Standing up for Children's Rights
||News and Commentary for March 2010
|Lawyers Working to End Homelessness
||Vol. 9, No. 3
||From Maria's Desk
Children's Right to Housing
Right now, over 1.3 million children around
are homeless. Many more are an eviction notice,
medical emergency or parental pink slip away.
can this be happening in 21st century America?
Over the past three decades, government cuts
badly frayed the social safety net, and the
housing have been especially deep.
affordable housing without replacement of it
elsewhere has added to the growing gap between
those in need of affordable housing and its
Now, the National Low Income Housing Coalition
estimates that there is a national shortage
of over 3
million units of housing affordable to
extremely low-income families.
Decent housing is a basic human need, and under
international human rights law it is also a human
right. Our own government set a goal of decent
housing for all Americans in the federal
1949 Housing Act. But that was a goal,
not a right.
It's time for a right to housing for all -
homeless Americans. We're starting our
a right to housing by pushing for passage of
582. It's a Resolution now pending in the
of Representatives, calling for A Right to
All Children with their Families. The lead
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), and we need
to add as many sponsors as possible.
To do this, we need your help. You can find a
summary of the bill and talking points to
support it here. Call
representative today and ask him or her
sponsor H. Res. 582. Meet with your
during the upcoming recess, March 29 to April
when representatives are typically in their home
districts. You are their constituent - and
makes a difference!
||2010 Legislative Priorities
In 2010, the Law Center is continuing its
legislative goals to help end homelessness. A
summary of our legislative
priorities for this year can be found here.
||New Law Center Blog
We are excited to announce the Law Center's
new blog at http://homelessnesslaw.wordpress.com.
We will use it to keep you up-to-date on
legal issues affecting homeless and poor
Americans, as well as offer commentary as we
continue to fight to end homelessness in our
country. We encourage you to subscribe or
check back often - and pass it on!
||U.S. Human Rights Reviews
In preparation for its first-ever review under
Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the
Nations Human Rights Council, the U.S.
is currently holding a series of
consultations with city
residents and human services organizations
throughout the country. On February 26, the Law
Center co-sponsored one such consultation at Columbia Law School
in New York, where advocates convened to
discuss a range of human rights issues.
Following last October's six-city tour of
low-income communities by UN Special Rapporteur
on the Right to Adequate Housing Raquel
Rolnik, the human right to housing was featured
prominently in the discussion.
from the State, Housing & Urban Development, and
Justice Departments among others, attended.
On March 5, Ms. Rolnik reported on her visit
to the UN
Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. In
response to the decayed state of American
policy, Ms. Rolnik offered a number of the Law
Center's suggestions, including increasing
for public and affordable housing,
the Protecting Tenants At Foreclosure
making vacant properties available to
organizations for the provision of affordable
and developing alternatives to the criminalization of homelessness.
The Universal Periodic Review process holds U.N.
member countries accountable to human rights
standards by requiring that all members submit
reports to the Human Rights Council every
In November 2010, the United States will
first review. The Law Center will be involved
throughout the process, holding the U.S.
government accountable to its human rights
||A New Supplemental Poverty Measure
The U.S. Census Bureau is creating a new,
supplemental measure for poverty statistics.
The new Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM)
will take into account a wider range of
expenses and income than the current measure
in order to improve our understanding of
economic conditions and trends.
The current measure was formulated in the
1960s, and has been readjusted for inflation
every year, but never recalculated to reflect
changing population dynamics and expenses.
The SPM will
provide an alternative view based on a
household of one parent with two children
(now more common than it was when the two
parent, two children household basis for the
current measure was established). It will
also account for varying costs of living in
different metropolitan areas and for factors
like childcare, medical costs, and basics
like the cost of food, shelter, clothing, and
The current measure will continue as the
standard for benefits eligibility, but many
advocates hope the SPM will provide a more
comprehensive understanding of poverty trends
in the U.S. The new measure is likely to be
released in fall 2011, at the same time that
the official income and poverty measures for
2010 are released, and annually thereafter.
For additional information about the
Measure, click here.
||HPRP Technical Assistance Institute
Law Center partner Beyond Shelter will host a
two-day training on HPRP (Homelessness
Prevention and Rapid Rehousing) program
design and implementation May 26-27, 2010 in
Los Angeles. This technical assistance
institute will provide in-depth workshops to
help develop or strengthen homelessness
prevention or Housing First programs. For
more information, click here.
||Seeking Nominations for Personal Achievement Award
The Law Center is seeking nominations for its
Personal Achievement Award, to be presented
2010 McKinney-Vento Awards ceremony. Each year,
the Personal Achievement Award honors a formerly
homeless individual for success in overcoming
adversity as well as his or her continued
to the issue of homelessness. The Law Center
select a winner from among the nominations and
cover any travel expenses so that the honoree
attend the McKinney-Vento Awards event.
Please consider nominating someone you know for
the Personal Achievement Award by emailing Jessica
by May 1, 2010. Please include a brief, one-page
description of your nominee, addressing the
or she meets the criteria listed here.
We look forward
to receiving your submissions.
||New Board Member: G.W. Rolle
G.W. Rolle has been living on and off the
streets since he was 14 years old. He is now
54 years old and lives in St. Petersburg,
Florida, where he previously lived on the
streets and was featured in Easy Street, a
documentary about chronically homeless
people. Numerous media outlets, both national
and international, have interviewed him
regarding issues of homelessness and poverty.
No longer living on the streets, Mr. Rolle
continues to fight against homelessness as an
outspoken homeless advocate for those still
trapped in its cycle. He serves on the
homeless leadership network in Pinellas
County, FL and is an Americorps*VISTA
volunteer with the National Coalition for the
Homeless' Faces of Homelessness Speakers'
Bureau in Pinellas County. In 2008, he began
a ministry for homeless adults. He
coordinates transportation for area Cold
Night Shelters and volunteers on weekends at
the Salvation Army.
He has been assisting the Law Center with a
project aimed at combating the
criminalization of homelessness in St.
Petersburg, working part-time as an Outreach
Assistant for the project, and he joined the
Board of Directors at the Law Center in
January. We are thrilled Mr. Rolle has
joined us in the national movement to end
||New Board Member: Bruce E. Rosenblum
Bruce E. Rosenblum is a Managing Director of
the Carlyle Group, and is a member of the
firm's Operating Committee. He has also
served as Chairman of the Private Equity
Council since its formation in early 2007.
Mr. Rosenblum is a member of the Law Center's
(Lawyers' Executive Advisory Partners)
Prior to joining Carlyle in May 2000, Mr.
Rosenblum was a Partner and Executive
Committee member at Latham & Watkins, also a
LEAP firm, where he practiced for 18 years
specializing in mergers and acquisitions and
corporate finance. Before joining Latham, Mr.
Rosenblum served as a law clerk to Chief
Justice Warren E. Burger on the U.S. Supreme
Mr. Rosenblum is a graduate of Yale
University and received his J.D. from
Columbia Law School. He was admitted to the
New York State Bar Association in 1981 and to
the Washington, D.C. Bar Association in 1982.
He has long been a friend and advocate of the
National Law Center on Homelessness &
Poverty, and he was elected to the Board of
Directors in January. We look forward to
applying his expertise to our efforts to
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