Mercy Works Best: Finland vs. Los Angeles

In Finland, they’ve reduced homelessness by 35% because they attacked the problem radically. They tried a little bit of mercy. From the Daily Mall:

“We decided to make the housing unconditional,” says Kaakinen. “To say, look, you don’t need to solve your problems before you get a home. Instead, a home should be the secure foundation that makes it easier to solve your problems.”

 

With state, municipal and NGO backing, flats were bought, new blocks built and old shelters converted into permanent, comfortable homes – among them the Rukkila homeless hostel in the Helsinki suburb of Malminkartano where Ainesmaa now lives.

They didn’t create a giveaway program. Read the article to find out how they improved the problem.  Meanwhile, in LA where they have thrown more money at the problem without considering new ideas homelessness has risen by 16%.

“The residents are seeing more encampments, more people sleeping on the sidewalks in dirty, unhealthy and heartbreaking conditions,” she said. “They are frustrated by this problem. We need to give people answers.”

 

Lynn pointed to two vulnerable groups as proof that resources work. Even though nearly 3,000 more veterans were reported homeless last year, there was no noticeable change in the number of homeless veterans on the street. Families experiencing homelessness grew by 8% with nearly 8,000 families being provided homes.

 

One of the largest increases, however, was among people 18 to 24 years old. Lynn said a 24% jump was partly the result of a change in the methodology of the count. But still, he said, “there was a significant increase, many more unsheltered. We were able to house more youth this year than last year, but this is an overflow population.”

Maybe Los Angeles and other cities should try what is being done in Helsinki, mercy.

 

Hot off the Presses, Martin Lockett’s new book: “My Prison Life”

Hot off the Presses, Martin Lockett’s new book: “My Prison Life”

We’re thrilled to congratulate our friend Martin Lockett on the publication of his second book, My Prison Life: A Blogger’s Insights from the Inside. I was honored to write the foreword, and so grateful to be involved in some small way in this project. You can find Martin’s book here on Amazon.

If you haven’t already read Martin’s first book, which I highly recommend, it is also available on Amazon.

Watch this space later this week, for a video of Martin, telling his moving and powerful story.


grad-pic-outsideIn 2013 Martin L. Lockett published his memoir, Palpable Irony: Losing my freedom to find my purpose. During his incarceration, he has earned a Certificate of Human Services  from Louisiana State University, AA from Indiana University, BS in Sociology from Colorado State University – Pueblo, and an MS in Psychology from California Coast University. He continues to tutor in the GED program at the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem, Oregon, and co-facilitates an impaired driver victims impact panel. He aspires to counsel adolescents who struggle with substance abuse.

Announcement: Hiatus From New Requests

Announcement: Hiatus From New Requests

IMPORTANT NOTICE

We receive over 1,000 pieces of mail each month, and are currently overwhelmed with requests from inmates and their families. Everything we do is accomplished only with the help of volunteers, small donations, and money from our own pockets. As of September 2017, we are taking a six-month hiatus from NEW INMATE REQUESTS ONLY, so that we can respond to what is already in front of us.
We care, and are dedicated to getting everyone on our waiting list (now and in the future) adopted. This temporary break from new requests will help us do that.

This does NOT apply to new adopters or volunteers – only to inmates who are not currently on our waiting list.

For anyone who has already requested a survey, please be patient while we respond – it could take several months but we will answer everyone’s request. Requests that included a self-addressed stamped envelope will be responded to first.

For inmates who have already received a survey – please complete and return (kindly write “completed survey” on the outside of the envelope.)

Inmates — Do continue to submit:

Inmate change of address (please write “COA” on the envelope)

Art / Poetry / Book Reviews / Writing submissions (please indicate on outside of envelope)

Others — How you can help:

Adopt an Inmate!

Volunteer

Donate stamps, office supplies (or cash to purchase them), to help us catch up with the hundreds of existing requests. See our Amazon Wishlist.

We will begin accepting new requests again in February of 2018, or sooner if we’re able.

Thank you for understanding.