”(Libraries) are on the front line whether they want to or not,” said Jeremy Rosen, director of advocacy at the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, an advocacy group.
Homeless outreach is part of an overall 47 percent increase in library programs from 2004 to 2011, according to a June report by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
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J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, located in downtown Dallas, produces a podcast about homelessness , put together by AmeriCorps volunteers and library employees such as Jasmine Africawala. The podcast has drawn nearly 5,000 plays and downloads since first airing in March.
Ryan Smith, the technical director for the podcast, said the success of the program is due to the show’s focus on equality and respect. “Homelessness is a situation you find yourself in,” Smith said. “It’s not who you are as a person.”
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“The global community agreed in 1948 that social security and health care for children, working age people who face unemployment or injury and older persons are a universal human right,” said ILO Deputy Director-General Sandra Polaski. “And yet in 2014 the promise of universal social protection remains unfilled for the large majority of the world’s population.”
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“We are very happy to receive this recognition,” said Library Director Jill Jean. “We are even more excited about what is to come. Already as we have begun our strategic planning process for the next five years, we have identified some new and additional ways that the library can help support and connect our community.”
Kitsap Regional Library ’s initiatives include BiblioTEC, which focuses on getting homeless and at-risk youth access to cutting-edge technology training, equipment and mentorship and the first kids eReading Room.
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In light of the escalating number of Americans living in poverty, and as a continuation of Tavis Smiley’s leading efforts on this issue, the Tavis Smiley Foundation’s new four-year initiative, Ending Poverty: America’s Silent Spaces, is partnering with the national anti-poverty organization RESULTS, to discuss the state of poverty as the country moves towards mid-term elections, and what actions the public can take to help address poverty including influencing public policy in local communities through their vote.
Tavis Smiley, national broadcaster, author, and advocate
Dr. Joanne Carter, Executive Director, RESULTS
Marianne Williamson, author and RESULTS Board member
Angela Sutton, participant and Advisory Board Co-Chair of Witness to Hunger
April 29, 2014, 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT / 5 p.m. PT
To register and join the conversation: https://engage.vevent.com/rt/results~042914
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