Sunday, August 16, 2009

But for the Grace of God, Goes YOU?

Downturn Brings A New Face to Homelessness
Charities See More Women, Families

Lawanda Madden jokes with nieces Armani and Elija Madden in a room she sleeps in, in Pontiac, Mich. She is staying at a friend's half-finished home.

By Alexi Mostrous
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 15, 2009

PONTIAC, Mich. -- The lowest point in Lawanda Madden's life came in February, when she woke up on the floor of her friend's run-down house in this city battered by recession. She was shivering with cold. She remembers turning to her 8-year-old son, Jovon, and thinking: "How did this happen to us? How did we become homeless?

Only 15 months before, Madden, 39, had a $35,000-a-year job, a two-bedroom apartment and a car. She was far from rich, but she could treat Jovon to the movies. She occasionally visited her sister in Chicago and bowled in a local league. She dreamed of going to law school. Then she was laid off and lost everything.

"I've had a job since I was 19," she recalled. "I never imagined I would be without a home. You think it's going to get better -- that it's just temporary -- and then six months goes by, and you wonder, 'Wait a minute -- this might be it.' "

With neat hair and clean clothes, a college education and stable job history, Madden represents the new face of American homelessness.

Across the country, community housing networks, charities and emergency shelters are seeing a flood of people like her -- mothers driven out of their homes by the economic collapse. Even as the economy shows signs of improving, the number of homeless families keeps going up. In more and more cases, these people have never been homeless before.

More than half a million family members used an emergency shelter or transitional housing between Oct. 1, 2007, and Oct. 1, 2008, the latest figures available from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The number of homeless families rose 9 percent, and in rural and suburban areas by 56 percent. Women make up 81 percent of adults in homeless families, and tend to be younger than 30 with children younger than 5.

If you think it couldn't happen to you, think again.

Suze Orman counsels us to keep 8 months of our current income in the bank as a back up, that is NOT counting what we should be saving, she's talking about our rainy day fund.

If you lost your job TODAY, and it took you 6 months to find a suitable replacement for your current job... do you have 6 months salary in the bank RIGHT NOW?

Damn Few Of You Do

Frederick MD Homeless now off streets

Donate to your favorite charity AND donate some groceries to what ever local foodbank is nearest you, and do it RIGHT NOW.

More than a few of my readers are calling me to find out where they can go to volunteer at the foodbank, well there is more than one foodbank in Frederick Maryland and there is more than one soup kitchen.

I tell everyone to call the City of Frederick's Frederick Community Action Agency if you are wanting to volunteer at a soup kitchen.
100 S Market St
Frederick, MD 21701-5527
(301) 694-1506

There is another place that needs volunteers for lunch if the evening dinner is a time constraint for your volunteer-ism schedule. The Rescue Mission on South St in the City of Frederick, Maryland serves breakfast and lunch to all comers.
419 W South St
Frederick, MD 21701-6326
(301) 695-6633‎

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