[Hpn] Katrina

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Tue, 4 Oct 2005 18:14:50 -0400


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                  Dear Friends,

                  Many people have weighed in on Hurricanes Katrina and =
now Rita. I'm not sure if I can add anything but I do like the idea of =
taking stock on where we stand at watershed, in this case tragic, =
moments. And further discussion of the stubborn and overlooked issues of =
poverty and race in America is a positive thing.=20

                  For people like you that are interested in ending =
homelessness, an extreme of poverty in the U.S., Katrina ripped the lid =
off our system, exposing again the deep rooted, often hidden, effects of =
systemic poverty. The combination of that poverty with a natural =
disaster, and an overwhelmed relief system, proved to be a devastating =
"homelessness cocktail."

                  But it's a recipe for homelessness that we are =
familiar with.  Epidemic homelessness is not just about mental illness, =
for there are many more people with mental illness that are housed; it =
is not about drugs alone; and it is certainly not about people choosing =
to be homeless (despite persistent myths). Like the example of people =
rendered homeless by Katrina, it is largely a combination of poverty =
with some other 'storm': the loss of a job, a health condition, domestic =
violence, mental health breakdown, a divorce, the predominant common =
denominator being poverty.

                  Professor Lani Guinier of Harvard Law School spoke at =
UMass Boston last week and noted the metaphor of The Miner's Canary (the =
title of her book written with Gerald Torres) in regards to Katrina. The =
vulnerable canary with its sensitive respiratory system was sent down =
into the mines to check the air. Troubled breathing for the canary was =
an indicator that the air was poisoned for all in the mine (not just the =
canary). Following the metaphor, people killed or left homeless by =
Katrina are not a wake up for just those people, but for all of us. The =
air is poisoned in America.

                  Last Saturday I had the pleasure to talk with Danny =
Glover who was shooting a PSA for Give Us Your Poor in Boston. Between =
takes, he noted, "These people weren't abandoned with Katrina, they were =
abandoned long ago. There's a historic abandonment that we never talk =
about....We talk about all that New Orleans was, but nobody talks about =
where peoples' lives are marginalized, and where people live under the =
belly of the beast. And with Katrina...every bit of it comes to the =
surface like a bruise on your arm."

                  For devastating reasons, the spotlight has shone again =
on our American family and those left outside. History tells us that the =
spotlight will move elsewhere soon. So here's my hope: that more of us =
remember what we have seen when we are back to the daily grind and our =
mind focuses on other important things, that we remember the images, and =
the feeling that America can do better.  If  more folks keep the image =
of poverty and disconnection in their consciousness and some of those =
act to do something it brings us closer to the solution.

                  As in times of disaster, there is a role for the =
federal government in reducing epidemic homelessness. Part of that role =
is through offering incentives to the private market, but it must also =
just act directly at times. There is, too, a role for the faith =
community, for non-profits, and for each of us, homeless and housed. We =
can do better. We can do more.  Republican, Democrat, other...who cares.

                  Whether you join the Give Us Your Poor effort, your =
own effort, or another effort looking at poverty, or racial, spiritual, =
or political divide, let us do something. As Blues musician, and =
contributor to the Give Us Your Poor music CD, Mighty Sam McClain said, =
"We are all one family... in one house...no one room!...and it's called =
earth!"=20

                  You can support the Katrina/Rita relief effort through =
the American Red Cross by clicking here.  Thank you.

                  John McGah
                  Give Us Your Poor, Director

                =20
          =20
    =20
=20
      =20
    =20



      This email was sent by: UMass Boston
      100 Morrissey Blvd. , Boston , MA, 02125 , USA=20

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                  <P><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3>Dear=20
Friends,</FONT></P>
                  <P><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3>Many people =
have=20
                  weighed in on Hurricanes Katrina and now Rita. I'm not =
sure if=20
                  I can add anything but I do like the idea of taking =
stock on=20
                  where we stand at watershed, in this case tragic, =
moments. And=20
                  further discussion of the stubborn and overlooked =
issues of=20
                  poverty and race in America is a positive thing. =
</FONT></P>
                  <P><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3>For people =
like you=20
                  that are interested in ending homelessness, an extreme =
of=20
                  poverty in the U.S., Katrina ripped the lid off our =
system,=20
                  exposing again the deep rooted, often hidden, effects =
of=20
                  systemic poverty. The combination of that poverty with =
a=20
                  natural disaster, and an overwhelmed relief system, =
proved to=20
                  be a devastating "homelessness cocktail."</FONT></P>
                  <P><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3>But it's a =
recipe for=20
                  homelessness that we are familiar with.&nbsp; Epidemic =

                  homelessness is not just about mental illness, for =
there are=20
                  many more people with mental illness that are housed; =
it is=20
                  not about drugs alone; and it is certainly not about =
people=20
                  choosing to be homeless (despite persistent myths). =
Like the=20
                  example of people rendered homeless by Katrina, it is =
largely=20
                  a combination of poverty with some other 'storm': the =
loss of=20
                  a job, a health condition, domestic violence, mental =
health=20
                  breakdown, a divorce, the predominant common=20
                  denominator&nbsp;being&nbsp;poverty.</FONT></P>
                  <P><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3>Professor =
Lani Guinier=20
                  of Harvard Law School spoke at UMass Boston =
last&nbsp;week and=20
                  noted the metaphor of <EM><A=20
                  =
href=3D"http://cl.exct.net/?ffcd16-fe671774776404787c15-fdf715717262077b7=
41d7170-ff3311737665"><EM>The=20
                  Miner's Canary</EM></A></EM> (the title of her book =
written=20
                  with Gerald Torres) in regards to Katrina. The =
vulnerable=20
                  canary with its sensitive respiratory system was sent =
down=20
                  into the mines to check the air. Troubled breathing =
for the=20
                  canary was an indicator that the air was poisoned=20
                  for&nbsp;<U>all</U> in the mine (not just the canary). =

                  Following the metaphor, people killed or left homeless =
by=20
                  Katrina are not a wake up for just those people, but =
for all=20
                  of us. The air is poisoned in America.</FONT></P>
                  <P><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3>Last =
Saturday I had the=20
                  pleasure to talk with Danny Glover who was shooting a =
PSA for=20
                  Give Us Your Poor in Boston. Between takes, he noted, =
"These=20
                  people weren't abandoned with Katrina, they were =
abandoned=20
                  long ago. There's a historic abandonment that we never =
talk=20
                  about....We talk about all that New Orleans was, but =
nobody=20
                  talks about where peoples' lives are marginalized, and =
where=20
                  people live under the belly of the beast. And with=20
                  Katrina...every bit of it comes to the surface like a =
bruise=20
                  on your arm."</FONT></P>
                  <P><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3>For =
devastating=20
                  reasons, the spotlight has shone again on our American =
family=20
                  and those left outside. History tells us that the =
spotlight=20
                  will move elsewhere soon. So here's my hope: that more =
of us=20
                  remember what we have seen when we are back to the =
daily grind=20
                  and our mind focuses on other important things, that =
we=20
                  remember the images, and the feeling that America can =
do=20
                  better.&nbsp; If&nbsp; more folks keep the image of =
poverty=20
                  and&nbsp;disconnection&nbsp;in their consciousness and =
some of=20
                  those act to do something it brings us closer to the=20
                  solution.</FONT></P>
                  <P><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3>As in times =
of=20
                  disaster, there is a role for the federal government =
in=20
                  reducing epidemic homelessness. Part of that role is =
through=20
                  offering incentives to the private market, but it must =
also=20
                  just act directly at times. There is, too, a role for =
the=20
                  faith community, for non-profits, and for each of us, =
homeless=20
                  and housed. We can do better. We can do more.&nbsp;=20
                  Republican, Democrat, other...who cares.</FONT></P>
                  <P><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3>Whether you =
join the=20
                  Give Us Your Poor effort, your own effort, or another =
effort=20
                  looking at poverty, or racial, spiritual, or political =
divide,=20
                  let us do something. As Blues musician, and =
contributor to the=20
                  Give Us Your Poor music CD, Mighty Sam McClain said, =
"We are=20
                  all one family... in one house...no one room!...and =
it's=20
                  called earth!" </FONT></P>
                  <P><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3><A=20
                  =
href=3D"http://cl.exct.net/?ffcd16-fe661774776404787c16-fdf715717262077b7=
41d7170-ff3311737665"><FONT=20
                  face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3>You can support the =
Katrina/Rita=20
                  relief effort through the American Red Cross by =
clicking=20
                  here.</FONT></A>&nbsp; Thank you.</FONT></P>
                  <P><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3>John=20
                  McGah<BR></FONT><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" =
size=3D3>Give Us=20
                  Your Poor,=20
        =
Director<BR></P></FONT></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABL=
E></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><IMG=20
height=3D1=20
src=3D"http://cl.exct.net/open.aspx?ffcd16-fe9c16717463047971-fdf71571726=
2077b741d7170-ff3311737665"=20
width=3D1>=20
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      <DIV align=3Dcenter><FONT face=3Dverdana color=3D#888888 =
size=3D1>This email was=20
      sent by: <B>UMass Boston</B><BR>100 Morrissey Blvd. , Boston , MA, =
02125 ,=20
      USA</DIV></FONT></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></CENTER></BODY></HTML>

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