Tuesday, August 30, 2011

VOA News: 'Nevada Families Struggle with Poverty In Shadow of Casinos'

Source:VOA News- one of the women interviewed for this piece.

"Voice of America (VOA) is the America's largest[1][2][3] and oldest international broadcaster funded by the U.S. Congress.[4][5] VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in 47 languages which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe. It is primarily viewed by foreign audiences, so VOA programming has an influence on public opinion abroad regarding the United States and its people.

VOA was established in 1942,[6] and the VOA charter (Public Laws 94-350 and 103-415)[7] was signed into law in 1976 by President Gerald Ford.

VOA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and overseen by the U.S. Agency for Global Media, an independent agency of the U.S. government.[8] Funds are appropriated annually under the budget for embassies and consulates. In 2016, VOA broadcast an estimated 1,800 hours of radio and TV programming each week to approximately 236.6 million people worldwide with about 1,050 employees and a taxpayer-funded annual budget of US$218.5 million." 

From Wikipedia 

"In the shadow of the glittering casinos and resorts of Las Vegas, Nevada, many poor families are struggling to get by.  Several recent studies have found that one in five American children lives in poverty, and that two and a half million more children now are poor than in 2000.  Family poverty has become especially severe in the state of Nevada.  Mike O'Sullivan reports from Las Vegas that a slow tourist economy and a dismal housing market have forced many to seek help." 

From VOA News

There's a way to help the homeless in America and it's what is being done in Las Vegas. Help them, yes by giving them a temporary place to stay and food, yes, but also help them get on their feet so they can support themselves and this gets to job placement and housing placement, so they have the resources to support themselves and be self-sufficient but also have a place to live. 

And this just has to deal with the homeless population who are unemployed, who are sort of down on their luck and perhaps were evicted. Maybe their Unemployment Insurance ran out or something. And it looks like this Las Vegas program is targeted at that faction of the homeless population. 

This is what we should've been doing all along to help the homeless population, especially the homeless who are just unemployed to help them get back to work and that might get to additional job training so they can get another job in another field. Instead of just essentially warehousing people by giving them a meal and a cot for a night and then sending them back on the street the next day. 

This approach empowers homeless people because it helps them get back on their feet to become productive taxpayers again. Instead of collecting public assistance or begging for money or food on the street. 

If you want people to remain homeless, give them a meal and cot in a homeless shelter for a night and then put them back on the street the next day or better yet don't do anything for them, because you're indifferent or you don't give a damn about them. 

But if you want to help homeless people, give them a meal, give them a room like you would see in a housing center (not homeless shelter) and they are different and them help them get a job so they can support themselves and then help them find their own place to stay. And then they'll no longer be homeless but self-sufficient productive people. Who are paying into public services instead of collecting from them.    
Another way to help homeless people or to prevent homelessness in the future, is how we help our unemployment and welfare populations. Both of these populations who collect from Unemployment and Welfare Insurance have time limits on how long they can collect that assistance. So during that period, what we should be doing as a country is putting these people to work. 

With the unemployed, that just might mean finding them another job that they can support themselves with. But with our Welfare population, the reason why they are on Welfare Insurance to begin with, is because they don't have the skills that they need to support themselves and their families. 

Education, job training, and job placement, so these folks can get the skills that they need to get a good enough job in order to support themselves and their families. Which would be an investment up front but would pay off in the long term because they would become taxpayers instead of tax collectors.  
The good news in the so-called War on Poverty and War on Homelessness (if you want to call them that)  is that we have the resources already as a country to deal with homelessness in America to empower them to get themselves on their feet. 

Section Eight Public Housing to finance the temporary stay in a housing center for the homeless. Unemployment Insurance to finance to help sustain them while they are in transition to getting on their feet. And Medicaid to cover their health insurance while they are in transition. So this something as a nation we should be doing.

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