Arlington, TX: 75% of homeless are women & children/AHSP profile

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Tue, 24 Nov 1998 14:26:24 -0400


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http://www.star-telegram.com/news/doc/1047/1:ARL77/1:ARL77111498.html
FWD  Fort Worth [Texas] Star-Telegram - Saturday, Nov. 14, 1998


SHELTER RECEPTION TO DIRECT ATTENTION TO CITY'S HOMELESS
By Jaime Jordan, Star-Telegram Staff Writer


ARLINGTON -- Women and children are the largest group among Arlington's
homeless in 1998, up an estimated 23 percent since 1995.

Of the estimated 2,800 homeless people in Arlington, women and children
number about 2,100, or 75 percent, according to the United Way's Arlington
Human Service Planners demographic profile of the city's homeless.

The figures are based on the number of people who stayed at the Arlington
Night Shelter, the Women's Shelter and the Salvation Army Family Center.
Since 1995, the estimated number of homeless has increased by almost 300.

As a way of bringing awareness to the homeless issues affecting Arlington
and starting National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week, which begins
today, the Arlington Night Shelter is having an open house from 5 to 7 p.m.
tomorrow.

"There's so many women and children [in the shelter], just the faces of
homelessness have changed," said Becky Orander, executive director of the
night shelter. "So often the people, they think of the homeless as the
dirty old man with [his] bag of booze."

The night shelter has had to transform other areas of the building into
rooms for women and children, leaving no place vacant.

Even the small play area for children houses three mattresses for night
shelter residents, which total about 110 each night. The shelter has an
operating capacity of 87.

Even though shelters across the nation are "bursting at the seams," little
national attention is devoted to the situation, Orander said.

About 600,000 people nationwide are homeless on any night in the United
States, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's
1988 statistics, the most widely used in the industry. But the issue has
been overshadowed by newer crusades to fight AIDS and breast cancer,
Orander said.

"I think different issues take different cycles," Orander said. "I don't
think it's because the interest in the issue isn't there."

The growing number of homeless women and children creates other problems,
which experts said could be dealt with through education and training, not
more shelters.

One of the problems homelessness creates for women is separation from their
older children. Many shelters won't take boys older than 12 because the
shelters can't accommodate separate sleeping quarters, Orander said.

An example of that is Barbara Pike, 34, who has been separated from her
13-year-old son since the last week of October, when the shelter where they
were staying said he could no longer stay.

Pike is frantically searching for a place they can live together.

"I'm at my last rope," she said. "I don't know what to do, where to go or
anything else," she said.

But Orander said that building more shelters, especially those that offer
no training, would worsen the problems.

Jerry Mosman, project director of the Arlington Human Service Planners,
said he expects a decline in Arlington's homeless population in the next
year because many shelters have been successful at keeping people long
enough to establish marketable skills.

One of the largest programs affecting the homeless is the Stewart B.
McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, which invested nearly $1.5 billion in
programs ranging from non-emergency housing to mental and primary health
services, according to a 1995 report to Congress.

But outside of federal legislation, many programs affect the homeless in an
indirect way, through legislation on housing, child care or job training,
Orander said.

Steve Kester, legislative aid to Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, said there are
myriad programs in the state that address these issues, such as the Youth
Build Program in Austin, in which at-risk youths help build low-income
housing.

END FORWARD
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** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **

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http://www.star-telegram.com/news/doc/1047/1:ARL77/1:ARL77111498.html

FWD  Fort Worth [Texas] Star-Telegram - Saturday, Nov. 14, 1998



<paraindent><param>right,left</param>SHELTER RECEPTION TO DIRECT
ATTENTION TO CITY'S HOMELESS 

By Jaime Jordan, Star-Telegram Staff Writer 

</paraindent>


ARLINGTON -- Women and children are the largest group among Arlington's
homeless in 1998, up an estimated 23 percent since 1995. 


Of the estimated 2,800 homeless people in Arlington, women and children
number about 2,100, or 75 percent, according to the United Way's
Arlington Human Service Planners demographic profile of the city's
homeless.


The figures are based on the number of people who stayed at the
Arlington Night Shelter, the Women's Shelter and the Salvation Army
Family Center. Since 1995, the estimated number of homeless has
increased by almost 300.


As a way of bringing awareness to the homeless issues affecting
Arlington and starting National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week,
which begins today, the Arlington Night Shelter is having an open house
from 5 to 7 p.m. tomorrow.


"There's so many women and children [in the shelter], just the faces of
homelessness have changed," said Becky Orander, executive director of
the night shelter. "So often the people, they think of the homeless as
the dirty old man with [his] bag of booze."


The night shelter has had to transform other areas of the building into
rooms for women and children, leaving no place vacant.


Even the small play area for children houses three mattresses for night
shelter residents, which total about 110 each night. The shelter has an
operating capacity of 87.


Even though shelters across the nation are "bursting at the seams,"
little national attention is devoted to the situation, Orander said.


About 600,000 people nationwide are homeless on any night in the United
States, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development's 1988 statistics, the most widely used in the industry.
But the issue has been overshadowed by newer crusades to fight AIDS and
breast cancer, Orander said.


"I think different issues take different cycles," Orander said. "I
don't think it's because the interest in the issue isn't there."


The growing number of homeless women and children creates other
problems, which experts said could be dealt with through education and
training, not more shelters.


One of the problems homelessness creates for women is separation from
their older children. Many shelters won't take boys older than 12
because the shelters can't accommodate separate sleeping quarters,
Orander said.


An example of that is Barbara Pike, 34, who has been separated from her
13-year-old son since the last week of October, when the shelter where
they were staying said he could no longer stay.


Pike is frantically searching for a place they can live together.


"I'm at my last rope," she said. "I don't know what to do, where to go
or anything else," she said.


But Orander said that building more shelters, especially those that
offer no training, would worsen the problems.


Jerry Mosman, project director of the Arlington Human Service Planners,
said he expects a decline in Arlington's homeless population in the
next year because many shelters have been successful at keeping people
long enough to establish marketable skills.


One of the largest programs affecting the homeless is the Stewart B.
McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, which invested nearly $1.5 billion in
programs ranging from non-emergency housing to mental and primary
health services, according to a 1995 report to Congress.


But outside of federal legislation, many programs affect the homeless
in an indirect way, through legislation on housing, child care or job
training, Orander said.


Steve Kester, legislative aid to Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, said there
are myriad programs in the state that address these issues, such as the
Youth Build Program in Austin, in which at-risk youths help build
low-income housing.


END FORWARD

- 

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **


HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page

ARCHIVES  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN

TO JOIN  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <<wgcp@earthlink.net>

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