Can we end poverty and homelessness? Or is a bridge too far?

Pedro Perez Uncategorized

During the summers of the early 1960s, Saturday mornings began the same way for me. I’d take my mother’s shopping car, leave our two-bedroom apartment in the Vladeck low-income housing project on the lower east side of Manhattan. I scavenged for return deposit bottles by going through every trash can I walked by. Sometimes, because I was hungry, I would …

Equity: The Courage to be Unfair

Pedro Perez Uncategorized

Before I accepted a position at Charlotte Family Housing and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, I read Charlotte’s Leading on Opportunity report. I was immediately impressed by the earnest desire and unequivocal commitment of Charlotteans to change the city’s two and a half centuries of systemic discrimination and disenfranchisement of its citizens of color, starting with the Catawba Native Americans, …

Bootstraps – Economic Mobility Mythology and Injustice

Pedro Perez Uncategorized

It was a snowy afternoon in the winter of 1989; as I walked down one of the corridors leading to the classrooms and library of the New York State Police (NYSP) Academy, I approached the corner near the academy’s library a group of white state police officers talking about the ills of affirmative action. Before they noticed me, the captain, …

Charlotte Family Housing’s Commitment to Trauma-informed Care

Davena Mgbeokwere Uncategorized

Charlotte Family Housing (CFH) began the process to implement a trauma-informed care (TIC) model late 2013/early 2014. Since then, Charlotte Family Housing has made a number of changes to create a more trauma-informed environment. To promote a trauma-informed organization, CFH pursues activities that fall under the following categories: early screening and comprehensive assessment of trauma; consumer-driven care and services; trauma-informed, …

How the criminal justice system can be an ally in the decriminalization of poverty

Pedro Perez Uncategorized

The beginning of America’s criminalization of poverty This nation has criminalized poverty from the very start. In the 16th and 17th centuries, some 800,000 people crossed the Atlantic Ocean to occupy the English Eastern Seaboard of North America, many arriving in Jamestown, Virginia. Among the 800,000 people, 500,000 were Europeans [this number included 55,000 convicts and POWs with about 52,000 …

Illustration Benefits Cliff

Impact of the “Benefits Cliff”

Pedro Perez Uncategorized

Ever since President Lyndon Johnson launched a set of domestic programs aimed at ending poverty and racial injustice, as a nation we have tried to reduce (if not eliminate) poverty, homelessness, and disenfranchisement. Those domestic programs range from the Food Stamp Act of 1964, the Social Security Amendments of 1965 (which created Medicare and Medicaid), and the Elementary and Secondary …