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Non profit living

Non profit living

Life Changes hosting a hygiene campaign

RENO, Nevada (KOLO) -Providing the necessities for those working towards a better future. Life Changes is looking for your donations to fuel its hygiene campaign.

The agency has grown to include 11 properties in Washoe County, helping reintegrate men and women, safe homes, sober and transitional lives and more. Many times after a person leaves the hospital, whether homeless or in prison, they often have very little to themselves.

This is where you come in. Toothbrushes, toilet paper, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, makeup and other daily necessities… your donations will be of great help!

“We get them back on their feet, we put them in school, that’s one of the positive things we try to do with each of them, and then they get a job and slowly start to re-integrate into society. and end up moving. on their side and to have their own apartment ”, explains Lisa Moore, she is the president of the association.

There are two drop-off points. Flirty Lash at 180 West Peckham Lane, Suite 1060 or at one of the Life Changes properties, 529 West Second Street, you will see a locked box to place items.

You can also donate money by donating to https://www.thelifechangecenter.org/donations/

Copyright 2021 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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Non profit living

Closure of Mary’s Kitchen, a sanctuary for the homeless, would be a “tragedy” for those who depend on it

For Derek King and many like him, Mary’s Kitchen is a sanctuary.

King, who has been homeless for almost a decade, found Mary’s Kitchen in Orange at a time when he had reached his limits. Malnourished physically and spiritually, he was ready to give up.

Mary’s Kitchen provided her with food, a shower and clothes. It helped restore something that many homeless people had to give up when they lived on the streets: dignity.

He found a new meaning in the relationships he established and the spirituality fostered by the leadership of the association.

“There are times when the fear of living for nothing strangles you,” King said in an interview this week with Mary’s Kitchen.

King’s story is not uncommon.

Charles Cousert hadn’t eaten in days before finding Mary’s Kitchen, where he was given food and clothing.

He said he would have died if it hadn’t been for the association.

“This place is literally a blessing,” Cousert said. “It’s a sanctuary.

Craig Lasky and America Sanchez are biking at Mary’s Kitchen in Orange on Tuesday July 13th.

(Scott Smeltzer / Personal Photographer)

Homeless people who rely on Mary’s Kitchen said it was the only place they could find whatever they needed. Led by Gloria Suess, the association offers three meals, six days a week, to anyone who requests them. Showers and laundry facilities are also available, and the association receives mail for hundreds of customers.

After speaking with over half a dozen homeless people this week, it’s clear anyone can approach Suess with a problem they’re having and she’ll try to fix it.

During a visit to the association this week, Michael Lohse, accompanied by his dog Mildred, approached Suess and thanked her for helping him pay for the late registration of his car. Like other visitors to the site, Lohse, a victim of three strokes, has had a hard time. He said the nonprofit gave him $ 440 for the $ 1,300 he needed so he could drive again.

“Whatever you need, you’ll get it from Gloria,” said Patrick Hogan, volunteer at Mary’s Kitchen.

But after the city sent a letter of formal notice last month ending the association’s lease, the homeless people who rely on Mary’s Kitchen are now wondering what they will do if it is closed.

On June 18, the city sent Mary’s Kitchen a formal notice terminating its lease three years earlier. The city is giving the association until September 18 to vacate the property and they’ve asked Mary’s Kitchen to provide the city with a move plan within two weeks.

The letter from the city, signed by City Manager Rick Otto, indicates that the city has been a leader in Orange County in supporting the efforts of the homeless. However, Mary’s Kitchen is the only homeless service provider listed in the city’s housing component.

Marie’s kitchen has been operating in Orange since the mid-1980s, and at its current location at 517 W. Struck Ave., since 1994. Mary’s Kitchen is a humble, non-profit organization run by donations and volunteers, some of whom are themselves even homeless.

Natalie Wolf, center, and other volunteers prepare meals for the homeless at Mary's Kitchen in Orange on Tuesday, July 13.

Natalie Wolf, center, and other volunteers prepare meals for the homeless at Mary’s Kitchen in Orange on Tuesday, July 13.

(Scott Smeltzer / Personal Photographer)

While Otto’s letter praises Mary’s Kitchen, it goes on to state that the association’s actions only serve to “enable roaming and can no longer be supported by the city.”

The letter says there has been an increase in crime and police calls from Mary’s Kitchen. The city says this has created an “unreasonable demand for municipal services.”

The letter also states that the city recently approved an affordable housing project nearby, which is “incompatible” with Mary’s Kitchen, which is located at the end of an industrial dead end. An Orange Police Department headquarters is across the street. There are no houses on the street.

Suess, the association’s president and CEO, said in a phone interview that Mary’s Kitchen had already complied with city requests to install security cameras and a security guard.

“Whatever they asked us to do, we did it,” Suess said.

Suess said the city does not want Mary’s Kitchen to serve people who are not from Orange, but that is inconsistent with the nonprofit’s mission to serve all who are hungry.

“We don’t judge who deserves food or not,” Suess said. “We take care of those who really need help.

“… I don’t think Orange understands, all these people who have considered Mary their home for all these years, where are they going to go?” Where do they get their mail from? Where are they going to shower? Where are they going to eat?

Mike Harrison, a volunteer at Mary's Kitchen in Orange, cooks meals for the homeless on Tuesday, July 13.

Mike Harrison, a volunteer at Mary’s Kitchen in Orange, cooks meals for the homeless on Tuesday, July 13.

(Scott Smeltzer / Personal Photographer)

Mary’s Kitchen and some members of the community back off.

The association hired lawyer Brooke Weitzman, who sent a letter to the city on July 9 saying the city’s notice did not include a substantial reason for prematurely terminating a rental agreement. He asks the city to cancel his letter.

“The notice does not meet substantive and procedural standards for early termination of the agreement,” the letter said. “The only reference to the lease in the notice indicates that the City can terminate the agreement, but it does not specify any reason supported by the terms of the agreement.

“Despite the recognition of the critical support Mary’s has received over the years, the letter draws baseless conclusions that are simply not supported by the facts, in effect blaming Mary’s Kitchen for the city’s failure to resolve the crisis. housing, the health care needs of its poorest residents, and everything and all other issues in the public space outside of Mary’s Kitchen property. Certainly nothing in the lease places the onus on Mary’s Kitchen to address the City’s failures to meet the needs of low-income and homeless people.

Weitzman’s letter also calls on the city to determine the environmental impact of closing Mary’s Kitchen in order to comply with California’s Environmental Quality Act.

The letter says water and soil may be contaminated by the loss of hygiene facilities at Mary’s Kitchen and other public spaces could be affected as homeless people are forced to move.

“The immediate shutdown of a service provider leaving around 150-200 people a day without this safe place to sit, receive meals to eat and clothes to wear, access mail, access hygiene facilities, use a laundromat and more will inevitably have an impact on the environment, ”the letter said.

Weitzman also argues that the lease termination violates the city’s housing element, which requires the city to take into account the homeless, low-income people, the elderly and people with disabilities – all of whom frequent Mary’s Kitchen. Weitzman notes in the letter that Mary’s Kitchen is the only homeless service provider in the city listed in its housing element.

The letter notes that the city must “make adequate provision in its housing element for the existing and anticipated needs of all economic segments of its community, including its homeless population.”

Patrick Hogan has a glass of water at Mary's Kitchen in Orange on Tuesday July 13.

Patrick Hogan drinks a glass of water at Mary’s Kitchen in Orange on Tuesday July 13.

(Scott Smeltzer / Personal Photographer)

Orange City spokesman Paul Sitkoff said in an email he could not comment on the closure of Mary’s Kitchen due to a possible ongoing litigation.

Weitzman said on the phone that she wondered who in town was leading the effort to shut down Mary’s Kitchen after decades of existence.

“There was no public meeting, so I know the letter is from the city manager, but who is it? Said Weitzman. “This sort of thing would normally be a decision of city council, especially given the long history of community service. It is not clear because there has been no public involvement.

Mary’s Kitchen is currently collecting signatures from supporters to show the city how crucial it is to the community. Suess said she wanted a few thousand signatures before sending them to the city.

The community also supports the association. Several members of the public showed up at a city council meeting on Tuesday night to criticize the city and express their support for Mary’s Kitchen.

“This city has lost its soul,” resident Heidi Zimmermann said at the meeting.

Pancho Sambrano shares lunch with her cat Ice Cream at Mary's Kitchen in Orange on Tuesday July 13th.

Pancho Sambrano shares lunch with her cat Ice Cream at Mary’s Kitchen in Orange on Tuesday July 13.

(Scott Smeltzer / Personal Photographer)

The city declined to provide crime statistics on Mary’s Kitchen, despite its allegations of increased crime in the area. The city called the association a “nuisance” in its letter, but there was no sign of it during a visit to Mary’s Kitchen this week.

Dozens of people had lunch and chatted among themselves. Some slept in the shade.

Everything fell silent as Suess recited a prayer through a megaphone. Many stood up and some took off their hats.

“Send blessings to Mary’s Kitchen,” Suess said.

“Amen,” they said.

For those who meet regularly at the shrine, losing Mary’s Kitchen is more than losing access to food and possessions. The camaraderie and support from Suess, volunteers and others gives them hope and meaning.

“I come here more for the community than the food, even though the food is pretty good,” said Starla Acosta, who has lived in her car for about five years, the same time she comes to Mary’s Kitchen.

Acosta met his close friend Ron at Mary’s Kitchen. She calls him her little brother.

Ron, who declined to give her last name, said Mary’s Kitchen helps all kinds of people. For many, it helps support them as they go through a difficult time in life.

Since Ron was injured at work two years ago, he’s been a regular visitor to Mary’s Kitchen. He has a job now, but he keeps coming to see his friends.

Ron said he couldn’t sleep the night he heard about the potential closure of Mary’s Kitchen.

“It would be a tragedy,” he said.

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Non profit living

New York’s plan to move homeless people out of hotels blocked by judge

The mayor’s claim that hotels should free up rooms for tourists is challenged by the industry itself.

“It is absolutely imperative for many hotels that this program continue,” said Vijay Dandapani, president of the New York Hotel Association last week. Even counting the homeless, occupancy rates are low, he said, and the lack of demand has driven down room prices in hotels open to the public.

But the hotels, many of which were concentrated in Manhattan neighborhoods in Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea, have drawn community opposition since the start of the program. Neighbors complain that hotel residents use drugs, hang out, steal from shops and harass passers-by.

One hotel, the Lucerne on the Upper West Side, a few blocks from Central Park, has been the subject of a months-long political battle in a stronghold of liberalism after nearly 200 men, many struggling with addiction problems, were transferred there.

Some residents have welcomed the men. Many did not and strongly pressured the city, which tried to transfer them to a hotel in another affluent area of ​​the city center, to face a lawsuit there.

Last week, the men had been moved out of the hotel and back to shelters.

One of them, Mike Roberts, 36, offered a dispatch on Sunday from his new home in the East Village.

He sleeps in a room with seven or eight cabins that each house three or four men. If he reaches out from his bed, he can touch the next one.

Unlike his room at Lucerne, the one in the refuge has no air conditioning. Mr. Roberts often wakes up in the middle of the night soaked in sweat, and he cannot walk around because if he leaves the shelter between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. he loses his bed. Needless to say, his room does not have a private shower or TV.

“Here when I wake up I’m in a cabin,” he said. “It’ll be three people around me sleeping, one snoring, one probably getting high, or a guy pacing up and down. Who wants that? “

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Non profit living

Voto Latino fights Latinos’ reluctance to vaccinate against COVID

Maria Teresa Kumar, President and CEO of Voto Latino, a nonprofit organization for the Latin American community, was confused when her own mother told her she would not be getting the COVID-19 vaccine. It took two months for Kumar to convince his mother, who works in the health sector and had been vaccinated, her and her children, all her life, to make an appointment. What had held her mother back were the videos she had watched imparting false accounts, especially one that showed a man pretending to be a pharmacist, warning in Spanish not to be vaccinated, Kumar recalls, “because it was a technology never introduced to humans before. “

The spread of misinformation and misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine is common among a range of U.S. populations, including within the Latino community. In an April survey by Voto Latino, 40% of Latinos said they had received material saying the vaccine was not working. In order to urgently overcome this, especially as the Delta variant spreads, Voto Latino uses his behavioral learnings to fight far-right disinformation during elections to rally people to get shot, as he did so to register them to vote in 2020. For the organization, it is essential to maintain a large and influential electoral bloc healthy and confident in the government so that it continues to exercise its right to vote in the to come up.

Although the number is improving, the uptake of the vaccine by Latinos has been 1.2 times less than among whites in the majority of states. This is the case with other ethnic groups, such as blacks, with whom Latinos share some of the same barriers to access, such as frontline work that prevents employees from taking time off or lack of care. adequate health. Additionally, like the black community, Latinos have had their own dark experiences of being subjected to medical racism by the US government, including a history of forced sterilization of women in Los Angeles and Puerto Rico.

Misinformation around the COVID-19 vaccine compounds already existing fears. Some messages mistakenly claim that the vaccine is not scientifically reliable, and others that it causes infertility. More outlandish claims include that it contains a microchip or that it transforms you in zombie. Part of the reason these myths are so common among the Hispanic community is that Facebook doesn’t crack down on disinformation in Spanish to the same extent as it does in English. Once the information arrives on WhatsApp, it can then spread virally without any control. Of those who said they saw “harmful” information about the vaccine, 53% said it had been on Facebook and 43% on messaging apps.

The promoters of this disinformation are often individuals or groups who create digital content based on talking points from far-right cable news, radio shows or politicians, says Ameer Patel, vice president of programs. by Voto Latino. These bad actors can then receive donations from the followers, which not only fund the wide dissemination of lies, but can allow them to make a living from the practice. “One of the things we’re really seeing is there’s this great appetite to fund the flow of misinformation and disinformation,” he says. When a particular message resonates with a certain community, they tap more into that idea; for example, the myth of infertility has been particularly powerful among young Latinos, Patel says, perhaps because of popular family or religious beliefs.

With the CDC is already reporting that Latinos are 2 times more likely to be infected with the virus than whites, and 2.3 times more likely to die, Voto Latino has decided to help fight false narratives by implementing the Latino anti-disinformation laboratory with the Media Matters association. Although Voto Latino focuses on voting, Kumar says a healthy community that trusts government is essential for democracy, calling misinformation about vaccines “the most morbid form of voter suppression.” She adds, “If you don’t trust your government to take care of you and keep your family healthy with a vaccine, what’s the possibility that you can convince someone to vote?

The group is also in a privileged position to deliver its conclusions on the fight against far-right disinformation during the 2020 campaign. During this cycle, bad actors aimed to suppress the vote among certain blocs, and Voto Latino retaliated with strategies that ended up registering 426,964 voters, a record for the organization. They ran explanatory ads to educate people about the registration process, used peer-to-peer texting where volunteers sent personalized texts to people from local numbers, and encouraged people to contact likewise their friends and family. The idea was that receiving messages from people like them, whom they could relate to, would be more compelling than receiving impersonal, generic memos.

Now, the group is adopting similar behavioral techniques for the immunization campaign, with an ad campaign focusing on messages from people like them, rather than an unknown healthcare professional, for example. One of the two best-tested ads features a sixth-grade teacher expressing feelings of returning to school safe after being immunized, which Kumar says touches both educational and economic reasoning. The other features a woman who admits to being scared at first, “because it was new”, but who eventually received the photo and said it felt liberating. Importantly, both also point out that shooting is free, which a lot of people either don’t know or are told otherwise. Overall, the message is “optimistic but practical” and focuses on getting back to normal. As with his electoral strategy, Voto Latino does not laugh at any idea, however absurd it may be. “If you make fun of someone for their beliefs, they tend to turn around because they don’t mean they’re wrong,” Kumar says. “It’s the worst way to chat with someone.”

Voto Latino targets the 28% of people who said they were hesitant about the vaccine, rather than those “who are at the bottom of the rabbit hole” and more difficult to convince (again, a strategy similar to the election ). “We are entering the nooks and crannies of people’s internet,” Kumar says, referring to the targeting technique of showing their ads to people who have previously watched disinformation videos. They are currently running the ads on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

So far, they’ve been effective in calling for action: According to Google results, released last week, people who saw the ads were 54 times more likely to search for ‘get a covid vaccine’ than those who did not; and there was an overall spike in that search term of 7,171% in Florida, 5,856% in Texas, and 4,330% in California, the three states with the largest Latin American populations. And vaccination is increasing: As of July 4, 34% of people who had started their vaccination in the previous 14 days were Latin American, even though they represent only 17% of the population. Kumar says she believes the same methods could be used on other hesitant population groups, such as older whites and immigrant enclaves.

Success so far suggests that simply showing people care – to “give them love, attention and information in a non-judgmental way” – is a strategy. effective persuasion, both to promote vaccines and to maintain an active growing political voice in the long term. With her mother, what ultimately worked was the personal message of “Why wouldn’t someone want you to be healthy?” Why wouldn’t someone want you to see your grandchildren? “

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Non profit living

More Nursing Homes and Seniors’ Homes are Closing Their Doors Due to the Impact of COVID

The nursing home operated by Alaris Health on John F. Kennedy Boulevard in Guttenberg was old. Built long before there were concerns about isolating large numbers of residents to stop a virus that could spread like wildfire, it was small and could hold up to four people per room.

And now it’s closed.

The long-term coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 7,800 long-term care residents in New Jersey.

It also had a big impact on nursing homes.

Since March 2020, three state care facilities have closed, according to state data, highlighting not only changes COVID has brought to standards of care, experts say, but also growing financial instability in the state. nationwide industry. In each of the previous two years before the deadly virus hit, there has been only one nursing home closure in New Jersey, according to the state Department of Health.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has put increased financial pressure on nursing homes and assisted living providers who already operate on very low margins,” said James McCracken, President and CEO LeadingAge New Jersey, the statewide association of nonprofit elderly care organizations.

Nationally, industry officials predict long-term care providers could lose $ 94 billion in the pandemic and warn that more than 1,800 facilities could eventually close their doors.

The closures in New Jersey, meanwhile, also suggest that the financial pressures felt by long-term care facilities due to COVID may have made nonprofits such as those represented by LeadingAge particularly vulnerable.

Medicaid, a joint federal and state program that helps pay nursing home fees, serves as a safety net for people with limited incomes and resources. But the reimbursement rate in New Jersey remains far too low, critics lament. At the same time, not all for-profit nursing homes will accept Medicaid or may limit the services and beds provided to Medicaid patients, unlike nonprofit organizations.

“Faith-based and mission-oriented organizations are particularly affected because they traditionally care for those in need, regardless of their ability to pay,” McCracken said of the financial crisis caused by the pandemic.

One of the facilities that closed in the state this year – the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Emerson – was operated on a non-profit basis. The Villa at Florham Park, an assisted living facility and also a non-profit organization, is also closing. The establishment, which has already relocated all of its residents, has submitted a closure plan to the state, according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health.

More recently, the St. Francis Residential Community in Denville, a non-profit independent living facility for seniors operated by The Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, also said it was closing for financial reasons, although it was not have not linked their problems to COVID. The closure will displace 75 people who live there, including 10 nuns of another order, the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God. They did not respond to requests for comment.

The Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, owners of the property since 1895, said in a statement that as the buildings and infrastructure on campus aged, “it has become increasingly difficult to fund maintenance and operations. renovations necessary to maintain the financial viability of the community. “

Although they have not yet filed a notice of intent regarding the closure with the Ministry of Community Affairs, which is authorizing the installation, they have withheld the Springpoint, a non-profit organization that operates 27 retirement homes, to help with the closure and find suitable housing for current residents.

A Springpoint spokeswoman said they had has created a limited number of leases at one of their facilities, The Oaks in Denville, which will be made available to residents of St. Francis and the sisters who live there, based on financial need.

St. Francis Residential Community, an independent living facility in Denville that houses 75 residents and plans to close.Google Street View

McCracken said a more robust reimbursement system is needed to support providers who care for the most vulnerable.

“Nonprofit providers are resident-focused and I am saddened when faith-based organizations close because they cannot afford to continue their ministries,” he said.

Her concern was echoed by Laurie Facciarossa Brewer, the New Jersey long-term care ombudsman, who questions whether faith-based institutions and other nonprofits are having a harder time weathering the effects of the health emergency. public COVID-19, including reduction of occupancy rates.

“At least one national study has shown that nonprofit long-term care facilities are more effective at controlling COVID-19 infections,” she said. “This may suggest that these facilities had better staff ratios and provided more nursing hours, a key indicator of quality in a long-term care facility and the most important tool to combat the spread of the infection.”

The loss of such organizations, said Facciarossa Brewer, “is bad news for people in need of nursing home care in New Jersey.”

Andrew Aronson, president and CEO of the Health Care Association of New Jersey, which represents long-term care facilities in the state, said the pandemic has caused an economic crisis on all long-term care providers, “regardless of the ownership structure”.

Nationally, a recent survey by the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, representing more than 14,000 nursing homes, assisted living communities and other long-term care facilities across the country , revealed that most homes in living communities are now operating at a loss.

This survey indicated that only a quarter of nursing homes and assisted living communities were confident they could last a year or more, citing increased expenses or lost income. There are also fewer inhabitants.

“Even though cases of COVID in long-term care are at historically low levels, providers are struggling to recover from the economic crisis the pandemic has brought about,” said Mark Parkinson, President and CEO from the Association. “Too many facilities operate on tight budgets simply because policy makers have not committed the appropriate resources, and this can have devastating consequences.”

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker | Newsletter | Home page

To ensure the stability of the long-term care industry, Aronson said lawmakers and officials must provide short-term economic support and address the chronic underfunding of Medicaid, which only covers about 70% of the cost of caring for a patient in a retirement home.

The problem, however, goes beyond Medicaid funding.

The isolation requirements of sick and infected residents in nursing homes that were never designed to contain a virus like COVID have demonstrated the inadequacies of many older facilities that may no longer be economically viable.

The Alaris Health nursing home in Guttenberg, which looked after nearly 100 residents, was a relatively small facility. Approved for 108 beds, it had an average of 91 residents during the pandemic. But the retirement home, built in the 1960s, also needed modernization. Many of its rooms were set up for up to three and four people, and officials said it was difficult to isolate patients with COVID-19.

Even before the pandemic, the nursing facility had ongoing work issues and union officials complained that their members were working with expired contracts, many of those who had been sick on the job with the coronavirus ended up over later responsible for thousands of medical bills. Its operators had also considered a plan to demolish the facility and replace it with a 15-story residential building overlooking the Manhattan skyline.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, Alaris Health announced last year that it would close the nursing home and began moving residents to other facilities. According to the state’s health department, it closed in January.

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Ted Sherman can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on twitter @TedShermanSL.

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Non profit living

COVID demonstrated the immense value of higher education communities (opinion)

When I first started quarantining, well over a year ago, I felt like I had been bowled over in a modernized Danteen hellish landscape. Not one of the deepest circles, where you’re frozen in ice and someone gnaws at your head. Just one of the upper benevolent spheres, where you wander aimlessly between your desk and the refrigerator, endlessly refreshing the New York Times home page. As usual, but on top of that.

What I felt was the strange lived experience of reverse: this literary device – famous employee in Dante Hell – where the suffering of a sinner imitates the nature of his sin. Let the punishment match the crime.

Before COVID-19 hit, modern life had already left us atomized, uprooted, addicted to our smartphones. Over the past year, that life has ironically intensified: we have spent our days locked in our one-bedroom apartments, every human connection mediated by a screen, torn from our communities.

The college classroom was no exception. Just weeks after the start of the pandemic, higher education Jeremias were already prophesying a world in which a Brady Bunch of jerky, pixelated faces would become a permanent educational standard. But despite the tribulations of the past year, I came away reassured that liberal residential education never be completely supplanted by e-learning. Screens simply cannot offer what students are looking for: the chance to live and learn with their peers in tight-knit educational communities.

I have made a career of co-creating educational communities, first at Deep Springs College, then with my own nonprofit, Tidelines Institute (formerly the Arete Project), which runs similar shorter duration programs. By tearing apart such communities, COVID-19 has highlighted their immense value. The pandemic, it seems, will pass. As we begin to think about the fall semester, now It’s time to reinvent and reinvigorate educational communities when the doors of the academy finally reopen.

What is an educational community? Part of it is a social community, as it can happen in a dormitory or a sports team. But it is also an intellectual community, with a dynamic life outside the classroom. The educational community opens up from the classroom to personal relationships, extracurricular, work, meals: lived together and oriented towards learning.

The educational community is the best thing a residential college has to offer. The two together prove that education is not just about mastery of content, but the growth of the human being as a whole. Although I am happy to remember a few things about The Divine Comedy, the truth is, I forgot a lot of material from my undergraduate years. It’s not that the content wasn’t important. It is because he played the role of second violin in the vibrant world of inquiry, debate, experimentation and social relations that have gathered around him. In college, I shared this world with a small group of peers and professors. The academic content provided a substrate and sustenance, but it was within the community that my education took place. This is where I grew up.

This is what so many young people are looking for in their college experience. That’s why every college tour guide speaks convincingly about these ramblings all night long about the meaning of life they enjoy with their roommate. This is why a former student of an intensive humanities program advised incoming students to forgo the 1 p.m. class: so that the cohort discussions started in class can continue over lunch and early after. midday.

And that is precisely what online education will never supplant. Administrators charting a post-pandemic path for their institutions would do well to consider both the scientific evidence and the financial prognosis in favor of educational communities. Substantial research links tight-knit cohorts to a range of positive learning outcomes, including literacy and critical thinking gains, improved performance in STEM courses, and perseverance in college. Online education, on the other hand, can often be associated with higher attrition rate, larger success gaps and widespread student dissatisfaction. And for numbers lovers, while the price of online education can have immediate financial appeal, alumni donations are dismal among online education beneficiaries. Alumni donate to places where they have created memories, formed friendships, and made the transition to adulthood with their peers. (Deep Springs, for example, has an enviable alumni donation rate of almost 50 percent.)

It is true that Deep Springs and Tidelines Institute are outliers, striving to bring the educational community to its most vital embodiment. We did this by creating small islands where a small number of inhabitants – students, staff and faculty – participate equally in shared work and a shared world. While not completely abjuring hierarchy or division of labor, any member of the community can chair a hiring committee or swing a hammer, analyze Hegel, analyze data, or lead a camping trip.

These two institutions exist outside of the “normal” academy, but they offer courses that can be adapted for traditional colleges. Indeed, many institutions already offer educational communities of one kind or another. For those who don’t – or want to create more – here are some general precepts.

  • Cohorts are essential. Educational communities must be porous but made up of a dense network of relationships. It must be possible for individuals to really know each other. Six could be a minimum size, while 50 could be a maximum.
  • Students must share a lasting intellectual experience. The content itself can vary widely but should include at least one ongoing course, ideally for a minimum of a year. Directed studies at Yale University is one example.
  • Experiential opportunities work wonders. They strengthen relationships with students, forge community identity, and help students integrate theory and practice. Wild nature and civilization at the University of Montana effectively coupled substantive courses and outdoor exploration.
  • Diversity is a necessity. Educational communities are at serious risk: that students may self-select from groups of peers who look alike, think and act alike. But peer learning is crucial in such communities, which means students have to come with different backgrounds and beliefs.
  • … but not always. Some students thrive in communities where they share common stories with their peers. This is especially true for students from marginalized backgrounds, for whom a strong community can be a deciding factor in college perseverance. the ScHOLA²RS House at the University of Connecticut offers one of many excellent models.
  • The shared meals are excellent. The shared living space is even better.

Educational communities do not need to be totalizing; after all, it’s not The secret story. They can include French majors and physics majors, football stars, climate change activists and classical pianists. They can manifest in the form of formal programs like those mentioned above or, more simply, they can occur spontaneously.

I know how great it is to create a new program. Faculty members without this bandwidth can still cultivate educational communities. They can encourage seminars to adjourn directly to lunch or coffee where conversations can continue informally. They may advise students to set up directed readings with a handful of their peers. They can connect students with similar interests. And, where formal programs exist, they can point students in the right direction.

The pandemic has shown us how precious and necessary educational communities are. Nowhere else in modern life do we have the spaces and structures that can support such communities, and believe me, I watched. They are the product and the pride of residential colleges alone. When we finally get out of this mundane hell, let’s be ready to help them thrive.

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Non profit living

Elderly residents will be relocated as Eventide plans to sell historic Moorhead building

Eventide Senior Living Communities announced on Wednesday, July 7 that the Fairmont store located at 801 2nd Ave. N. will close its doors. The nonprofit intended to vacate the building as part of its long-term plan, but a pipe leak that caused extensive water damage has accelerated that timeline.

“We had known for some time that the Eventide Fairmont building would ultimately not allow us to meet the needs of our residents,” Eventide President and CEO Jon Riewer said in a statement. “With the recent water damage, we have had to carefully consider the future of the Fairmont and how it aligns with our mission to better serve seniors. “

Eventide purchased the Fairmont building in 1994, said Carrie Carney, spokesperson for Eventide. It was previously the Fairmont Creamery Company, which closed in 1980. The building opened in 1924 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It’s unclear what the next step is for the building, but Eventide said it will work to sell the Fairmont building to a local developer with experience in preserving historic buildings.

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“We are grateful for the time we have spent at Eventide Fairmont and the fact that it has enabled us to serve many residents over the years and are confident that the new owner will take a special interest in the next chapter of the building. Fairmont Creamery, ”said Riewer. “The sale of the Fairmont allows our organization to focus on further growth and investment on our Eighth Street campus in Moorhead, which will best serve the seniors in our community today and in the future.

Eventide determined that it could not reconfigure the building’s layout to meet residential needs, particularly in the eastern addition. Other reasons for shutting down the facility include the lack of a commercial kitchen, limited areas that could be used for common areas, and a lack of amenities. Most apartments do not have kitchens and Eventide cannot renovate the building to meet regulations required by Minnesota law, the organization said.

“The investment required to make these changes goes far beyond what makes financial or programmatic sense,” Riewer said. “The needs and wants of today’s seniors continue to evolve and it is our responsibility to meet them.

Eventide plans to move the 53 residents of the Fairmont out of the building over the next 90 days. The organization has said it will not close the facility or transfer ownership of the location until all residents have new homes.

Some will be able to move to Eventide’s Linden Apartments in Moorhead, and the organization is working with other senior communities to find housing for residents, Carney said.

The 17 memory care residents will be moving to the Linden Apartments, which recently opened a memory care addition there, Carney said.

Staff will be permitted to work at other Eventide locations in the Fargo-Moorhead area. No deadline for leaving the building has been set, Carney said.

In addition to its Moorhead locations, Eventide has facilities in North Dakota at Fargo, West Fargo, Jamestown and Devils Lake.

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Non profit living

Chicago Palestinians have connection to distant homeland

Every time Fidaa Elaydi buys fresh falafel for $ 3.99 a dozen from a bakery in Palos Hills, she gives her three children a Palestinian cooking lesson.

Elaydi remembers longing for his father every time he eats sesame bread from Jerusalem, as it reminds him of his own childhood, when he sold loaves of this bread while living in the Gaza Strip.

“I try to make accessible to my children here the parts that were not accessible to my parents in the refugee camp, while helping them understand the nuance,” said Elaydi, 33, a Palestinian refugee from the refugee camp. third generation and an immigration attorney who lives in the southwestern suburb of Justice.

When she tells them about their Palestinian identity, she focuses on the beauty of the area her parents told her stories about when she was growing up – the oranges of Jaffa, the vastness of the Mediterranean Sea and eating figs and pomegranates. directly on the trees.

“I’m just trying to tie everything together … to strengthen their bond with their homeland,” she added.

Fidaa Elaydi with her daughter at one of the recent pro-Palestinian protests in Chicago.
Courtesy photo

This continued connection to their homeland was brought to light recently, when hundreds of people took to the streets of the Loop to show their support for the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel.

the Arab America website estimates that 85,000 Palestinians live in greater Chicago, representing 60% of Chicago’s Arab population.

The community is scattered throughout the metropolitan area, but Arabic road signs are so common in some southwestern suburbs – around Bridgeview, Oak Lawn, and Worth – that the area has been called “Little Palestine.”

“The Palestinians kind of settled in this area, and they chose to stay with each other and build this tight-knit community. If you drive into South Harlem you will see bakeries, dessert shops, jewelry stores, and small grocery stores – anything that cites the names of cities in Palestine, ”Elaydi said.

the Arab-American Action Network, a non-profit community center established in 1995 on the southwest side, is one of several centers for the community. Social services, advocacy work, education, engagement of women and youth, and cultural events are some of the outreach services and programs offered by the network.

This community is linked by a history of conflict and displacement. The region the Palestinians call home includes much of today’s Israel. American Palestinians living in Chicago are just one part of a larger network of Palestinians living in the United States and around the world who connect to their struggle through storytelling, activism, justice social and sometimes simply by existing.

Elaydi’s four grandparents were forced to leave their homes in 1948, a date known to some as Israel’s War of Independence but to others as the “Nakba,” in Arabic for disaster.

They ended up in a refugee camp in Gaza, where Elaydi’s parents grew up until his father, accompanied by his mother, moved to the United States as a student.

“Because Palestinian history is inherently a story of dispossession, displacement and exile, I never believed that my connection, or my Palestinian identity, was less than a Palestinian living between [Jordan] River and the [Mediterranean] Mer, ”she said.

Ahlam Jbara immigrated to Chicago in 1974 when she was two months old. She returned to the West Bank with her family in 1986. But the following year, six months after the first Palestinian intifada, or uprising, her family returned to Chicago.

“I always say that the two years I lived there shaped who I am today,” said Jbara, 47.

Ahlam Jbara speaks at an event organized by the Palestinian American Center at Oak Lawn in 2019.

Ahlam Jbara speaks at an event organized by the Palestinian American Center at Oak Lawn in 2019.
Provided

This 73-year conflict continues today and resumed earlier this year in Jerusalem, where Palestinians faced brutal Israeli police tactics at the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in April.

This, combined with threats to evict dozens of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem by Jewish settlers, was followed by the Hamas group firing long-range rockets into Jerusalem and launching Israel from it. heavy airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

At least 230 Palestinians were killed, including 65 children and 39 women, and 1,710 people were injured, according to the Gaza health ministry. Twelve people in Israel, including a 5-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl, were killed.

The 11-day explosion of violence ended on May 20, with a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas.

During the conflict, American Palestinians and their supporters took to the streets of Chicago and around the world.

The sense of community connection here reflects decades of organization and institution building, said Hatem Abudayyeh, executive director of the Arab American Action Network.

Abudayyeh, the son of Palestinian immigrants, is also national president of the US Palestine Community Network – a grassroots group that is also part of the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine, an umbrella organization for pro-Palestinian groups in the region, including including American Muslims. for Palestine, Jewish Voices for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine.

“We were able to react like we did with masses of people because we have institutions. Because we’ve established a tradition and history of community organizing in the city and in the United States as a whole for a long, long time, ”said Abudayyeh.

Coalition rallies closed parts of the loop as protesters demonstrated outside the Israeli consulate, waving Palestinian flags.

Aviv Ezra, Israel’s consul general in the Midwest, said the latest situation was not about the situation in Sheikh Jarrah, but rather the actions of Hamas, which he said “used every pretext … State of Israel.

Protesters hold up a banner for the Coalition for Justice in Palestine during a march through the loop on May 12, 2021. The coalition is an umbrella organization for a number of pro-Palestinian groups in the Chicago chapter.

Protesters hold up a banner for the Coalition for Justice in Palestine during a march through the loop on May 12, 2021. The coalition is an umbrella organization for a number of pro-Palestinian groups in the Chicago chapter.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times

In mid-June, the ceasefire was tested when hundreds of Israeli ultra-nationalists, some chanting “Death to the Arabs,” marched through East Jerusalem to celebrate Israel’s capture of the region in 1967. The Palestinians then sent incendiary balloons into southern Israel, causing several fires in parched farmland. Israel carried out airstrikes and more balloons followed.

About a week later, there were clashes between Palestinians and Jewish settlers in an area of ​​Jerusalem where settler groups are trying to evict several Palestinian families, officials said last week.

Thousands of people demonstrate in favor of Palestine and march through the loop, Wednesday evening, May 12, 2021.

Thousands of people demonstrate in support of Palestine and march through the loop on May 12, 2021.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times

The growing awareness of systemic racism in the United States sheds a different light on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for some Americans, says Wendy Pearlman, professor of political science at Northwestern University.

“This language of rights and equality also ties into Black Lives Matter and social justice protests in a way that, at least in the American context, people are starting to see in a new light that puts rights. of man in the foreground and it is difficult for Israel and its allies to delegitimize, ”she added.

Tarek Khalil, a member of the Chicago branch of American Muslims for Palestine, said the rallies are “cries for justice, liberation and equality.”

“It is worth it that I am an activist here, because the government that represents me is the same government that provides the same entity that is the source of the oppression of my people – $ 3.8 billion a year in financial, military and diplomatic assistance, ”said Khalil, 36, who grew up in Chicago and lives in Bridgeview but spent four years of his childhood living in the Silwan neighborhood of east Jerusalem.

“It’s personal but also political,” Khalil said. “It is essential that we pressure our government to formulate policies that are not contrary to the values ​​we preach every day.

Contribution: Associated Press

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Non profit living

Joint Fundraiser for Aloha United Way Introduces New Bath and Body Collection

Image courtesy of MANAOLA Hawai’i website.

Hawaiian Electric and luxury Hawaiian fashion label MANAOLA Hawaiʻi have launched presales of a new environmentally conscious bath and body collection as a fundraiser for Aloha United Way.

Five gift options from “Lei Puakenikeni” from MANAOLAcollection – priced at $ 22 to $ 56 – is available for pre-order on the Mākeke pop-up website through July 31 and orders processed in October.

“All proceeds from sales will go to AUW’s ALICE Fund, which brings together people, resources and sustainable solutions to help make the community stronger and more resilient.”

the Lei Puakenikeni The collection uses only sustainably and ethically sourced ingredients, natural fragrances and biodegradable packaging for the special line made in Hawaii, which is also cruelty-free and vegan. Product samples will be available at MANAOLA stores in Ala Moana and Pearlridge shopping centers and pre-sale orders will also be taken in-store.

Fundraising items include a coconut and soy candle ($ 22), a bath set with shampoo and conditioner bars ($ 26), a home diffuser with bamboo reeds ($ 44 ), a gift set with a bath soap and shampoo and conditioner bars in a burlap bag ($ 50) and a gift set with a bath soap, moisturizing body lotion and a candle in a burlap bag ($ 56).

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“We’re always looking for new and creative ways to support AUW and our community, and we researched MANAOLA because they embrace the same commitment to communities, Hawaiian culture, sustainability, and customer service that we also value,” said said Bob Krekel, Hawaiian Electric. Director of Business Processes and Continuous Improvement and Chairman of the Employee Fundraising Committee. “MANAOLA is also known for their high quality and innovation and we are proud to collaborate with them on a new product launch and fundraising. Together, we hope for a successful campaign that will uplift our community through these trying times and help build a resilient Hawai’i. “

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The launch of a bath and body collection by MANAOLA marks a new venture for the innovative fashion house known for its indigenous art and an opportunity to support a small local business on the island of Hawai’i while giving back to the community. The new line also elevates the exotic and fragrant puakenikeni flower which holds deep meaning for the brand’s founder, Manaola Yap.

“The collection was inspired by fond memories of his tūtū and acts of kindness, generosity, love and aloha, which is our way of life,” said Zachary Pang, CEO of MANAOLA Hawaiʻi. “When Hawaiian Electric reached out to MANAOLA to collaborate on creative ways to kāko’o (support) our local community through Aloha United Way, the answer was simple, together is the only way to thrive as a community. It is especially important for us to support the Native Hawaiian community and through the ALICE initiative we are able to reach the non-profit agencies that serve these community members through programs that honor culture, strengthen skills and increase access to resources.

The ALICE initiative refers to employed people with limited income and limited assets who are hard-working, full-time Hawaiian residents, sometimes many jobs and still living on paychecks. Funds raised will benefit programs designed to help residents with increased income potential and / or reduced household expenses; better access to social service delivery and community resources; and the development of financial capacities and “soft skills”.

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“These are often the first steps a family can take towards a more solid economic foundation. If we are to rebuild our communities to be better and more equitable than before, we believe it is important to help those who are struggling to make ends meet and living on the brink of poverty, ”said Emmaly Calibraro , Vice President of Resource Development and Donor Relations at AUW. She noted that before the pandemic reached Hawai’i, 42% of the population were ALICE or lived in poverty. Estimates put that number at 59% post-pandemic.

“We would like to thank Hawaiian Electric and MANAOLA for creating this fundraiser that will ultimately benefit those who need it most. We continue to be encouraged by the creativity of each organization and their total commitment to building the communities of Hawai’i, ”Calibraro added.

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Non profit living

$ 99 million in rental assistance for returned Floridians

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – About $ 99 million in unspent rental assistance to help Floridians living in affordable housing has been returned to the state after the agency overseeing the program struggled to shell out the money.

The Florida Housing Finance Corporation, which was established by the Florida legislature to help develop and support affordable housing, received $ 120 million in federal rent assistance funding last year as part of the CARES law. Florida used the money to create a coronavirus relief fund, intended to help tenants catch up on rent who live on properties that FHFC finances and have lost jobs or income due to the pandemic.

Taylore Maxey, press secretary for the non-profit organization, said she has distributed around $ 13.2 million to help tenants in 373 multi-family developments across the state. In total, FHFC said it received 786 requests for assistance but only 521 were approved. And about $ 99 million has been returned to the Department of Economic Opportunity to be reallocated to other pandemic programs.

“There’s no way to water it down: this strategy has been underused,” said Trey Price, executive director of the FHFC. “But all that considered, I think we did a good job with the time constraints we were facing and the resources given to us.”

Nonprofits that have tried to help affordable housing residents take advantage of rent assistance and push back eviction notices, including the Miami Workers Center and the Community Justice Project, said the problem is that some landlords will not participate in rent relief programs because of the requirements. they place on the owners.

To participate in the FHFC program, for example, landlords had to waive late fees and agree not to increase the rent until January 2021, while also pledging not to turn down lease renewals for late tenants. rent or report them to the credit bureaus. They also had to agree not to initiate new eviction requests and to suspend ongoing evictions for a period of time.

However, Price said he believed the biggest obstacle to disbursing the funds was that tenants had to pay 30% of their household income in rent to be eligible, a prerequisite which was later removed.

He said a separate program run by the non-profit organization, in which FHFC contracted with 119 local government housing offices to distribute rent assistance, was much more successful. According to figures provided by the association, $ 98.3 million in rent assistance and $ 18.1 million in mortgage relief were spent as part of this strategy.

Price said FHFC returned the unspent money before the deadline set by the CARES Act, which required all funding to be used by December 31, 2020 or returned to the federal government. Former President Trump ultimately extended that until the end of 2021 when he unexpectedly signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act in December.

He waited to sign the $ 900 billion COVID relief plan until December 27, just days before many provisions of the CARES Act expired, including federal unemployment and the paycheck protection program. . The moratorium on deportations from the country was also about to end.

Price said the uncertainty over whether or not Trump would sign an extension put the Florida Housing Finance Corporation in a difficult position.

“There was a real question of whether President Trump was going to sign or veto this bill,” Price said. “At this point, we needed to start moving (the unspent money) to the state of Florida. You don’t just snap your fingers and move $ 99 million. There was a bit of a rush. “

Christina Pushaw, spokesperson for Gov. Ron DeSantis, said the decision was made to “pull out” the unused money because this bill awaiting Trump’s signature contained $ 25 billion in aid to the government. dedicated rental, including $ 1.4 billion for Florida. Pushaw said the money returned by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation had been reallocated “to support the state’s ongoing pandemic response spending,” but couldn’t say exactly what it was being used for.

But it’s unclear why the governor’s office was confident he would receive this money, given Trump’s reluctance to sign the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which passed both the House and the Senate with bipartisan support. Pushaw did not immediately respond when asked for further details.

In a video posted to Twitter, Trump at the time called the bill a “disgrace” and called on lawmakers to “get rid of unnecessary and unnecessary pieces of this legislation and send me an appropriate bill.” , referring to the provisions of the 5,593 -page legislation allocating money to foreign aid, environmental projects and the arts and humanities.

“It’s called the COVID Relief Bill, but it has almost nothing to do with COVID,” Trump said, toppling lawmakers and even some of his own aides, who were in tense negotiations over the package. for months. Trump was also unhappy that the bill only included $ 600 stimulus payments for Americans and said he wanted to issue checks for $ 2,000.

However, Capitol Hill residents were quick to point out that some of the unrelated projects that received funding were programs that Trump included in his 2021 fiscal budget. His critics also ignored that Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s secretary of the Treasury, was the one who negotiated the figure of $ 600.

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