some.org

lunch, medical and dental, job and housing counseling ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Academy of Hope GED Center 601 Edgewood St NE 202-269-6623 www.aohdc.org Bright Beginnings Inc. 128 M Street NW, Suite 150 (202) 842–9090 www.brightbeginningsinc.org Child care, family services Catholic Community Services 924 G Street, NW (202) 772–4300 www.ccs–dc.org umbrella for a variety of services D.C. Coalition for the Homeless 1234 Massachusetts Avenue, NW (202) 347–8870; www.dccfh.org housing, substance abuse treatment, employment assistance DC Food Finder Interactive online map of free and low cost resources. www.dcfoodfinder.org Community Family Life Services 305 E Street, NW (202) 347–0511 www.cflsdc.org housing, job and substance abuse counseling, clothes closet

(202) 667–8970 www.jubileejobs.org job preparation and placement National Coalition for the Homeless 2201 P Street, NW (202) 462–4822 www.nationalhomeless.org activists, speakers bureau National Student Partnerships (NSP) 128 M Street NW, Suite 320 (202) 289–2525 washingtondc@nspnet.org Job resource and referral agency Samaritan Ministry 1345 U Street, SE , AND 1516 Hamilton Street, NW (202)889–7702 www.samaritanministry.org HIV support, employment, drug/ alcohol addiction, healthcare St. Luke’s Episcopal Church 1514 15th Street, NW (202) 667–4394 http://stlukesdc.edow.org food, counseling St. Matthew’s Cathedral 1725 Rhode Island Avenue, NW (202) 347–3215 ext. 552 breakfast, clothing, hygiene

Foundry Methodist Church 1500 16th Street, NW (202) 332–4010 www.foundryumc.org ESL, lunch, clothing, IDs

Travelers Aid, Union Station 50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE (202) 371–1937 www.travelersaid.org/ta/dc.html emergency travel assistance

Gospel Rescue Ministries drug, alcohol program (Men) 810 5th Street, NW (202) 842–1731; www.grm.org

Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless 1200 U Street, NW (202) 328–5500 www.legalclinic.org

Hermano Pedro Day Center 3211 Sacred Heart Way, NW (202) 332–2874 http://www.ccs–dc.org/find/services/ meals, hygiene, laundry, clothing JHP, Inc. 1526 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE (202) 544–9126 www.jobshavepriority.org training and employment Jubilee Jobs 1640 Columbia Road, NW

WVSA Literacy for Life 1100 16th Street, NW (202) 296-9100 www.wvsarts.org GED preparation and work force education

15

The Samaritan Group Inc. P.O. Box 934, Chestertown (443) 480–3564 Warm Night Shelter 311 68th Place, Seat Pleasant (301) 499–2319 www.cmpgc.org FOOD Bethesda Cares 7728 Woodmont Avenue Bethesda (301) 907–9244 www.bethesdacares.com Community Place Café 311 68th Place, Seat Pleasant (301) 499–2319; www.cmpgc.org Manna Food Center 614–618 Lofstrand Lane, Rockville (301) 424–1130 www.mannafood.org MEDICAL RESOURCES Community Clinic, Inc. 8210 Colonial Lane Silver Spring (301) 585–1250 www.cciweb.org Mobile Medical Care, Inc. 9309 Old Georgetown Road Bethesda (301) 493–2400 www.mobilemedicalcare.org ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Catholic Charities, Maryland 12247 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring (301) 942–1790 www.catholiccharitiesdc.org shelter, substance abuse treatment, variety of other services Mission of Love 6180 Old Central Avenue, Capitol Heights (301)333–4440 www.molinc.org life skills classes, clothing, housewares

MARYLAND SHELTER Interfaith Works 114 W. Montgomery Avenue Rockville (301) 762–8682 www.iworksmc.org

Shelter Hotline: 1–800– 535–7252


VENDOR PROFILE November 10 - 23, 2010

Jake Ashford

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Street Sense extends a big thank you to Hello Cupcake and Well-Fed World for their donations for our treet ense.org First Annual Street Sense Vendor Appreciation Picnic at Yards Park!

By Mandy Toomey, volunteer Street Sense vendor Jake Ashford joined the U.S. military at age 18 looking for a job. He completed basic training in Missouri, attended school at Fort Lee, and was then stationed in Germany for 6.5 years where he worked with army supplies. Jake progressed to E5 sergeant status and was promoted to warehouse supervisor. He said going before the army board to obtain his E5 status was his proudest moment. But three months prior to the completion of his military service, Jack was discharged after one of the men under his supervision damaged an army-issue vehicle. When Jake left the military, he stayed in Germany another 14 years working for Department of Defense contractors and making as much as 10 to 12 times the amount he was making in the military. During this time, Jake was married to a German woman, and they had a son. In 2000 the two divorced, and Jake moved back to the U.S. alone. In 2001 Jake came to Washington, D.C. where he hoped to have access to his veteran's benefits for a head injury and frostbite he suffered during his service. One year later Jake was told by the Veterans Benefits Administration that his records had been destroyed in a fire. After almost 10 years of waiting, to this day, Jake has only received 20% of his benefits. When Jake first moved to Washington, D.C., he worked for a short time as a warehouse supervisor at the Washington Hospital Center. He then took a job in the dining services at the VA Medical Center. After losing his job at the medical center, in 2003 Jake started living on the street. In 2004 Jake heard about Street Sense from a vendor, and he began selling the paper.

If you are a federal or state employee please consider supporting Street Sense through the Combined Federal Jake says he finds relief in writing about his situation in the paper. Also he has met people through Street Sense who have helped him along the way. For example, one day Jake sold a paper to one man who invited him to attend services at the Calvary Baptist Church. Jake went, and while at the church, was introduced to a man who works at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. For 10 years Jake's claims for veteran benefits have been denied, but after this fateful meeting, he recently received a letter announcing an appeal on his claims. These days Jake is living in his own apartment and has been living “on the inside” since February 2009. He continues to sell Street Sense and is waiting for the date of his VA board examination to be scheduled. In the meantime he still attends Calvary Baptist Church on Sundays and is looking forward to seeing his son who is studying to be an electrician. Jake would like to leave Street Sense readers with the following message: “Life is hard, but it's worth living. I enjoy the new challenges that come with each new day.”

Campaign today.

CFC# 28233

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