Broadcast 2/29/2016 at 1:39 PM EST (31 Listens, 16 Downloads, 1952 Itunes)
The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show Podcast
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There is a tragedy on the verge of happening in Illinois. At the bottom of this article there's some info on what you can do.
Anne Holcomb is the supportive services supervisor Unity Parenting and Counseling, which runs nine homeless programs, mostly for youth and children. Anne also went through a few times in her life when she was homeless.
Harmony village houses 28 youth heads of households-- teen moms with 32 children under 5.
Picture below: A young mother who, with her child, participated in an ArtVanGoGo project in which the mothers and their kids painted flower-pots and then put plants, donated by Home Depot, in them for their apartments. Some of these recently homeless mothers had never owned a plant before.
The conflict between the cost cutting billionaire Rauner and the Illinois legislature has cut off the funding that was contractually committed to. That could put these young mothers and their children literally out in the street.
Very Rough Interview notes. Incomplete sentences, raw, provided so you will listen to the audio.
Rob: what was their life like when they were homeless
describes pregnant teen sleeping in her car, kicked out of her bi-polar mother's house.
Baby's father was victim of drive-by shooting which left him a paraplegic.
Harmony VIllage was heavily funded by the state. They had a five year contract for the state to pay half the rent.
9 peers died before 30.
Almost all have experienced trauma and violence events. They need mental health care, life skills, parenting skills.
Have been without state budget since June 30, 2015. They owe us $185,000. We've cut every way we could. We have 40 people working within one room. We've saved $28,000
We're now at the sacrifice point, having to sacrifice what we need to do the job. We will have to close harmony village the end of April.
Rob: Was the problem with the Billionaire governor , the Democratic legislature.
Anne: Governor Rauner has nine homes. He's not going to worry where he's going to sleep And that's probably true of all the elected officials.
Rob: is there a comparison with Flint.
Anne. They get lost in the dollars and sense and that lives are at stake.
Homeless youth are not different than anyone else except they don't have parents to help them.
Rob: What could happen to the youth if Harmony is forced to close.
-can hold jobs, lost income.
-young mothers will lose their children to foster care, which is very expensive
-to survive, if they're hungry, they'll do things to survive, like stealing food, which can lead to incarceration and life in the criminal justice system.
-young women get raped all the time
-end up in mental hospitals-- also extremely expensive
-having to choose between bad choice and worst choices
suicide, AIDS, murdered, living very unhealthy lives and die early.
Anne: We met with the governor" we even brought some of our youth-- the young lady who's baby's father was shot. She told him her story. The governor her a hug. But a few days later we were notified that the money wasn't coming through.
Rob: how does this fit in with what's going on around the country?
Anne: we have an exceedingly polarized country. People are going to the fringes instead of coming to the table.
In Chicago 47% of African men under 30 are unemployed and not in school.
Rob: What are some things that people listening can do?
The Human Costs If Harmony Village is Forced to Close:
Youth will be forced to choose between survival and their futures!
Lost income, potentially for a lifetime
Risk of DCFS taking their babies
Risk of becoming incarcerated
Risk of becoming an impatient in a mental hospital
How You Can Help
Keep Homeless Youth and Babies
Off the Street!
The State of Illinois owes Unity Parenting & Counseling $185,000 for Harmony Village's rent!
1. Hold a Rent Party in your Congregation, Block Club, or Community Group!
Unity staff will be happy to come to your event to speak about the need, give a presentation about homeless youth, or possibly bring a youth to speak.
Call Anne at 773.699.4711 if you would like a speaker!
2. Make a donation of whatever you can afford! Mail checks to our Administrative Office, or use the PayPal Button on our website--information below!
3. Reach out to any donors, foundations, or corporations that you may know and ask them to help Harmony Village!
4. Call or Write Governor Rauner and ask him to fund homeless youth programs that save lives! Ask him to honor Illinois' contract with Unity Parenting & Counseling for $185,000 that pays more than half the rent for Harmony Village!
5. Call or Write IL Senate President John Cullerton and ask him to fund homeless youth programs that save lives! Ask him to honor Illinois' contract with Unity Parenting & Counseling for $185,000 that pays more than half the rent for Harmony Village!
6. Call or Write IL House Speaker Madigan and IL Senate President Cullerton and ask them to fund homeless youth programs that save lives! Ask him to honor Illinois' contract with Unity Parenting & Counseling for $185,000 that pays more than half the rent for Harmony Village!
7. Speak to your own Illinois legislators and Chicago Alderman and ask them for financial support for Harmony Village! Ask them to reach out to their campaign donors to help Harmony Village! There are only 2 programs in Chicago that provide housing and services for homeless teen moms and their small children. Saving Harmony Village is an issue for all of Chicago, and especially Chicago's Southside!
Contact information for Illinois Policy Makers:
Governor Rauner: 207 State House, Springfield, IL 62706, Phone: 312-814-2121 /(217) 782.0244
IL House Speaker, Michael J. Madigan: 6500 South Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60629, (773) 581.8000 /(217) 782.5350
IL Senate President, John J. Cullerton: 1726 W Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657, (773) 883.0770 /(217) 782-2728
To Make a Donation:
Administrative Offices: 600 West Cermak Road, Suite 3A, Chicago, Illinois, 60616-4880
312.455.0007, Fax: 312.455.0043, http://www.unityparenting.org
Size: 12,912,432 -- 0 hrs, 26 min, 53 sec