This category includes articles that apply to social good in general and may include policy, practice and other stories relevant to everyone.
This category includes articles that apply to social good in general and may include policy, practice and other stories relevant to everyone.
National Reservation Economic Summit (RES), presented by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, to take place at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino
January 30, 2015 – Las Vegas, NV —The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (National Center) will host its National Reservation Economic Summit (National RES) from March 9th – 12th at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. National RES is another multifaceted event from the National Center, which will feature unparalleled access to respected tribal leaders, federal agency representatives, elected officials, and top CEOs. Attendees will benefit from high caliber networking opportunities, business development sessions, a business tradeshow and expo, American Indian Artisan Market, procurement sessions, business matchmaking, and much more. Now in its fourth decade, National RES is the country’s leading Native American business event.
“While our regional RES events have been tremendous successes, we are looking forward to once again returning to Las Vegas for our signature national event,” said National Center President and CEO Gary Davis. “National RES 2015 will connect Indian Country to business opportunities across many different sectors and fields. We will host business leaders, tribal representatives, and many others from across the U.S. in Las Vegas in a few weeks.”
The event kicks off with a scholarship golf tournament on Monday, March 9th. The opening day will feature a business boot camp, covering such topics as access to capital, communications, accounting, workforce development, and others. Monday also features the “Buy Native Procurement Expo” powered by the Small Business Administration.
National RES will place a heavy focus on energy, and high-level officials within the Department of Energy will be at the event to discuss DOE programs. National RES will feature the largest American Indian business trade show and an “Interactive Access to Capital Fair” wherein attendees are encouraged to bring their projects to National RES to meet one-on-one with potential funders. Dozens of business development and training sessions will address topics such as e-commerce, federal and corporate contracting, agriculture, taxation, telecommunications, and legislative activity, including implementation of the Buy Indian Act… and much more.
About the National Center:
The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. With over 40 years of assisting American Indian Tribes and their enterprises with business and economic development – we have evolved into the largest national Indian specific business organization in the nation. Our motto is: “We Mean Business For Indian Country” as we are actively engaged in helping Tribal Nations and Native business people realize their business goals and are dedicated to putting the whole of Indian Country to work to better the lives of American Indian people- both now… and for generations to come.
(January 30, 2015) – A $1 million dollar gift from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous will address the growing need to train Valley educators to work with deaf and hard of hearing students who also have other special needs.
The gift will go toward the endowment of Scarlett’s Park, a program within Fresno State’s Silent Garden. The Silent Garden program was founded in 2008 by Dr. Paul W. Ogden, deaf studies professor emeritus, to foster opportunity, understanding and awareness for the deaf and hard of hearing community.
Scarlett’s Park will provide resources to families of deaf and hard of hearing children with other special needs. The program will bring nationally recognized experts to Fresno State to share knowledge with parents, educators and professionals. All services will be offered free of charge.
The donor whose gift made Scarlett’s Park possible said in a letter to the University, “I have chosen Fresno State as a place to endow Scarlett’s Park in the Silent Garden because I see this unique garden as a fruitful place to create a lasting and much-needed resource for parents, teachers and professionals. My dream is that Scarlett’s Park will be a cornerstone of the deaf education program. I am joining Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro and his charge to be bold and to boldly serve this much-needed community.”
Once established, Scarlett’s Park will be the only program in California designed specifically for families with deaf or hard of hearing children with other special needs.
According to the Gallaudet Research Institute, about 40 percent of children identified as deaf or hard of hearing also have additional special needs, such as vision impairment, autism, cerebral palsy and learning disabilities.
“Teachers in the field of deaf education do not have the training and knowledge to teach any children with other special needs,” Ogden said. “The same is true for teachers in special needs programs. Special needs is a huge area and it is not possible for one teacher to become an expert. For example, working with a deaf, autistic child is an entirely different field from working with a deaf, blind child.”
Andrea DaSilva-Perez, a Fresno State deaf studies lecturer, said, in her experience working with middle school students, it was necessary to bring in an American Sign Language interpreter and a certified behavior analyst to properly care for the student.
“It is a challenge to find professionals who have specialized in working with deaf students with special needs,” DaSilva-Perez said. “They simply do the best they can with the skills they possess.”
Rosa Cruz of Fresno said services provided by Scarlett’s Park will be very beneficial for her and other parents of deaf and hard of hearing children with special needs.
She said she has seen her daughter, 17-year-old Joanna, thrive in the classroom and beyond because of services provided by teachers, psychologists and school administration. Cruz said a program like Scarlett’s Park is important for parents.
“I would advise parents to look for programs like Scarlett’s Park,” Cruz said. “It is very important that we help our children with special needs. We need our children to have that support so they can get the tools to be independent in life.”
Ogden hopes Scarlett’s Park will serve as a model for similar programs in other regions that might need more resources.
The California Department of Education reports more than 14,000 children list deaf or hard of hearing as a primary or secondary disability.
Dr. Bryan Berrett, chair of Fresno State’s Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies Department, said this number will continue to grow. “There are countless children who are unaccounted for and not receiving assistance,” Berrett said. “Through education, we can help the next generation of deaf and hard of hearing individuals with special needs realize their potential and flourish in our community.”
January 22, 2015 – San Francisco, CA – GOQii Inc., the digital health platform that is dedicated to enabling a permanent shift to a healthier lifestyle, announced today that its exclusive U.S. Beta trial will launch in February. GOQii (“GO-KEY”) is the only company built on the foundation of human-centric, one-on-one health coaching combined with wearables, health apps, big data, and Karma.
The GOQii Beta will be limited to 500 participants. Those selected to join the Beta will receive 12 months of personalized health coaching to help them with goal setting, habit change, accountability and motivation. GOQii coaching features unlimited daily chats and monthly video calls through the mobile app.
Included in the Beta’s subscription is the GOQii Band activity tracker and app to measure and track sleep, activities, nutrition and Karma Points, GOQii’s exclusive gamification system that converts daily goal achievement into real monetary donations for worthy causes. The exclusive price for the 12 month Beta is $99. Participants will be asked to provide regular feedback on the product as they use it. People can apply to join the Beta beginning on January 22 at GOQii.com.
Research has shown that fitness trackers alone do not make people healthier. GOQii’s integration of actual health coaches differentiates it from existing fitness applications, trackers and online services. Often unrealistic or unattainable goals are set to change bad habits, leading to a vicious cycle of disappointment and personal failure. Wearable devices that do more to effect behavior than simply present data can directly address the elements of habit change and trigger the sequences that lead to the establishment of new, positive habits.
With an inherent focus on personalized mentoring, GOQii coaches will interact individually with every user on a one-on-one basis as they endeavor to attain positive, long-term results through habit changes. GOQii Beta participants will communicate with their coaches via unlimited daily text messages and scheduled video chat sessions.
The U.S. GOQii Beta will include feature and service enhancements to the first version of GOQii released last year in India including: in-app video chats; integration with other popular health and fitness tracking apps, including Apple’s HealthKit; and an expanded global coaching network with U.S. based coaches.
“GOQii’s philosophy is driven by our passion for healthy and meaningful living,” explains GOQii Founder and CEO Vishal Gondal. “After using a number wearables, I felt that something was missing. They were just data-collecting gadgets and apps all of which lacked sustained engagement, motivation, customized advice and a human connection. I was looking for the complete solution for a more fulfilling way of life. With GOQii we have created that solution.”
The program takes a triple-pronged approach that focuses on the body, mind and soul. Coaches inspire users to maintain proper nutrition, activity levels and exercise, while monitoring the user’s sleep and health habit changes. And GOQii rewards users with Karma Points that translate into funds for reaching fitness goals by donating to global causes, fostering positive energy within the community. GOQii is currently partnered with Oxfam International—the global confederation of 17 organizations in 94 countries whose aim is to end poverty throughout the world.
Along with a team of internationally-renowned health experts, GOQii is expanding its network of certified health coaches to the U.S. Participants in the Beta will have the opportunity to select the coach who best suits their personal health and fitness goals.
“GOQii enhances and influences affirmative goal-oriented choices in building a better lifestyle. The best way to reach your potential and achieve your wellness goals is with a coach,” says Gondal. “Quality one-on-one health coaching has been prohibitively expensive for the average consumer. GOQii’s scalable platform allows us to deliver the same quality service at a fraction of the traditional price.”
ABOUT GOQii Inc.
GOQii Inc. is a digital health platform dedicated to enabling a permanent shift to a healthier lifestyle through a combination of one-on-one health coaching, activity tracking technology and Karma Points, GOQii’s exclusive points system that results in donations to worthy causes. At the heart of the system are the GOQii coaches who are driven by a passion for healthy sustainable living and believe in the boundless potential of their users.
Founded by one of India’s leading tech entrepreneurs, Vishal Gondal, GOQii has generated an overwhelming response during its trial launch in India and resulted in strong customer validation as well as partnerships with Microsoft, Oxfam International and Reebok.
GOQii is funded by leading angel investors, such as Amit Singhal (Google), Anil Godhwani (Habitera), Bharat Vasan (MyBasis), Marco Argenti (Amazon), Deepak Shahdadpuri (DSGCP), Dr. Shriram Nene, Esther Dyson (EFF), Gautam Godhwani (Simply Hired), Kanwaljit Bombra (Dell), Madhuri Dixit-Nene (Bollywood Actress), Mahesh Samat (Epic), Mike McNamara (Flextronics), Prashant Gulati (TiE), Sanjay Parthasarthy (Indix), Sanjay Vaswani, Steve Luczo (Seagate), Taher Khorakiwala, Vijay Vashee (Microsoft), Rajan Anandan (Google) and S. Somasegar (Microsoft) .
For more information, visit www.goqii.com.
Exciting updates unveiled at recent camper reunion
On January 25, 2015, Camp Kids are Kids Chicago (CKAKC) – the only urban camp for kids living with cancer – hosted a reunion at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel) for children who attended the Camp’s inaugural session in August 2014. Campers and their families gathered in the Hotel’s Pearson Room, from 1-3pm. They reconnected with one another, enjoyed an array of sweet and savory treats, viewed a montage of 2014’s festivities, and learned exciting news about this year’s Camp.
“It was incredible to have everyone back together, as though we never parted ways,” said Blaine J. Blanchard, Founder, Camp Kids are Kids Chicago. “Watching the kids reunite and seeing a sea of smiles across the room was truly heartwarming. It made me even more excited for ‘Roughin’ it at The Ritz’ year two!”
Among the announcements were this year’s theme and dates. The 2015 Camp Kids are Kids will take place, from August 9-13, and “Game On” is the theme for the fun-filled five days. The Ritz-Carlton Chicago will, once again, act as the campground, transforming luxurious guest suites into bunk cabins, for a more ordinary camp experience.
Furthermore, this year’s Camp Director was unveiled, Rich Brundige, who joined the group last year as Activities Coordinator. Rich has been involved with pediatric oncology camps for 18 years, holding a variety of leadership positions. He serves on the Children’s Oncology Camping Association- International (COCA-I) Board, expanding his involvement nationwide.
Last year’s Camp featured traditional activities, such as campfires and cookouts, arts and crafts, and swimming, while also taking advantage of the urban setting with a dinner cruise, visit to the Museum of Science and Industry, ice cream atop the famed John Hancock Center, and much more. Campers anxiously await August’s itinerary – sure to be another epic week – and, at the reunion, documented their vision for how “Game On” might unfold.
CKAKC is thrilled to host 32 children this year, an increase from last year’s 26, with absolutely no financial obligation from their families. Campers will be from the Chicagoland area, ages 8-16. Leading up to August, a number of local fundraisers will take place to help fund this year’s programming. For more information, visit http://www.campkidsarekids.org/.
Using a computer simulation of a fin whale head, scientists discovered the animal’s skull amplifies and conducts low frequencies directly to their ear bones.
SAN DIEGO (January 29, 2015) — Understanding how baleen whales hear has posed a great mystery to marine mammal researchers. New research by San Diego State University biologist Ted W. Cranford and University of California, San Diego engineer Petr Krysl reveals that the skulls of at least some baleen whales, specifically fin whales in their study, have acoustic properties that capture the energy of low frequencies and direct it to their ear bones.
Baleen whales, also known as mysticetes, are the largest animals on earth, and include blue whales, minke whales, right whales, gray whales and fin whales. These whales can emit extremely low frequency vocalizations that travel extraordinary distances underwater. The wavelengths of these calls can be longer than the bodies of the whales themselves.
All of these whales are considered endangered, with the exception of the gray whale, which recently was removed from the endangered species list, Cranford said.
Over the past few years, government regulators have been attempting to enact laws placing limits on the amount of man-made noise that baleen whales can be exposed to. These man-made noises come primarily from three sources: commercial shipping, energy exploration, and military exercises.
According to Cranford, baleen whales might be particularly susceptible to negative effects from these sounds. Many of them produce vocalizations in the same frequency range as man-made noises, and too much man-made noise could limit the distance over which the whales are able to communicate about things like food and mates. Because low frequency sounds travel so far in the ocean, groups of whales that appear to be extremely far apart might indeed be within “hollerin’ distance,” as Cranford puts it.
However, little information was available about how baleen whales actually hear for government regulators to base new legislation on. Most of what scientists know about how whales hear comes from inferring their frequency range from their own vocalizations, as well as anatomic studies of the ears and some sound playback experiments with whales in controlled environments. Cranford and Krysl wanted to take a different approach: build a highly complex three-dimensional computer model of a baleen whale head—including the skin, skull, eyes, ears, tongue, brain, muscles, and jaws—and then simulate how sound would travel through it.
In 2003, they got their opportunity when a young fin whale beached on Sunset Beach in Orange County, California. Despite intensive efforts to save the whale, it died. Cranford and Krysl were able to obtain the animal’s head for their research, placing it in an X-ray CT scanner originally designed for rocket motors.
Once they had their scan, the researchers employed a technique known as finite element modeling that breaks up data representing the skull and other parts of the head into millions of tiny elements and tracks their relationships with one another.
It’s a bit like dividing the whale’s head into a series of LEGO bricks, Cranford explained, where the properties of the bone, muscle, and other materials determine how strong the connections are between the bricks. By simulating a sound wave passing through their computerized skull, they could see how each miniscule component of bone vibrates in response.
“At that point, computationally, it’s just a simple physics problem,” Cranford explained. “But it’s one that needs lots and lots of computational power. It can swamp most computers.”
There are two ways sound can reach a whale’s tympanoperiotic complex (TPC), an “interlocking bony puzzle” of ear bones that is rigidly attached to the skull. One way is for the sound’s pressure waves to travel through the whale’s soft tissue to their TPC, but this becomes ineffective once sound waves are longer than the whale’s body, Cranford said.
The second way is for sounds to vibrate along the skull, a process known as bone conduction. Unlike pressure waves passing through soft tissue, longer waves lengths are amplified as they vibrate the skull.
When Cranford and Krysl modeled various wavelengths traveling through their computerized skull, they found that bone conduction was approximately four times more sensitive to low frequency sounds than the pressure mechanism. Importantly, their model predicts that for the lowest frequencies used by fin whales, 10 Hz – 130 Hz, bone conduction is up to 10 times more sensitive.
“Bone conduction is likely the predominant mechanism for hearing in fin whales and other baleen whales,” Cranford said. “This is, in my opinion, a grand discovery.”
Krysl added that we humans experience a version of this phenomenon, too.
“We have that experience when we submerge entirely in a pool,” he said. “Our ears are useless, but we still hear something because our head shakes under the pushing and pulling of the sound waves carried by the water.”
The researchers published their results today in the journal PLOS ONE. The fin whale skull used for their experiment now resides in SDSU’s Museum of Biodiversity.
It’s possible these new findings will help legislators decide on limits to oceanic man-made noise, but Cranford stressed that what’s most important about their project is that they managed to solve a long-standing mystery about a highly inaccessible animal.
“What our contribution does is give us a window into how the world’s largest animals hear, by an odd mechanism no less,” he said. “This research has driven home one beautiful principle: Anatomic structure is no accident. It is functional, and often beautifully designed in unanticipated ways.”
Cranford and Krysl have studied many species of toothed whales and beaked whales over the past 13 years, as well as dolphins and fish. Their next step is to try to replicate the study for other species of baleen whales. The researchers will be reaching out to museums that house whale skulls.
“There is a blueprint for multiple species and it is useful to compare across species to gain insight,” Krysl explained.
The researchers’ work would not have been possible without support from the Office of Naval Research (Code 32), sponsored by Dr. Michael J. Weise; the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Environmental Readiness Division (OPNAV N45), sponsored through the Living Marine Resources program by Dr. Frank Stone and Dr. Robert Gisiner; and X-ray CT scanning was conducted at Hill Air Force Base in Clearfield, Utah, in the Non-Destructive Inspection Missile Support Group. The latter facility is the only one large enough in the world to produce the data needed for this study.
Initial forecast for 2015 predicts drop in donations
DALLAS, Texas (January 28, 2015)—Atlas of Giving today shared the 2014 final report on charitable giving in the United States and released the initial 2015 giving forecast. As noted in the final report, Americans gave a record $456.7 billion to charity in 2014. According to the year-end report, total donations grew by 9.3% over 2014, fueled by favorable economic factors that drive giving, an increase in the number of nonprofit organizations, the impact of donor advised funds, as well as advances in fundraising technology and techniques.
“Charitable giving in the U.S. is primarily a function of specific economic and demographic factors, coupled with the impact of regional, national and world events,” Rob Mitchell, CEO of the Atlas of Giving, said. “How a charity chooses to go about raising money and who they raise it from determines what impact the various drivers of giving activity have on gifts to that organization.”
The biggest gains in gift revenue were realized by human services/disaster relief organizations, educational institutions and environmental causes. In 2014, double digit growth in stock prices encouraged these increases in giving to organizations such as colleges and universities, which rely heavily on large gifts and capital campaigns. An improved employment picture coupled with reduced energy prices boosted giving from discretionary income to disaster relief, social service agencies and environmental programs, most of which depend on a high volume of smaller donations to fund operations.
Improved consumer confidence also played a role in giving growth. “Mood matters,” Mitchell, said. “When consumers feel better about the economy, they tend to give more.”
The report also cites low inflation and historically low interest rates as factors which contributed to a robust year of receipts for America’s nonprofits. Other factors which contributed to the rise in giving include a continued surge in the number of new nonprofits and churches in the U.S., as well as an enormous increase in contributions to donor advised fund accounts. In fact, the number of U.S. nonprofit organizations recognized by the IRS has grown 50% since 2003.
Mitchell says the impact of donor advised funds on giving is enormous and growing. “In 2014, donor advised funds accounted for $29.4 billion in giving. That’s 6.4% of all giving in the U.S.” Mitchell noted.
While donations to churches and religious causes remains the largest giving category, representing one third of all gifts, giving to religious organizations grew at a rate of only 6.4% in 2014. Comparatively, gifts to human services/disaster relief organizations increased 12.7%, while gifts to environmental causes and educational institutions rose 11.8% and 11.5%, respectively.
The initial forecast for giving in 2015 is far less positive. The Atlas projects that giving could actually drop from 2014 levels by as much as 3.2%. The last time total annual giving fell was in 2009, when recessionary conditions brought about a 5.8% decline from the 2008 total. The forecast cites an anticipated stock market correction, along with an expected rise in interest rates in the second half of 2015 as primary drivers of an upcoming downturn in giving.
Global economic factors are also expected to negatively impact 2015 giving. Weakening economies in Germany, France and Italy could negatively impact many American corporations, and rising geostrategic competition from Asia may weaken the value of some U.S. companies, putting pressure on American jobs and compensation levels.
The Atlas of Giving reports and forecasts U.S. charitable giving on a monthly basis by charitable sector, gift source and all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.
The full Atlas of Giving report on 2014 giving and forecast for 2015 is available at no charge at www.atlasofgiving.com.
About The Atlas of Giving
The Atlas of Giving is an economic intelligence tool created to measure and reliably forecast charitable giving in the United States. The Atlas of Giving was originally engineered by Philanthromax, LLC in 2010. Data from the Atlas of Giving is gathered from a series of proprietary algorithms using multiple economic and demographic variables. The algorithms match published giving data for the last 42 years with a 99.5% coefficient of correlation. The Atlas of Giving accounts for the entire giving economy and is the most precise and timely measurement of total charitable giving in the United States, as well as the only giving forecast. For more information, visit www.atlasofgiving.com.
Leading Progressive Communications Firm Continues Expansion with Focus On Human Rights, Environment and Social and Economic Justice
Washington, DC – FitzGibbon Media, Inc., a leading progressive communications firm, today announced that it has opened a London office and hired Vice President Suzie Gilbert to run it. London is the first international office for the six-year old firm that also has offices in Washington DC, New York City and San Francisco.
“We are excited to expand our international reach with the establishment of a London office with Suzie at the helm,” said Trevor FitzGibbon, Founder and President of FitzGibbon Media. “Suzie’s extensive work in the UK, South America, the Middle East and around the world, will be a great asset as FitzGibbon Media continues to help the most important progressive campaigns of our day to break out and break through with audiences across the globe.”
Suzie Gilbert, who was born and raised in London, has over a decade of experience advising filmmakers, whistleblowers and international NGOs on media relations and heightening the social impact of campaigns. She worked closely with Oliver Stone, co-producing and leading communications efforts for films including “The Untold History of the U.S., “W.,” and “South of the Border.” Suzie has also worked with Russell Brand on a documentary in post-production, staying at Angola Prison in Louisiana, to capture first-hand accounts of death row and mass incarceration.
Leading delegations with artists such as Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro to Latin America, meeting Presidents Lula da Silva, Dilma Rousseff and Hugo Chavez, Suzie brings a wealth of artist relationships and international expertise to FitzGibbon Media’s global practice to support change agents abroad.
“I’m thrilled to join the FitzGibbon team, working on progressive campaigns developed by so many savvy organizations and individuals already doing brilliant work here in London and internationally,” said Suzie Gilbert, Vice President and London Office Director at FitzGibbon Media. “In today’s interconnected society, it is more important than ever to connect the values of our global community to the change we seek to protect our environment, advance workers rights and ensure that our fundamental freedoms are preserved. We are excited to lend a hand to help push these efforts to a new level.”
FitzGibbon Media works exclusively with progressive clients and specializes in strategic communications, digital strategy and engaging high profile artists, musicians and actors with cutting edge campaigns. The firm worked with more than seventy clients in 2014, on projects spanning human rights, the environment, digital rights, immigration, the criminal justice system, health care, campaign finance and gun law reform. In addition this work, the firm partnered with the filmmakers of two Oscar-nominated documentaries, The Invisible War and Dirty Wars, spurring large grassroots campaigns with targeted media outreach and digital engagement strategies.
Ahead of the expanded theatrical release of Laura Poitras’ critically acclaimed documentary CitizenFour—providing a first-hand account of Edward Snowden’s disclosure of the NSA’s mass surveillance program—the firm recruited celebrities including Moby, Russell Brand, Susan Sarandon, Viggo Mortensen and Thurston Moore to take an unprecedented public stand in support of whistleblowers and publishers, and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and British fashion legend Dame Vivienne Westwood to encourage their fans to watch the film.
FitzGibbon Media’s international clients have included Global Zero, Walk Free, Care 2, 350.org, ThoughtWorks, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Jeremy Scahill and the team at The Intercept and SumofUs. For more information on FitzGibbon Media: http://www.fitzgibbonmedia.com/
January 28, 2015 — This week, 71 communities from across the country launched their local participation in Zero: 2016, a national movement coordinated by the NYC non-profit Community Solutions, to end veteran and chronic homelessness in the next two years. During the launch of Zero: 2016, volunteers in 49 participating partner communities are walking the streets in the dark to interview all local residents experiencing homelessness — tallying each individual, but also identifying them by name and gathering key information on their histories and housing needs. These by-name lists will allow Zero: 2016 communities to quickly and efficiently connect individuals with the best housing option to fit their specific needs, setting communities on a path to end veteran homelessness by December 31, 2015 and chronic homelessness one year later.
Zero: 2016 is coordinated by Community Solutions, with the assistance of implementation partners at CSH, OrgCode and the Rapid Results Institute. The initiative, made possible by the support of major sponsors including Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, The Home Depot Foundation, Walker Dunlop and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, is a rigorous follow-on to Community Solutions’ successful 100,000 Homes Campaign, in which 186 communities housed 105,000 chronically homeless Americans in under four years, including more than 31,000 veterans. The initiative is rooted in the belief that communities can house far more people with existing housing resources than they may realize by adopting best practices and using data to better organize local systems.
The federal government requires all communities to conduct an annual point-in-time count (PIT) of those experiencing homelessness during the last ten days of January. But while anonymous count data is important for tracking federal trends and allocating resources, communities need by-name information in order to reconnect with those they count on the streets and work with them to escape homelessness. That’s why 49 of the 71 communities participating in Zero: 2016 will take this year’s PIT counts a step further by creating and continuously updating by-name lists of all individuals experiencing homelessness.
The recently released results of the 2014 Homeless Point-in-Time Count showed that on a single night in January 2014, there were an estimated 85,000 chronically homeless individuals and just under 50,000 homeless veterans nationally — 31,669 of these chronically homeless individuals and 16,218 of these homeless veterans live in communities participating in Zero: 2016. These numbers represent a 33 percent decrease in veteran homelessness and a 21 percent decrease in chronic homelessness nationally since the 2010 PIT Count. With actionable, person-specific data, updated during this year’s PIT Count, local agencies will be able to connect people to appropriate housing options and available subsidies quickly, housing more people and ensuring that resources are being used as effectively as possible.
“By creating a constantly updated, by-name list of each person experiencing homelessness, Zero: 2016 communities are taking one of the most critical steps toward ending homelessness within the next two years,” said Zero: 2016 Director Beth Sandor. “It is no longer enough to count your homeless neighbors anonymously once a year. That practice is necessary, but not sufficient. To be sure you are housing the most vulnerable residents within your community, you need to know exactly who they are in real time and begin rapidly and methodically housing them one by one.”
Sandor also pointed to a growing collection of cost studies showing that it costs taxpayers far less to provide supportive housing to homeless individuals than to continue to fund their emergency service usage on the streets. In fact, she said, providing housing to veterans and individuals experiencing chronic homelessness could reduce taxpayer costs by as much as 40% through housing, health and employment approaches that eliminate costly and unnecessary hospitalizations, jail visits and shelter stays.
Over the next 3 months, local agencies and organizations will work closely with the Zero: 2016 team at Community Solutions to streamline interagency coordination and local housing systems, ensuring that all people experiencing homelessness are assessed and matched to available housing through a consistent, centralized and evidence-based process. This data will be used to develop clear targets for the total number of individuals that need to be housed each month in order to end and maintain an end to veteran and chronic homelessness in communities across the country.
Community Solutions is a national non-profit dedicated to helping communities solve the complex social problems facing their most vulnerable residents. The organization’s work applies design thinking, quality improvement and a host of other cross-sector disciplines to issues like homelessness, unemployment, and public health. Zero: 2016 is a rigorous follow-on to the organization’s successful 100,000 Homes Campaign designed to help a select group of communities end chronic and veteran homelessness in the next two years.
1800 Fundraising Executives expected for 35th Annual FRDNY Friday, June 12th at New York Marriott Marquis
The Association of Fundraising Professionals-NYC Chapter is proud to announce that Emily K. Rafferty, named by Crain’s New York Business as one of the most powerful women in New York City, will be the luncheon keynote speaker at this year’s AFP NYC’s Fundraising Day in New York scheduled for Friday, June 12, 2015 at the New York Marriott Marqus in New York City. Ms. Rafferty became President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2005 after rising through the ranks in the Development Department, where she moved from the position of administrator to Vice President for Development and Membership, and later was named Senior Vice President for External Affairs. She has also served as Chairwoman of NYC and Company, the City’s tourism and marketing Agency; is a member of the Board of Directors of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum; and in 2011 joined the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York of which she became Chair in 2012. “As President of the largest and most comprehensive art museum in the country, Ms. Rafferty has a wealth of wisdom and experience to share with the more than 1,800 fundraising professionals who will be attending this event,” explains Susan Shattuck, FRDNY 2015 Chair. “The AFP Board of Directors and event committee are enormously honored to have her join us.”
Founded in 1980, Fundraising Day in New York City is recognized as the premier one-day conference on fundraising leadership and philanthropy. Over the past three and one-half decades it has provided a venue for thousands of fundraisers, and not-for-profit leaders from throughout the United States and overseas to network, take part in forty or more educational programs, workshops, and panel discussions—as well as meet with industry exhibitors and receive career mentoring. All of this in one day—and under one roof!
Report released at the 2015 National Mentoring Summit
Washington, January 29, 2015: EY and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) together released a report “Mentoring: at the crossroads of education, business and community,” at MENTOR’s 2015 National Mentoring Summit, taking place from January 28 to 30 in Washington, DC.
The report examines how top US businesses collaborate with the public and non-profit sectors to connect youth in their communities to transformative mentoring relationships and the value gained by the business and its employees. According to MENTOR’s report, The Mentoring Effect, released last year, youth with mentors are more likely to be successful in school, leaders in their communities, and to enter young adulthood with opportunities for ongoing education and career choices. And yet, 16 million American youth—one in three—will reach the age of 19 without having had a mentor of any kind, according to MENTOR. The joint report examines the private sector role in addressing this mentoring gap and provides effective practices and case studies from local businesses and Fortune 500 companies.
The report’s call to action for companies to increase efforts to support youth mentoring is reinforced by key benefits that engagement in youth mentoring provides for participating companies.
“Corporate volunteers not only strengthen their communities and contribute to the personal growth of young individuals, but I have witnessed firsthand how working with youth also makes EY mentors stronger leaders within the organization,” said Nancy Altobello, EY Global Vice Chair of Talent. “I have seen many EY College MAP volunteers, transformed by their efforts to mentor underserved high school students to pursue higher education, become more inclusive managers. That in turn makes EY better, and helps us build a better working world.”
College MAP (Mentoring for Access and Persistence), provides support to underserved students as they consider the dream of higher education. The program helps students navigate the application and financial aid process, provides access to resources, and exposes them to the benefits of higher education.
The report offers the following best practices for businesses looking to start a mentoring effort or enhance the results of an existing program, including examples from the companies interviewed.
“The investments in quality youth mentoring made by the 18 companies profiled are representative of the variety of investments being made by many more companies. They are direct contributions to the future strength of our communities and our country. They connect young people to the powerful asset that is mentoring, to opportunity, and to success,” said David Shapiro, President and CEO, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. “We are committed to using this report to make the case for more businesses big and small to engage in youth mentoring.”
Eighteen companies participated in the interview process. These companies represent a broad range of industries, including the financial and professional services sectors, technology, entertainment, manufacturing, communications, health care, retail and hospitality. In addition, more than a dozen mentoring programs and youth-serving organizations were interviewed, as were MENTOR’s affiliate Mentoring Partnerships. The following are the 18 companies that were chosen based their existing engagement in youth mentoring, which is representative of the diverse range of approaches the private-sector is taking:
MENTOR is the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in the United States. MENTOR’s mission is to close the “mentoring gap” and ensure our nation’s young people have the support they need through quality mentoring relationships to succeed at home, school, and ultimately, work. To achieve this, MENTOR collaborates with its Mentoring Partnership Network and works to drive the investment of time and money into high impact mentoring programs and advance quality mentoring through the development and delivery of standards, cutting-edge research and state-of-the-art tools.
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