News Update: March 3rd 2015

RSVP for Hunger Action Day May 12-13: Each May hundreds of anti-hunger advocates from across the state meet in Sacramento to educate their legislators about hunger and encourage their support for anti-hunger legislation. This year advocates from your community will be at the capitol on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 (group travel date from LA for overnight in Sacramento is May 12). With more than 3.8 million California adults struggling with food insecurity it’s important we speak out. Send questions or RSVP to : michelle@hungeractionla.org

Senator Liu Introduces Right to Rest Act

Press Release        Contact: Northern California - Lisa Marie Alatorre 510.982.9275

For Immediate Release         Southern California - Eric Ares 213.458.3909

Senator Carol Liu Introduces Right to Rest Legislation Protecting the Civil Rights of Homeless Individuals
California – Last week, California State Senator Carol Liu (D – La Cañada Flintridge) introduced legislation to end the alarming trend of cities passing laws that criminalize the basic civil rights of homeless individuals. SB 608, known as the “Right to Rest Act,” would, among other things, protect the rights of homeless people to move freely, rest, eat, and perform religious observations in public space as well as protect their right to occupy a legally parked motor vehicle.
“It’s time to address poverty, mental health, and the plight of the homeless head-on as a social issue and not a criminal issue,” says State Senator Liu. “Citing homeless people for resting in a public space can lead to their rejection for jobs, education loans, and housing, further denying them a pathway out of poverty.”

A recent report by the UC Berkeley School of Law Policy Advocacy Clinic suggests that the number of anti-homeless laws passed by California municipalities has risen sharply in recent years. In total, the 58 cities researched in the study have enacted at least 500 anti-homeless laws – nearly nine laws per city on average. These laws prohibit many of activities that SB 608 aims to protect. Similar bills have been introduced in Oregon and Colorado.

“Everyone sleeps, eats, and sits, but only some get tickets or go to jail for it,” says Paul Boden of the Western Regional Advocacy Project, which coordinates the coalition of 140 organizations across the state that is supporting the Right to Rest Act. “Criminalization only makes things worse for people living on the streets. And by not having to enforce crimes of status, law enforcement can focus on real public safety issues. We applaud Senator Liu’s leadership, and look forward to working with her in protecting the civil rights of homeless individuals and refocusing attention to solutions that end homelessness.”

“Recent court rulings have shown that these types of laws are not only immoral and unjust, but also illegal,” stated Steve Diaz of the Los Angeles Community Action Network. “They do not stop real crime, but rather punish people for being poor and homeless. Cities are not going to ticket their way out of homelessness. Housing is the only solution, but until then we must continue to protect the civil rights of all people. We are hopeful that by focusing less on enforcement of unjust laws, cities can start reallocating resources to housing and services. Everyone deserves the right to exist in public space regardless of their housing status, and SB 608 will help protect that right”.

Take Action: Organizations---Please send your letter of support before March 10. Here is a link to a sample letter:

Organizational Support for Right to Rest Act

International Women’s Day March 7

With the theme “No to Austerity, Poverty, Prisons and War – A Living Wage for Mothers and Other Caregivers”, participants will gather for the 16th annual International Women’s Day Celebration on Saturday March 7th, from Noon-3pm at LA Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), 464 Lucas Ave, LA 90017.

As part of a global effort, the event will honor the fundamental work of mothers and other caregivers in the home, on the land and in the community. The event will bring together unwaged caregivers with low-waged workers who are campaigning to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour. Those honored or remembered will range from full time moms and housewives, to victims of the Grim Sleeper, Juarez murders and police violence, to campaigners against war, the criminalization of survival and for economic and environmental justice.

All welcome! Children’s Activities, Concert, Food, Community info & resource tables.

So Cal Planning Group to date includes: Alexandria House, Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders, Black community and labor rights activist Kokayi Jitahidi, Californians United for a Responsible Budget/CURB, DCFS Give Us Back Our Children, Every Mother is a Working Mother Network, Global Women’s Strike/LA; Guerilla Food Not Bombs, Martin Luther King Coalition of Greater LA, Military Families Speak Out, No More Jails LA, Sin Barras. Cosponsored by LA Alliance for a New Economy. KPFK Radio 90.7FM will be the media sponsor. For more info, contact 323-276-9833, la@allwomencount.net.

Send Letters to Support Lifting Seniors, Disabled Out of Poverty

This month the Assembly (on March 11) and the State Senate (on March 26) will be holding Human Services Budget hearings, in which they’ll get to hear the evidence that we need to raise the SSI/SSP level for the 1.4 million Californians who rely on this $889 per month for all their living expenses.

Organizations---Please send your support letter to the appropriate committees. You can use the sample letter at the link below:

Organizational Support Letter for SSI/SSP

Individuals---Please Sign the CA4SSI Petition: Over 1,500 people have signed the CA4SSI (Californians for SSI) petition calling for SSI/SSP benefits for seniors and people with disabilities to be raised above the poverty line. But we need YOU to sign on to make it powerful!
http://bit.ly/CA4SSIPetition
If you signed the petition last week or before, and provided an email:
You should have already received a link which you can click to AUTOMATICALLY send your individual letter of support for SSI/SSP to the committee members.
If you didn’t sign the petition in the last two weeks:
Go to this link and enter your information to send a support letter to the committee members:
Support SSI-SSP in State Budget

LATimes: Hunger Programs Boost Farmers Markets

More than half the revenue at many Los Angeles farmers markets comes from hunger benefits, including CalFresh and WIC, and many of these are supplemented by the Market Match program operated in LA County by Hunger Action LA and SEE-LA.

LA Times-Benefit Programs Vital To Many Farmers Markets

Share Our Strength Releases Report on Child Hunger

From Share Our Strength:

Today we’re releasing the Hunger in Our Schools report to share what we learned.

  • Hunger in America’s schools is a crisis. 3 out of 4 public school teachers say that their students regularly come to school hungry, and most of them say it happens weekly.
  • Teachers are doing everything they can. The average teacher spends over $300 every school year buying food for hungry kids.
  • There is a solution.

Not everyone understands the reality; that ordinary kids struggle with hunger in every community across the country, and that it threatens not just their lives, but our nation’s future. So please… once you’ve visited the report, share it with everyone you know.

Groceryships Group Graduation: Special Guest Tavis Smiley

A Groceryship is a scholarship for groceries. Groceryships is an organization in LA that will provide families the money to buy fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and seeds for six months, and then provide a comprehensive program of education and support to empower them to increase health by incorporating more of these healthful foods into their diets

Please join us to celebrate Groceryships graduates on their successful completion of a six-month journey. These participants have made tremendous strides not only for the health and wellbeing of themselves and their families, but for the community as a whole. It will be a great night filled with stories, community, and purpose.

Tavis Smiley will be the guest speaker! Mr. Smiley will talk about his own experience with community building and the transformations that are possible when people join together to make a positive difference.

Where: Manual Arts High School (main auditorium)
          4131 Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

 

When:
          6:00-8:00pm

We hope to see you there! For any questions, please contact Kip Stringfellow at kip@groceryships.org.
Here is a link to the event registration page

Peoples Guide 2015 Available Now!

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The long awaited new edition of the Peoples Guide to Welfare Health and Other Services 2015 is available now in English! Spanish is anticipated to be available April 15.

Published since the late 1970s, the Peoples Guide has become the standard guidebook of public social services for people working in the field, people in need of help, and those just helping their neighbors.

This 72 page newsprint booklet gives you all you need to know about applying for :

  1. Financial assistance for individuals and families
  2. Unemployment benefits
  3. Job training
  4. Help for people in re-entry
  5. Dept. of Rehabilitation
  6. Child Care
  7. Foster Care
  8. Tax Rebates
  9. Social Security and SSI
  10. CalFresh
  11. Child Nutrition and WIC
  12. Help with Car Insurance and Smog Check Costs
  13. Low Cost Phone Service and Utility Bill Assistance
  14. Housing (including assistance for Transitional Foster Youth)
  15. Phone Numbers for Legal Assistance

The Peoples Guide 2015 electronic book is also available. Please follow the link below.
Peoples Guide English 2015 E Book
E Book features Live Links! Click directly on the links in the book to go to the live webpages.
*Flash Player is required to play properly. find it here: get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

Ordering Printed Edition:

The basic charge Is $1.25 a copy. Individual orders of up to 2 books are free for low income people. Call (213) 388-8228 or use orders@hungeractionla.org

Online Orders:The Peoples Guides to Welfare Health and Other Services can be ordered online using our order form:


Peoples Guide Order Form

For Bulk Orders Contact:orders@hungeractionla.org
Include your name, address, quantity of English and Spanish copies that you want.

We ask that agencies purchase copies so we can pay for publication, translation, and mailing costs of the guide. In addition, funds generated support the Market Match program. Discounts of various types are available for large orders. Contact orders@hungeractionla.org


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