Emergency housing by the numbers: Soaring need, rising costs

first_imgby Alicia Freese March 10, 2013 vtdigger.org The state’ s emergency housing program is bearing the fallout from a perfect storm: A growing number of people need emergency placements, the cost of putting them up is on the rise, and people are staying in the temporary housing for longer periods of time. The General Assistance Housing Program, which is administered through the Economic Services division of the Department of Children and Families, is the state’ s main apparatus for addressing homelessness.This year, the department has put more homeless Vermonters up in motels ‘ intended as a last-resort option when shelters are full ‘ than ever before. This emergency housing provided to people displaced by a ‘ catastrophic event’ accounts for much of the uptick in costs.Homeless advocates gather outside the Statehouse in January. Photo by Roger CrowleyDuring the last several weeks, DCF Commisioner Dave Yacavone has been peddling the department’ s fiscal year 2014 budget proposal to several legislative committees, including the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare, and the House committees on Appropriations and General Housing and Military Affairs. The budget includes two proposals that would wean program off of reliance on motels, but advocates say it doesn’ t do nearly enough.For the upcoming year, Yacavone is hoping to cut emergency housing spending by $500,000 but the department still expects to funnel roughly $1.6 million into motel housing payments. ‘ We won’ t eliminate hotels. I would love to. We will vastly reduce it,’ Yacavone told VTDigger.Below is a wrap-up of the pressures on the program and the budgetary consequences.Ballooning expendituresThe GA housing program spent 78 percent more in 2012 than it did in 2010, and expenditures have taken another leap this year. The program will spend nearly $3.5 million by the close of FY2013, up from $2.4 million in 2012. Emergency housing currently accounts for about $2.2 million of the program budget. In FY2014, DCF hopes to reduce this to $1.6 million.The story behind the spendingCaseload growthIn FY 2008, the program served 548 households. In 2012, that number was 1,954. The prediction for the current year’ FY 2013’ is 3,108.The number of homeless children showing up in shelters has risen disproportionately, according to the AHS report. It increased 14 percent between FY 2011 and FY2012, whereas the total number of people in shelters stayed steady.Rising costsThe average cost per case has risen from $617 in 2010 to $1,138 in 2012.Longer staysThe average length of stay in emergency housing has climbed 43 percent in two years, from an average of 14 days in 2010 to 20 days in 2012. This trend, coupled with the caseload increase, has created a steep increase in the total number of days the program provides housing for ‘ from 23,564 days in 2010 to 38,350 in 2012. And in FY 2013, the number is expected to rise to 54,333 days.After-hours effectThe most dramatic upsurge has been the number of ‘ after-hours’ emergency housing requests made this winter. Starting in 2010, Vermont 2-1-1 began fielding all requests made after regular business hours. If the 2-1-1 operator determines that the caller meets the program criteria, they direct them to a shelter, or, if shelters are full, they are given a motel voucher. The number of requests has far exceeded shelter capacity. In Jan. 2012, 235 requests were made and 140 motel vouchers were distributed. This January, there were 1,015 requests, 731 of which received motel vouchers.Changes on the horizon for FY 2014Cutting individualsIn 2009, DCF expanded its eligibility guidelines to allow individuals, not just families, to access emergency housing. It is now proposing to ‘ dial back’ that change. According to its own estimates, roughly 45 percent of people receiving GA housing are individuals, and by cutting them from the program, the state will save between $800,000 and $1 million.http://vtdigger.org/2013/02/10/state-wants-to-end-practice-of-housing-ho…(link is external)Family Supportive HousingDCF also wants to set aside $450,000 to fund pilot programs in Burlington, Bennington, and Rutland to help homeless families move into housing by providing case management and financial support. Yacavone says this project will also help reduce the department’ s reliance on motels.last_img read more

Vermont Treasurer Pearce named president of national association

first_imgVermont Business Magazine The National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) announced that it has elected Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce as its 2018 President during the association’s annual conference in Boston. Treasurer Pearce will succeed outgoing President Ken Miller, the State Treasurer of Oklahoma, on January 1, 2018.Vermont Treasurer Beth Pearce“I am honored to lead this national network in its next year of transformation and growth,” said Treasurer Beth Pearce during the NAST Annual Conference. “Our country faces a number of fiscal challenges such as an aging infrastructure, rising levels of student debt, a lack of retirement readiness and financial security. NAST plays a crucial role in addressing these issues by promoting sound fiscal policy and best practice that enhances our lives, so I look forward to working with the association during the year ahead to build on this goal.”Treasurer Pearce has served as Vermont’s State Treasurer since January 2011. She currently serves as the Senior Vice President of the NAST, and is the Past President of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA). Alongside Treasurer Pearce, the association also appointed Utah State Treasurer David Damschen, as Senior Vice President of NAST and Massachusetts State Treasurer Deb Goldberg, as Secretary-Treasurer of NAST.“I would like to thank Treasurer Miller for his leadership over the past year, and congratulate him for receiving NAST’s 2017 Jesse M. Unruh Award this week for his truly exceptional service to the association,” Treasurer Pearce added.Treasurer Goldberg hosted NAST’s annual conference and presented the 2017 Jesse M. Unruh Award to Treasurer Miller on Monday during the association’s opening ceremony. The award is designated to a current state treasurer for their outstanding service to NAST, the profession and their state.Additionally, Treasurer Miller presented awards to two state treasures and one corporate affiliate member, including:Nebraska Treasurer Don Stenberg received the 2017 Harlan Boyles-Edward T. Alter Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes a dedicated public servant whose outstanding career in government has provided a respected voice for NAST at all levels of state government.Former Washington State Treasurer James McIntire received the 2017 Lucille Maurer Award, which recognizes a former treasurer for their outstanding service to the association.Jim Haddon, managing director and head of strategic marketing at Ramirez Asset Management, received the 2017 Corporate Affiliate Award, which recognizes a NAST corporate affiliate’s outstanding service to the organizationAbout NAST(link is external)The National Association of State Treasurers seeks to provide advocacy and support that enables member states to pursue and administer sound financial policies and programs benefiting the citizens of the nation. Membership is composed of all state treasurers or state finance officials with comparable responsibilities from the United States, its commonwealths, territories, and the District of Columbia. The private sector is represented through the Corporate Affiliate Program that was established to build professional relationships and foster cooperation between the public and private sectors. The association serves its members through educational conferences and webinars, a variety of working groups, policy advocacy and publications that provide information about developments in public finance.last_img read more

What Nike’s Air Jordan can teach credit unions about branding

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Winning the attention and loyalty of today’s disengaged banking consumers is no simple task. While most financial institutions continue to rely on old marketing strategies to grow, there are lessons we can learn from the sports marketing industry, where even gym sneakers and soda pop have been transformed into high-priced symbols of brand loyalty.by. Joon Chattigr’eIn the fight to regain consumer trust and win new customers, the marketing strategies of today’s financial institutions seem to be splitting into two popular camps. There are the “Shouters” and the “Rebirthers.” Both approaches can claim some degree of success, but there are questions that need to be addressed before you should choose either of these two options… or perhaps a better alternative.The ShoutersWith diminishing engagement across diminishing touchpoints, it’s no wonder that Capital One, a globally diversified bank known predominantly for their credit cards, would employ the services of charismatic actor Samuel L. Jackson to help pitch their services. Thanks to Jackson’s award winning portrayal of the cool but cruel hit man Jules Winnfield in Quentin Tarantino’s classic film Pulp Fiction, we can’t help but immediately react to his on-screen persona. Like Pavlov’s dinner bell, consumers’ dog-like consumer response to Jackson’s image subconsciously triggers memories of Ezekiel 25:17 in our collective memories of him waving a 9mm pistol around while yelling at us to do what he says.So, when he fixes his gaze on the camera and confrontationally asks, “What’s in your wallet?” (Capital One’s tagline), some consumers obediently comply and apply for their Capital One credit card. continue reading »last_img read more

Kids’ altruism linked with better physiological regulation, less family wealth

first_imgPinterest In the study, the research team recruited 74 pre-schoolers (average age 4 years old) from the local community. In the lab, the researchers played with the children one by one and explained that they would earn tokens that they could trade for prizes at the end of their visit.As part of the visit, researchers attached (with parental consent) electrodes to each child’s torso to collect physiological data, including information about heart rate and vagal tone. Vagal tone indicates the influence of the vagus nerve, which connects the brain with other key organs and provides a useful measure of the body’s ability to regulate physiological stress responses. High vagal tone is related to feeling safe and calm, says Miller, and has been associated with better physical health, behavior, and social skills among young children.Near the end of their visits, the children were given the chance to donate some or all of their prize tokens to fictitious sick children who weren’t able to come to the lab.The researchers analyzed the preschoolers’ vagal tone during three stages: the instruction phase; the decision phase, which included token donation; and the conclusion phase, during which researchers returned to the room, closed the token boxes without peeking, and put everything away.The resulting data revealed that the children who sacrificed tokens to help sick kids showed greater vagal flexibility during the task, indicating better physiological regulation throughout.And the act of donating was, in itself, associated with higher vagal tone at the end of the task.“We usually think of altruism as coming at a cost to the giver, but our findings suggest that when children forgo self-gain to help people who are less fortunate, they may get something back in the form of higher vagal tone,” Miller explains. “It means we might be wired from a young age to derive a sense of safety from providing care for others.”The team also assessed the “nurture” aspect of altruism, looking at the relationship between family socioeconomic status (SES) and the sharing of prize tokens. The families of the children studied were middle- to upper-middle income, with an average income in the $75,000-$90,000 range.The data revealed that children from more wealthy families in the study shared fewer tokens than the children from less wealthy families.“This implies that certain aspects of high-SES culture that have been observed in adults, such as increased self-focus and decreased social sensitivity, might be present in children as young as 4 years of age,” says Miller.The researchers note that because children from less wealthy families donated more tokens, they may get a helpful physiological boost from altruistic behavior. This boost might help to offset some of the physiological disadvantage associated with growing up in a lower-income household.“Our findings suggest that fostering altruistic tendencies might be one path to promoting better health and well-being for all children,” Miller concludes. Share on Twitter Share Children as young as 4 years old may reap better health from altruistic giving, a behavior that tends to be less common among kids from high-income families, according to new research on the nature and nurture of altruism published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.“The findings provide us with a new understanding of how children’s altruistic behaviors, family wealth, and physiological health are intertwined,” says psychological scientist and lead researcher Jonas Miller of the University of California Davis.Previous research has shown that altruism, or giving that is personally costly, can promote both physical and psychological well-being in adults. This new study extends this research to young children, investigating how their nervous systems respond during altruistic acts and how altruism is related to family wealth.center_img LinkedIn Email Share on Facebooklast_img read more

News Scan for Apr 16, 2014

first_imgTonga reports more than 10,000 chikungunya casesTongan health officials have confirmed a first-ever chikungunya outbreak affecting more than 10,000 people, according to an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) report today. The Polynesian archipelago nation is home to about 100,000 people.Tonga’s health minister, Dr. Siale Akau’ola, said the country is receiving help from the WHO and hopes that the worst has passed. “It’s a major outbreak, but I think we feel that it’s at its peak now. We are hopeful that it will start to go down within the coming few weeks.”The Pacific has been dealing with an “unprecedented” surge of dengue fever, zika virus, and chikungunya cases, which are all caused by mosquito bites, the story said.Akau’ola said he thinks the chikungunya virus was spread to Tonga from another island in the region. The disease has already infected tens of thousands of people in Papua New Guinea, according to ABC, which is almost 3,000 miles away.Apr 16 ABC News story Study: 72% of pre-vaccine oropharyngeal cancers positive for HPVAn analysis of oropharyngeal tumor tissue samples collected from patients before human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines were approved for US use showed a high prevalence of HPV and that almost two thirds of patients had HPV type 16 or 18, the strains covered in both US vaccines, according to a report today in Emerging Infectious Diseases.Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extracted HPV DNA from 557 samples collected from 1995 through 2005. They found that 72% were positive for HPV and 62% for HPV types 16 or 18.(Two HPV vaccines are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration: Gardasil, from Merck, which protects against strains 6, 11, 16, and 18, and GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix, which protects against HPV 16 and 18.)The prevalence of HPV 16 and 18, however, was lower in women (53%) than in men (66%), and lower in African-American patients (31%) compared with other racial or ethnic groups (68% to 80%).The authors conclude, “Results indicate that vaccines could prevent most oropharyngeal cancers in the United States, but their effect may vary by demographic variables.”Apr 16 Emerg Infect Dis report China reports new H7N9 case in Jiangsu provinceChina’s eastern coastal province of Jiangsu has reported a new case of H7N9 avian flu in a person who had contact with poultry, according to an update today from the infectious disease message board FluTrackers, while the World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed a case reported yesterday.The newly reported case is in a 60-year-old man who is hospitalized in Changzhou. His infection was confirmed today, and he had visited live-poultry markets daily before he fell ill.The new H7N9 case pushes the outbreak’s overall total to 423, according to a FluTrackers case list. So far 286 cases have been reported in the outbreak’s current second wave, compared with 136 during the first wave last spring. The unofficial death count remains at 127.The case confirmed by the WHO today is in a 30-year-old man from Hengyang city in Hunan province. The man became ill on Apr 9, was hospitalized on Apr 13, and is currently in stable condition, the agency said.Apr 16 FluTrackers postFluTrackers human H7N9 case list Apr 16 WHO updatelast_img read more

Eleet Cryogenics and Tomco in inventory agreement

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Air Liquide China honoured with “Best” award

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Air Liquide reports strong 2018

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Karoon Gas Australia Raising Cash for Exploration

first_imgKaroon Gas Australia Ltd yesterday announced the launch of an underwritten placement to raise approximately A$150 million at an offer price of A$5.10 (“Placement”).The offer price represents an 8.9% discount to the last trading price of A$5.60 on 6 August 2013.The proposed placement will strengthen Karoon’s balance sheet to:• provide financial flexibility to achieve the best possible outcome on current farmout negotiations;• support Karoon’s position for rig contract negotiations and purchase of long lead items necessary for entering into new drilling programs pre-farmout. This allows Karoon to progress its drilling planning and commence its drilling programs on schedule; and• facilitate continued drilling activity in the Australian Browse Basin and Brazil Santos Basin, as well as providing support for new proposed drilling in Peru.Karoon expects a number of significant results from its drilling activities in 2013 and continues to receive strong interest for its farmout opportunities in Australia, Brazil and Peru. Settlement of the Placement is expected to occur on 13 August 2013, with allotment expected to occur on 14 August 2013. The Placement will be made within Karoon’s placement capacity and accordingly shareholder approval will not be required. Karoon will also offer eligible shareholders the opportunity to participate in a Share Purchase Plan, details of which will be announced shortly. [mappress]Press Release, August 7, 2013last_img read more


first_img The defendant, aged 34, was in an on and off relationship with the victim. They had an argument while they sat in the defendant’s car because he had reported the victim to the authorities regarding her receipt of housing benefits. The victim, who was five months pregnant, got out of the car and walked home. The defendant drove to her home. He confronted her, calling her ‘fat’,’ worthless’, a ‘cunt’ and a ‘whore’. The victim responded by calling the defendant a ‘grass’. The defendant picked up a stone and threw it at the victim’s head, narrowly missing her. He got into his car and reversed, hitting a railing surrounding some trees. He then drove forward at around 11 to 13 miles per hour. The victim was in the road in front of him calling her dog. The defendant drove the car directly into her, causing her to fall to the ground. He immediately reversed and went to help the victim. The emergency services were called and she was taken by ambulance to hospital. The victim sustained abrasions to her elbows, knees, chin, chest and abdomen. Her unborn baby was not injured and was subsequently safely delivered. The defendant, who had previous convictions for violent offences, was arrested. The original indictment charged him with causing grievous bodily harm with intent. At the plea and case management hearing, the defendant indicated to the court that he would be applying to dismiss the charge as the victim’s injuries, as alleged by the prosecution, did not disclose the charge of causing grievous bodily harm. The prosecution later accepted that contention and the indictment was amended to a charge of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent (count one) and a count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm was added, as the alternative charge. The court was subsequently informed that the defendant was willing to plead guilty to the alternative charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, on condition that the prosecution did not proceed with count one. The prosecution was not prepared to accept that course and consequently, the defendant did not plead at that stage. On the day of trial, the defendant pleaded guilty to the alternative charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The judge, having considered the definitive guidelines of the Sentencing Guidelines Council, held that a discount of a sixth would be given. The defendant was sentenced to three years and four months’ imprisonment. He appealed against sentence. The issue was whether, in accordance with the sentencing guidelines on reduction in sentences for guilty pleas, which stated that the level of discount should reflect the stage at which the defendant had indicated a willingness to plead guilty to an offence, the defendant was entitled to a greater discount in sentence. The appeal would be dismissed. In the instant case, the judge had not erred in giving the defendant limited credit for his guilty plea in circumstances where the defendant had not in actual fact pleaded guilty until the day of trial. Whilst there was no doubt that the defendant had admitted a willingness to plead guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, it had been conditional upon the prosecution not proceeding with count one. Imprisonment – Length of sentence – Assault occasioning actual bodily harm R v James: Court of Appeal, Criminal Division (Lord Justice Richards, Mr Justice Keith, Mr Justice Nicol): 22 September 2011center_img Gordon Ross (assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeal) for the defendant.last_img read more