Re: Welfare Reform & Homelessness (US Conference of Mayors report) FWD

Virginia Sellner (
Tue, 16 Dec 1997 16:33:54 -0800

Yes, what can we do about this outrage?  Virginia

At 10:41 AM 12/16/97 -0800, P. Myers wrote:
>Thanks, Tom, for sending this.  I'd like to respond with a report of a
>situation occuring in a number of cities nationwide...this heard on
>the news last night as I was dozing off...brought me upright in bed real
>quick, and with a sick, sick feeling...
>The report focussed on Public Housing in the State of New York, long known
>for it's "excellent" record of housing low income and providing shelter
>for homeless (how true *this is, is a matter on which low income and
>homeless must comment...).
>At any rate, New York is beginning to institute policy changes in how
>public housing is dispensed.  In the past, most units (appropriately) have
>gone to folks receiving Public Assistance...some fewer units to low income
>working poor...that trend, in the teeth of block granting, state budget
>cuts and less/no funds for transportation to jobs; clothing allowances;
>access to affordable and *good, responsible child care, etc. that trend is
>being oppositionally reversed:  soon, the majority of units will be
>allowed to the working "poor" (I can't recall the cutoff point, but more
>than I certainly make!).
>*Most egregiously (I feel again betrayed by this administration),
>President Clinton has given his blessing to this policy, which will of
>course, componentially swell the ranks of homeless children, women and
>men:  he confirms: "Public Housing is a privilege, not an entitlement."
>These genocidal strategies, disguised as tough love; ending Welfare
>dependency; equity and cost efficient, must_be_named, and continue to be
>named for what they are:  political ploys to further divide U.S. citizens
>from empathy for one another; to demonize poor and homeless, and of
>course, to create a desperately needy population, willling to do anything,
>work at *any job, in order to provide a roof over their, or loved-ones'
>Who said it a few days ago?:  "If you're not outraged, you're not paying
>attention"...?  We need to be outraged.  
>Pat Myers
>P.S. Waivers from the Feds to do this have been filed by a number of
>cities; not limited to N.Y.
>What is *our role in all this?
>On Wed, 10 Dec 1997, Tom Boland wrote:
>> FWD from National Coalition for the Homeless
>> (At the same URL, you can also access info on Homeless People's
Network--Tom B)
>> November 26, 1997
>> **Survey on Welfare Reform Portends Increased Homelessness**
>> A new report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors highlights some of the
>> difficulties faced by cities as they begin to implement welfare reform. The
>> report, Implementing Welfare Reform in America's Cities: A 34-City Survey,
>> examines the impact of welfare reform on jobs, child care, legal immigrants,
>> assisted housing, and emergency services. All of the cities surveyed expect
>> welfare reform to have a negative impact on assisted housing, and 60% of the
>> cities reported that requests for emergency shelter increased in the first
>> half of 1997. Half of the cities responding to the survey said that they are
>> adding beds for homeless persons, and 68% of the cities reported that
>> welfare reform is forcing them to reassess the way the McKinney Homeless
>> Assistance Program funds are being spent.
>> According to the study, 92% of the cities reported that they will not have a
>> sufficient number of low-skill jobs to allow compliance with the welfare
>> law's work participation requirements. In addition, officials in the survey
>> cities estimate that an average of only 27% of low-skill jobs in their
>> cities provide private health insurance. Seventy-one percent of the survey
>> cities reported that the state reimbursement rate does not cover the average
>> cost of full-day, center-based child care, and 62% of the survey cities
>> reported that the state reimbursement rate does not cover the average cost
>> of full-day, home-based child care.
>> The report is available for $15.00 from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, 1620
>> Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006, 202-861-6717.

Virginia D. Sellner - Wyoming Coalition for the Homeless, P. O. Box 1232,
Cheyenne, WY 82003-1232,  (307) 637-8634.  email:    URL: