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Archive for November, 2010

Is Prison Adequate Housing?

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Advocacy, Awareness

Several communities are realizing the difficulty many ex-offenders have with keeping in line with their parole restrictions.  Most parole agreements rest on the ability of parole officers to be able to find and contact parolees.  Sex-offenders have additional restrictions on how close they can be to schools or other locations that children may gather.   What some don’t realize is that these parole restrictions, combined with the difficulty in finding an employer willing to hire an ex-offender, make it very difficult for people who have served their time to find housing and be productive members of the community.

An editorial from the LA Times notes that homeless ex-offenders are much harder to track.  The author also contends that by not providing adequate housing, laws like Jessica’s Law, that are meant to protect the community from sexual offenders, might actually harm the community, and could be deemed unconstitutional.

In fact, an appeals court in Alabama ruled last week that a homeless ex-offender was “punished for being homeless.”  The State law that requires that sex-offenders register an address before leaving prison can now not be applied to someone who is homeless and does not have the means to find housing.  The prisoner in the original case had no family or other housing waiting for him after serving his sentence, so he was arrested immediately after being released, just for being homeless.

Many ex-offenders end up in the shelter system, but this often causes more problems for both the criminal justice and social service systems.  So should the justice system provide housing for inmates who have served their time but cannot find meet parole guidelines?

Philanthropic Gap Filled by Corporate Donors

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Awareness

In this difficult economic climate, homeless people and providers are less likely to get financial support from traditional philanthropic partners and more likely to find reliable support from   individual donors and finding unexpected partnerships with corporate donors.

This month, National Coalition for the Homeless is joining worker’s rights groups around the world shining a spotlight on unscrupulous employers, responsible for wage theft and poor working conditions. At the same time NCH would like to hold an equally bright light on corporations that are creating solutions to homelessness.

Recently, Morrison’s Supermarket chain made a commitment to hire one-thousand homeless job-seekers. This is a remarkable commitment that will truly make a measurable difference in the individual lives of so many new workers and their families. It will also make a truly positive impact on so many communities.

NCH believes that jobs that pay a living wage are an important, lasting and cost effective solution to homelessness, for millions of un-housed or at-risk workers and job seekers. NCH also supports the notion that scrupulous employers are often the most effective deterrent against unscrupulous practices.

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