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Invisible Homeless Families Of East Colfax

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This presentation is a collaborative of graduate social work students. All materials are copywritten. All rights reserved. Written permission must be obtained by authors for any use.

This presentation is a collaborative of graduate social work students. All materials are copywritten. All rights reserved. Written permission must be obtained by authors for any use.

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Transcript

  • 1.
    • Devorah
    • Hilary
    • Robin
    • Rose
    • Sara
  • 2. Homeless on Colfax Ave: The Invisible Community
  • 3.  
  • 4.  
  • 5.  
  • 6. Systems theory
  • 7. What social systems are present/absent?
    • Employment
    • Health
    • Safety and security
    • Education
    • Housing
    • Social welfare
  • 8. Employment Health
    • 65,000 jobs by 2020
    • 68% low wage
    • 69% Colorado’s minimum wage earners are adults, 60% are women
    • Most homeless in motels work
    • Obesity and malnourishment
    • Developmental disabilities, low IQ
    • Mental health concerns
  • 9. Safety & Security Education
    • Reoccurring prostitution and drug use
    • Night police unreliable
    • 50% homeless women and children are fleeing DV
    • 30% children not enrolled
    • 43% of homeless are children
    • Teachers report homeless children struggle
    • Transportation to school is a concern
  • 10. Housing
    • Eviction orders up 55%
    • Only 72% of housing demand is met
    • Motels provide “defacto” transitional housing at high cost
    • Full month rent at motel $540-720
    • 350 Aurora families w/children need improved housing
  • 11.  
  • 12. Urban Renewal Welfare
    • All motels are ‘blighted,’
    • Fitzsimons will displace many
    • Denver renewal Ogden to Colorado Blvd.
    • Voucher’s time limited
    • Aurora: 7.1% of Metro shelter capacity
    • TANF $300-$400
    • SSI/SSDI: $545
  • 13.  
  • 14. “ Redevelopment should serve the neighborhood and serve Fitzsimons, which is a huge economic engine. There will be business needs, employee needs, food and housing needs, and still neighborhood needs, because there's been no investment in the neighborhood for so long."
  • 15. What are the subsystems present?
    • Businesses
    • Government
    • Churches
    • Service providers
    • Health care
  • 16.
    • Businesses
    • Cater to transient community
    • Redevelopment is adversarial
    • Government
    • Adams/Arapahoe County Public, minimal benefits
    • Local police improved
  • 17.  
  • 18.  
  • 19. Churches Health Care
    • Minimal church presence
    • Local churches provide meals, CCN
    • Churches give donations
    • Aurora mental health
    • Stout Street Clinic
    • MCPN
  • 20. Service Providers
    • Colfax Community Network:
    • -after school programs
    • -groups for moms, teenagers
    • -hygiene and food pantry
    • -deposit assistance
    • Habitat for Humanity
    • Minimal transitional housing beds:
    • -Comitis Crisis Center
    • -Gateway
    • -Sabin Group
  • 21. How is the homeless community functioning?
    • Invisible community
    • transient, vulnerable families
    • cycle of transition
    • -migrating
    • -permanent housing unstable
    • Mutual supports
    • -motel identities
    • -childcare
  • 22. Vertical & Horizontal relationships
    • Vertical
      • Needs met through hierarchical authority
      • Serve providers unequal relationships
    • Horizontal
      • Community within motel
      • Relationship based on survival
  • 23. Ecological Theory “ Original aurora shows the population increased by 45% while housing stock increased by 3% which resulted in overcrowding of housing units”
  • 24. Geographic boundaries
    • 70-225 to the East
    • Syracuse to West
    • 1 block to the North and South of Colfax
  • 25. History
    • City of Aurora founded in 1891
    • 1921- military base built
    • 1960- 50,000 residents
    • 1970- Population boom, increased to 158,000 by 1980
    • 1990’s- economic prosperity
    • 2000- Aurora’s population increased to close to 300,000 residents
  • 26. Demographics
    • 1,919 homeless persons in Aurora per year
    • E. Colfax Poverty rate nearly double the average for Aurora
    • 43% of the homeless are children
    • 35% of homeless families are headed by single women
    • 60% have moved at least twice in the last twelve months
    • 25% have moved between at least two motels in the last 12 months
    • 35% moved to CO from another state in the last 6 months
    • 60% have lived in Aurora for less than one month. 30% stay for 6 months or longer, 10% are long term/permanent residents
    • 20-30 (7%) families a year move into permanent housing
    • There are 5,700 households live at $10, 700 annual income
  • 27. Developmental stage
    • One hotel vacant boarded up for five years
    • progressively all the motels blighted
    • City Council discussing relocation options
  • 28.  
  • 29. Culture / People / Relationships
    • Ethnicity of homeless
    • 48% White
    • 24% Hispanic
    • 24% Black
    • 2% Native American
    • and mixed
    • motel community is a closed society
    • the longer the stay, the more entrenched
    • There is some cohesiveness, majority of relationships fighting/gossip.
  • 30. Result of analysis:
    • Transient homeless families in motels
    • A complexity of issues contributing
    • Limited transitional housing
    • People caught in expensive motel “solution”
    • Proposals for urban renewal and growth will exacerbate problem
  • 31. Social Planning “ Let’s get the facts and think through the logical next step” (Rothman, 2005, p. 38)
  • 32. Force Field Analysis & Change
    • Who wants change?
      • Motel residents
      • Churches and Service Providers
      • City of Denver/Aurora
      • Police
      • Businesses in the area
      • Social Workers
    • Who doesn’t want change?
      • Owners of the motels
      • Managers/employees
      • Longtime residents of motels
      • Tax payers
      • Day labor/temp agencies
    • 3 goals for macro change :
    • Build more housing units for families and single adults
    • Hold seminars teaching people about saving money, finding employment, health, substance abuse
    • Organize a drive to get mattresses/carpeting/furniture for rooms
  • 33. Locality Development Needs : Secure shelter, transitional housing, safety from crime, steady income, reliable transportation to job Assets : Social support in motels, no strict regulations, proximity to labor, transportation and food
  • 34. ACTIONS
    • Community Building
    • Hold outreach events in order to survey resident’s perceptions of problems
    • Teach-Ins where homeless learn to advocate for each other and themselves
    • Identify natural leaders and build natural relationships with them
    • Self-help/Mutual Aid
    • Immediate motel beautification working with owners & employees
    • Giving Circle in permanent housing; groups of adults are responsible for one another’s monthly payments
    • Community garden
  • 35. Social Action “ Change never ever, ever comes from the top down” (B. Mikulski 1982)
  • 36. PLAN FOR DIRECT ACTION:
    • Vision: Safe and stable housing for all
    • Goal: Transitional housing integrated into redevelopment
    • Target: Fitzsimons campus and City should be accountable
    • Primary Constituency: homeless individuals living in hotels
    • Develop Leaders: Homeless hotel managers
    • Action: Tent city in parking lot of abandoned motel, media coverage, demand the space be converted to affordable transitional housing
    • Outcome: Tenants pay 30% income and stay up to 2 years
  • 37. Transformative/ Empowerment “ For the most marginalized people in U.S. society, the very poor and least educated, the transformative approaches appear especially well suited” (Hanna, M. & Robinson, B., 1994)
  • 38. GOAL : Create unified social will around the need for affordable housing in Aurora
    • Create small study circles; a great way to promote liberation and empower members inherent capabilities
    • Empower the people so that ultimately we can make the external changes in the housing situation that we wish to make.
    • Find out individual self-interests and feelings about the group
    • Deal with the homeless crisis on a personal level
    • Eventually, the group would press the City of Aurora to include affordable housing
  • 39. Intervention “ Assisting community members in awakening to and pursuing their own legitimate aspirations for social autonomy and recognition” (Adams & Goldbard, 2001, p. 19)
  • 40. Target: Confront influential socio-economic interests, especially Fitzsimons campus Goal Raise awareness of invisible homeless on Colfax. People are empowered when their voices are heard.
  • 41.
    • Lived Realities
    Homeless Children’s
  • 42. Intervention: Community Arts Project
    • oral documentary using audio and photographic mediums
    • After-school program teaches community youth how to collect visual/audio snapshots of their daily experience of motel living
    • build relationships with Fitzsimons campus
    • display images and audio exerts on hospital campuses.
    • mobilize democratizing potential of media by playing audio segments on public radio and news stations
  • 43. Timeline
    • Begin immediately utilizing already existing after-school program and CCN
    • Three week training with kids learning audio and photographic medium
    • Form relationships with hospitals to secure an venue for project
    • First Friday opening event including youth artists, targets, and media. Display for one month.
  • 44. Social work values and ethics
    • Values
    • Dignity and worth of the person
    • Social Justice, challenge injustice of homelessness
    • Service, help motel residents
    • Ethics
    • Self determination through use of voice in art project (1.02)
    • Cultural competence and social diversity, strength of homeless community (1.05a)
  • 45. Intervention draws from:
    • Intervention models:
    • Community
    • Development
    • Transformative
    • Social Action
    • Utilizes skills of:
    • Listening
    • Training
    • Teaching
    • Communication
    • building alliances and coalitions
    • publicity skills
  • 46.
    • Bibliography
    • Adams, D, & Goldbard, A. (2001). Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development . New York: The Rockerfeller Foundation.
    • Aurora Housing Task Force, The. (June, 2004). Aurora Housing Needs and Strategies . Prepared by: Economic & Planning Systems,
    • Inc.
    • Aurora History. www.auroragov.org
    • Bobo, K., Kendall, J., & Max, S. (2001). Organizing for Social Change: Midwest Academy Manual for Activists. Santa Ana, California:
    • Seven Locks Press .
    • Colfax Community Network, Inc. www.colfaxcommunitynetwork.org
    • Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. www.coloradocoalition.org
    • Dugger, C. W. (January 18, 2005). “U.N. Calls on rich nations to double aid.” The New
    • York Times .
    • Erbaugh, E. B. (2002). Women’s Community Organizing and Identity Transformation.
    • Race, Gender & Class , Vol. 9, number 1, pp. 8-32.
    • Hanna, M. & Robinson, B. (1994). Strategies for community empowerment: Direct action
    • and transformative approaches to social change practice . NY: The Edwin Mellon Press.
    • Homan, M. (2004). Promoting Community Change: Making it happen in the real world
    • (3rd Ed.). CA: Brooks Cole.
    • Johansen, Erin. (August 27, 2004) Redeveloping Fitzsimons: City closer to picking developer. Denver Business Journal. Retrieved
    • March 8, 2005 from http://denver.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2004/08/30/story2.html?page=1
    • Linthicum, R. (1991). Empowering the Poor . Monrovia, CA: MARC.
    • National Association of Social Workers. (1999). Code of Ethics . Washington, DC: Author.
    • O’Donnell, S. M. & Karanja, S. T. (2000). Transformative Community Practice: Building a Model for Developing Extremely Low Income
    • African-American Communities. Journal of Community Practice , Vol. 7(3), pp. 67-84.
    • Rothman, J., Erlich, J. L., & Tropman, J. E. (Eds.). (2001). Strategies of Community Intervention, (6 th ed) . Belmont, California: Thomson
    • Brooks/Cole.
    • Weil, M. & Gamble, D. (1994). Current Models of Community Practice for Social Work , Received from Katharine R. Hobart, Ph. D., MSW,
    • LCSW, Community Practice I Class, University of Denver, Graduate School of Social Work.
  • 47.
    • Erbaugh, E. B. (2002). Women’s Community Organizing and Identity Transformation.
    • Race, Gender & Class , Vol. 9, number 1, pp. 8-32.
    • Hanna, M. & Robinson, B. (1994). Strategies for community empowerment: Direct action
    • and transformative approaches to social change practice . NY: The Edwin Mellon Press.
    • Homan, M. (2004). Promoting Community Change: Making it happen in the real world
    • (3rd Ed.). CA: Brooks Cole.
    • Linthicum, R. (1991). Empowering the Poor . Monrovia, CA: MARC.
    • O’Donnell, S. M. & Karanja, S. T. (2000). Transformative Community Practice: Building
    • a Model for Developing Extremely Low Income African-American Communities. Journal of Community Practice , Vol. 7(3), pp. 67-84.
    • Weil, M. & Gamble, D. (1994). Current Models of Community Practice for Social Work ,
    • Received from Katharine R. Hobart, Ph. D., MSW, LCSW, Community Practice I Class, University of Denver, Graduate School of Social Work.

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