Over the last 5 days there has been a plethora of articles related to the PRI. Lets take a look at what transpired while your were tending to your fireworks, pools and barbecues:
Hunger, Homelessness and Economic Strain
- Meals on Wheels is lacking the funds necessary to keep up with its program. For the first time in its history, it has had to turn down people asking for service. The program will continue to deliver 450 meals per day throughout the county, but it stopped taking more clients as of June 29. Home-delivered "convenience meals" still are available for $3, she said. Donations for Meals on Wheels may be made online at www.seniorservices1.org or mailed to Senior Services Inc., 918 Jasper St., Kalamazoo, MI 49001.
- As the NY Times Reports, the summer usually brings an increase in homeless populations. There are a few reasons for this. Landlords who are reluctant to evict during winter are less hesitant when it is warmer. Parents like the Maldonados, who have endured poor housing conditions to spare their children agitation and humiliation at school, finally pack up and leave. And relatives who have taken in families in cramped apartments lose patience when children are suddenly underfoot all day long. The article chronicles the story of a homeless family in New York City. A tough read to swallow, but a powerful article.
- California, Michigan and South Carolina suffered the most financial pain in May as unemployment, home foreclosures and bankruptcies rose, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis of economic stress in more than 3,100 U.S. counties.
- KDPS officers are keeping Urban Youth off the streets with a Youth Fishing Program. Officers from the community policing unit recruited 12- to 17-year-olds to participate in their Youth Fishing Program to help them learn new skills and to create a relationship between the neighborhoods and the officers. The program takes from 9 a.m. until noon Wednesdays through Aug. 26. It is free and the kids get to keep a Shakespeare fishing pole and a fully-stocked tackle box if they attend the majority of classes.
- The Youth Summer-jobs Program is still seeking applicants in Kalamazoo. Half of 1,000 federally funded summer youth jobs in the area have been filled. According to Kathy Olsen, employment and training coordinator for Michigan Works!, for which Y.O.U. operates the summer jobs program, said the agency's goal is employ 1,000 youths in Kalamazoo and St. Joseph Counties. Youths interested in summer employment can call Youth Opportunities Unlimited in Kalamazoo at (269) 349-9676 or the Michigan Works! office in St. Joseph County at (269) 273-2717.
- Summer school programs are keeping kids sharp during the summer months. There are 877 elementary students, 154 middle school students and 288 high school students in summer school this year at Kalamazoo Public Schools.
- The recession as well as health benefits are fueling "biker fever" in Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club membership is up and more people locally are using their bikes for transportation.