opinion Brian Dickerson Detroit Free Press Published 7:00 AM EDT Jun 30, 2019 The constitutional language that promises every U.S. citizen "the equal protection of the laws" has always been a little, well ... aspirational. Since its ratification after the American Civil War, the 14th Amendment has described the egalitarian society we more precisely than the imperfect one we live in. Federal law may guarantee even the most impoverished defendant a lawyer, but no one imagines that the homeless teenager arrested for petty larceny gets the same legal representation as the hedge-fund manager charged with securities fraud. And while the aggrieved consumer and the multinational pharmaceutical maker enjoy the same right to free speech, the latter's superior financial resources all but guarantee that its message — Ask your doctor if Venclexta is right for you! —will reach a far larger audience. More: Supreme Court justices tell … [Read more...] about An end to one person, one vote?
How are homeless counted in the census
This year’s count of homeless people in San Diego County found the population dropping by about 6 percent for the second straight year, but organizers behind the count are holding off on any celebrations.The drop could mean the homeless population has decreased, but organizers of the count say it also could be the result of a new method of counting they say is more accurate.A report released Monday by the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless found the Jan. 25 count found 8,102 homeless people throughout the county. Of those, 3,626 were in shelters and 4,476 were living on the streets, vehicles, canyons or other open places. The numbers represent a 5.5 percent drop from last year. The number of unsheltered homeless people dropped by 514 from last year, representing a 10 percent decrease. The number of people in shelters increased by 1 percent.The decrease in unsheltered people largely is from a significant drop in the number of people who were counted as living in … [Read more...] about New counting techniques finds fewer homeless in county
If I were mayor... This week, readers answered two questions: What is San Diego doing well and/or poorly to help homeless residents? How would you address homelessness if you were mayor?Provide financing for housing, jobs and education In any discussion of homelessness, one must begin with the premise that you will never eradicate it. We must understand that no matter how much money is poured in to any fix to the problem, there will always be individuals who will refuse assistance.In prioritizing ways that may reduce homelessness, you must begin by addressing health issues: mental and physical. San Diego must offer opportunities for the homeless to accept solutions that will minimize health concerns to themselves and to the public.Our laws must allow us to remove individuals from the streets, parks and other areas, not because we don’t care about their plight; we simply must address the health and safety concerns of our community. If we accept the fact that homelessness is here … [Read more...] about Your Say
It has been called the largest peacetime mobilization in the country. It will dictate how much federal money comes to Minnesota. And it will determine the state’s political influence for the foreseeable future. There is a lot at stake for Minnesota in the 2020 census, which is a little more than a year away. Getting an accurate tally isn’t just the work of the U.S. Census Bureau. State officials, local governments and even nonprofits are organizing and coordinating to count every resident. “It is a tremendous undertaking,” said state demographer Susan Brower. “The census is used for so many things that it’s really hard to overstate how important it is. It’s kind of woven into the way that our democracy works.” The Minnesota demographer’s office is leading the state’s effort to assure a full count. Brower is updating address lists for the Census Bureau and holding workshops to prepare cities and counties. Those cities and … [Read more...] about ‘A tremendous undertaking’: Minnesotans prepare for 2020 census
Frank Witsil Detroit Free Press Published 11:15 AM EST Jan 29, 2019 A snowstorm and life-threatening temperature warnings this week have already crowded metro Detroit shelters, filled soup kitchens and strained nonprofits seeking more help for the homeless. "Oh my God, the phone is ringing off the hook," Eneida Hajiou, the development director with the Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team in Roseville, said Monday. "There is not enough space for all the homeless suffering out there now." With temperatures forecast to drop below zero later this week, Hajiou said the demand for shelters is so high she is afraid to face the heartbreaking thought of having to turn people away, especially children. "I remember last year, I was walking into work and there was a little child outside at the door with his mom and his hands were freezing," said Hajiou. "We do provide gloves and hats and everything else thanks to all the people who do clothing … [Read more...] about Metro Detroit charities fear for homeless in extreme cold