Pass "living wage" laws & ordinances to reduce homelessness?

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Fri, 27 Nov 1998 04:12:17 -0400


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Should "minimum wage" be a "living wage" by legal mandate?

Should all employees be paid this wage, or just some employees?
Or is it best to leave wages entirely up to market supply and demand?

Should lawmakers require "all employers" pay a living wage, or just "some
employers"?  If "some employers", which ones and why just these employers?

How could you or lawmakers fairly define a living wage?

I welcome your comments.  Find a related article below:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1998-11/26/029l-112698-idx.html
FWD  Washington Post - November 26, 1998; Page M03


SHELTERS SEE SURGE IN HOMELESS
LOW WAGES PUT HOUSING OUT OF REACH, OFFICIALS SAY

By Lyndsey Layton - Washington Post Staff Writer


Homeless shelters in two of the three Southern Maryland counties are
reporting a surge in the number of men, women and children without a place
to call home this Thanksgiving -- a trend that is straining shelters and
puzzling social service workers.

In Charles County, officials are seeing about 10 percent more homeless
people compared with this time last year, with a particular increase in
families and victims of domestic violence.

In St. Mary's County, the lone shelter for men in Lexington Park is
estimating a 25 percent increase in its homeless population, with a
significant rise among homeless people with mental illness.

And in Calvert County, the single shelter in Prince Frederick reports a
slight decrease in the number of people requesting help but officials say
that those using the shelter are staying longer, compared with a year ago.

"It's hard to point to a reason this is happening, except to say most of
the people here simply can't afford to live in this community at jobs that
pay $6 an hour," said Denise Capaci, regional director for Southern
Maryland at Catholic Charities, which operates Angel's Watch Shelter, a
52-bed facility in Hughesville for women and children.

The Hughesville shelter, which receives money from the Catholic Archdiocese
of Washington, as well as county, state and federal governments, has been
full since Oct. 1. Last month it turned away about 155 people. During the
same month a year ago, the shelter turned away 141 people, Capaci said.

"Our county's growing in population, but not building any more rentable
apartments," she said. "Most of the people coming into this shelter have
been living here for years or have been raised here, but they can't afford
to pay the rents. A lot of folks are priced out. Minimum wage is not a
living wage."

So many victims of domestic violence have been seeking shelter at Angel's
Watch that the facility has set aside two rooms especially for battered
women, Capaci said.

Charles County opened its first shelter for men in a Waldorf industrial
park last month but one week after the new Robert J. Fuller Shelter was in
business, the 16-bed facility was full. It now has three men on a waiting
list, Director Irene Wallingford said.

In St. Mary's County, where the expansion of the Patuxent River Naval Air
Station has revved up the local economy, many of the homeless seeking help
from the Three Oaks Center suffer from mental illness, said Harry
Lancaster, the executive director of the three-year-old shelter for men.

"A lot of times in the past, the people we served were here for purely
being poor," said  Lancaster, whose 18-bed shelter is financed by local
churches and county, state and federal governments. "The economy is good,
more and more people have jobs. We're seeing fewer 'poor' and more of the
folks coming out of mental health facilities that need support.

Now we're finding a need to bring in mental health services, help for
addiction, that kind of thing," Lancaster said.

Three Oaks has seen a 25 percent increase in the number of people seeking
shelter at its facility, compared with a year ago, Lancaster said. He
attributed that partly to increased awareness about the shelter but said
cutbacks at state mental hospitals such as Spring Grove have forced
mentally ill people back into communities without adequate housing.

In Calvert County, Project ECHO opened its emergency 25-bed shelter in a
white house next to the State Police barracks in 1993 in Prince Frederick.
This year, the homeless shelter has served about 200 people, almost 10
percent fewer than last year, said Thomas Morgan, president of the board of
directors for Project ECHO. The nonprofit Project ECHO is supported by
local churches, the United Way and state and federal governments.

But the homeless who walk in the doors at Project ECHO are staying longer
these days than they did a year ago, indicating a need in the county for a
transitional shelter -- a place where people can stay at least six months
while they earn enough money to be able to rent an apartment or house,
Morgan said.

"We can't solve their problems in 90 days," he said. "We can get them
started, get them employed, but they need longer time to get back on their
feet and learn to budget. . . . There are jobs available but they're
low-paying jobs, they're not full time and they have no benefits. If you're
making $5 an hour, even if you're working full time, that's only $11,000 a
year."

Advocates for the homeless say anyone with a need for emergency or
transitional housing can call the social services department in their
county for the best range of referrals and services. Shelters in Charles,
St. Mary's and Calvert counties also welcome calls. In an emergency, the
local police can direct a person in need to a shelter.

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
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Should "minimum wage" be a "living wage" by legal mandate?  


Should all employees be paid this wage, or just some employees?

Or is it best to leave wages entirely up to market supply and demand?


Should lawmakers require "all employers" pay a living wage, or just
"some employers"?  If "some employers", which ones and why just these
employers?


How could you or lawmakers fairly define a living wage?


I welcome your comments.  Find a related article below:


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1998-11/26/029l-112698-idx.html

FWD  Washington Post - November 26, 1998; Page M03



<paraindent><param>right,left</param>SHELTERS SEE SURGE IN HOMELESS

LOW WAGES PUT HOUSING OUT OF REACH, OFFICIALS SAY


By Lyndsey Layton - Washington Post Staff Writer 

</paraindent>


Homeless shelters in two of the three Southern Maryland counties are
reporting a surge in the number of men, women and children without a
place to call home this Thanksgiving -- a trend that is straining
shelters and puzzling social service workers.


In Charles County, officials are seeing about 10 percent more homeless
people compared with this time last year, with a particular increase in
families and victims of domestic violence.


In St. Mary's County, the lone shelter for men in Lexington Park is
estimating a 25 percent increase in its homeless population, with a
significant rise among homeless people with mental illness.


And in Calvert County, the single shelter in Prince Frederick reports a
slight decrease in the number of people requesting help but officials
say that those using the shelter are staying longer, compared with a
year ago.


"It's hard to point to a reason this is happening, except to say most
of the people here simply can't afford to live in this community at
jobs that pay $6 an hour," said Denise Capaci, regional director for
Southern Maryland at Catholic Charities, which operates Angel's Watch
Shelter, a 52-bed facility in Hughesville for women and children.


The Hughesville shelter, which receives money from the Catholic
Archdiocese of Washington, as well as county, state and federal
governments, has been full since Oct. 1. Last month it turned away
about 155 people. During the same month a year ago, the shelter turned
away 141 people, Capaci said.


"Our county's growing in population, but not building any more rentable
apartments," she said. "Most of the people coming into this shelter
have been living here for years or have been raised here, but they
can't afford to pay the rents. A lot of folks are priced out. Minimum
wage is not a living wage."


So many victims of domestic violence have been seeking shelter at
Angel's Watch that the facility has set aside two rooms especially for
battered women, Capaci said.


Charles County opened its first shelter for men in a Waldorf industrial
park last month but one week after the new Robert J. Fuller Shelter was
in business, the 16-bed facility was full. It now has three men on a
waiting list, Director Irene Wallingford said.


In St. Mary's County, where the expansion of the Patuxent River Naval
Air Station has revved up the local economy, many of the homeless
seeking help from the Three Oaks Center suffer from mental illness,
said Harry Lancaster, the executive director of the three-year-old
shelter for men.


"A lot of times in the past, the people we served were here for purely
being poor," said  Lancaster, whose 18-bed shelter is financed by local
churches and county, state and federal governments. "The economy is
good, more and more people have jobs. We're seeing fewer 'poor' and
more of the folks coming out of mental health facilities that need
support.


Now we're finding a need to bring in mental health services, help for
addiction, that kind of thing," Lancaster said.


Three Oaks has seen a 25 percent increase in the number of people
seeking shelter at its facility, compared with a year ago, Lancaster
said. He attributed that partly to increased awareness about the
shelter but said cutbacks at state mental hospitals such as Spring
Grove have forced mentally ill people back into communities without
adequate housing.


In Calvert County, Project ECHO opened its emergency 25-bed shelter in
a white house next to the State Police barracks in 1993 in Prince
Frederick. This year, the homeless shelter has served about 200 people,
almost 10 percent fewer than last year, said Thomas Morgan, president
of the board of directors for Project ECHO. The nonprofit Project ECHO
is supported by local churches, the United Way and state and federal
governments.


But the homeless who walk in the doors at Project ECHO are staying
longer these days than they did a year ago, indicating a need in the
county for a transitional shelter -- a place where people can stay at
least six months while they earn enough money to be able to rent an
apartment or house, Morgan said.


"We can't solve their problems in 90 days," he said. "We can get them
started, get them employed, but they need longer time to get back on
their feet and learn to budget. . . . There are jobs available but
they're low-paying jobs, they're not full time and they have no
benefits. If you're making $5 an hour, even if you're working full
time, that's only $11,000 a year."


Advocates for the homeless say anyone with a need for emergency or
transitional housing can call the social services department in their
county for the best range of referrals and services. Shelters in
Charles, St. Mary's and Calvert counties also welcome calls. In an
emergency, the local police can direct a person in need to a shelter.


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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