IDB approves $1.9 billion for Citizen Security and Justice programme

first_imgRelatedIDB approves $1.9 billion for Citizen Security and Justice programme FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved funding of $1.9 billion (US$21 million) for the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) to continue its initiatives and interventions geared towards reducing the level of major crimes and interpersonal violence, for another four years.This was disclosed by Minister of National Security Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, during his contribution to the 2009/10 State of the Nation Debate in the Senate on Friday (January 22).He noted the positive impact of social intervention programmes like the CSJP, Community Security Initiative (CSI), and the Peace Management Initiative (PMI).“It has been proved in many policing jurisdictions that citizens will always be more responsive to the security forces when they show a human and caring side in enforcing the law. The success achieved by CSJP and CSI in Fletchers Land in Kingston; Granville, Glendevon and Flanker in St. James; Russia in Westmoreland; and other communities across Jamaica, has reinforced the need for our continued social intervention, and provided a blueprint for successful implementation,” Senator Nelson said.Meanwhile in 2009, the CSJP continued its social intervention activities in 26 communities namely: Ambrook Lane/Cassia Park, August Town, Denham Town, Drewsland, Fletchers Land, Grant’s Pen, Greater Allman Town, Hannah Town, Kencot, Mountain View, Parade Gardens (Southside/Tel Aviv), Rockfort, Tower Hill, Trench Town and Waterhouse in Kingston; Mount Salem, Farm Heights, Rose Heights, Canterbury, North Gully, Salt Spring, Norwood, Glendevon, Flanker and Granville in St. James; and Russia in Westmoreland.The CSJP’s main areas of service/intervention include, among others: vocational skills training and employment internship for young persons; life skills education for young adults; parenting skills training and education; and school fee assistance when warranted.“The CSJP spent nearly $362 million on its community projects. Given the long-term nature of community re-socialisation, CSJP will continue to work in the existing 26 communities and will conduct the necessary assessment to expand the work of the programme to other areas,” Senator Nelson said.The Security Minister further noted that during the current calendar year, the CSJP will work with the Ministry of Justice to pilot the establishment of Community Justice Tribunals. RelatedIDB approves $1.9 billion for Citizen Security and Justice programme IDB approves $1.9 billion for Citizen Security and Justice programme JusticeJanuary 25, 2010center_img RelatedIDB approves $1.9 billion for Citizen Security and Justice programme Advertisementslast_img read more

Rare Earth Elements and Intelligent Design

first_imgIntelligent Design Can we explain human technology merely by supernova explosions and blind chance? Some do. But in rare earth elements, we find hints of a better explanation. Science Magazine posted a look at the so-called “rare earth elements” of the periodic table. Consider some design implications of these elements. Introducing the rare earth elements (REEs), Thibault Cheisson and Eric J. Schelter call them “Mendeleev’s bane, modern marvels.”The archaeological three-age system (Stone, Bronze, and Iron) organizes the history of humankind according to the central role of metals in technological evolution. From antiquity to the modern day, the exploitation of metals has required technologies for their mass extraction and purification, creating strategic importance for mineral deposits and metallurgical knowledge. Unlike other resources, metals are relatively amenable to recycling and to the creation of circular supply chains. This scenario is evident in historical developments for Fe, Cu, Al, Ti, Zn, Ni, and Sn with recycling rates representing between 15 and 70% of the current usage for those metals in the United States and the European Union. However, in recent decades, new technologies have emerged that rely on metals of previously limited use: lithium, cobalt, and the rare earth (RE) elements, among others. Rare earths are finding increasing use in communications — and display devices, renewable energy, medicine, and other practical applications that affect daily life. In this Review, we examine the past and present separation methods that have developed REs into an industrial sector, with a focus on recent advances. [Emphasis added.]Rare Earths and ChemistryAs Evolution News touched on in January, Dmitri Mendeleev was the key player in describing a natural pattern among the elements that led to the modern periodic table. In his day, only six of the rare earth elements were known. His belief in an orderly universe led him to predict in 1869 that elements in the gaps would be found — as indeed they were  — where he only had question marks. Cheisson and Schelter call these REEs “Mendeleev’s bane” because they frustrated his scheme.To accommodate some of these troublesome elements, Mendeleev himself examined and confirmed their trivalent natures in oxides (RE2O3), materials that were initially assumed to be divalent. In the latter iteration of his Natural System of the Elements, Mendeleev tried to accommodate the known REs in analogy to the d-block metals, but this placement led to inconsistencies. Ultimately, Mendeleev never successfully set the REs in his periodic system, a frustration that may have contributed to his shift in research interest away from the periodic table after 1871. Without easily discernable periodic trends, and owing to the limited characterization techniques of the time, close to 100 erroneous new RE claims were made during the last part of the 19th century. By 1907, all REs had finally been isolated….In spite of these challenges, Mendeleev stuck to his conviction that order would persist. 1907 was the year of Mendeleev’s death, so he had been partly vindicated by the time the REEs were found. Some of the REEs were fit into an “f-block” in the periodic table, consisting of two expanded rows called the lanthanide series (elements 58 to 71) and the actinide series (elements 90 to 103). This maintained the periodicity of the bottom two rows of the table by adding 14 elements between lanthanum-57 and hafnium-72, and 14 elements between actinium-89 and rutherfordium-104 (elements above 94 being artificially created in the atomic age). Specifically, “The REs are a family of 17 metallic elements formed by the group III (Sc, Y) and the lanthanide series (La–Lu).”Considered to be metallic, they are called “rare earths” not because they are all geologically scarce, but because they are hard to isolate. “Chemically, REs demonstrate very similar properties with the prevalence of the +3 oxidation state under ambient conditions, a large electropositivity, and kinetic lability,” the article explains. These factors made them a bane to poor Mendeleev in the 19th century, but we know much more about them now, after years of perfecting techniques to isolate them. Their difficult identification provides a first take-home on rare earths: they were predicted, and eventually discovered, because of a man who believed in an orderly system of chemistry.Rare Earths and BiologyLife uses comparatively few of the 103 natural elements. Most of them are abundant on the earth. The big four are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen. Next in line, according to David Nguyen at Sciencing, are seven other major elements, phosphorus, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, making up about 3.5 percent of our bodies. The last 0.5 percent consists of the 13 trace elements, iron, iodine, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, silicon, tin, vanadium, boron, chromium, cobalt, copper, and fluorine. Despite their minor appearance by volume, “living things would not be able to survive without trace elements,” Nguyen says. So far, that’s 24 of the 94 naturally occurring chemical elements to be essential for the human body.Tin, by the way? Really? It is found in our tissues, but there is no evidence it has any essential biological function at this time, says the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Search the Internet for the body’s need for trace amounts of cobalt, chromium, silicon, and vanadium. It’s quite fascinating. Silicon, for instance, is used in our balance organs, and cobalt is used to absorb and process vitamin B12 and repair myelin around nerve cells.In any event, one cannot always discount an element’s importance by its absence in the body. Not that long ago, scientists identified bromine as a vital element. It doesn’t abide in the body, but takes part in essential processes during the construction of collagen. “Without bromine, there are no animals,” concluded scientists at Vanderbilt University in 2014. They call it the 28th essential element.Do We Need Them?This brings us to REEs and biology. Do we need them? Do we rely on them? Cheisson and Schelter spend most of their article discussing the historical progress of isolating REEs. But then, they describe a new, young field of research looking into this question:Rare earths are used extensively in medicine, especially as imaging agents. But until recently, they were believed to have no natural, biological importance. Surprisingly, Jetten, Op den Camp, Pol, and co-workers reported in 2014 an essential dependence of methanotrophic bacterium on LREs [“light” rare earths, belonging to the Cerium group]. They rationalized this requirement by the replacement of the generally encountered Ca2+ cation by a LRE3+ cation in the active site of the methanol dehydrogenase (MDH) enzyme (61, 62) (Fig. 3A). Following that discovery, RE-dependent bacteria have been found in many environments and have initiated a new field of research.It’s too early to say if humans need rare earths, but now that bacteria — the supposedly most primitive life forms on earth — depend on some of them, the possibility exists that REEs will prove to be vital to all life on earth, perhaps in indirect ways. “Without doubt, these confounding elements will continue to provide surprises and opportunities for the progress of humankind,” the authors say.Rare Earths and Applied ScienceIt’s only recently that rare earths have become vital to modern engineering. Now, they are eagerly sought elements for computers, cell phones, “communications — and display devices, renewable energy, medicine, and other practical applications that affect daily life.” Ions of yttrium and lutetium, for instance, have become useful for identifying and treating cancer. We rely on REEs when we use cell phones and computers and TV sets. While it is true that humans got along fine without REEs during the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age, how much richer our lives have become recently because of the availability of these elements.Rare Earths and GeologyEssential elements cannot just be part of a planet’s makeup. They have to be accessible at the surface. Astronomers say that all the elements heavier than iron-26 had to come from supernovae. What are the chances that sufficient quantities of heavier elements, including the cobalt, copper, zinc, bromine, and molybdenum in our bodies, and potentially the REEs that give humans technological opportunities, would have arrived at the sun or earth from a nearby supernova? What are the chances that they would percolate up to the crust from a molten planet during its formation? These sound look good questions for design scientists.Rare Earths and CosmologyThe same questions apply to other stars and planets. Astrobiology is big these days: NASA tries to look for life beyond the earth. They look for habitable zones around other stars, and get excited when earth-size planets appear to orbit a star at a radius that allows the existence of liquid water. They try to identify biomarkers such as methane or oxygen in an exoplanet’s atmosphere. Many astrobiologists feel it is sufficient to “follow the water,” even speculating that life might exist in subsurface oceans of moons in the outer solar system, like Europa at Jupiter and Enceladus at Saturn. Water is remarkably well-suited for life, as Michael Denton has written in his book, The Wonder of Water. We know, however, that earth life needs far more than H and O. What about the other 26 essential elements? And what about those rare earths? Even though they are apparently not essential for life, did an intelligent creator supply those on the surface of our planet with the foreknowledge that designed beings would someday make good use of them?Rare Earths and Rare EarthIn 2000, Ward and Brownlee published a controversial book, Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe. At a time when most scientists assumed there must be millions of complex civilizations in the Milky Way alone, the authors rained on their parade, arguing that the requirements for complex life are so stringent, living worlds like ours could be rare exceptions — perhaps unique. This brief look into rare earth elements may provide additional support for their rare earth hypothesis. The more stringent the requirements, the better the evidence for design. REEs offer a new generation of chemists, biologists, geologists, physicists, engineers, astronomers, cosmologists, and philosophers opportunities to investigate profound questions about these elements. Why are they here? Where did they come from? Is the naturalistic answer plausible? Do they serve a purpose? The answers could inspire additional chapters to The Privileged Planet. Photo: A sample of cerium, a rare earth element, by Jurii [CC BY 1.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Recommended Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Evolution NewsEvolution News & Science Today (EN) provides original reporting and analysis about evolution, neuroscience, bioethics, intelligent design and other science-related issues, including breaking news about scientific research. It also covers the impact of science on culture and conflicts over free speech and academic freedom in science. Finally, it fact-checks and critiques media coverage of scientific issues. Sharecenter_img Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Physics, Earth & Space Rare Earth Elements and Intelligent DesignEvolution News @DiscoveryCSCMarch 5, 2019, 4:23 AM TagsAgency for Toxic Substances and Disease RegistrybromineBronze AgecalciumcarbonchlorinecollagenDavid NguyenDmitri MendeleevDonald BrownleeelectropositivityEnceladusEric J. SchelterEuropahydrogenintelligent designIron AgeJupitermagnesiumMichael DentonMilky WayNatural System of the ElementsnitrogenoxidesoxygenPeriodic TablePeter WardphosphoruspotassiumRare Earthrare earth elementsSaturnScience (journal)sodiumStone AgesulfursupernovaThe Privileged PlanetThe Wonder of WaterThibault CheissontinVanderbilt University,Trending Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Sharelast_img read more

Somers-Lakeside Survey Reveals Opposition to Kalispell School Partnership

first_img Email A majority of people surveyed in the Somers-Lakeside school district is opposed to sending students to a potential new middle school in Kalispell.According to the results of a survey sent to district residents over the last month, 71 percent are against entering into an interlocal agreement with Kalispell School District 5. The deal would send an estimated 150-180 middle school students to a new facility planned on the south end of Kalispell.Of those surveyed, 87 percent said they would rather support a construction bond to retrofit Somers Middle School, which was built in the early 1950s and last upgraded in the 1990s.A total of 229 people filled out the survey, according to Somers-Lakeside School Superintendent Paul Jenkins.The school board plans to decide whether to sign the interlocal agreement at its meeting on May 25, Jenkins said.“It’s a very, very difficult decision,” Jenkins said. “The board, to their credit, has stayed neutral. They’ve listened and they’re going to weigh every factor and every variable. They need to do what’s best for the students.”Kalispell’s school district is in the final stages of a yearlong process to address overcrowding and persistent growth by building three new elementary sites, including a new middle school, and upgrading the existing facilities. A planning committee is slated to present its final recommendations to the school board next month and a bond request is likely to go out to voters in fall.During the last 12 months, Kalispell has discussed the agreement with the Somers-Lakeside district, which has an aging middle school in need of repairs and could help offset costs for Kalispell’s new facility.At the heart of the decision is whether to send roughly 150 middle-school students — and approximately $1 million in state funding — to Kalispell. Families could benefit from a new school with more course offerings. But the agreement would effectively close Somers Middle School, leaving the facility with an unknown fate while also impacting 16 teachers. School officials have said the teachers could apply in Kalispell but there would not be any guaranteed positions. Any teachers hired in Kalispell could also face a pay cut as they enter into a new district with a different pay structure.Somers-Lakeside administrators would have to weigh whether they could afford to keep the middle school facility open as an elementary site with the lost revenue from students going to Kalispell, Jenkins said.Families would still be able to choose where to send their students but would have to pay a $350 annual tuition to attend Kalispell’s new middle school. The other nearby option would be Bigfork, which does not charge an out-of-district tuition.Somers-Lakeside is likely to face impacts either way. The addition of a new school in south Kalispell could draw elementary students from Lakeside. Even without the interlocal agreement, some families may still send their students to the middle school in Kalispell, taking state revenue with them. This would create an unknown financial impact to Somers-Lakeside, which has historically struggled to gain voter-approval for bonds or levies. Last year voters did approve a general fund mill levy worth $185,000 annually, the first successful levy in the district since 2006.Now the prospect of an agreement with Kalispell appears to have galvanized support within the district to keep the current structure intact.“Maybe this will motivate or inspire the community to save our schools and our programs,” Jenkins said. “We have some fine middle school programs down here and some fine teachers supporting them.” Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.last_img read more

Con Edison Solutions presents energy education award to Michel Rimpel of the United Nations International School

first_imgRimpel attended New York University (CFM) Turner School (Refrigeration), Pratt (Construction Management) and John Jay College of Criminal Justice (Certified Protection Professional). He has published works in ASIS’ Security Management Magazine and is an executive board member of the American Society for Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Rimpel is also a member of the International Facility Managers Association (IFMA), Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS). Con Edison Solutions presents energy education award to Michel Rimpel of the United Nations International School Twitter By chloecox – Facebook The award recognizes individuals who have set an example for facilities managers across the country through their proactive approach to energy efficiency and their efforts to educate others about proper energy management. Linkedin Founded in 1947 by a group of United Nations parents and governed by the United Nations board of trustees, the United Nations International School (UNIS) was built in 1972 by Secretary General U Thant with a donation from the Ford Foundation. UNIS educates students from kindergarten through twelfth grade, with a college preparatory curriculum for leading colleges and universities all over the world and greater New York City communities. No posts to display Vietnam: scaling back coal-fired plans toward gas, renewables Rimpel has more than 20 years experience in engineering, construction, maintenance and security of hotels and educational facilities. Facebook Rimpel has completed numerous energy efficiency projects at the United Nations International School, including lighting upgrades and improvements in HVAC systems. With the help of ConEdison Solutions he is upgrading the electric motors and variable speed drives at the facility. Twitter GasO&MRetrofits & Upgrades Linkedin He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children. TAGSConEd ConEdison Solutions is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. More information can be obtained by calling 1-888-210-8899 or visiting the ConEdison Solutions web site at www.ConEdSolutions.com. You can also visit the Consolidated Edison, Inc. web site at www.conedison.com for information on all Consolidated Edison companies. In February, Rimpel hosted an Energy Summit at the school to educate facility managers on energy security challenges and techniques, as well as energy deregulation issues. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Previous articleErie Boulevard Hydropower donates $20,000 to Natural History Museum of the AdirondacksNext articleRWE to rationalise units chloecox Mississippi Power cutting stakes in coal-fired, gas-fired stations to reduce excess MW, emissions ConEdison Solutions provides a wide range of energy procurement and management services that help commercial, industrial, government and residential customers gain maximum advantage from today’s competitive energy marketplace. ConEdison Solutions also supplies attractively priced electricity, natural gas, and value-oriented services to residential and small business customers. Venture Global LNG adds Zachry to EPC team for Gulf export terminal construction “Michel Rimpel has worked tirelessly to educate facility managers about ways to make properties more energy-efficient and more secure,” said JoAnn Ryan, president and CEO of ConEdison Solutions. “He also serves as a role model through the extensive systems upgrades he has implemented at the United Nations International School.” 6.13.2003 UNIS has become an archetype for international schools around the world and developing acceptance of the International Baccalaureate diploma. With an enrollment of 1,450 students from 115 countries, the school’s multi-national staff represents 70 nations with facilities in Manhattan and Queens. WHITE PLAINS, NY, June 13, 2003 — ConEdison Solutions recently presented its Energy Education Award to Michel Rimpel, director of engineering and security for the United Nations International School in New York City.last_img read more

2 dead, 4 injured after shooting on UNC Charlotte campus, officials say

first_imgwsfurlan/iStock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Two people have been killed and another four injured after a shooting on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, officials told ABC News.Two of the injured victims were treated for life-threatening injuries.The suspect is in custody, authorities told ABC affiliate WSOC-TVThis is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img

“Cup specialists” from Montpellier beat PSG in French Cup 1/4 final!

first_imgLeave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published.Comment Name Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 1 Comment ShareTweetShareShareEmail Recommended for you 1 Comment ShareTweetShareShareEmailCommentsPSG Handball are out of the French Cup 2019! Montpellier Handball showed themselves again as the specialists for the Cup competitions. The reigning EHF Champions League winners beat the leaders of LidlStar Ligue 32:31 and will meet Chambery in semi-final. PSG HandballRodrigo CORRALES : 2/18 savesThierry OMEYER : 9/21 savesUwe GENSHEIMER : 7/8 dt 3/4 pen.Luka STEPANCIC : 4/6Adama KEITA Sander SAGOSEN : 2/2Henrik TOFT HANSEN : 4/4Nedim REMILI : 5/11Luc ABALO : 5/7Robin DOURTE Luka KARABATIC Viran MORROS Mikkel HANSEN : 4/8 dt 2/3 pen.Nikola KARABATICKim EKDAHL DU RIETZ Dylan NAHL  UNSTOPPABLE! PSG HANDBALL 21/21 in France!center_img Montpellier HandballVincent GERARD : 11/38 arrêts dt 2/6 pen.Nikola PORTNER : 0/4 arrêt dt 0/1 pen.Kyllian VILLEMINOT Théophile CAUSSE : 2/3Jonas TRUCHANOVICUS : 3/3Mathieu GREBILLE : 2/4Michaël GUIGOU : 3/3Fredric PETTERSSON : 3/4Melvyn RICHARDSON : 7/12 dt 3/3 pen.Vid KAVTICNIK Baptiste BONNEFOND : 1/1Jean-Loup FAUSTIN Valentin PORTE : 8/14Benjamin AFGOUR : 3/4Mohamed SOUSSI Mohamed MAMDOUH  Raul Gonzalez extends his adventure at Paris Saint-Germain until June 2023! Pingback: “Cup specialists” from Montpellier beat PSG in French Cup 1/4 final! — Sport Land PSG Handball suffered first defeat in domestic Championship 2020/2021 Related Items:French handball cup, Montpellier handball, PSG Handball RESULTS:Dunkerque / Aix-en-Provence 26-23Chambéry / HBC Nantes 36-33Nancy / Saran 33-29French Cup semi-finalsNancy – DunkerqueChambéry – Montpellierlast_img read more

Tippy Valley Football Coach Jeff Shriver Passes Away

first_img By Nick Deranek – December 19, 2019 0 422 Tippy Valley Football Coach Jeff Shriver Passes Away Google+ Twitter Facebook Pinterest IndianaLocalNewsSports WhatsApp Pinterest WhatsApp Twitter (Photo supplied/Tippecanoe Valley Schools) Former Tippecanoe Valley High School football coach and legend Jeff Shriver has passed away at the age of 53.Valley officials made the announcement Wednesday, Dec. 18, in a statement:“Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation would like to send our deepest condolences to our beloved Jeff Shriver and his family, friends and to our Valley community on the news this afternoon of his passing.  Jeff Shriver will always be a Valley Legend with the number of lives he has touched as a mentor, teacher, coach and friend. TVSC will be committed to take on Shriver’s Viking Ambassador attitude and positive upbeat spirit in all of our work as we will continue to impact our students in a way that would make him proud.  Additional counselors and local clergy will be available at the school for students and staff on Thursday morning and as needed.  From the heart of the Valley Family…Thank you Shrive.” Google+ Facebook Previous articlePresident Donald Trump impeached by US House, 3rd in historyNext articleSports betting’s rapid expansion faces more tests in 2020 Nick Deraneklast_img read more

Crackdown on Pollution in Scotland

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThe environment minister in Scotland announced new sewage pollution guidelines for 80 lochs and rivers, a 20-fold increase in the number of protected waterways in Scotland. (read more from the Scotsman) Also, read about several green campaigns in Scotland: St. Andrews becoming the first ‘carbon neutral’ university; proposals for a revolution in building standards; and their goal of becoming the greenest nation in the UK. (Registration is required, but free, for these stories at Scotsman.com)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Poll: What Makes Teens Happy? Family Ties

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore“Spending time with family was the top answer to what makes teens happy, according to an extensive survey — more than 100 questions asked of 1,280 people ages 13–24 — conducted by The Associated Press and MTV on the nature of happiness among America’s young people.”(NY Times) Thanks to Daniel for submittingAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img

Panelists discuss women experiencing homelessness, violence

first_imgFour South Bend experts who specialize in working with women and children experiencing homelessness and domestic violence spoke Thursday at Saint Mary’s to clear up misconceptions of homelessness and shed light on ways others can support the homeless population in South Bend. The panel, entitled “Finding Peace: Empowering Women and Children Experiencing Homelessness,” included Ebony Haynes, the assistant director of guest services at St. Margaret’s House in downtown South Bend; Suzanna Fritzberg, the deputy chief of staff to South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Jessica Richmond, the assistant director of The Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County; and Peter Lombardo, the director for community involvement for The Center for the Homeless in South Bend. Ann Curtis Jessica Richmond, the assistant director of The Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County, speaks on Saint Mary’s panel “Finding Peace: Empowering Women and Children Experiencing Homelessness” on helping women and children experiencing homelessness and violence.Fritzberg said many services and some policy focusing on homelessness in South Bend seem to be aimed at men, which is problematic as it ostracizes a large population of the homeless who are women and children.  “In my work in the city over the past few years, it’s certainly been clear that many of our services are catered towards men, based on either data or based on data and a mix of assumptions that men are the ones who need those services,” she said. “I think too often when we think of [homelessness] as a genderless problem, it ends up being a male problem because we use men as the norm in the way that we design a lot of things.”Haynes said St. Margaret’s House tries to combat this focus on men who are experiencing homelessness by attempting to satisfy the specific needs of women and children in the community. “A place like St. Margaret’s House is important because a lot of times when programs are developed, they are not developed with the needs of women in mind,” she said. “Women and children have very specific needs, and what is very unique about St. Margaret’s House is that we are a safe place for women and children.”A misconception about homeless centers is that they simply exist to feed and shelter people, Haynes said, but this is not the case for St. Margaret’s House. “We have had the opportunity to help women on a holistic scale,” she said. “We have a portion of our guests who come just for the sense of community. They come because they need counseling or because they are looking for employment or need to know how to make a plan for their life. A portion of what we do is to help supplement some of the income and needs of the women who come in.”Women who are experiencing homelessness are often dealing with the aftermath of domestic violence and abuse, Richmond said. “One in four women in the U.S. are homeless and are survivors of domestic violence,” she said. “The new statistics are showing that one in three women are going to experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime. So if we’re thinking about that in terms of homelessness, there are so many aggravating factors that cause survivors to deepen their homelessness journey.”Richmond said The Center for Family Justice helps survivors of abuse navigate the economic and safety concerns that accompany homelessness.   “A lot of our survivors are dealing with not only the physical [factors] but the economics, and when I say economics I mean maybe they don’t have access to the debit card or the bank accounts or they have terrible credit,” she said. “We have to find her a safe space to stay, with or without children, and most of the time we have to think about the fact that there’s often a stalking component that comes along with domestic violence — so how are we going to find affordable housing that’s going to keep her safe that isn’t going to have a landlord that is going to threaten to evict her if she has to call the police to protect her and her children?” Many children in the South Bend community also experience homelessness and the stress and violence that accompany it, Lombardo said. “Probably a third of homeless kids have seen a stabbing, a rape, a murder,” he said. “Probably a third have been a victim of domestic abuse or violence. They’ve moved probably 16 times more than the average family. Every time they move, they probably have to change schools, and changing schools means a period of adjustment. … So think about a kid in school, maybe on the verge of homelessness, maybe on the verge of just moving from an apartment to grandma’s house, do you think that kid is worried about spelling in school? No. He’s worried about where he’s going to sleep that night.” While the population of homeless people in South Bend has “actually decreased slightly since 2011,” Fritzberg said, the stigma behind homelessness is still pervasive.“Where people are staying, particularly unsheltered people, has shifted within the city to be in more visible areas, and that has a provided really a more profound opportunity for businesses and agencies to recommit to this problem and take seriously the needs of a group of vulnerable people,” she said.Lombardo said students can help the homeless community by donating their time to tutoring homeless youth or by simply listening to those experiencing homelessness. “Sit and talk with the people you are serving and listen to them because, unfortunately, they don’t get listened to very much,” she said. “But if you’re there, listening, you’ve given them that dignity and that respect, and that’s what will help them move on to self sufficiency.”Listening to those in need helps to individualize and humanize those experiencing homelessness, Haynes said. “The bottom line is the golden rule: treat people how you want to be treated,” she said. “These are women. They are survivors and have been through a lot in life, so I talk to them the way I talk to anybody else.”Richmond said those looking to serve women and children who are experiencing homelessness should not do so by offering them a handout. “When you walk into the center, there’s a sign that says, ‘You are braver than you think,’ because when you walk into the Family Justice Center, for a lot of women, that is the bravest moment of her entire life,” she said. “I always tell our staff, it’s a hand-up, not a handout. The women who come into the center aren’t looking for a handout, they don’t really need anything except an ear to listen and somebody to continue to believe them at face value, because a lot of the time the system is up against them. We learn to know them as people. They’re no less than me, no less than anyone sitting at this table. We’re all people and we all just need each other, and that’s something beautiful about the community of South Bend and about the social service agencies within South Bend.” Tags: domestic violence, Homelessness, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, South Bend, St. Margaret’s House, The Center for the Homeless, The Family Justice Centerlast_img read more