Totally Committed Community Outreach Center

An IRS Certified 501(c)(3) Charity

Homeless forced to leave Dale City tent camps along I-95 – The Washington Post

At least 80 people are believed to live in tents scattered through the area, near a Prince William County winter shelter, a bus terminal, a Kmart and some fast-food places. In the woods nearby, small neighborhoods have sprung up with camps. Some have wooden lean-tos, generators, TVs, heavy dinner tables.

via Homeless forced to leave Dale City tent camps along I-95 – The Washington Post. – Community responds to homeless students

Did you know that “nearly 800 students in Spotsylvania and Stafford schools are homeless”? Several stories have appeared in the Freelance Star that highlight the problems of poverty and homelessness.  Many may see the problem as an individual problem… the homeless man on the corner, the begger woman at the library, the young man asking for change at the gas station.  Although these images do summarize the problem, but only up to a point.  Many of the hungry and underprivlaged that we don’t see out in the open are families.  These days families do without, all around, and with joblessness as high as it is, even those that got by 5-years ago just fine, are finding things harder now.  To get a better picture of the sort of issues that face Fredericksburg, take a look at some of these other articles:

Lingering Unemployment Likely to Challenge Obama and the Nation

Social workers aid homeless teens – Community responds to homeless students.

Next meal elusive for hundreds of thousands of needy in D.C. area – The Washington Post

More than 400,000 Washington area residents experienced periods of hunger and empty cupboards during the recession, including tens of thousands living in some of the country’s most affluent counties, according to a new study released Thursday.

Statistics like this are sometimes hard to believe.  The interactive study paid for by Feeding America is a great way to put into perspective the shortfalls individuals and families face trying to put food on the table.  The index measures the level of “Food Security” in the United States. Food Insecurity is the the state of, or risk of, being unable to provide food (to oneself, or family.  According to the index, Washington, D.C. has a food insucurity rate of 15.8%, or 93,180 people.  Although there is a link between food insecurity and poverty, many individuals and families that are considered food insecure are actually not considered impoverished. 

The study, “Map the Meal Gap,” used Agriculture Department, 2010 Census and unemployment data for a sweeping county-by-county portrait of hunger in America

By donating to charity organizations committed to easy the problem of hunger in the area is a great way to help. 

via Next meal elusive for hundreds of thousands of needy in D.C. area – The Washington Post.

Grow a Row, Grow Your Community | Capital Area Food Bank

If your into helping your community and gardening at the same time, this is an interesting program from the Capital Area Food Bank.

The Grow a Row program connects D.C., Virginia and Maryland gardeners with CAFB partner organizations in their neighborhoods, creating “produce partnerships” that bring more nutritious fruits and vegetables to underserved communities.

via Grow a Row, Grow Your Community | Capital Area Food Bank.

Spring cleaning = charitable mother load

Goodwill has put a list together of the Top 5 things you should donate to charitable organization this spring. The expected items like clothes, but did you know that cell phones and computers are also need.  Every little bit helps.  Take a look and see if there is something in your spring cleaning that might help.

Goodwill Industries International, Inc. » The Top Five Things You Should Donate This Spring.

Child Hunger Ends Here: A Special Report | Capital Area Food Bank

Check out the Capital Area Food Bank blog for some interesting and enlightening information on child hunger.

Child Hunger Ends Here: A Special Report

March 18, 2011 by Kendra Rowe Salas
There are 200,000 children in the Washington metropolitan area at risk of or are currently experiencing hunger. The statistics for our area illustrate the need in our local community and reflect what is happening across the nation.
We are excited to see the recent focus and energy around childhood hunger. This urgent issue is being recognized more as a serious issue that we must face together as a nation. Please join us in watching “Child Hunger Ends Here: A Special Report” this Saturday evening, March 19. This 30-minute in-depth report will focus on the issue of child hunger in America…

Giving money to the homeless might actually work – CNN

A few months ago, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a UK-based nonprofit that does amazing work in the field of poverty and social exclusion, issued a surprising report that deserves a much wider readership.

The study evaluated the success of a radical new way of working with the long-term homeless. Instead of soup kitchens, shelters, and mobile health clinics, the charity Broadway simply selected 15 homeless people that their outreach workers had found the hardest to reach (one had been on the streets for an astonishing 45 years), asked them what it was they needed to change their lives — and then bought it for them.

Giving money to the homeless might actually work – CNN.