Archive for Monday, August 31, 2009

Homelessness topic of forum tonight

August 31, 2009


A forum examining mental illness and its links to homelessness is scheduled for tonight.

The Coalition on Homeless Concerns will host the forum at 7 p.m. today at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.

The event will include presentations from Susan Crain Lewis, CEO of the Mental Health Association of the Heartland, and Simon Messmer, director of Housing to Homes.

The forum is the second of four on the subject. The third forum is scheduled for Sept. 28. The final forum is set for Nov. 30.


ku_tailg8 8 years, 3 months ago

I agree with your position for the most part. I just wonder if changing the rules would lead to more problems. Where do you draw the line between being homeless and just living at home with mom and dad. I know people would take advantage of the rule change. Obviously those folks living in the shelters don't have relatives willing to take them in and are in far more need of assistance.

Amy Heeter 8 years, 3 months ago

The way I understand it the LDCHA cannot issue a housing voucher to any person who is already living in a subsidized unit. This puts families in a bad situation. Very few grandparents are going to be willing to put their children and grandchildren out in the streets to wait on a two year list for a voucher. The only other option for families in this situation is to get a new voucher for more bedrooms. The cost of a family moving is usually a key problem in this type of situation plus those being added to the lease put the primary lease holder in a catch 22 situation if the extended family members move prior to lease renewal. For example if grandma has a one bedrom unit and the family ups the vocher then when the kids move out grandma is in a three bedroom unit and only eligaile for a one bed unit. The max fair market rent for a one bed unit is alot less than the fair market for a three bed unit. So grandma either stays and pays fair market plus the difference or grandma moves again.

Amy Heeter 8 years, 3 months ago

I agree it is a bad situation. I know a few parents who have had to move the adult kids in due to economics. For a person on subsidized housing a parent is forced to choose between a roof over their own head or their children. In real life adult kids often need to move back in with their parents or visit long term. people on housing programs do not have that option without being under finacial hardship.

geekin_topekan 8 years, 3 months ago

I wouldn't consider following a certain set of outdated rules as "exploitation" smit but, they do seem unreasonable at times. Assuming that your neighbors are sitting on their duffs waiting for their hand out, the wait would seem eternity.

However, as long as your neighbors are continuing to move forward and take daily steps that are necessary to escape their situation, they may find alternative means of recovery in the meantime. They may find that they require neither a voucher nor gram. They would be a smashing story of success and inspiration. Why not exploit those qualities instead of ranting about things that they can not do anything about.

Homelessness is not a character defect. Placing recovery into finite hands is.

Paul R Getto 8 years, 3 months ago

"Homelessness is not a character defect." ====Good point, Geekin. The great Essene Teacher was, for the most part, homeless and worked most with the disposessed and the outcasts. Most people carrying a large debt load are 2-3 paychecks from being homeless in a worst-case scenario. Those who have family to help are in a better situation than the others. I do share the frustration some express about those on assistance, when they fake illnesses or disabilities, refuse to work and game the system for all it's worth. It would be nice if there were an easy and inexpensive way to separate the 'sheep from the goats.'

Amy Heeter 8 years, 3 months ago

CLO does recycling.

I doubt the CDIC would even try to implement such a program since most of the regulars are too busy drinking to work.

ksarmychick 8 years, 3 months ago

With all of the help wanted signs all over town, I really find it hard to believe that people "can't" find a job. Especially when there is a family with 2 parents and a child, and another adult in the home. There are many places in town that have employees on the clock 24 hours a day, so both parent's could find a job(different shifts) and alternate who watches the child. I am so sick of peoples excuess of why they can't or won't find a job, and why everyone else should pay up to take care of them. So what if McDonald's only pays $8+ an hour(with free meals), if you have 2 parents working full time jobs they would bring home almost $2000 a month after taxes. They could easily afford a two bedroom apartment(i've seen them as low as $425 a month) and utilities and food, and easliy have money left over. There are no excuses just people unwilling to do what they need to do for thier family. Instead of giving free handouts the government should give out job applications and a swift kick in the a**!.

Reuben Turner 8 years, 3 months ago

why don't y'all have these forum on the weekend so that us working folks can attend? i do want to know what is being discussed, asked, and said.

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