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robertogreco : utah   7

Best way to solve homelessness? Give people homes — ...
"San Francisco’s homeless are harangued and despised while conservative Utah has a radically humane approach"

"The Housing First philosophy was first piloted in Los Angeles in 1988 by the social worker Tanya Tull, and later tested and codified by the psychiatrist Sam Tsemberis of New York University. It is predicated on a radical and deeply un-American notion that housing is a right. Instead of first demanding that they get jobs and enroll in treatment programmes, or that they live in a shelter before they can apply for their own apartments, government and aid groups simply give the homeless homes.

Homelessness has always been more a crisis of empathy and imagination than one of sheer economics. Governments spend millions each year on shelters, health care and other forms of triage for the homeless, but simply giving people homes turns out to be far cheaper, according to research from the University of Washington in 2009. Preventing a fire always requires less water than extinguishing it once it’s burning.

By all accounts, Housing First is an unusually good policy. It is economical and achievable. The only real innovation lies in how to inspire the necessary compassion and foresight to spur governments into building those needed homes.

But Housing First is not very popular. It runs directly counter to the US meritocratic mythology, where one is presumed to fail or succeed by one’s own hand. The homeless are presumed to have earned their place on the street.

Precious few places have had the nerve to fully implement a Housing First policy, though hundreds of cities have drawn up the plans. But the approach has been successful in Utah, where chronic homelessness is down 91 per cent over the past decade, and where rapid rehousing programmes have housed thousands of newly homeless veterans and families quickly and cheaply. To the surprise of every self-described progressive, Utah has emerged as a model for municipal programs around the country.

The spread of Housing First could usher in a new kind of compassionate governance in a new era of urban growth – but like any policy, its application is limited. The programs are available only to a small subset of the homeless: those with disabling conditions such as mental illness, alcoholism and drug addiction, whose lives and habits place the biggest financial burden on the state. They are not available to people such as David Hogue, at least not until he becomes more desperate and his plight is deemed too expensive. Even at its most robust, our social safety net is hung very low to the hard ground."
susiecagle  2015  homeless  homelessness  california  sanfrancisco  utah  policy  housingfirst  housing  tanyatull  samtsemberis  humanrights  poverty  cities 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Rural and Proud | Epicenter
"The Epicenter is a community design center in Green River Utah focused on affordable housing, economic development, and the arts. We are committed to providing opportunities and connecting Green River residents to resources. A passionate, multidisciplinary team, we engage, collaborate with, and learn from our community."

"The Epicenter is a community resource organization that serves the town of Green River, Utah (pop. 953). We are committed to creating positive change locally by providing resources to homeowners, renters, small businesses, and through active involvement in our community.

In 2009, the Epicenter was founded by Auburn University Architecture Graduates Jack Forinash, Maria Sykes, and Rand Pinson. At that time, the designers worked as AmeriCorps Volunteers In Service to America (VISTA) focused on providing affordable housing assistance, exploring economic development solutions, and improving communications and resources within Green River. Through a United States Department of Agriculture Rural Business Enterprise Grant, Jack, Maria, and Rand purchased a historic building in downtown Green River, redesigned the space, and renovated the structure. Today from that building, Jack and Maria co-direct the Epicenter and remain dedicated to its mission. Hayley Crooks moved to Green River in December 0f 2010 as a VISTA through the Green River Community Center, and remains a part of Epicenter working as designer. Chris Lezama joined the Epicrew in August of 2011 as a VISTA through United Way of Eastern Utah, and he remains on the team as Community Development Specialist. Ashley Ross originally came on as an intern during the summer of 2012, and shortly after she became a year-long VISTA focused on the arts, culture, and community development programs of Epicenter. Armando Rios joins Epicenter from August 2012 through July 2013 as a VISTA focused on affordable housing and business resources. At Epicenter, we nurture local businesses, entrepreneurs, and ideas. We’re dedicated to the town of Green River where we strive to provide local solutions to universal design problems.

The Epicenter is part of the larger effort to create positive change in Green River. We belong to a local non-profit parent organization called the Positive Action Community Team (PACT) which serves the town with affordable rental housing, a Boys & Girls Club, a food pantry, and a thrift store. In addition to PACT, Epicenter works closely with USDA Rural Development of Utah, University of Utah (College of Architecture and Planning), United Way of Eastern Utah, City of Green River, Green River Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity of Castle Country, and Green River CHEER Coalition."

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utah  rural  art  arts  community  greenriver  housing  development  chrislezama  jackforinash  mariasykes  randpinson  americorps  vista  hayleycrooks  ashelyross  armandorios  epicenter  openstudioproject  lcproject 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Utah County parents protest schools' promotion of 'democracy' - Salt Lake Tribune
"Some Utah County parents are calling on the Alpine School District to stop spreading "false educational ideas." First and foremost, the parents say, the district needs to clamp down on its use of the D-word: "democracy."
utah  democracy  education  schools  learning  us  policy  politics 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Come On In, We're Open!
"The Open High School of Utah is putting the focus where it should be – on the student. Our mission is to facilitate lifelong success by meeting the needs of the 21st century learner through individualized, student-centered instruction, innovative technology, service learning, and personal responsibility."
schools  utah  openeducation  education  learning  online  elearning  technology  individualized  servicelearning  student-centered 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Marginal Revolution: My favorite things Utah - "I love Utah. I love its baked goods, its Mexican food...
"... its sense of building a new world in the wilderness. I love that it has a uniquely American religion and I find Salt Lake City to be one of America's most impressive achievements. I regard southern Utah as quite possibly the most beautiful part of US
tylercowen  utah  us  religion 
april 2008 by robertogreco

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