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Showing posts from March, 2012

Is it Time to Volunteer?

In our society today, it may be hard to consider taking time out of our busy lives to volunteer. The economy can limit one’s ability to make the choice of donating one’s time. We all have families to take care of, our own job responsibilities in our careers, children to care for which include their activities to support and attend, homes to maintain and repair - the list can go on and on. However, the benefits of volunteering are endless. Finding the right match can give one new friends, allow one to learn new skills, or even advance in your own career. Volunteering can even improve your overall mental and physical health! The true fact is that a volunteer can be the glue that holds an agency or organization together. Not only are you making a connection with your community, but you are also benefitting yourself and your family as well as the cause that you are choosing to volunteer for. Some of us are more outgoing than others who may have a difficult time meeting new people. Vo

The Culture of Violence Against Women

Rush Limbaugh recently made headlines for calling young Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke some rather unsavory names after she addressed Congress about birth control needing to be covered by all insurance companies for a variety of reasons. Limbaugh called her a slut, a prostitute, and stated that if insurance had to pay for her birth control, she should post her sex tapes online so that he and the rest of us could watch them. And while Limbaugh has most definitely been faced with a great deal of backlash for his three-day tirade   about the young woman (including over forty some sponsors pulling their advertising from his radio show), this is just the latest incident of a troubling societal problem. Another example is Bill Maher’s blatant, repetitive attacks on Sarah Palin, when he called her a slang, derogatory term used to refer to the female genitals. Some individuals may feel that comments like Limbaugh’s and Maher’s are not a big deal, and that while hurtful and mean, th

Point In Time Results

As you might remember, the HAC and Homeward Bound conducted the annual Point-in-Time count on January 26. The following are the results of the count, released at the 2012 Affordable Housing Breakfast.  Information may also be found on Total Homeless Persons: 210 Adults: 159 Children: 51 In a shelter: 87 In Transitional Housing: 61 Using Motel voucher: 7 In Safe Haven: 3 Unsheltered: 52 Chronically Homeless Persons: 49 Total Homeless Households: 147 Male: 90 Female: 57 Without children: 116 With children: 31 Race: Black: 52 White: 84 Hispanic: 4 Multiracial: 2 Other: 1 unknown: 4 Veterans: 9 Households Affected by (may be more than 1 per hh): Domestic Violence: 19 Physical Disability: 28 Substance Abuse: 45 Emotional/mental Illness: 38 DD/BI/PTSD: 21 HIV/AIDS: 1 Chronically Homeless Households: 44 Total Persons in Shelters/emergency motel vouchers: 94 Adults: 75 Children: 19 Chronically Homeless: 26 Total Households in Shelters/emergency motel voucher: 74 Male

Point in Time Volunteer Responses

We asked the Homeward Bound Point in Time volunteers a few questions about their experience volunteering for the survey and here were a few of the responses: What prompted you to volunteer for the Point in Time survey? ·         Saw notice in DoveTales and decided that was something I could do. – Bruce Williams ·         It just seemed like the right thing to do. – Richard Sublett ·         The importance of counting, as well as possible, the number of homeless people in Decatur is very clear to me and that's why I volunteered. – Sue Hemp ·         I volunteered at the Public Aide office in the morning I felt like being a part of this was doing something bigger for the community. – Bea Hartsock   Please tell us a little about your experience with the survey. I was at the Library. There were a large number of people at one time when the library opened, so many were not interviewed. It is likely that some homeless were not counted.  – Bruce Williams I was at the law enforcement

Cluney John Speaks About Point in Time Survey

Cluney John currently works as Supervisor of Permanent Supportive Housing with Dove’s Homeward Bound Program.  She filled a volunteer station for Point-in-Time, counting homeless individuals.  Her assignment was at Oasis Day Center , a program of Heritage Behavioral Health Center .  Nancy Rude and her staff and volunteers provide daily hospitality and services for individuals visiting Oasis.  Following are some of Cluney’s thoughts about her interactions on that morning. “As someone who works daily with homeless, or formerly so, individuals, I went to the Oasis Day Center at 7 a.m. ready to meet familiar and new faces.  I found more examples of what I know homeless folks to be.  They are unique and individual, no two exactly the same.  I was greeted and helped to settle in by friendly men who clearly feel at home at Oasis.  Some folks were curious and offered their participation in our “count’ without having to be asked.  I met individuals who had spent the night before in abando

“Spring-ing Forward”

Looking forward to setting your clocks ahead this weekend?   Maybe not to  adjusting your sleep schedule?   Yeah, me too.   But I’ll take an extra hour of daylight anytime! You know what comes soon after the clocks change…the official first day of Spring is March 20th!   I am not a Winter person, so I welcome Spring with open arms. So, we’ve got an extra hour of daylight and warmer weather on the way- what to do with it?   Spring signifies a fresh new beginning and moving forward from all the “stale” Wintertime stuff!   Do you feel rejuvenated and refreshed in the Spring? Here’s an idea:   while you’re making a Spring Cleaning list for your house, make another Spring Cleaning list for your soul. meet the new neighbor or re-connect with a neighbor? spend more time volunteering? schedule a date night with your significant other? tell your kids how special they are and how much you love them? give to those less fortunate than yourself? become more involved in your community? M

Homelessness a Bigger Issue Than Many Realize

Recently I was perusing a social networking site and came across a picture that was posted by one of the sites users. This picture depicted several men sleeping in the lobby of the Macon County Law Enforcement Center. The subject of the picture was nothing I had not come across before but the caption in reference to the picture caught me a little off guard. The photographer essentially stated his surprise by the lobby being utilized as a resting place for those without homes. Being the director of Homeward Bound, a housing program for the homeless in Macon County and the chair of a homeless advisory council I thought the issues concerning the homeless was being adequately spread in this community. Unfortunately, the photog’s statement and the subsequent comments of others have made me realize that there is much more that needs accomplished. In 1998 the Macon County Continuum of Care’s (CoC) Homeless Council (currently the Homeless Advisory Council or HAC) began conducting Point-in-Ti