Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What's New: Spare Change News for 9/25 - 10/8/08

Can People Adapt to Homelessness?
Leslie Bosworth

People can learn to adapt to stressful situations, so does homelessness, too, become easier over time? A new study shows otherwise. For example, the study found that people who had been homeless for a longer period of time (more than two consecutive years) had more difficulty finding regular meals than people who were transitionally homeless. Research shows that the challenges facing the long-term homeless are very different from those facing the transitionally homeless. 

The Creedon Outreach Market
Robert Sondak

The Creedon Outreach Market is a new farmers market selling farm-fresh, locally grown produce near Waltham center. The market is part of Waltham Fields Community Farms (WFCF), which partners with community organizations to provide underprivileged clients with vouchers good for a bag of fresh produce. At the Creedon Outreach Market, Waltham families can fill a brown paper bag with produce for just $5. Shopping at one of WFCF's markets is a great way to support your community and join the local food movement. 

Homes for Families
Brittaney Kiefer

Homes for Families is a statewide advocacy organization committed to ending family homelessness. They fight the stereotype that most homeless people are men on park benches with a mental illness or drug problem. In Massachusetts alone, there are at least 2500 homeless families, and the average age of a homeless person in the state is 8-years-old. The organization is unique in its approach to advocacy because they include the families they advocate for in every aspect of their work. At least 50 percent of their board of directors and 5 out of the 7 staff members have experienced homelessness. With Homes for Families, homeless people are empowered to advocate for themselves and break down the wall between their lives and government policy. 

Voices from the Streets: Four Short, Radical and Necessary Reforms
Raymond Avrutis

1. Put Bread Lines Outside Welfare Offices and Homeless Shelters
2. Help Poor City Residents Find Available Suburban Jobs
3. Put Homeless People into Empty Homes
4. Make Bread Not Bombs

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Preview of New Issue: 9/11 - 9/28/08

Iran & Iraq: U.S. Approach to Both Countries Eerily Similar
Lindsey Medeiros

The Center for Public Integrity has accused the Bush administration of telling 935 "false statements" about Iraq in the two years after September 11, 2001. The "false statements" included accusations that the Iraqi government had chemical, bi
ological and nuclear capabilities, had ties with Al-Qaeda, and had been seeking yellow cake uranium in Niger.

Now it is five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq last estimated that there were 34,452 Iraqi civilian deaths and 36,685 wounded Iraqi civilians in 2006 alone. Since 2003, the U.S. military deaths in Iraq hav
e exceeded 4,000. The outlook is not positive.

The administration is, yet again, feeling threatened by a second-rate military in a third world country with a shoddy civilian nuclear program. President Bush contends that Iran is a nuclear threat to its allies in the region. Strangely, his fears of a nuclear Iran contradict the key judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released in December 2003, which reported, among other things, that "Tehran's decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it's less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we had been judging since 2003... Iran may be more vulnerable to influence on the issue than we ju
dged previously."

Despite this report, last year the Bush administration requested to increase the budget for its covert operations in Iran. This apparent contradiction within the upper echelons of the U.S. government is an echo of polices that are 'so 2003,' the same policies that lead us into war in Iraq.

On the Rise

Eliza Dryer

"On the Rise is everything a woman needs to get her identity back," one guest says. "They accept us as we are," another adds. I frantically scribble down their words, nodding. My visit to On the Rise is as comfortable as I've ever been and probably ever will be in a room full of strangers. On the Rise may be a social service provider, but it feels more like a house full of friends, sisters and mothers. "Coming here -- it's like going to your own house
," one woman says.

Voices from the Street: 911: Hello, This is the USA Calling
Marc D. Goldfinger

This is the last September 11 that George W. Bush will be president. I still can't capitalize that title while he remains in office. I hope he's snorting cocaine and eating pretzels today. We've come a long way, baby.

It's seven years since the planes hit the Twin Towers, since people leapt from the building holding hands and screaming, since the buildings fell, killing firemen, police, and other innocents who just happened to work there.

Seven years later and the policies of George W. and Dick Cheney have isolated the U.S. from the rest of the world. We're lucky if many people from other countries know that the majority of us don't agree with these idiotic policies.

George used 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq. This is now costing the U.S. more than $11 billion a month. The Iraq war needs to be cut off at the knees and all our men and women brought home immediately. No excuses. It's a disaster if we stay, and because we went, it's a disaster if we come home. That's the way it is, whether we like it or not. Even if all our soldiers are brought home immediately, the medical costs will continue. There's nothing we can do about that. But we can cut our losses and that's all.