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  • Craig Brooks
    This article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by Craig Brooks. *Please note, the sender s identity has not been verified. The full article, with any
    Message 1 of 20 , Jul 2, 2006
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      This article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by Craig Brooks.
      *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.

      The full article, with any associated images and links can be viewed here.
      Craig Brooks wrote these comments: This looked very germane to the purposes behind the Roundtable.

      Veteran activist Jim Wallis recruits evangelicals for poverty fight
      Daniel Burke Religion News Service,

      WASHINGTON - Solving the problem of poverty in the United States requires the cooperation of leaders and activists from across the theological and political spectrum, organizers of a conference said this week.

      Organized by Call to Renewal and Sojourners, two Washington-based social justice groups cofounded by the Rev. Jim Wallis, the "Pentecost Conference" drew about 600 social activists to the nation's capital to meet with politicians, network and introduce a new "covenant" that lays out a blueprint for eradicating poverty.

      Using events such as the conference, Wallis and Sojourners are trying ! to draw religious and political leaders away from divisive issues, including gay marriage and abortion, to a new common ground against poverty.

      "In a time when political and social issues threaten to divide the church, many people of faith are coming together to affirm that justice for those who live in poverty is a deeply held religious commitment on which we are all firmly united," the Sojourners' "Covenant for a New America" reads.

      At the same time, religious progressives say they hope that targeting one topic -- in this case poverty -- will help unite various factions of the religious left into a cohesive political force.

      "You focus on one thing," said Harold Dungan, a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor from Rockville, Md. "What we're focusing on is raising the minimum wage."

      The conference drew an A-list of Washington insiders, including Sens. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.; Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.; Sam Brownback, R-Kan.; and Blanch! e Lincoln, D-Ark.

      But even for a worthy goal such as ! eliminat ing poverty, it will take time to build trust across political divides, said Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., one of the conference's keynote speakers.

      "We can affirm the importance of poverty in the Bible and discuss the religious call to environmental stewardship all we want, but it won't have an impact if we don't tackle head-on the mutual suspicion that sometimes exists between religious America and secular America," he said.

      With some conservative leaders "happy to exploit this gap" between believers and secularists, Obama said, it is imperative that the United States have a "serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy."

      Too often, Obama said, Democratic politicians assume that all religious Americans are "fanatical" and "only care about issues like abortion and gay marriage."

      That way of thinking could push aside evangelical Christians like Wallis, a preacher, author and activist who has fought povert! y in Washington for three decades.

      That thinking also ignores the fact that a string of American reformers, including the Rev. Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and Frederick Douglass, drew deeply from their faith, Obama said.

      If progressives shed biases against religious Americans, "we might recognize the overlapping values that both religious and secular people share when it comes to the moral and material direction of our country. ... And we might realize that we have the ability to reach out to the evangelical community and engage millions of Americans in the larger project of America's renewal," the senator said.

      After Obama's speech, Wallis had just one thing to add: "You've been informed and inspired and people have heard your voice. Now go home and go back to work."
    • Craig Brooks
      This article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by Craig Brooks. *Please note, the sender s identity has not been verified. The full article, with any
      Message 2 of 20 , Oct 17, 2006
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        This article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by Craig Brooks.
        *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.

        The full article, with any associated images and links can be viewed here.
        Craig Brooks wrote these comments: An idea worth contemplating.

        Joe Selvaggio: A Nobel idea could work miracles in Minnesota
        Joe Selvaggio,

        Philanthropy wins. Poor people win. The rich and middle class win. With this year's Nobel Peace Prize going to economist Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh that he founded, everyone wins.

        Millions of poor people have been raised to a condition of economic self-sufficiency with the microcredit concept he pioneered: small loans given without collateral to people who are too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans.

        Thrilling news, but it would be tragic if Americans saw this idea as one that only works in developing countries.

        With 60 million in the United States, and 400,000 poor in the Twin Cities, we cannot afford not to exami! ne what we might learn from this idea to help our own go from poverty to the middle class -- with some even going to the wealthy class.

        A significant percent of our 400,000 poor (the lowest economic one-fifth of the population) are energetic people of potential. With a boost up of $1,000 or so and some coaching, they would be able to change their lives dramatically. They just need that bump from the outside, since the laws of physics make it impossible to lift oneself up by one's own bootstraps.

        The idea is so simple that it can be implemented by a great number of middle-class or rich who have a little time or money on their hands. Retirees should be most interested in trying this.

        Most successful people have taught their kids to ride a two-wheeler or talked them through getting a good job or career. Now they just have to expand that effort to a nonfamily member, to a "poor person of potential."

        I've tried it the last two years, and it w! orks. But the beauty of it is that almost all people can do it! , withou t me and my MicroGrants nonprofit program. Just find yourself a candidate and ask him or her if a $1,000 gift (or loan) would help in their work, career or business.

        If the person can give you a clear, one-page answer, take a chance. Give the person the money and the opportunity to talk to you about it as he or she progresses. I'd bet heavily that you'll find many prospects able to turn their potential into actuality.

        I've given grants from wealthy and middle-class friends who use me as an intermediary.

        The grants were used to buy supplies and equipment for someone graduating from barber school; art supplies to budding artists; cleaning supplies and vacuum cleaners for a house cleaner; books and license fees for a child care operator; brochures, cell phones, computers and bookkeeping services for a year. The prospects will tell you what they think they need.

        You can add to the list. It has worked for me, and it will work even more if mo! re people get into it.

        Who will benefit from your effort? The poor people with potential will obviously benefit by getting more money and control over their lives. You will benefit by getting the thrill of launching someone other than your own child on a productive career. The community will benefit by having working people rather than indolent people. Work creates wealth for all, as wealth "trickles up" as well as down.

        If you don't have time to find the person right now, you can always get connected with MicroGrants for a year, watch the process, and then do it yourself next year. If you need help, call me at 612-455-5198.

        Take 15 minutes to plan your effort. Then work the plan. You won't regret it. The worst thing that could happen is that it will be a small transfer of wealth. Is that a sin?

        Joe Selvaggio, Minneapolis, is executive director of MicroGrants and the One Percent Club and founder of the Project for Pride! in Living.

      • Craig Brooks
        This article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by Craig Brooks. *Please note, the sender s identity has not been verified. The full article, with any
        Message 3 of 20 , Mar 16, 2007
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          This article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by Craig Brooks.
          *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.

          The full article, with any associated images and links can be viewed here.
          Craig Brooks wrote these comments: "Severe poverty in Minnesota rose faster from 2000 to 2005 than in any other state in the nation"! What a disgrace!

          John Estrem: Minnesota, get serious about ending poverty
          John Estrem,

          Much of the recent news has been all about mega-money, from the state's $2.1 billion surplus to the trillions at stake in the global stock market jitters. Another recent headline, though, reminds us that for thousands of Minnesotans, the economy still is measured in nickels and dimes -- the difference sometimes between eating and going hungry for another day.

          Severe poverty in Minnesota rose faster from 2000 to 2005 than in any other state in the nation. Minnesotans living at less than half the official poverty line ("severe poverty" is defined as an income of less than $10,00! 0 for a family of four) went up by an astounding 62 percent.

          Perhaps it was just the embarrassment of a state as wealthy and well-educated as Minnesota setting the national pace in the increase of people suffering severe poverty that buried another story. By Feb. 15, Minnesota was supposed to have a Legislative Commission to End Poverty by 2020. Yet, weeks after the deadline, the commission is invisible.

          It saddens and upsets me to realize that our sincere hopes that the Legislature would put a high priority on eliminating poverty are being dampened by the near invisibility of this commission. Instead of celebrating Minnesota's commitment to this lofty and important goal -- and engaging the public in meeting the challenge -- the Legislature is taking a painfully timid approach.

          This commission shouldn't be hidden under a veil of state bureaucracy. It should be announced with a "land-a-man-on-the-moon-by-the-end-of-the-decade" call to action.
          The growing severity of poverty in our state means that! it is a ll the more important to take seriously the goal of fighting and eliminating poverty. This is a goal that Catholic Charities is working on nationally and one that numerous organizations have adopted locally. We were greatly encouraged when, in the last legislative session, a bill was passed and signed by the governor to establish a Legislative Commission to End Poverty in Minnesota.

          Where is this commission? Has anyone heard a word about it?

          Where is the passion for alleviating the suffering and indignity experienced by the 194,000 Minnesotans who live in extreme poverty? Where is the commitment to restoring Minnesota to a position where we lead in the good statistics, not the bad?

          Catholic Charities and other organizations in the community are committed to the goal of eliminating poverty by 2020. We are launching a campaign to educate the public and our legislators that this goal is not a pipe dream. It can be done if we have the political will. I! n fact, few other states have Minnesota's resources -- especially a strong, diverse economy as evidenced by the budget surplus -- that make the goal of eliminating poverty truly within our reach.

          But it is a long reach. And while the overall number of Minnesota's poor is relatively small, the data on the percentage rise of those in severe poverty remind us how quickly poverty can overwhelm not just its direct victims, but our communities and eventually our entire state.

          The Legislative Commission to End Poverty could be an important and powerful ally in this campaign to eliminate poverty. If it's properly staffed, and if it becomes a strong public voice, traveling the state to educate and motivate people to take on the goal of eliminating poverty, it will have served all Minnesotans well.

          Yes, the day-to-day economic news can cause jubilation or jitters. But for thousands of Minnesotans, the headlines -- good or bad -- are just a way of marking ! another day of struggle. Every resident has a vested interest ! in chang ing that reality. We have the opportunity to reclaim our national leadership on indices we can celebrate by being the first to take seriously the goal of eliminating poverty. But we won't do it through timidity. The bold leadership of Minnesota's leaders is essential.

          The Rev. John Estrem is CEO of Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

        • Craig Brooks
          This article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by Craig Brooks. *Please note, the sender s identity has not been verified. The full article, with any
          Message 4 of 20 , May 7, 2007
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            This article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by Craig Brooks.
            *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.

            The full article, with any associated images and links can be viewed here.
            Craig Brooks wrote these comments: Good thoughts on why those tax cuts need to be reveresed.

            E.J. Dionne Jr.: Steps to help the growing ranks of working poor
            E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post

            WASHINGTON - Republicans once preached compassion, but then went off to war. Democrats waged a war on poverty, but then lost some elections. They decided the middle class is where it's at.

            But the poor are still with us and their ranks are growing. One in eight Americans lives in poverty, which seems obscene given that the really rich are enjoying a level of privilege that may make the Vanderbilts in the Gilded Age look like abstemious Puritans.

            "Rising inequality" is a bloodless term. But consider the facts behind the phrase: In 2005, the richest 1 percent of Americans held 19 percent of the nation! 's income, the largest share since 1929; the poorest 20 percent held only 3.4 percent.

            The historically inclined will recall that 1929 was the year of the great crash, which was followed by the Great Depression. History suggests that concentrating wealth and income in a small group of privileged people is bad for economic growth.

            One reason our nation has maintained generally healthy levels of economic growth is our success in spreading income around -- particularly during the 1940s to the early 1970s. This created more purchasing power among an ever larger group of Americans. We are thus tempting fate by following the formula of Andrew Mellon, the Republican Treasury secretary in the Roaring '20s who never met a tax cut for the rich he didn't like. He was rather popular until 1929.

            Here's the odd thing about the present moment: As a country, we are much more practical about poverty reduction than we were in the 1960s. Most plans on offer are not! utopian schemes. They promote work and would build ladders so! today's poor can become tomorrow's middle class.

            That's the significance of the antipoverty report just issued by the Center for American Progress, the think tank that is the closest thing we have to a Democratic administration in exile. The CAP report deserves more attention than it has gotten, not because it breaks new ground but precisely because it brings together some of the most pragmatic ideas on poverty reduction. The task force that prepared it included veteran liberals such as Peter Edelman and Angela Glover Blackwell, but also resolute middle-of-the-roaders such as the Rev. Floyd Flake, a champion of faith-based approaches to poverty, and Charles Kolb, president of the pro-business Committee for Economic Development.

            Their first recommendations aren't revolutionary, just sensible: They'd raise the minimum wage, and they'd expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, a program supported by Ronald Reagan and expanded by Bill Clinton. The EITC has done more than a! ny other measure to keep working Americans out of poverty. The task force would also make unionization easier, on the theory that giving workers the power to bargain for themselves is better than a government handout.

            More should be done for poor 16- to 24-year-olds who are out of school and out of work. In 2005, the report says, there were 1.7 million of them, a number big enough to be alarming but small enough to give public policy a chance to make a difference.

            Other recommendations are designed to promote upward mobility through expanded child-care assistance, "early education for all" and stepped-up efforts to make higher education more accessible. The panel would modernize the unemployment insurance system and other low-income programs that date back 30 years or more. Capitalists should like their proposals to give the poor more access to financial services and expand their ability to save. To prevent a new crime wave, the task force urges us to do a! lot more to "help former prisoners find stable employment and! reinteg rate into their communities."

            Will all this cost money? You bet, about $90 billion a year -- a little over one-fifth of the annual cost of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, many of which go to the rich. This would not break the bank of a country with a $13 trillion GDP, and it's for programs that cannot be demonized as more of "the failed old liberalism."

            The new Democratic majority in Congress seems determined to "fix" the alternative minimum tax, which unfairly pushes many middle- and upper-middle-income taxpayers into brackets they shouldn't be in. That's just fine. But these taxpayers are still doing reasonably well after taxes. A lot of Americans in the ranks of the working poor are not doing well, and they are the people Democrats claim to represent.

            And it would be awfully nice if Republicans revisited their commitment to compassion. As President Bush knew in 2000, swing voters like that sort of thing.

            E.J. Dionn! e Jr.'s column is distributed by the Washington Post Writers Group.

          • Craig Brooks
            Craig Brooks wrote these comments: Big city Minnesota problem exists here too. It is going to get worse if we don t work together to find solutions. This
            Message 5 of 20 , Aug 27, 2008
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              Craig Brooks wrote these comments: Big city Minnesota problem exists here too. It is going to get worse if we don't work together to find solutions.

              This Article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by CraigBrooks.
              *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.

              The full Article, with any associated images and links can be viewed here.
              Poor have seat in front row for RNC: Will they be seen?
              NICK COLEMAN, Star Tribune

              The Republican National Convention doesn't start until next Monday, but the first sign that we are living in troubled times went up across from the Xcel Energy Center two weeks ago:

              "Our Political Agenda: Food, shelter and dignity."

              But it's not a political sign. It's more a statement of faith.

              The sign adorns the Dorothy Day Center, a shelter for homeless people in the shadow of the arena where John McCain will accept the presidential nomination and delegates, demonstrators and media will converge in a perfect storm of politics, protest and poverty.

              Neither party seems able to address the realities of poverty represented by a growing homelessness problem. In Denver, where Democrats are meeting this week, there have been reports that officials offered free movie tickets to the homeless to get them off the streets and free haircuts to make them feel sharp when Obama comes to town.

              Here in the Twin Cities, officials aren't trying to make the homeless feel sharp. Just safe.

              About 200 people use the Dorothy Day shelter every night, and 300 or more eat meals there. They can't hide from the convention. It will be on their doorstep, as will thousands of protesters and police. So the center has tried to prepare for every possible problem, including clouds of tear gas and broken windows. There's even an evacuation plan.

              "It's like we think a tornado is coming," says the Rev. John Estrem, head of Catholic Charities, which runs the Dorothy Day Center. "We want to make sure our clients have a place where they can be as safe and dignified as possible."

              If a tornado does hit St. Paul, Dorothy Day will be at ground zero. Early in the planning process, several homeless service centers in St. Paul thought about relocating temporarily. But in the end, they decided to stay and to keep serving.

              "It was a delicate issue," says Rosemarie Reger-Rumsey, director of the Listening House, a drop-in center two blocks from Dorothy Day. "We knew some folks would ask why we couldn't make it [a move] permanent. So we decided to stay: Our clients may be 'homeless,' but this is their neighborhood, their community and their neck of the woods. Uprooting them would be no more fair than if you did that to any other neighborhood."

              The Twin Cities are popping veins trying to show off as Shangri-La on the Upper Mississippi, as devoid of big-city problems as we are of big-city bagels. But the truth is there are 7,000 homeless here, and the number is growing. And their "home," too, is being invaded. At a recent meeting of homeless people and police -- called to discuss the convention -- one homeless person told the cops not to take any guff from the protesters: "They're going to be right on our front porch," he said. "How much BS are you going to put up with?"

              Reger-Rumsey worries many of the homeless -- those with mental illnesses or traumatic brain injuries -- might feel under siege during the convention, especially "if they're fenced in and surrounded by protests, noise and crowds." Those who choose, she said, can ask for a bus token and move, for the week, to another shelter in Minneapolis.

              The Dorothy Day Center will extend its hours, remaining open to clients around the clock, and is adding breakfast to its normal meal schedule of lunch and dinner. With virtually nowhere to go outside the center during the convention, the idea is to make the center more accessible during the week. Still, it will be like living next to a foundry.

              For those who stay, the convention will mean many inconveniences:

              New clients will not be accepted at Dorothy Day until the convention ends. Current clients must remove bicycles -- many ride bikes to jobs or to run errands -- from the exclusion zone. Buses will be hard to get to, there will be no sleeping or lingering outside, no belongings left unattended, and any backpack or wheelchair or other item is likely to be searched, using dogs as well as metal detectors, inside the area. Tarps also have been strung inside the fences at Dorothy Day to screen the courtyards from outsiders.

              Some have begun to feel like prisoners.

              "We have to go on standstill, just because of those people," said Kelon Kilgore, 28, nodding across West Seventh Street towards the Xcel, where a GOP elephant, rampant, adorns the glass front. "When they put those tarps up, we knew what they thought about us. It's about making the city pretty. That's what it's all about."

              Estrem says the tarps protect the clients. It's "a fragile population," he says, one that didn't ask to be at the center of the political and media universe.

              "We're not trying to hide them; nor are we trying to put them on display. We have a fundamental belief in the dignity of every human person, and we are trying to get people to hear the voices of the poor.

              "Frankly, they are hardly ever heard by anyone in our political system."

              My view: It's a good thing that the homeless will be on hand as some of the most powerful and privileged people in America gather across West Seventh.

              It could prove beneficial -- for people on both sides of the street.

            • Green, Deacon Justin
              This conversation about the homeless is fascinating. When I moved to Winona in 2001, I was told that there are no homeless people here. I had formerly
              Message 6 of 20 , Aug 27, 2008
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                This conversation about the homeless is fascinating.  When I moved to Winona in 2001, I was told that there are no homeless people here.  I had formerly managed an agency that operated three shelters, so I wanted to get involved.  I was told that there are no shelters because there is no need.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that these statements about need were in error, though the statement about facilities certainly was, and is, true.

                 

                The Roundtable should know of a couple of efforts that now are underway.  First, a group has been meeting with a representative of a local bank who is willing to support an application to the Federal Home Loan Bank Board.  The group has been meeting for more than a year; the targets change, the vision changes, the plan changes.  But, we continue to search for a way forward.  Second, the Winona County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council has created a committee on Jail and Jail Alternatives.  The group currently is writing its charge or mission statement; it seems clear to me, however, that discharge programs including housing likely will be part of the committee’s concern. Craig chairs the committee, and has been a  most able leader.  These are two initiatives related to homelessness with which I am familiar, there may be others.

                 

                When the Roundtable last met about 18 months ago, the group selected two areas in which to focus its efforts.  The first was programs for people leaving custody, which includes the county jail, the state penal system, halfway houses, juvenile facilities, hospitals and foster care.  The second was, broadly speaking, medical care for the poor.  Within several months after that meeting, the rains came, and the Roundtable became the lead organization in providing long term relief to people who suffered losses in the flood.  The Winona Wabasha Interfaith Disaster Response was spun off from the Roundtable, and has been preoccupied with the flood for the past year.  My belief is that we have done about all that we can with flood relief.  Yes, significant unmet needs remain, but the Roundtable and WWIDR do not appear to be effective in closing the gaps.  Hence, I asked the Leadership Team to meet,  and I gave as the agenda finding something to do after flood relief ends.  Maybe we resume work on the original two initiatives, maybe we find others.  Speaking only for myself, I hope that the leadership team will prepare an agenda for a Roundtable meeting within the next month or so.  Essentially I think it’s time to regain our focus and bring it once again to the vision of eliminating poverty in our community.

                 

                Addressing the challenge of homelessness is, perhaps, the most daunting challenge a community group can decide to take on.  It is extraordinarily expensive, as anyone who runs a household knows all too well.  The cost of housing plus the cost of services makes for a very large budget number.  Plus, there usually is the capital cost – most programs focused on ending homelessness buy or lease significant amounts of property at an equally significant cost.  To further complicate the challenge, the NIMBY issue has destroyed more plans for facilities to help the homeless than perhaps any other kind of effort to help the poor.  Often, the homeless are among the top political targets.  Statistically, there is a high correlation of homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse.  These are not issues that play well in any neighborhood.  If the goal is to help people leaving custody, we add another layer to these challenges, and that’s before we consider the question of why the person was confined.  So, addressing homelessness is both expensive and politically unattractive.  So what?  The recent conversations in this group have reaffirmed my opinion that it’s time to get started.

                 

                Justin Green

                 

                From: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Craig Brooks
                Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 7:30 AM
                To: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                 

                Craig Brooks wrote these comments: Big city Minnesota problem exists here too. It is going to get worse if we don't work together to find solutions.


                This Article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by CraigBrooks.
                *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.

                The full Article, with any associated images and links can be viewed here.

                Poor have seat in front row for RNC: Will they be seen?
                NICK COLEMAN, Star Tribune

                The Republican National Convention doesn't start until next Monday, but the first sign that we are living in troubled times went up across from the Xcel Energy Center two weeks ago:

                "Our Political Agenda: Food, shelter and dignity."

                But it's not a political sign. It's more a statement of faith.

                The sign adorns the Dorothy Day Center, a shelter for homeless people in the shadow of the arena where John McCain will accept the presidential nomination and delegates, demonstrators and media will converge in a perfect storm of politics, protest and poverty.

                Neither party seems able to address the realities of poverty represented by a growing homelessness problem. In Denver, where Democrats are meeting this week, there have been reports that officials offered free movie tickets to the homeless to get them off the streets and free haircuts to make them feel sharp when Obama comes to town.

                Here in the Twin Cities, officials aren't trying to make the homeless feel sharp. Just safe.

                About 200 people use the Dorothy Day shelter every night, and 300 or more eat meals there. They can't hide from the convention. It will be on their doorstep, as will thousands of protesters and police. So the center has tried to prepare for every possible problem, including clouds of tear gas and broken windows. There's even an evacuation plan.

                "It's like we think a tornado is coming," says the Rev. John Estrem, head of Catholic Charities, which runs the Dorothy Day Center. "We want to make sure our clients have a place where they can be as safe and dignified as possible."

                If a tornado does hit St. Paul, Dorothy Day will be at ground zero. Early in the planning process, several homeless service centers in St. Paul thought about relocating temporarily. But in the end, they decided to stay and to keep serving.

                "It was a delicate issue," says Rosemarie Reger-Rumsey, director of the Listening House, a drop-in center two blocks from Dorothy Day. "We knew some folks would ask why we couldn't make it [a move] permanent. So we decided to stay: Our clients may be 'homeless,' but this is their neighborhood, their community and their neck of the woods. Uprooting them would be no more fair than if you did that to any other neighborhood."

                The Twin Cities are popping veins trying to show off as Shangri-La on the Upper Mississippi, as devoid of big-city problems as we are of big-city bagels. But the truth is there are 7,000 homeless here, and the number is growing. And their "home," too, is being invaded. At a recent meeting of homeless people and police -- called to discuss the convention -- one homeless person told the cops not to take any guff from the protesters: "They're going to be right on our front porch," he said. "How much BS are you going to put up with?"

                Reger-Rumsey worries many of the homeless -- those with mental illnesses or traumatic brain injuries -- might feel under siege during the convention, especially "if they're fenced in and surrounded by protests, noise and crowds." Those who choose, she said, can ask for a bus token and move, for the week, to another shelter in Minneapolis.

                The Dorothy Day Center will extend its hours, remaining open to clients around the clock, and is adding breakfast to its normal meal schedule of lunch and dinner. With virtually nowhere to go outside the center during the convention, the idea is to make the center more accessible during the week. Still, it will be like living next to a foundry.

                For those who stay, the convention will mean many inconveniences:

                New clients will not be accepted at Dorothy Day until the convention ends. Current clients must remove bicycles -- many ride bikes to jobs or to run errands -- from the exclusion zone. Buses will be hard to get to, there will be no sleeping or lingering outside, no belongings left unattended, and any backpack or wheelchair or other item is likely to be searched, using dogs as well as metal detectors, inside the area. Tarps also have been strung inside the fences at Dorothy Day to screen the courtyards from outsiders.

                Some have begun to feel like prisoners.

                "We have to go on standstill, just because of those people," said Kelon Kilgore, 28, nodding across West Seventh Street towards the Xcel, where a GOP elephant, rampant, adorns the glass front. "When they put those tarps up, we knew what they thought about us. It's about making the city pretty. That's what it's all about."

                Estrem says the tarps protect the clients. It's "a fragile population," he says, one that didn't ask to be at the center of the political and media universe.

                "We're not trying to hide them; nor are we trying to put them on display. We have a fundamental belief in the dignity of every human person, and we are trying to get people to hear the voices of the poor.

                "Frankly, they are hardly ever heard by anyone in our political system."

                My view: It's a good thing that the homeless will be on hand as some of the most powerful and privileged people in America gather across West Seventh.

                It could prove beneficial -- for people on both sides of the street.

              • margaret.schild@winona.k12.mn.us
                Adult Literacy Classes Begin Sept. 8 Winona Area Public Schools Community Education s Adult Literacy Program will offer GED Preparation classes, Basic Skills
                Message 7 of 20 , Aug 27, 2008
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                  Adult Literacy Classes Begin Sept. 8
                   
                  Winona Area Public Schools Community Education's Adult Literacy Program will offer GED Preparation classes, Basic Skills classes and English as a Second Language classes for adults beginning Sept. 8.
                   
                  Classes are held Monday through Thursday mornings from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Area Learning Center, 1299 W. 3rd Street. There is no charge for the classes and free on-site child care is available.  Registration takes place in class.
                   
                  The GED class covers subjects found in the GED tests: writing, reading, math, science and social studies. Basic skills classes are for anyone who needs to brush-up on their math, reading, spelling or writing skills. ESL classes cover the basics of the English language, including reading, writing, grammar, American customs and culture, and citizenship.
                   
                  For more information call Community Education at 507-494-0900.
                   
                   



                  Margaret M. Schild, Director
                  Community Education
                  Winona Area Public Schools
                  (507) 494-0900
                  FAX (507) 494-0909
                  margaret.schild@...


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                • Craig Brooks
                  Craig Brooks wrote these comments: A good month to remember the increase in need. This Article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by CraigBrooks.
                  Message 8 of 20 , Mar 3, 2009
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                    Craig Brooks wrote these comments: A good month to remember the increase in need.

                    This Article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by CraigBrooks.
                    *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.

                    The full Article, with any associated images and links can be viewed here.
                    A new way to measure hunger in Minnesota
                    PAUL WALSH, Star Tribune

                    The Upper Midwest's leading food-shelf organization in the state revealed today just how many meals that Minnesotans are missing every year -- 125 million.

                    In concert with release of that study this afternoon by Maplewood-based Second Harvest Heartland, Target also presented 600,000 pounds of non-perishable food items to Minnesota FoodShare's March Campaign.

                    The "Missing Meals" study is a collection of secondary data that pinpoints exactly how many meals Minnesotans in need are missing. This breaks from the pattern of hunger-relief organizations simply identifying the number of individuals seeking meal assistance.

                    Among the report's other key findings:

                    • On average, low-income Minnesotans in the seven county metro area missed 8 percent of their meals.

                    • About 22 percent of meals for needy Minnesotans is supplied through federal nutrition programs, such as food stamps or school lunch programs.

                    • There are more than 950,000 Minnesotans who are classified as low-income.

                    Last year, Second Harvest Heartland assisted with the distribution of 41 million pounds of groceries to hungry seniors, families and children through more than 1,000 non-profit member agencies and programs serving 59 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.2harvest.org.

                    Also today, Minnesota FoodShare announced a record-breaking cash donation of $450,000 from the Medtronic Foundation's employee drive to help more than 260 food shelves across Minnesota.

                    "Thanks to our employees, this unprecedented gift means 1.8 million more meals for hungry Minnesota families this year," said David Etzwiler, executive director of the Medtronic Foundation. 

                    Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

                  • Craig Brooks
                    Craig Brooks wrote these comments: December 7th -- local Winona public meeting on GAMC cuts and how it will affect low income and local medical vendors. To be
                    Message 9 of 20 , Nov 17, 2009
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                      Craig Brooks wrote these comments: December 7th -- local Winona public meeting on GAMC cuts and how it will affect low income and local medical vendors. To be held @ 7PM in County Gov't Center Dec. 7th. More info. later.

                      This Article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by CraigBrooks.
                      *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.

                      The full Article, with any associated images and links can be viewed here.
                      Editorial: Continue search for a GAMC fix


                      Every week since a gubernatorial veto handed a death sentence to General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC), the state's health care program for Minnesota's poorest citizens, St. Paul's Regions Hospital has been telling the stories of GAMC recipients.

                      E-mails from Regions' CEO Brock Nelson have introduced Bob, 61, an uninsured driver who had a heart attack behind the wheel and ran up $192,000 in medical bills. And Andrew, 44, a low-wage worker with no insurance benefits. When he was diagnosed with leukemia, he lost his job and quickly ran up a $135,000 bill. And Tom, 55, a homeless man whose leg swelled dangerously after a few weeks of living in his car. Treatment for a deep-vein blood clot came to $100,000.

                      Bob, Andrew and Tom's huge hospital bills are covered for now, thanks to GAMC, which pays the medical and prescription-drug bills of Minnesotans with incomes of less than $7,800 per year. But a veto by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in May, and a subsequent unallotment, slated GAMC for elimination on March 1.

                      Earlier this month, the Pawlenty administration announced that Bob, Andrew, Tom and about 28,000 other GAMC recipients will be automatically enrolled in MinnesotaCare, the state's subsidized insurance program for the working poor. For up to six months, their premiums, about $5 per month, will be covered by the county in which they reside. After that period, the former GAMC recipients will need to pay their own premiums, plus copayments for medical treatment.

                      That's a reasonable move for some GAMC clients. MinnesotaCare might serve Bob, Andrew and Tom fairly well, if their conditions and lifestyles stabilize enough for them to cover these costs.

                      But if Bob has another heart attack, or Tom another blood clot, they'll be back at Regions. MinnesotaCare will pay only the first $10,000 of their inpatient bills. For the rest, the patient and the hospital are on their own.

                      The same goes for the uninsured, low-income patients who appear in hospital emergency rooms after March 1. They too can enroll in MinnesotaCare. But a four-month waiting period will elapse before coverage begins. Hospitals and patients will be on the hook for costs that accrue during that four-month interval.

                      Those MinnesotaCare shortcomings are why Region's Hospital called Pawlenty's move "an appropriate administrative response to the current situation." But, the hospital added, "It is not a solution to the elimination of GAMC."

                      What's more, taking on the costs of the GAMC population for more than a few months will put MinnesotaCare itself in jeopardy. The fund earmarked for MinnesotaCare could fall into the red as soon as 18 months from now, according to one legislative analysis, if the needy people now covered by GAMC are added to its rolls.

                      That's why the Pawlenty administration's move to enroll GAMC clients in MinnesotaCare ought to be seen as a stopgap measure, not a permanent fix. It preserves the needy's access to clinical care and medication for at least a few months more. Those months ought not be wasted by policymakers.

                      The 2010 Legislature should not adjourn without finding a way to provide health care to the poor that's affordable for both them and the hospitals that serve them. Ideas are surfacing that involve asking hospitals to provide some charity care, but capping the amount; pooling hospital resources, so that Regions and Hennepin County Medical Center don't bear a disproportionate burden; and stepped-up efforts to keep chronically ill poor people out of hospitals and enrolled in other health care programs.

                      Pawlenty said he zeroed out GAMC's funding because its $350 million annual cost is excessive, and growing too rapidly. That criticism is warranted. But his action obliges him to participate in finding a more cost-effective, lasting alternative. Though his MinnesotaCare move is helpful, he should keep looking.

                    • Craig Brooks
                      This Article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by CraigBrooks. *Please note, the sender s identity has not been verified. The full Article, with any
                      Message 10 of 20 , Apr 4, 2010
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                        This Article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by CraigBrooks.
                        *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.

                        The full Article, with any associated images and links can be viewed here.
                        Nick Coleman: An argument on behalf of the homeless
                        NICK COLEMAN, Star Tribune

                        Whenever I write about homelessness, I get avalanches of comments blaming the homeless for their situation. The homeless, I hear, "have made bad choices."

                        Although research shows that most of the problem is due to such things as lack of medical care, untreated mental illness and joblessness, it is true that some very bad choices have been made. But not by the poor. By the rich, by the powerful, and by the politicians whose policies, heartless budget-cutting and blind eye to the effects of their decisions have sent the numbers of needy people soaring.

                        Gov. AbsenTee-PAW, Tim Pawlenty, has been out of the state 41 percent of the time (it may be more) since the Legislature opened, according to a story last week from Minnesota Public Radio. The governor argues that he doesn't have to hang around because he has finished his chores while the stupid Legislature is still yammering. But there is more to being governor than babysitting 201 lawmakers, and Minnesota needs someone who will stay in the cockpit.

                        Trying to stem the growing tide of homelessness is just one of many worthy obligations that might merit the full attention of our state's wandering leader.

                        Back in the flush economy of his early years in the governor's office, Pawlenty seemed to be a passionate advocate for the homeless. In 2004, the second year of his first term, he even unveiled an ambitious plan to "end" long-term homelessness in the state by 2010. It hasn't worked. He isn't even trying anymore.

                        Pawlenty blames the recession, but the recession didn't start until the end of 2008. The number of homeless in Minnesota had stagnated at between 7,000 and 8,000 for years, but last year, it surged by 22 percent, to 9,500.

                        The governor's crusade to end homelessness has withered in proportion to the expansion of his national ambitions. With severe cuts to social services and welfare, billions in unallotments and his torpedoing of the General Assistance Medical Care program (forcing a rescue by DFLers who settled for an inferior replacement program), Pawlenty has worsened many of the problems that lead to homelessness.

                        And if it weren't for millions in stimulus money from the Obama administration (which Pawlenty has derided) to keep more people from becoming homeless as they lose their jobs and their homes, the problem would be far worse. Tim Pawlenty owes Barack Obama a thank-you note, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

                        On Thursday, the first day of April, the Dorothy Day Center in St. Paul was crowded. That was a bad sign, because the first day of the month is normally quiet at social-service centers, a day when Social Security and other assistance payments arrive and the poor temporarily have money in their pockets. But there are no "quiet" days anymore. The center is constantly jammed, with 250 people a night sleeping on floor mats and 500 meals being served a day.

                        Over in a corner that is called "the 'hood" by some of the clients who sit and chat while waiting for medical assistance or help trying to find housing, a guy named Randy Winn marveled at his fate. Winn, 44, worked in a butcher shop until it closed in December and eventually lost his apartment.

                        "This is totally brand-new to me," he said, looking around the bustling shelter. "I've looked for work at a lot of places, but they all tell me they're sizing down, not hiring. I'm very versatile at work, but there is nothing for me and, every day, it seems like this place fills up more and more. Wow, what a change of life!"

                        Life is changing for all of the homeless. For the worse.

                        More are children (3,200, according to the Wilder Foundation); fewer have jobs of any kind (only one out of five; half as many as a decade ago); four out of 10 were evicted from their last home. Almost half suffer from mental illness; half have chronic (and often untreated) health problems; 62 percent are minorities.

                        You may be able to ignore this if you are traipsing around the country running for president. But it's harder if you live here.

                        Growing homelessness, says Becky Lentz, communications director for Catholic Charities, is just one troubling symptom of larger problems: A lack of jobs that pay a living wage; a lack of accessible and affordable health care; a lack of affordable housing convenient to public transit; the persistent effects of racism, poverty and neglect.

                        "Homelessness is not going away," Lentz says. "It's not getting better. These are people who we've failed as a society."

                        So. Do you want to blame homelessness on bad choices? Be my guest: There have been a lot of bad choices. But be fair: Let's start at the top.

                        Nick Coleman is a senior fellow at the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy & Civic Engagement at the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University. He can be reached at nickcoleman@....

                      • Craig Brooks
                        Craig Brooks wrote these comments: Might be an idea worth considering for a college town. This Article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by
                        Message 11 of 20 , Sep 1, 2010
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                          Craig Brooks wrote these comments: Might be an idea worth considering for a college town.

                          This Article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by CraigBrooks.
                          *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.

                          The full Article, with any associated images and links can be viewed here.
                          Store curbs students��� curbside trash
                          KARA McGUIRE, Star Tribune

                          With their husbands in school, Grace Huang and Lori Luo don't have a lot of money to spend furnishing their University of Minnesota apartments. But there they were Tuesday, struggling to carry a 45-piece china set, some crystal bowls, a photo album and a candelabra to student family housing. The price tag? There wasn't one.

                          The duo went shopping at the neighborhood free store, a pilot program developed by the Southeast Como Improvement Association in an effort to keep unwanted furniture and household goods left behind by students off lawns and out of dumpsters.

                          Piles of furniture turned garbage dot the streets of college towns around the country come moving day. With money tight and going green all the rage, college campuses and neighborhood groups are working to curb the problem. Some schools, such as West Virginia University, collect items for a massive rummage sale with the proceeds going to charity. Others donate unwanted goods directly to charity. Minnesota State University works with a local thrift store.

                          A neighborhood group bordering the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus created the MIMO free store (MIMO stands for move-in, move-out) to keep the curbs clean and appeal to budget-conscious students.

                          It's moving week, and the furniture cluttering Wendy Menken's neighborhood could furnish many of the rented houses in the area. An upturned side table. A computer monitor. An assortment of tacky couches, all waiting for scavengers or the city's garbage trucks to make the rounds. Some years it's worse -- like when it rains, warping particle board shelves and fizzing electronics, or when vandals destroy perfectly usable items.

                          "It gets to the point where the rest of the city is having a nice, long Labor Day weekend while we're sitting here surrounded by garbage," said Menken, 49, the neighborhood association's board president. "What a way to end the summer."

                          With college debt at a record high and scant job opportunities for graduates, one would think students would hang onto their big ticket possessions. But that's not always a possibility, Justin Eibenholzl, MIMO's coordinator explained.

                          Maybe the truck that the renters planned to borrow falls through and they can only move what fits in their car. The friend who claimed to want their desk never shows. A roommate with a nicer microwave moves in. Or a lamp doesn't fit with the new design scheme. Whatever the reason, "the end result is it ends up curbside," he said.

                          The free store idea is supported by a $25,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, plus funding from the McKnight Foundation and the Southeast neighborhood group. "Since about 40 percent of our nation's greenhouse gases are tied to producing products, it's really important that we get as much use out of the natural resources in those products as possible," MPCA waste prevention specialist Madalyn Cioci said. It also keeps furniture out of city incinerators and is a fairly straightforward model to replicate.

                          This spring's effort kept 4,400 pounds of stuff out of landfills. For this round, volunteers picked up about 1,500 pounds of desks, lamps and coffee tables on Monday; hundreds of pounds more have been dropped off during store hours.

                          MIMO is housed in the University of Minnesota's ReUse warehouse. The building always is a scavenger's paradise, filled with surplus office, lab and hospital equipment from around the University at low prices. It's open to the public every Thursday and will be open during the free store's 10-day run as well.

                          Without the free store, Anna Fowler isn't sure what she would have done with the futon that she had inherited with her apartment but her landlord now insisted she discard. But before she even pulled away from the ReUse warehouse loading dock, her problem morphed into a solution for an international graduate student, who'd already called dibs on the black frame and mattress. Other items, like the Bing Crosby Christmas LP, were still there for the taking.

                          Although the free store is designed for students and households in the neighborhoods bordering the university, the tough economic times have brought some shoppers from afar this year.

                          In addition to keeping her neighborhood clean and ultimately keeping taxes lower, Menken hopes the free store will cause students to rethink the practice of taking back-to-school trips to the big-box stores with mom and dad and discarding the goods nine months later. "It's a very disposable mentality," she said." We're trying to intervene, to educate."

                          Kara McGuire • 612-673-7293

                        • Green, Deacon Justin
                          Thank you, Craig, for circulating this article. Every spring, when the curbs are littered with furniture and household equipment discarded by Winona State
                          Message 12 of 20 , Sep 1, 2010
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                            Thank you, Craig, for circulating this article.  Every spring, when the curbs are littered with furniture and household equipment discarded by Winona State students, I hear people saying – there ought to be a better way.  Maybe we put this on the agenda for the Roundtable meeting on September 30.  Perhaps someone in the group is willing to take leadership and organize an effort to rescue these discarded items for use by neighbors who have less.

                             

                            Justin

                             

                            From: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Craig Brooks
                            Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 6:33 AM
                            To: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                             

                             

                            Craig Brooks wrote these comments: Might be an idea worth considering for a college town.


                            This Article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by CraigBrooks.
                            *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.

                            The full Article, with any associated images and links can be viewed here.

                            Store curbs students??? curbside trash
                            KARA McGUIRE, Star Tribune

                            With their husbands in school, Grace Huang and Lori Luo don't have a lot of money to spend furnishing their University of Minnesota apartments. But there they were Tuesday, struggling to carry a 45-piece china set, some crystal bowls, a photo album and a candelabra to student family housing. The price tag? There wasn't one.

                            The duo went shopping at the neighborhood free store, a pilot program developed by the Southeast Como Improvement Association in an effort to keep unwanted furniture and household goods left behind by students off lawns and out of dumpsters.

                            Piles of furniture turned garbage dot the streets of college towns around the country come moving day. With money tight and going green all the rage, college campuses and neighborhood groups are working to curb the problem. Some schools, such as West Virginia University, collect items for a massive rummage sale with the proceeds going to charity. Others donate unwanted goods directly to charity. Minnesota State University works with a local thrift store.

                            A neighborhood group bordering the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus created the MIMO free store (MIMO stands for move-in, move-out) to keep the curbs clean and appeal to budget-conscious students.

                            It's moving week, and the furniture cluttering Wendy Menken's neighborhood could furnish many of the rented houses in the area. An upturned side table. A computer monitor. An assortment of tacky couches, all waiting for scavengers or the city's garbage trucks to make the rounds. Some years it's worse -- like when it rains, warping particle board shelves and fizzing electronics, or when vandals destroy perfectly usable items.

                            "It gets to the point where the rest of the city is having a nice, long Labor Day weekend while we're sitting here surrounded by garbage," said Menken, 49, the neighborhood association's board president. "What a way to end the summer."

                            With college debt at a record high and scant job opportunities for graduates, one would think students would hang onto their big ticket possessions. But that's not always a possibility, Justin Eibenholzl, MIMO's coordinator explained.

                            Maybe the truck that the renters planned to borrow falls through and they can only move what fits in their car. The friend who claimed to want their desk never shows. A roommate with a nicer microwave moves in. Or a lamp doesn't fit with the new design scheme. Whatever the reason, "the end result is it ends up curbside," he said.

                            The free store idea is supported by a $25,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, plus funding from the McKnight Foundation and the Southeast neighborhood group. "Since about 40 percent of our nation's greenhouse gases are tied to producing products, it's really important that we get as much use out of the natural resources in those products as possible," MPCA waste prevention specialist Madalyn Cioci said. It also keeps furniture out of city incinerators and is a fairly straightforward model to replicate.

                            This spring's effort kept 4,400 pounds of stuff out of landfills. For this round, volunteers picked up about 1,500 pounds of desks, lamps and coffee tables on Monday; hundreds of pounds more have been dropped off during store hours.

                            MIMO is housed in the University of Minnesota's ReUse warehouse. The building always is a scavenger's paradise, filled with surplus office, lab and hospital equipment from around the University at low prices. It's open to the public every Thursday and will be open during the free store's 10-day run as well.

                            Without the free store, Anna Fowler isn't sure what she would have done with the futon that she had inherited with her apartment but her landlord now insisted she discard. But before she even pulled away from the ReUse warehouse loading dock, her problem morphed into a solution for an international graduate student, who'd already called dibs on the black frame and mattress. Other items, like the Bing Crosby Christmas LP, were still there for the taking.

                            Although the free store is designed for students and households in the neighborhoods bordering the university, the tough economic times have brought some shoppers from afar this year.

                            In addition to keeping her neighborhood clean and ultimately keeping taxes lower, Menken hopes the free store will cause students to rethink the practice of taking back-to-school trips to the big-box stores with mom and dad and discarding the goods nine months later. "It's a very disposable mentality," she said." We're trying to intervene, to educate."

                            Kara McGuire • 612-673-7293

                          • Admin WCF
                            This would be a great program to be sponsored by Waste Management or local trash companies. I remember my mother-in-law talking about a city wide free day
                            Message 13 of 20 , Sep 1, 2010
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                              This would be a great program to be sponsored by Waste Management or local trash companies.  I remember my mother-in-law talking about a city wide “free day” in Iowa  where people would put furniture or items in good shape out  that you could drive around and take what was needed.   What a win win.  It’s sad when you hear that people want to dumpster dive at the end of the school year with a risk of getting a ticket from the police.

                               

                              Jeni

                               

                              From: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Green, Deacon Justin
                              Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 8:49 AM
                              To: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: RE: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                               

                               

                              Thank you, Craig, for circulating this article.  Every spring, when the curbs are littered with furniture and household equipment discarded by Winona State students, I hear people saying – there ought to be a better way.  Maybe we put this on the agenda for the Roundtable meeting on September 30.  Perhaps someone in the group is willing to take leadership and organize an effort to rescue these discarded items for use by neighbors who have less.

                               

                              Justin

                               

                              From: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Craig Brooks
                              Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 6:33 AM
                              To: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                               

                               

                              Craig Brooks wrote these comments: Might be an idea worth considering for a college town.



                              This Article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by CraigBrooks.
                              *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.

                              The full Article, with any associated images and links can be viewed here.

                              Store curbs students??? curbside trash
                              KARA McGUIRE, Star Tribune

                              With their husbands in school, Grace Huang and Lori Luo don't have a lot of money to spend furnishing their University of Minnesota apartments. But there they were Tuesday, struggling to carry a 45-piece china set, some crystal bowls, a photo album and a candelabra to student family housing. The price tag? There wasn't one.

                              The duo went shopping at the neighborhood free store, a pilot program developed by the Southeast Como Improvement Association in an effort to keep unwanted furniture and household goods left behind by students off lawns and out of dumpsters.

                              Piles of furniture turned garbage dot the streets of college towns around the country come moving day. With money tight and going green all the rage, college campuses and neighborhood groups are working to curb the problem. Some schools, such as West Virginia University, collect items for a massive rummage sale with the proceeds going to charity. Others donate unwanted goods directly to charity. Minnesota State University works with a local thrift store.

                              A neighborhood group bordering the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus created the MIMO free store (MIMO stands for move-in, move-out) to keep the curbs clean and appeal to budget-conscious students.

                              It's moving week, and the furniture cluttering Wendy Menken's neighborhood could furnish many of the rented houses in the area. An upturned side table. A computer monitor. An assortment of tacky couches, all waiting for scavengers or the city's garbage trucks to make the rounds. Some years it's worse -- like when it rains, warping particle board shelves and fizzing electronics, or when vandals destroy perfectly usable items.

                              "It gets to the point where the rest of the city is having a nice, long Labor Day weekend while we're sitting here surrounded by garbage," said Menken, 49, the neighborhood association's board president. "What a way to end the summer."

                              With college debt at a record high and scant job opportunities for graduates, one would think students would hang onto their big ticket possessions. But that's not always a possibility, Justin Eibenholzl, MIMO's coordinator explained.

                              Maybe the truck that the renters planned to borrow falls through and they can only move what fits in their car. The friend who claimed to want their desk never shows. A roommate with a nicer microwave moves in. Or a lamp doesn't fit with the new design scheme. Whatever the reason, "the end result is it ends up curbside," he said.

                              The free store idea is supported by a $25,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, plus funding from the McKnight Foundation and the Southeast neighborhood group. "Since about 40 percent of our nation's greenhouse gases are tied to producing products, it's really important that we get as much use out of the natural resources in those products as possible," MPCA waste prevention specialist Madalyn Cioci said. It also keeps furniture out of city incinerators and is a fairly straightforward model to replicate.

                              This spring's effort kept 4,400 pounds of stuff out of landfills. For this round, volunteers picked up about 1,500 pounds of desks, lamps and coffee tables on Monday; hundreds of pounds more have been dropped off during store hours.

                              MIMO is housed in the University of Minnesota's ReUse warehouse. The building always is a scavenger's paradise, filled with surplus office, lab and hospital equipment from around the University at low prices. It's open to the public every Thursday and will be open during the free store's 10-day run as well.

                              Without the free store, Anna Fowler isn't sure what she would have done with the futon that she had inherited with her apartment but her landlord now insisted she discard. But before she even pulled away from the ReUse warehouse loading dock, her problem morphed into a solution for an international graduate student, who'd already called dibs on the black frame and mattress. Other items, like the Bing Crosby Christmas LP, were still there for the taking.

                              Although the free store is designed for students and households in the neighborhoods bordering the university, the tough economic times have brought some shoppers from afar this year.

                              In addition to keeping her neighborhood clean and ultimately keeping taxes lower, Menken hopes the free store will cause students to rethink the practice of taking back-to-school trips to the big-box stores with mom and dad and discarding the goods nine months later. "It's a very disposable mentality," she said." We're trying to intervene, to educate."

                              Kara McGuire • 612-673-7293

                            • Tina Anderson
                              Maybe this would be something the Re-Store could coordinate in conjunction with maybe Red Box Plus? All that would really be needed would be a space, a time
                              Message 14 of 20 , Sep 1, 2010
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                                Maybe this would be something the Re-Store could coordinate in conjunction with maybe Red Box Plus? All that would really be needed would be a space, a time frame and a place that will take the left over items. Just a thought.

                                 

                                 

                                Tina Anderson

                                 

                                Tina Anderson

                                President
                                Winona Community Foundation
                                507.454.6511 / preswcf@...

                                 

                                Twitter: @wcfpres

                                Facebook: Winona Comm-Found

                                 

                                "If you want to go quickly go alone.  If you want to go far, go together." To learn how you can contribute to the Winona Community Foundation's Youth in Philanthropy fund, local grant-making programs or to create your own Fund to support your special charitable passion, go to www.winonacommunityfoundation.org or call the Foundation at 507-454-6511.

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                From: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Green, Deacon Justin
                                Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 8:49 AM
                                To: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: RE: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                 

                                 

                                Thank you, Craig, for circulating this article.  Every spring, when the curbs are littered with furniture and household equipment discarded by Winona State students, I hear people saying – there ought to be a better way.  Maybe we put this on the agenda for the Roundtable meeting on September 30.  Perhaps someone in the group is willing to take leadership and organize an effort to rescue these discarded items for use by neighbors who have less.

                                 

                                Justin

                                 

                                From: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Craig Brooks
                                Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 6:33 AM
                                To: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                 

                                 

                                Craig Brooks wrote these comments: Might be an idea worth considering for a college town.



                                This Article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by CraigBrooks.
                                *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.

                                The full Article, with any associated images and links can be viewed here.

                                Store curbs students??? curbside trash
                                KARA McGUIRE, Star Tribune

                                With their husbands in school, Grace Huang and Lori Luo don't have a lot of money to spend furnishing their University of Minnesota apartments. But there they were Tuesday, struggling to carry a 45-piece china set, some crystal bowls, a photo album and a candelabra to student family housing. The price tag? There wasn't one.

                                The duo went shopping at the neighborhood free store, a pilot program developed by the Southeast Como Improvement Association in an effort to keep unwanted furniture and household goods left behind by students off lawns and out of dumpsters.

                                Piles of furniture turned garbage dot the streets of college towns around the country come moving day. With money tight and going green all the rage, college campuses and neighborhood groups are working to curb the problem. Some schools, such as West Virginia University, collect items for a massive rummage sale with the proceeds going to charity. Others donate unwanted goods directly to charity. Minnesota State University works with a local thrift store.

                                A neighborhood group bordering the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus created the MIMO free store (MIMO stands for move-in, move-out) to keep the curbs clean and appeal to budget-conscious students.

                                It's moving week, and the furniture cluttering Wendy Menken's neighborhood could furnish many of the rented houses in the area. An upturned side table. A computer monitor. An assortment of tacky couches, all waiting for scavengers or the city's garbage trucks to make the rounds. Some years it's worse -- like when it rains, warping particle board shelves and fizzing electronics, or when vandals destroy perfectly usable items.

                                "It gets to the point where the rest of the city is having a nice, long Labor Day weekend while we're sitting here surrounded by garbage," said Menken, 49, the neighborhood association's board president. "What a way to end the summer."

                                With college debt at a record high and scant job opportunities for graduates, one would think students would hang onto their big ticket possessions. But that's not always a possibility, Justin Eibenholzl, MIMO's coordinator explained.

                                Maybe the truck that the renters planned to borrow falls through and they can only move what fits in their car. The friend who claimed to want their desk never shows. A roommate with a nicer microwave moves in. Or a lamp doesn't fit with the new design scheme. Whatever the reason, "the end result is it ends up curbside," he said.

                                The free store idea is supported by a $25,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, plus funding from the McKnight Foundation and the Southeast neighborhood group. "Since about 40 percent of our nation's greenhouse gases are tied to producing products, it's really important that we get as much use out of the natural resources in those products as possible," MPCA waste prevention specialist Madalyn Cioci said. It also keeps furniture out of city incinerators and is a fairly straightforward model to replicate.

                                This spring's effort kept 4,400 pounds of stuff out of landfills. For this round, volunteers picked up about 1,500 pounds of desks, lamps and coffee tables on Monday; hundreds of pounds more have been dropped off during store hours.

                                MIMO is housed in the University of Minnesota's ReUse warehouse. The building always is a scavenger's paradise, filled with surplus office, lab and hospital equipment from around the University at low prices. It's open to the public every Thursday and will be open during the free store's 10-day run as well.

                                Without the free store, Anna Fowler isn't sure what she would have done with the futon that she had inherited with her apartment but her landlord now insisted she discard. But before she even pulled away from the ReUse warehouse loading dock, her problem morphed into a solution for an international graduate student, who'd already called dibs on the black frame and mattress. Other items, like the Bing Crosby Christmas LP, were still there for the taking.

                                Although the free store is designed for students and households in the neighborhoods bordering the university, the tough economic times have brought some shoppers from afar this year.

                                In addition to keeping her neighborhood clean and ultimately keeping taxes lower, Menken hopes the free store will cause students to rethink the practice of taking back-to-school trips to the big-box stores with mom and dad and discarding the goods nine months later. "It's a very disposable mentality," she said." We're trying to intervene, to educate."

                                Kara McGuire • 612-673-7293

                              • Beth Moe
                                I believe the ReStore already does work with the colleges at the end of the school year to collect items. (Nancy or Stephanie, correct me if I m wrong.) And I
                                Message 15 of 20 , Sep 1, 2010
                                • 0 Attachment

                                  I believe the ReStore already does work with the colleges at the end of the school year to collect items. (Nancy or Stephanie, correct me if I’m wrong.) And I believe they are able to salvage quite a bit.

                                   

                                  Beth

                                   


                                  From: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tina Anderson
                                  Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 10:18 AM
                                  To: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: RE: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                   

                                   

                                  Maybe this would be something the Re-Store could coordinate in conjunction with maybe Red Box Plus? All that would really be needed would be a space, a time frame and a place that will take the left over items. Just a thought.

                                   

                                   

                                  Tina Anderson

                                   

                                  Tina Anderson

                                  President
                                  Winona Community Foundation
                                  507.454.6511 / preswcf@...

                                   

                                  Twitter: @wcfpres

                                  Facebook: Winona Comm-Found

                                   

                                  "If you want to go quickly go alone.  If you want to go far, go together." To learn how you can contribute to the Winona Community Foundation's Youth in Philanthropy fund, local grant-making programs or to create your own Fund to support your special charitable passion, go to www.winonacommunityfoundation.org or call the Foundation at 507-454-6511.

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                  From: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Green, Deacon Justin
                                  Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 8:49 AM
                                  To: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: RE: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                   

                                   

                                  Thank you, Craig, for circulating this article.  Every spring, when the curbs are littered with furniture and household equipment discarded by Winona State students, I hear people saying – there ought to be a better way.  Maybe we put this on the agenda for the Roundtable meeting on September 30.  Perhaps someone in the group is willing to take leadership and organize an effort to rescue these discarded items for use by neighbors who have less.

                                   

                                  Justin

                                   

                                  From: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Craig Brooks
                                  Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 6:33 AM
                                  To: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                   

                                   

                                  Craig Brooks wrote these comments: Might be an idea worth considering for a college town.




                                  This Article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by CraigBrooks.
                                  *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.

                                  The full Article, with any associated images and links can be viewed here.

                                  Store curbs students??? curbside trash
                                  KARA McGUIRE, Star Tribune

                                  With their husbands in school, Grace Huang and Lori Luo don't have a lot of money to spend furnishing their University of Minnesota apartments. But there they were Tuesday, struggling to carry a 45-piece china set, some crystal bowls, a photo album and a candelabra to student family housing. The price tag? There wasn't one.

                                  The duo went shopping at the neighborhood free store, a pilot program developed by the Southeast Como Improvement Association in an effort to keep unwanted furniture and household goods left behind by students off lawns and out of dumpsters.

                                  Piles of furniture turned garbage dot the streets of college towns around the country come moving day. With money tight and going green all the rage, college campuses and neighborhood groups are working to curb the problem. Some schools, such as West Virginia University, collect items for a massive rummage sale with the proceeds going to charity. Others donate unwanted goods directly to charity. Minnesota State University works with a local thrift store.

                                  A neighborhood group bordering the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus created the MIMO free store (MIMO stands for move-in, move-out) to keep the curbs clean and appeal to budget-conscious students.

                                  It's moving week, and the furniture cluttering Wendy Menken's neighborhood could furnish many of the rented houses in the area. An upturned side table. A computer monitor. An assortment of tacky couches, all waiting for scavengers or the city's garbage trucks to make the rounds. Some years it's worse -- like when it rains, warping particle board shelves and fizzing electronics, or when vandals destroy perfectly usable items.

                                  "It gets to the point where the rest of the city is having a nice, long Labor Day weekend while we're sitting here surrounded by garbage," said Menken, 49, the neighborhood association's board president. "What a way to end the summer."

                                  With college debt at a record high and scant job opportunities for graduates, one would think students would hang onto their big ticket possessions. But that's not always a possibility, Justin Eibenholzl, MIMO's coordinator explained.

                                  Maybe the truck that the renters planned to borrow falls through and they can only move what fits in their car. The friend who claimed to want their desk never shows. A roommate with a nicer microwave moves in. Or a lamp doesn't fit with the new design scheme. Whatever the reason, "the end result is it ends up curbside," he said.

                                  The free store idea is supported by a $25,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, plus funding from the McKnight Foundation and the Southeast neighborhood group. "Since about 40 percent of our nation's greenhouse gases are tied to producing products, it's really important that we get as much use out of the natural resources in those products as possible," MPCA waste prevention specialist Madalyn Cioci said. It also keeps furniture out of city incinerators and is a fairly straightforward model to replicate.

                                  This spring's effort kept 4,400 pounds of stuff out of landfills. For this round, volunteers picked up about 1,500 pounds of desks, lamps and coffee tables on Monday; hundreds of pounds more have been dropped off during store hours.

                                  MIMO is housed in the University of Minnesota's ReUse warehouse. The building always is a scavenger's paradise, filled with surplus office, lab and hospital equipment from around the University at low prices. It's open to the public every Thursday and will be open during the free store's 10-day run as well.

                                  Without the free store, Anna Fowler isn't sure what she would have done with the futon that she had inherited with her apartment but her landlord now insisted she discard. But before she even pulled away from the ReUse warehouse loading dock, her problem morphed into a solution for an international graduate student, who'd already called dibs on the black frame and mattress. Other items, like the Bing Crosby Christmas LP, were still there for the taking.

                                  Although the free store is designed for students and households in the neighborhoods bordering the university, the tough economic times have brought some shoppers from afar this year.

                                  In addition to keeping her neighborhood clean and ultimately keeping taxes lower, Menken hopes the free store will cause students to rethink the practice of taking back-to-school trips to the big-box stores with mom and dad and discarding the goods nine months later. "It's a very disposable mentality," she said." We're trying to intervene, to educate."

                                  Kara McGuire • 612-673-7293

                                • Jill Johnson
                                  The very good news is that this kind of reclamation from campuses for reuse has been happening here in Winona in conjunction w/the ReStore for a number of
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Sep 1, 2010
                                  • 0 Attachment

                                     

                                    The very good news is that this kind of reclamation from campuses for reuse has been happening here in Winona in conjunction w/the ReStore for a number of years. 

                                    They are already totally on top of it!

                                     

                                    I’ll ask John, the ReStore manager, to send me a description of their procedure, and will then post it to this listserve so that everyone will be well versed in the what and when.

                                     

                                    John will probably have some ideas for support that their program could benefit from as well, in case people want to help out in some way.

                                     

                                    Thanks,

                                    Anne

                                     

                                     

                                    Anne Morse

                                    Sustainability Coordinator

                                    Winona County Environmental Services

                                    225 West 2nd Street

                                    Winona, MN  55987

                                    Office  507.457.6468

                                    Fax  507.457.6465

                                    Cell  507.313.3171

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                    From: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Craig Brooks
                                    Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 6:33 AM
                                    To: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                     

                                     

                                    Craig Brooks wrote these comments: Might be an idea worth considering for a college town.


                                    This Article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by CraigBrooks.
                                    *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.

                                    The full Article, with any associated images and links can be viewed here.

                                    Store curbs students’ curbside trash
                                    KARA McGUIRE, Star Tribune

                                    With their husbands in school, Grace Huang and Lori Luo don't have a lot of money to spend furnishing their University of Minnesota apartments. But there they were Tuesday, struggling to carry a 45-piece china set, some crystal bowls, a photo album and a candelabra to student family housing. The price tag? There wasn't one.

                                    The duo went shopping at the neighborhood free store, a pilot program developed by the Southeast Como Improvement Association in an effort to keep unwanted furniture and household goods left behind by students off lawns and out of dumpsters.

                                    Piles of furniture turned garbage dot the streets of college towns around the country come moving day. With money tight and going green all the rage, college campuses and neighborhood groups are working to curb the problem. Some schools, such as West Virginia University, collect items for a massive rummage sale with the proceeds going to charity. Others donate unwanted goods directly to charity. Minnesota State University works with a local thrift store.

                                    A neighborhood group bordering the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus created the MIMO free store (MIMO stands for move-in, move-out) to keep the curbs clean and appeal to budget-conscious students.

                                    It's moving week, and the furniture cluttering Wendy Menken's neighborhood could furnish many of the rented houses in the area. An upturned side table. A computer monitor. An assortment of tacky couches, all waiting for scavengers or the city's garbage trucks to make the rounds. Some years it's worse -- like when it rains, warping particle board shelves and fizzing electronics, or when vandals destroy perfectly usable items.

                                    "It gets to the point where the rest of the city is having a nice, long Labor Day weekend while we're sitting here surrounded by garbage," said Menken, 49, the neighborhood association's board president. "What a way to end the summer."

                                    With college debt at a record high and scant job opportunities for graduates, one would think students would hang onto their big ticket possessions. But that's not always a possibility, Justin Eibenholzl, MIMO's coordinator explained.

                                    Maybe the truck that the renters planned to borrow falls through and they can only move what fits in their car. The friend who claimed to want their desk never shows. A roommate with a nicer microwave moves in. Or a lamp doesn't fit with the new design scheme. Whatever the reason, "the end result is it ends up curbside," he said.

                                    The free store idea is supported by a $25,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, plus funding from the McKnight Foundation and the Southeast neighborhood group. "Since about 40 percent of our nation's greenhouse gases are tied to producing products, it's really important that we get as much use out of the natural resources in those products as possible," MPCA waste prevention specialist Madalyn Cioci said. It also keeps furniture out of city incinerators and is a fairly straightforward model to replicate.

                                    This spring's effort kept 4,400 pounds of stuff out of landfills. For this round, volunteers picked up about 1,500 pounds of desks, lamps and coffee tables on Monday; hundreds of pounds more have been dropped off during store hours.

                                    MIMO is housed in the University of Minnesota's ReUse warehouse. The building always is a scavenger's paradise, filled with surplus office, lab and hospital equipment from around the University at low prices. It's open to the public every Thursday and will be open during the free store's 10-day run as well.

                                    Without the free store, Anna Fowler isn't sure what she would have done with the futon that she had inherited with her apartment but her landlord now insisted she discard. But before she even pulled away from the ReUse warehouse loading dock, her problem morphed into a solution for an international graduate student, who'd already called dibs on the black frame and mattress. Other items, like the Bing Crosby Christmas LP, were still there for the taking.

                                    Although the free store is designed for students and households in the neighborhoods bordering the university, the tough economic times have brought some shoppers from afar this year.

                                    In addition to keeping her neighborhood clean and ultimately keeping taxes lower, Menken hopes the free store will cause students to rethink the practice of taking back-to-school trips to the big-box stores with mom and dad and discarding the goods nine months later. "It's a very disposable mentality," she said." We're trying to intervene, to educate."

                                    Kara McGuire • 612-673-7293

                                  • Shari_Klippenstein@usc.salvationarmy.org
                                    Yes the restore along with Salvation Army have a collection program on the WSU and SMU campuses these past two springs. As far as I know, we plan on doing it
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Sep 1, 2010
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Yes the restore along with Salvation Army have a collection program on the WSU and SMU campuses these past two springs. As far as I know, we plan on doing it again. This past year we did not collect much. However, I hope to have more advertising this upcoming spring so students can recycle their stuff.

                                      Dumpster diving is something that happens at our dumpsters every evening after the store closes. We use to lock our dumpsters, but we were running up such a bill to replace locks and repair our doors when people would vandalize them to break in. We even have parents putting their children in the dumpsters to throw them discarded items. It is such a safety problem we have to involve the police at times. The more we as a community can do to provide for the needy the better.

                                      Shari Klippenstein
                                      Salvation Army Thrift Store-Winona
                                      Store Supervisor
                                      507-474-2400




                                      "Beth Moe" <bfmoe@...>
                                      Sent by: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com

                                      09/01/2010 01:26 PM

                                      Please respond to
                                      PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com

                                      To
                                      <PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com>
                                      cc
                                      Subject
                                      RE: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com





                                       

                                      I believe the ReStore already does work with the colleges at the end of the school year to collect items. (Nancy or Stephanie, correct me if I’m wrong.) And I believe they are able to salvage quite a bit.

                                       

                                      Beth

                                       


                                      From: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tina Anderson
                                      Sent:
                                      Wednesday, September 01, 2010 10:18 AM
                                      To:
                                      PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject:
                                      RE: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                       

                                       

                                      Maybe this would be something the Re-Store could coordinate in conjunction with maybe Red Box Plus? All that would really be needed would be a space, a time frame and a place that will take the left over items. Just a thought.

                                       

                                       

                                      Tina Anderson

                                       

                                      Tina Anderson

                                      President
                                      Winona Community Foundation

                                      507.454.6511
                                      / preswcf@...

                                       

                                      Twitter: @wcfpres

                                      Facebook: Winona Comm-Found

                                       

                                      "If you want to go quickly go alone.  If you want to go far, go together."To learn how you can contribute to the Winona Community Foundation's Youth in Philanthropy fund, local grant-making programs or to create your own Fund to support your special charitable passion, go to www.winonacommunityfoundation.orgor call the Foundation at 507-454-6511.

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                      From:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Green, Deacon Justin
                                      Sent:
                                      Wednesday, September 01, 2010 8:49 AM
                                      To:
                                      PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject:
                                      RE: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                       

                                       

                                      Thank you, Craig, for circulating this article.  Every spring, when the curbs are littered with furniture and household equipment discarded by Winona State students, I hear people saying – there ought to be a better way.  Maybe we put this on the agenda for the Roundtable meeting on September 30.  Perhaps someone in the group is willing to take leadership and organize an effort to rescue these discarded items for use by neighbors who have less.

                                       

                                      Justin

                                       

                                      From:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Craig Brooks
                                      Sent:
                                      Wednesday, September 01, 2010 6:33 AM
                                      To:
                                      PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject:
                                      [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                       

                                       

                                      Craig Brooks wrote these comments: Might be an idea worth considering for a college town.



                                      This Article from StarTribune.comhas been sent to you by CraigBrooks.
                                      *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.


                                      The full Article, with any associated images and links can be viewed
                                      here.
                                      Store curbs students??? curbside trash
                                      KARA McGUIRE, Star Tribune

                                      With their husbands in school, Grace Huang and Lori Luo don't have a lot of money to spend furnishing their University of Minnesota apartments. But there they were Tuesday, struggling to carry a 45-piece china set, some crystal bowls, a photo album and a candelabra to student family housing. The price tag? There wasn't one.

                                      The duo went shopping at the neighborhood free store, a pilot program developed by the Southeast Como Improvement Association in an effort to keep unwanted furniture and household goods left behind by students off lawns and out of dumpsters.

                                      Piles of furniture turned garbage dot the streets of college towns around the country come moving day. With money tight and going green all the rage, college campuses and neighborhood groups are working to curb the problem. Some schools, such as West Virginia University, collect items for a massive rummage sale with the proceeds going to charity. Others donate unwanted goods directly to charity. Minnesota State University works with a local thrift store.

                                      A neighborhood group bordering the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus created the MIMO free store (MIMO stands for move-in, move-out) to keep the curbs clean and appeal to budget-conscious students.

                                      It's moving week, and the furniture cluttering Wendy Menken's neighborhood could furnish many of the rented houses in the area. An upturned side table. A computer monitor. An assortment of tacky couches, all waiting for scavengers or the city's garbage trucks to make the rounds. Some years it's worse -- like when it rains, warping particle board shelves and fizzing electronics, or when vandals destroy perfectly usable items.

                                      "It gets to the point where the rest of the city is having a nice, long Labor Day weekend while we're sitting here surrounded by garbage," said Menken, 49, the neighborhood association's board president. "What a way to end the summer."

                                      With college debt at a record high and scant job opportunities for graduates, one would think students would hang onto their big ticket possessions. But that's not always a possibility, Justin Eibenholzl, MIMO's coordinator explained.

                                      Maybe the truck that the renters planned to borrow falls through and they can only move what fits in their car. The friend who claimed to want their desk never shows. A roommate with a nicer microwave moves in. Or a lamp doesn't fit with the new design scheme. Whatever the reason, "the end result is it ends up curbside," he said.

                                      The free store idea is supported by a $25,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, plus funding from the McKnight Foundation and the Southeast neighborhood group. "Since about 40 percent of our nation's greenhouse gases are tied to producing products, it's really important that we get as much use out of the natural resources in those products as possible," MPCA waste prevention specialist Madalyn Cioci said. It also keeps furniture out of city incinerators and is a fairly straightforward model to replicate.

                                      This spring's effort kept 4,400 pounds of stuff out of landfills. For this round, volunteers picked up about 1,500 pounds of desks, lamps and coffee tables on Monday; hundreds of pounds more have been dropped off during store hours.

                                      MIMO is housed in the University of Minnesota's ReUse warehouse. The building always is a scavenger's paradise, filled with surplus office, lab and hospital equipment from around the University at low prices. It's open to the public every Thursday and will be open during the free store's 10-day run as well.

                                      Without the free store, Anna Fowler isn't sure what she would have done with the futon that she had inherited with her apartment but her landlord now insisted she discard. But before she even pulled away from the ReUse warehouse loading dock, her problem morphed into a solution for an international graduate student, who'd already called dibs on the black frame and mattress. Other items, like the Bing Crosby Christmas LP, were still there for the taking.

                                      Although the free store is designed for students and households in the neighborhoods bordering the university, the tough economic times have brought some shoppers from afar this year.

                                      In addition to keeping her neighborhood clean and ultimately keeping taxes lower, Menken hopes the free store will cause students to rethink the practice of taking back-to-school trips to the big-box stores with mom and dad and discarding the goods nine months later. "It's a very disposable mentality," she said." We're trying to intervene, to educate."

                                      Kara McGuire • 612-673-7293




                                      This mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the originator of the message.

                                      Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, except where the sender specifies and with authority, states them to be the views of The Salvation Army.

                                      usc

                                    • Englich, Vicki L
                                      I know that the universities have worked with the Re-Store and Salvation Army as well as the Catholic Worker Houses to give away usable goods that would
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Sep 1, 2010
                                      • 0 Attachment

                                        I know that the universities have worked with the Re-Store and Salvation Army as well as the Catholic Worker Houses to give away usable goods that would otherwise find their way into the landfill. What I like about this article is that the items are free. I support the stores in town that use donations for their missions, but a location for free items could  reduce the vandalism that Shari discusses and provides for people who are in need.

                                         

                                        The idea needs a lot of planning, and I have corresponded with Justin that I would be interested in working on the project. I have also notified the WSU Environmental Club about the idea. They have contacts with the group who sponsors the Really Really Free Market that takes place once a month.

                                         

                                        I believe the Winona Housing Association also takes usable furniture to places like the Re-Store rather than letting it languish on the curbs.

                                         

                                        Vicki Englich

                                        WSU Community Liaison

                                        457-2949

                                         

                                        From: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Shari_Klippenstein@...
                                        Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 3:46 PM
                                        To: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                        Cc: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: RE: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                         

                                         

                                        Yes the restore along with Salvation Army have a collection program on the WSU and SMU campuses these past two springs. As far as I know, we plan on doing it again. This past year we did not collect much. However, I hope to have more advertising this upcoming spring so students can recycle their stuff.

                                        Dumpster diving is something that happens at our dumpsters every evening after the store closes. We use to lock our dumpsters, but we were running up such a bill to replace locks and repair our doors when people would vandalize them to break in. We even have parents putting their children in the dumpsters to throw them discarded items. It is such a safety problem we have to involve the police at times. The more we as a community can do to provide for the needy the better.

                                        Shari Klippenstein
                                        Salvation Army Thrift Store-Winona
                                        Store Supervisor
                                        507-474-2400



                                        "Beth Moe" <bfmoe@...>
                                        Sent by: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com

                                        09/01/2010 01:26 PM

                                        Please respond to
                                        PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com

                                        To

                                        <PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com>

                                        cc

                                        Subject

                                        RE: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                         




                                         

                                        I believe the ReStore already does work with the colleges at the end of the school year to collect items. (Nancy or Stephanie, correct me if I’m wrong.) And I believe they are able to salvage quite a bit.

                                         

                                        Beth

                                         


                                        From: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tina Anderson
                                        Sent:
                                        Wednesday, September 01, 2010 10:18 AM
                                        To:
                                        PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject:
                                        RE: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                         

                                         

                                        Maybe this would be something the Re-Store could coordinate in conjunction with maybe Red Box Plus? All that would really be needed would be a space, a time frame and a place that will take the left over items. Just a thought.

                                         

                                         

                                        Tina Anderson

                                         

                                        Tina Anderson

                                        President
                                        Winona Community Foundation

                                        507.454.6511
                                        / preswcf@...

                                         

                                        Twitter: @wcfpres

                                        Facebook: Winona Comm-Found

                                         

                                        "If you want to go quickly go alone.  If you want to go far, go together."To learn how you can contribute to the Winona Community Foundation's Youth in Philanthropy fund, local grant-making programs or to create your own Fund to support your special charitable passion, go to www.winonacommunityfoundation.orgor call the Foundation at 507-454-6511.

                                         

                                         

                                         

                                        From:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Green, Deacon Justin
                                        Sent:
                                        Wednesday, September 01, 2010 8:49 AM
                                        To:
                                        PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject:
                                        RE: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                         

                                         

                                        Thank you, Craig, for circulating this article.  Every spring, when the curbs are littered with furniture and household equipment discarded by Winona State students, I hear people saying – there ought to be a better way.  Maybe we put this on the agenda for the Roundtable meeting on September 30.  Perhaps someone in the group is willing to take leadership and organize an effort to rescue these discarded items for use by neighbors who have less.

                                         

                                        Justin

                                         

                                        From:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Craig Brooks
                                        Sent:
                                        Wednesday, September 01, 2010 6:33 AM
                                        To:
                                        PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject:
                                        [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                         

                                         

                                        Craig Brooks wrote these comments: Might be an idea worth considering for a college town.


                                        This Article from StarTribune.comhas been sent to you by CraigBrooks.
                                        *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.


                                        The full Article, with any associated images and links can be viewed
                                        here.

                                        Store curbs students??? curbside trash
                                        KARA McGUIRE, Star Tribune

                                        With their husbands in school, Grace Huang and Lori Luo don't have a lot of money to spend furnishing their University of Minnesota apartments. But there they were Tuesday, struggling to carry a 45-piece china set, some crystal bowls, a photo album and a candelabra to student family housing. The price tag? There wasn't one.

                                        The duo went shopping at the neighborhood free store, a pilot program developed by the Southeast Como Improvement Association in an effort to keep unwanted furniture and household goods left behind by students off lawns and out of dumpsters.

                                        Piles of furniture turned garbage dot the streets of college towns around the country come moving day. With money tight and going green all the rage, college campuses and neighborhood groups are working to curb the problem. Some schools, such as West Virginia University, collect items for a massive rummage sale with the proceeds going to charity. Others donate unwanted goods directly to charity. Minnesota State University works with a local thrift store.

                                        A neighborhood group bordering the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus created the MIMO free store (MIMO stands for move-in, move-out) to keep the curbs clean and appeal to budget-conscious students.

                                        It's moving week, and the furniture cluttering Wendy Menken's neighborhood could furnish many of the rented houses in the area. An upturned side table. A computer monitor. An assortment of tacky couches, all waiting for scavengers or the city's garbage trucks to make the rounds. Some years it's worse -- like when it rains, warping particle board shelves and fizzing electronics, or when vandals destroy perfectly usable items.

                                        "It gets to the point where the rest of the city is having a nice, long Labor Day weekend while we're sitting here surrounded by garbage," said Menken, 49, the neighborhood association's board president. "What a way to end the summer."

                                        With college debt at a record high and scant job opportunities for graduates, one would think students would hang onto their big ticket possessions. But that's not always a possibility, Justin Eibenholzl, MIMO's coordinator explained.

                                        Maybe the truck that the renters planned to borrow falls through and they can only move what fits in their car. The friend who claimed to want their desk never shows. A roommate with a nicer microwave moves in. Or a lamp doesn't fit with the new design scheme. Whatever the reason, "the end result is it ends up curbside," he said.

                                        The free store idea is supported by a $25,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, plus funding from the McKnight Foundation and the Southeast neighborhood group. "Since about 40 percent of our nation's greenhouse gases are tied to producing products, it's really important that we get as much use out of the natural resources in those products as possible," MPCA waste prevention specialist Madalyn Cioci said. It also keeps furniture out of city incinerators and is a fairly straightforward model to replicate.

                                        This spring's effort kept 4,400 pounds of stuff out of landfills. For this round, volunteers picked up about 1,500 pounds of desks, lamps and coffee tables on Monday; hundreds of pounds more have been dropped off during store hours.

                                        MIMO is housed in the University of Minnesota's ReUse warehouse. The building always is a scavenger's paradise, filled with surplus office, lab and hospital equipment from around the University at low prices. It's open to the public every Thursday and will be open during the free store's 10-day run as well.

                                        Without the free store, Anna Fowler isn't sure what she would have done with the futon that she had inherited with her apartment but her landlord now insisted she discard. But before she even pulled away from the ReUse warehouse loading dock, her problem morphed into a solution for an international graduate student, who'd already called dibs on the black frame and mattress. Other items, like the Bing Crosby Christmas LP, were still there for the taking.

                                        Although the free store is designed for students and households in the neighborhoods bordering the university, the tough economic times have brought some shoppers from afar this year.

                                        In addition to keeping her neighborhood clean and ultimately keeping taxes lower, Menken hopes the free store will cause students to rethink the practice of taking back-to-school trips to the big-box stores with mom and dad and discarding the goods nine months later. "It's a very disposable mentality," she said." We're trying to intervene, to educate."

                                        Kara McGuire • 612-673-7293




                                        This mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the originator of the message.

                                        Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, except where the sender specifies and with authority, states them to be the views of The Salvation Army.

                                        usc

                                      • Green, Deacon Justin
                                        Just speaking personally, I did not know that there was a campus program, I don’t get on either campus very much. I do know that, in the spring, the streets
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Sep 1, 2010
                                        • 0 Attachment

                                          Just speaking personally, I did not know that there was a campus program, I don’t get on either campus very much.  I do know that, in the spring, the streets east of campus, where I work and live, are filled with discarded furniture and the like.  So, while there is a good and functioning program on the campuses, what might be a valuable addition to the community is a program to keep furniture, kitchen utensils, small appliances, etc. off the street, out of the landfill and put them into the hands of people who can use them. 

                                           

                                          In any event, Craig’s email and the followup amount to a very useful conversation, and that’s very healthy.

                                           

                                          Justin

                                           

                                           

                                          From: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Shari_Klippenstein@...
                                          Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 3:46 PM
                                          To: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                          Cc: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject: RE: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                           

                                           

                                          Yes the restore along with Salvation Army have a collection program on the WSU and SMU campuses these past two springs. As far as I know, we plan on doing it again. This past year we did not collect much. However, I hope to have more advertising this upcoming spring so students can recycle their stuff.

                                          Dumpster diving is something that happens at our dumpsters every evening after the store closes. We use to lock our dumpsters, but we were running up such a bill to replace locks and repair our doors when people would vandalize them to break in. We even have parents putting their children in the dumpsters to throw them discarded items. It is such a safety problem we have to involve the police at times. The more we as a community can do to provide for the needy the better.

                                          Shari Klippenstein
                                          Salvation Army Thrift Store-Winona
                                          Store Supervisor
                                          507-474-2400



                                          "Beth Moe" <bfmoe@...>
                                          Sent by: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com

                                          09/01/2010 01:26 PM

                                          Please respond to
                                          PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com

                                          To

                                          <PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com>

                                          cc

                                          Subject

                                          RE: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                           




                                           

                                          I believe the ReStore already does work with the colleges at the end of the school year to collect items. (Nancy or Stephanie, correct me if I’m wrong.) And I believe they are able to salvage quite a bit.

                                           

                                          Beth

                                           


                                          From: PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tina Anderson
                                          Sent:
                                          Wednesday, September 01, 2010 10:18 AM
                                          To:
                                          PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject:
                                          RE: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                           

                                           

                                          Maybe this would be something the Re-Store could coordinate in conjunction with maybe Red Box Plus? All that would really be needed would be a space, a time frame and a place that will take the left over items. Just a thought.

                                           

                                           

                                          Tina Anderson

                                           

                                          Tina Anderson

                                          President
                                          Winona Community Foundation

                                          507.454.6511
                                          / preswcf@...

                                           

                                          Twitter: @wcfpres

                                          Facebook: Winona Comm-Found

                                           

                                          "If you want to go quickly go alone.  If you want to go far, go together."To learn how you can contribute to the Winona Community Foundation's Youth in Philanthropy fund, local grant-making programs or to create your own Fund to support your special charitable passion, go to www.winonacommunityfoundation.orgor call the Foundation at 507-454-6511.

                                           

                                           

                                           

                                          From:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Green, Deacon Justin
                                          Sent:
                                          Wednesday, September 01, 2010 8:49 AM
                                          To:
                                          PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject:
                                          RE: [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                           

                                           

                                          Thank you, Craig, for circulating this article.  Every spring, when the curbs are littered with furniture and household equipment discarded by Winona State students, I hear people saying – there ought to be a better way.  Maybe we put this on the agenda for the Roundtable meeting on September 30.  Perhaps someone in the group is willing to take leadership and organize an effort to rescue these discarded items for use by neighbors who have less.

                                           

                                          Justin

                                           

                                          From:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Craig Brooks
                                          Sent:
                                          Wednesday, September 01, 2010 6:33 AM
                                          To:
                                          PovertyRndTable@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject:
                                          [PovertyRndTable] Craig Brooks sent you an article from startribune.com

                                           

                                           

                                          Craig Brooks wrote these comments: Might be an idea worth considering for a college town.


                                          This Article from StarTribune.comhas been sent to you by CraigBrooks.
                                          *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.


                                          The full Article, with any associated images and links can be viewed
                                          here.

                                          Store curbs students??? curbside trash
                                          KARA McGUIRE, Star Tribune

                                          With their husbands in school, Grace Huang and Lori Luo don't have a lot of money to spend furnishing their University of Minnesota apartments. But there they were Tuesday, struggling to carry a 45-piece china set, some crystal bowls, a photo album and a candelabra to student family housing. The price tag? There wasn't one.

                                          The duo went shopping at the neighborhood free store, a pilot program developed by the Southeast Como Improvement Association in an effort to keep unwanted furniture and household goods left behind by students off lawns and out of dumpsters.

                                          Piles of furniture turned garbage dot the streets of college towns around the country come moving day. With money tight and going green all the rage, college campuses and neighborhood groups are working to curb the problem. Some schools, such as West Virginia University, collect items for a massive rummage sale with the proceeds going to charity. Others donate unwanted goods directly to charity. Minnesota State University works with a local thrift store.

                                          A neighborhood group bordering the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus created the MIMO free store (MIMO stands for move-in, move-out) to keep the curbs clean and appeal to budget-conscious students.

                                          It's moving week, and the furniture cluttering Wendy Menken's neighborhood could furnish many of the rented houses in the area. An upturned side table. A computer monitor. An assortment of tacky couches, all waiting for scavengers or the city's garbage trucks to make the rounds. Some years it's worse -- like when it rains, warping particle board shelves and fizzing electronics, or when vandals destroy perfectly usable items.

                                          "It gets to the point where the rest of the city is having a nice, long Labor Day weekend while we're sitting here surrounded by garbage," said Menken, 49, the neighborhood association's board president. "What a way to end the summer."

                                          With college debt at a record high and scant job opportunities for graduates, one would think students would hang onto their big ticket possessions. But that's not always a possibility, Justin Eibenholzl, MIMO's coordinator explained.

                                          Maybe the truck that the renters planned to borrow falls through and they can only move what fits in their car. The friend who claimed to want their desk never shows. A roommate with a nicer microwave moves in. Or a lamp doesn't fit with the new design scheme. Whatever the reason, "the end result is it ends up curbside," he said.

                                          The free store idea is supported by a $25,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, plus funding from the McKnight Foundation and the Southeast neighborhood group. "Since about 40 percent of our nation's greenhouse gases are tied to producing products, it's really important that we get as much use out of the natural resources in those products as possible," MPCA waste prevention specialist Madalyn Cioci said. It also keeps furniture out of city incinerators and is a fairly straightforward model to replicate.

                                          This spring's effort kept 4,400 pounds of stuff out of landfills. For this round, volunteers picked up about 1,500 pounds of desks, lamps and coffee tables on Monday; hundreds of pounds more have been dropped off during store hours.

                                          MIMO is housed in the University of Minnesota's ReUse warehouse. The building always is a scavenger's paradise, filled with surplus office, lab and hospital equipment from around the University at low prices. It's open to the public every Thursday and will be open during the free store's 10-day run as well.

                                          Without the free store, Anna Fowler isn't sure what she would have done with the futon that she had inherited with her apartment but her landlord now insisted she discard. But before she even pulled away from the ReUse warehouse loading dock, her problem morphed into a solution for an international graduate student, who'd already called dibs on the black frame and mattress. Other items, like the Bing Crosby Christmas LP, were still there for the taking.

                                          Although the free store is designed for students and households in the neighborhoods bordering the university, the tough economic times have brought some shoppers from afar this year.

                                          In addition to keeping her neighborhood clean and ultimately keeping taxes lower, Menken hopes the free store will cause students to rethink the practice of taking back-to-school trips to the big-box stores with mom and dad and discarding the goods nine months later. "It's a very disposable mentality," she said." We're trying to intervene, to educate."

                                          Kara McGuire • 612-673-7293




                                          This mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the originator of the message.

                                          Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, except where the sender specifies and with authority, states them to be the views of The Salvation Army.

                                          usc

                                        • Craig Brooks
                                          Craig Brooks wrote these comments: An interesting and wide spread debate. This Article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by CraigBrooks. *Please note,
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Nov 26, 2010
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Craig Brooks wrote these comments: An interesting and wide spread debate.

                                            This Article from StarTribune.com has been sent to you by CraigBrooks.
                                            *Please note, the sender's identity has not been verified.

                                            The full Article, with any associated images and links can be viewed here.
                                            Thanks, but no thanks
                                            JIM ADAMS, Star Tribune

                                            Two Dakota County food shelves are turning down free federal food because of new rules that they say conflict with their goals of helping food recipients regain self-sufficiency.

                                            Hastings Family Service and Neighbors Inc. in South St. Paul have declined to sign a new federal agreement requiring food shelves to serve needy people without requiring Social Security cards or income or address verification.

                                            The agencies may be the only two among 270 food shelves receiving cheese, ground beef and other federal commodities to refuse to sign by October an agreement forbidding local food shelves from seeking to verify income or other recipient data, said Erin Sullivan Sutton, an assistant commissioner of children and family programs for the state Department of Human Services.

                                            "It is unfortunate they have chosen not to sign," she said. It means "a loss of food otherwise available to families in their community." She said both food shelves doubled the federal food they received from 2008 to 2009, when Neighbors received 37,590 pounds and Hastings 28,195 pounds.

                                            Hastings Family Service, one of the state's largest emergency food providers, has two social workers who help food recipients set up a budget to become self-supporting, said executive director Chris Koop. The agency needs evidence of recipients' income and expenses to do that.

                                            "We could not ask for income verification, and that goes totally against our values of really working with families to get them on their feet again," Koop said. She said the declined food would cost about $15,000 a year at retail prices.

                                            Churches say not to sign

                                            Joan Rhodes, a Neighbors manager, said the community has been generous in supplying food and clothes for the needy. She said the agency asked its 32 member churches whether it should sign the agreement forbidding income verification, and the unanimous response was no.

                                            "We just feel we need to be really conscientious of the donations entrusted to us," Rhodes said. "We feel we need to be good stewards."

                                            Sullivan Sutton said requiring income data can be a barrier discouraging needy people from receiving free food. "Helping people gain more control over their finances is always a good thing," she said, "but they can work on budget issues on a voluntary basis."

                                            The food is provided through the federal Emergency Food Assistance Program from the U.S. Agriculture Department's farm price subsidy programs and other sources. The government is a major supplier for area food shelves, providing 11.5 million pounds to state food and meal programs in 2009, officials said.

                                            The state's largest food distributor is Second Harvest Heartland of St. Paul. It distributes the commodities to 195 food shelves in 41 counties and has asked the shelves to sign the agreement, said field director Barb Downs.

                                            She said the agreement puts in writing the income "self-declaration" policy that food shelves have been aware of but never had to formally accept before. That policy allows people filling out eligibility forms to self-declare their income, address, whether they receive food stamps and other data, Sullivan Sutton said.

                                            "Self-declaration has been consistent across the country for a number of years," she said.

                                            Sorting out basic needs

                                            Koop said her 40-year-old agency, which also provides clothes, furniture and other services, enjoys strong church and community support. She said the service has two social workers who sit down with repeat visitors and "get to the root cause of why they come." They sort out basic needs, which don't include expenses like cable television, she said.

                                            "If we are not able to verify their income and expenses, we would be enabling them again," Koop said. "We are not about entitlement but about partnering and helping families make good choices so they can get on their feet."

                                            Byron Laher, president of the Community Emergency Assistance Program serving Anoka County and part of Hennepin County, said he hasn't seen the new agreement yet. But he doesn't think it would affect their food shelf because it only uses client-reported income and expense data to help people better allocate their incomes.

                                            Tonya, 42, who asked that her last name not be used, stopped Tuesday for Thanksgiving food at the Neighbors store in South St. Paul. The single mother, who has three children at home, said she's been out of work about two years. Her refrigerator died in the past week, spoiling most of her food, except the turkey.

                                            "I called Neighbors and they said 'Come on in,'" Tonya said. "Thank God for Neighbors."

                                            Asked about the new agreement forbidding food shelves from verifying income data, Tonya said they should be able to require such information to prevent "somebody shady from trying to get free food when they don't really need it." She added:

                                            "The people that need the help should get it."

                                            Jim Adams • 952-707-9996

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