Social Services Archives - Page 10 of 11 - Bread for the City

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SE Center Crochet Classes still going strong!

On Thursday, October 29, The SE Center had its first ever craft bazaar to showcase the items made by clients in the crochet, sewing, and arts and crafts classes.

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Ms. Faith finds a home!

By the time Ms. Faith* found her way to the crochet class at Bread for the City’s SE Center, she was under a lot of stress. While usually reserved about her personal life, Ms. Faith chose that day to open up to Bread for the City staff member Judy Hawkins, who teaches the crochet class, about her situation.

Ms. Faith was out of work and living in her car with her husband and two children. Her only income was $531 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to support her entire family. While she and her husband were both enrolled in job readiness programs, it was still very difficult to balance taking care of her children, focusing on the program requirements, and moving her car around from place to place in search of a relatively safe, quiet place to park for the night.

When Judy heard Ms. Faith’s story, she connected her to Bread for the City’s Southeast Housing Preservation Project (SHPP) for housing assistance and case management services. Ms. Faith met one-on-one with the SHPP case manager to talk about her housing situation and gain support to help stabilize her family. In Ms. Faith’s eyes, SHPP planted a seed.

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Bilingual Housing Clinic Coordinator

Wondimu Geda is a full time Bilingual Housing Clinic Coordinator with our Housing Access Program (HAP). Wandimu is fluent in Amharic, English, Afan Oromo, and Gurage. He works to make sure that our Amharic speaking clients have full access to HAP programming and often facilitates other BFC programs.

At Bread for the City, we value language access and see it as an integral piece of dignity and respect. All of our staff have been trained on our language access policies and know to offer interpretation services at every point of contact. If a staff member is not available to provide language services or interpretation we will call a telephonic interpretation service. For appointments scheduled ahead of time, we often bring in outside interpreters to facilitate culturally appropriate communication in meetings.

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How Social Security Gets Racist Without Really Trying – Part 5

Normative Family Structures

On June 26, 2015, millions of Americans celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to affirm the love and commitment of same-sex couples who asked, in the words of Justice Anthony Kennedy, “for equal dignity in the eyes of the law.”

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Blog Series: How Social Security Gets Racist Without Really Trying – Part 1

The Social Security Act (Act of August 14, 1935) [H. R. 7260] “An act to provide for the general welfare by establishing a system of Federal old-age benefits, and by enabling the several States to make more adequate provision for aged persons, blind persons, dependent and crippled children, maternal and child welfare, public health…”

Along with Medicare, to which Social Security’s success is inextricably linked, Social Security is the most successful anti-poverty measure in our country’s history.

Social Security keeps 22 million Americans out of poverty, including 15 million elderly Americans, according to research from Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and pays more money to children than any other government program. In the tattered remains of the American social safety net, Social Security remains of the strongest links.

But beneath the surface of this New Deal mainstay, there is a history, and a present reality of exclusion, discrimination, and loss.

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How Social Security Gets Racist Without Really Trying – Part 4

Race, Politics, and the Bogus Fight over Reallocation

Chris Jordan worked all his life. Mr. Jordan (a pseudonym) is a 52 years old African-American man and suffers from congestive heart failure. He grew up near Bread for the City’s Northwest Center and used to play basketball at the Kennedy playground, which has since become the Kennedy Recreation Center.

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Referral Advocacy – Data Driven Success!

If you follow this blog with any regularity you’ve probably seen several posts focusing on Bread for the City’s campaign to change the third-party referral system for local food pantries. Here a ‘referral’ means a written letter from an agency/organization vouching that a client ‘deserves’ access to food, clothing, furniture, or other goods. Referrals were required as proof of a client’s eligibility – regardless of any primary proofs they could provide on their own (income statements, lease etc).

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How Social Security Gets Racist Without Really Trying – Part 3

Forced Annuitization and the Grim Realities of Racial Health Disparities

“You just get out what they put in/But they never put in enough” —Stephen Merritt, The Magnetic Fields

Social Security redistributes money from African-Americans to white Americans. This claim might sound outrageous to those with prejudiced views of public benefits and those who understand the effects of Social Security’s progressive benefits formula, but it nonetheless is true, according to a 2013 paper by C Eugene Steurle, Karen E. Smith, and Caleb Quakenbush of the Urban Institute.