Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hunger, Homelessness Still Major Challenges in U.S. Cities

Hunger, Homelessness Still Major Challenges in U.S. Cities
Mayors Issue Annual Report on Hunger, Homelessness in 27 Major Cities
WASHINGTON -- The issues of hunger and homelessness still remain major challenges in U.S. cities according to a U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) report on the status of Hunger and Homelessness in 27 cities in America (listed below) that was released today by the U.S. Conference of Mayors on a news conference call.
For more than a quarter century, The Conference of Mayors has documented the magnitude of the issues of hunger and homelessness in our nation’s cities, as well as efforts cities are making to address these challenges.
 “While there is currently an historic effort to restore America’s economy, the effects of hunger and homelessness are clearly evident in America’s cities and urban centers. This is why mayors have been so proactive in supporting and encouraging local food programs and why federal programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) are so critical,” said Asheville, NC Mayor Terry Bellamy who chairs the USCM Hunger and Homelessness Task Force and participated in the press conference call. “The ‘food stamp’ program is an integral safety net for hungry families in our cities. Mayors want to ensure that the recent cuts made to the food stamp program are restored; and we support the Administration’s efforts in this regard. With respect to addressing homelessness, collaboration is essential. Asheville has seen a decrease in chronic homelessness due to a strong collaborative effort between local government and community partners through the implementation of the Housing First model.”
Every city surveyed reported that requests for emergency food assistance increased by an average of 24 percent across the cities over the past year. Among those requesting emergency food service, 56 percent were families and 30 percent were employed. When asked to report on the three main causes of hunger, respondents cited unemployment, housing costs and low wages.
Over the next year, 56 percent of surveyed cities expect a moderate decrease in resources for providing emergency food assistance; and another 8 percent expect a substantial decrease. In fact, cities most frequently cited increasing demand and decreasing resources, particularly related to federal and state budget problems, as the biggest challenge to addressing hunger in the coming year.
To combat hunger, many cities have instituted programs to address the challenge over the long term. Examples of successful initiatives include providing needy children with back-packs filled with non-perishable food in Asheville; a program that matches food cupboards with local gardeners to provide participants with locally-grown fresh produce in Philadelphia; and a comprehensive program in Los Angeles to raise community awareness about food stamp benefits, help people to determine eligibility and assist individuals in navigating through the application process.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, whose city was included in the study said, “This year’s survey makes it clear that even working families are increasingly at risk for hunger and homelessness as a result of the crippled economy and rising unemployment. As mayors, it is our responsibility to create effective local programs and strengthen federal partnerships to help those in need.”
In the area of homelessness, the number of unaccompanied individuals experiencing homelessness over the past year increased by two percent in the surveyed cities, and the number of families experiencing homelessness increased by an average of 9 percent.
For families, unemployment was the leading cause of homelessness in the surveyed cities; for individuals it was the lack of affordable housing.
Across the surveyed cities, an average of 27 percent of homeless persons needing assistance did not receive it because of a lack of resources. When asked about the outlook for next year, officials were not optimistic: in 72 percent of the surveyed cities they expect the number of homeless families to increase, and officials in 77 percent of the cities expect the number of homeless individuals to increase as a result of a decrease in resources to provide emergency shelter.
In the survey report, twenty-four of the surveyed cities described programs that have been effective in addressing problems of homelessness in their communities. Many of these cited HUD’s Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program as the source of their funds for these programs.
“This report highlights the many factors that contribute to the issues of hunger and homelessness,” said Burnsville, MN Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, who is the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “Although the report surveys 27 cities, it mirrors what is happening nationally. At a time when the poverty rate is at a record high, and in many cities unemployment is in double-digits, mayors cannot handle these challenges alone. We need all levels of government, as well as the private sector, to partner with us to assist growing numbers in our communities.”
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, who was also featured on the call, spoke about the Administration’s efforts on the national level to combat these issues. “Each year, the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ report helps us understand the state of homelessness in our communities, as well as how communities are responding,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “It also reveals how communities are using new tools like the Obama Administration’s Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program—or ‘HPRP’—to meet increasing need. Last year’s report found that HPRP is ‘fundamentally changing’ the way cities respond to homelessness and with this year’s new report, we see how it is changing. For instance, Cleveland is using HPRP funds to create a “Central Intake” system – helping the community not only manage the available beds and services more effectively but also ensure that households are finding permanent housing as quickly as possible.”
Prepared by City Policy Associates, the report contains individual profiles for each city in the survey including the median household income, the metro unemployment rate, the monthly foreclosure rate, the percentage of people in the city who fall below in the poverty line and contact information for specific service providers. The report is based on data collected from The U.S. Conference of Mayors Hunger and Homelessness Information Questionnaire, completed by cities that reported on persons receiving food and shelter services over a one-year period from September 2009 to August 2010. A copy of the report and survey questionnaire can be downloaded at The Conference of Mayors website at An audio file of the press conference call will be available at on Wednesday, December 22nd.
The 27 participating cities in this survey are members of The U.S. Conference of Mayors Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness and include the following:
[Table Omitted]
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,139 such cities in the country today, each represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the Mayor.
Copyright Business Wire 2010

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Monday, December 13, 2010


The canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke &...Image via Wikipedia
    THE last 2 weeks we have been setting up the foundation to understand who we are in CHRIST. We still have 4 to go and toady the next guide line in the seris is to: FOLLOW CHRIST, To recap we are taking our text from Matthew 16:24-27. The first was to Deny Myself, The 2nd was to pick up the cross and now today we must Follow Christ!
    Seeking to overcomeself by self effort is a hopeless struggle. self will never cast out sel, because an independent self which is motivated by the flesh still wants to be GOD. We must follow CHRISt by being led by the Holy Spirit:Down the path of deathto the Old nature we had in ADAm,into the new nature we now have in CHRISt."we who are living are constantly being handed over to death for JESUS' sake that the life of JESUS may also be manifested in our mortal flesh"(2nd corthians 4:11)
      This may sound like a dismal path to walk,but I assure you that IT IS NOT!!!!!! It is a tremendous experience to be known by the great Shepard and to follow him as His sheep. (1 John 10:27). (Step12 A.A>). The Fact that we are led by the Spirit of GOD,even when it results in death to Self, Is our assurance of Sonship( Romans 8:14) We are not designed to function Independently of GOD. Only When we are dependent on HIM and intent on FOLLOWING CHRIST are we complete and Free to Prove that the will of GOD is Good and acceptable and perfect(Romans12;2)
The bondage breaker, Neil Anderson
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Discover Real Fund Raising Ideas For
Non-Profits, Ministry, and Charity Without Always Asking For Money

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

2nd guideline for freedom in christ

Groom, TexasImage via Wikipedia
Pick Up your Cross Daily

The Cross we are to pick up daily is not our own croos but the cross of CHRIST. Paul wrote,"I have been crucified in Christ;and it is no longer I who live, but Christ that lives inme; and the life whicch I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the SON of GOD, who loved me and Gave Himself up for me" (Galations 2:20). His cross provided forgiveness from what I have done and deliverence from what I was. I am forgivenBECAUSE hw DIED IN MY PLACE; i AM DELIVERED BECAUSE i died with him! i AM BOTH JUSTIFIED AND POSITIONALLY SANCTIFIED AS A RESULT OF THE CROSS.
To pick up the cross daily means to acknowledge every day that I belong to GOD. I have been purchased by the blood of THE LORD JESUS CHRIST(1 Peter 1:18-19). When I pick up the cross I affirm that my Identity is not based in my physical existence but in my relationship with GOD. I am a child of GOD(1John 3:1-3). My life is IN CHRIST, Because HE is my LIFE(Colosians 3:3,4). I am starting to see that it is all about CHRIST and not about me. STEP 2 came to believe a power greater than my self can restore me to sanity.
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Friday, December 3, 2010

Guidelines for Freedom in CHRIST

This is the first of six basic guidelines to be a disciple of Christ and overcome the bondage in Which we Dwell
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
This passage is the central message of all four Gospels. It is self- sufficiency that is holding back revival. We are trying to do Gods work in our way with our resources and we cannot. There are six guidelines here in this set of verses. They are the foundational Guidelines for those who want to be free from the bondage of this worldly system.
1.       Deny yourself:
Denying self is not the same thing as self denial. Every student, athlete, and cult member practices self-denial, restricting themselves from the things that stop them from achieving their Goals. The ultimate Goal of this kind of self denial is self promotion; Which is pride in a subtle way, trying to gain recognition for things WE do.
 To deny self is to deny self rule. Dying to self is the primary battle of life. Jesus does not enter that battle; he has already won it at the cross. HE occupies the throne and offers to share it with us. But for some reason we want to be King and rule in our own lives. Until we deny ourselves that which was never meant to be; our wanting to be in control, to play GOD with our lives, we will never live in freedom or in peace with GOD and ourselves.
 We were not designed to function separate from GOD neither was our soul designed to function as master. No one can serve 2 masters (Matthew 6:24). When we deny ourselves We invite God to take the Throne in our life, To occupy what is right fully his, So that we may function as people Spiritually alive IN CHRIST. Denying ourselves is essential to spiritual freedom.
Next week we will look at the second guideline… Pick up your cross daily
                                                                                        Paraphrased from the bondage breaker

Wednesday, December 1, 2010