Blog

Taking Issue With Media Portrayals of Poverty

October 2nd, 2017
Homelessness

Sometimes the media can portray those living in poverty in a negative, and often incorrect, light.

It’s unfortunately no surprise that the media has had some problems in portraying the issues of poverty. After all, anyone who works within the creative direction of where television shows, movies, and newspapers  go likely isn’t experiencing poverty themselves, so it can be difficult for them to relate. Unfortunately, this leads to misconceptions about those who live in poverty that can be damaging to society as a whole. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest blunders that are evident in the media’s handling of poverty.

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Taking a Look at The Relationship Between Homelessness and Mental Illness

September 25th, 2017
Homelessness

There’s a strong correlation between homelessness and mental illness.

It’s a hard statistic to face but approximately one-third of the total homeless population suffers serious, untreated mental illness, according to a research summary put together by the Treatment Advocacy Center. It’s startling to think that one of the most entrenched and difficult problems to overcome in America isn’t merely a class distinction but a public health epidemic. Today we want to take a look at the relationship between homelessness and mental health and why they play into one another.

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How Does Poverty Impact Students in Higher Education?

September 18th, 2017
Poverty

Living in poverty can have a huge impact on how one pursues higher education.

Higher education is plagued by soaring costs and shrinking financial aid, making accessibility for those living through poverty increasingly difficult. Students from low-income backgrounds have to work incredibly hard to even make it into college, but beyond that, it becomes even more difficult for them to stay and do well. The fact that poverty has such a large impact on students may lead some to believe that those in poverty just aren’t capable of doing as well in higher education, but let’s take a look at how and why being poor has such a massive impact on students in higher education.

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How Does Hunger Impact The Brain?

September 15th, 2017
Hunger

Hunger can have huge developmental impacts on children’s brains.

We all know how much hunger can ruin our day. Around lunchtime, our stomachs tend to grumble and we need to start snacking. By letting ourselves get hungry, we start to get sluggish and a bit overwhelmed by everything that’s going on. Even the short-term effects of hunger are detrimental, so it’s important that we look at the long-term impacts that improper nutrition can have on a person. Today, we’re taking a look at how hunger can have huge impacts on the brain.

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How Housing Policy Impacts School Policy

September 8th, 2017
School Policy

School policy is a big deal, but housing issues have a greater impact than we may realize.

Recently, The Baltimore Sun published an op-ed written by Nancy Newman regarding housing policy and its inherent ties to school policy. In it, Newman points out that “stable, affordable housing is critical for the future of our city’s children so that they can reach their children.” As much as we may place an emphasis on school policy, we won’t see major improvements in the education of our children if those policies are being bottlenecked by housing issues. For us at My Brother’s Keeper, this is an important concern and we believe Nancy Newman raises some important points.

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Why Anti-Hunger Programs Are So Important

August 25th, 2017
Anti-Hunger

Anti-hunger programs are at risk and we must keep them funding to keep people fed!

Recently, Carmen Del Guercio penned an op-ed for The Baltimore Sun regarding proposed budget cuts to anti-hunger programs. In his piece, Del Guercio addresses how critical funding for these programs is and why it should matter to us all. He goes on to describe potential cuts to anti-hunger programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which could result in a loss of at least 45 billion meals over 10 years nationwide. At a time when “one in nine Marylanders [are] lacking regular access to healthy food,” he says, this is a huge loss in the fight against hunger.

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How Hostile Architecture Targets the Homeless

August 14th, 2017
Homeless

Design of public spaces is usually meant to benefit everyone, but what about the homeless population?

Take a walk around New York City’s subway system and you may see curious looking benches. They don’t have seats, and instead of letting you rest and sit down, you’re meant to lean your body up against the tilted wooden blocks set at back level. It’s a strange design and on the surface, it may not seem apparent that there’s any reason for these to exist other than affordability and a gimmicky design. The reality is that public features such as this are intended to keep the homeless out of certain spaces—it’s all part of a concept called hostile architecture.

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Baltimore Ceasefire Seeks to Slow Violence

August 11th, 2017
Baltimore Ceasefire

Baltimore has a problem with violence and the organizers at Baltimore Ceasefire are attempting to alleviate that.

This past weekend, organizers of a 72-hour Baltimore Ceasefire initiative took to the streets to march, pray, and heal with other residents of Baltimore City. Their goal was to slow the pace of violence in their community and encouraged residents of Baltimore to go one full weekend without anyone getting murdered. The participants of Baltimore Ceasefire are deeply invested in the well-being of their city and bringing us all together for a more unified sense of community. They aren’t unrealistic about their goals–they know their initiative may not instantly stop murders in Baltimore, but it can certainly help to alleviate some of the violence embedded in our town.

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Helping Hydrate the Homeless

August 4th, 2017
Homeless

Keeping hydrated is a necessity for all of us, but it can be particularly difficult for the homeless population.

Summer is still in full swing–the weather is hot, muggy, and humid. Many of us have the benefit of enjoying our air conditioned homes as an escape from the awful heat, but there’s a huge homeless community in Baltimore who don’t have this option. It’s difficult enough for the homeless to find shelter and shade, but it can be even more difficult for them to find water. Keeping the homeless community hydrated is incredibly important to us here at My Brother’s Keeper so we want to discuss how you can help.

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Celebrating the Success of Baltimore’s YouthWorks

July 28th, 2017
YouthWorks

My Brother’s Keeper was happy to be a part of the massively successful YouthWorks initiative this summer!

YouthWorks is a Baltimore City program offering summer employment for thousands of young people every year. This year, in particular, the program was especially ambitious and hopeful. Thankfully, the city was given over $10 million in funding for the program and was able to offer over 8,000 youths jobs. My Brother’s Keeper was proud to be a part of the YouthWorks program and hosted 10 local youth, aged 15-17 as either rising juniors or seniors, during the summer. Part of what these young students did with My Brother’s Keeper was to develop resumes, earn computer literacy certificates from the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, participated in a one day financial literacy workshop, and expanded upon skills such as attendance, punctuality, problem-solving, and team interaction. As a part of the Youthworks program, we want to take a look at what YouthWorks is and why it’s so important.

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