News You Can Use, 8/4

New York Times, 7/30

The number of chronically homeless people living in the nation’s streets and shelters has dropped by about 30 percent — from 175,914 to 123,833 — from 2005 to 2007, Bush administration officials said.

Housing officials say the statistics, which are collected annually from more than 3,800 cities and counties, may reflect better data collection and some variation in the number of communities reporting. But officials also attribute much of the decline to a policy shift promoted by Congress and the administration that has focused federal and local resources on finding stable housing for homeless people suffering from drug addiction, mental illness or physical disabilities, long deemed the hardest to help in the homeless population

Boulder Daily Camera, 7/29

More than a third of the patients who went to 37 primary-care health clinics across Colorado on a single day were uninsured, researchers said, suggesting that at least 1.35 million people statewide could be in the same dilemma. The voluntary survey was conducted by the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine among patients who had private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. It showed 36.3 percent of the 948 respondents with insurance for a full year were underinsured. Researchers defined patients as underinsured if they reported delaying or skipping recommended care because they couldn’t afford it.

SAMHSA eNetwork, 7/29

SAMHSA’s new Homelessness Resource Center (HRC) Web site has been launched. Targeted toward providers who work with people who are homeless, the Web site shares state-of-the art knowledge, evidence-based practices and practical resources.

The Web site provides an interactive learning community for researchers, providers, consumers and government agencies at all levels. It is an easy-to-manage resource with content that informs, features that engage and training that is useful. These elements are brought together to promote recovery-oriented and consumer-centered services for people who are homeless.

Philanthropy News Digest, 7/25

The AT&T Foundation has awarded a two-year, $1 million grant to the League of United Latin American Citizens in Washington, D.C., to help implement a program of academic classes, mentoring and leadership development for at-risk Latino teens in grades 8-10.

Part of the foundation’s $100 million AT&T Aspire initiative, the grant will provide support for LULAC’s Adelante America program, which works to increase rates of on-time promotion to the next grade, boost academic performance, improve graduation rates, reduce delinquency and gang involvement, and improve interpersonal relationships between students and their peers, teachers, family and other adults.

Philanthropy News Digest, 7/23

Nonprofits are somewhat less optimistic about the current and future fundraising climate than they were six months and a year ago, the latest edition of the Philanthropic Giving Index (PGI) from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University finds.

Based on a semiannual national survey of nonprofit fundraising professionals, the PGI includes three fundraising measures — overall PGI, the Present Situation Index and the Expectations Index — scored on a 0 to 100 scale. In the latest survey, the overall PGI was 82.8, a decline of 6 percent since December 2007 and 4.7 percent year-over-year; the Present Situation Index was 81.7, a decline of 6.3 percent from six months ago and 3.7 percent year over year; and the Expectations Index was 83.9, a 5.8 percent decline from both six months and a year ago.

New York Times, 7/22

For the first time since the women’s movement came to life, an economic recovery has come and gone, and the percentage of women at work has fallen, not risen, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Each of the seven previous recoveries since 1960 ended with a greater percentage of women at work than when it began.

After moving into virtually every occupation, women are being afflicted on a large scale by the same troubles as men: downturns, layoffs, outsourcing, stagnant wages or the discouraging prospect of an outright pay cut. And they are responding as men have, by dropping out or disappearing for a while. The Joint Economic Committee study cites the growing statistical evidence that women are leaving the work force “on par with men,” and the potentially disastrous consequences for families.

Philanthropy Journal, 7/21

The rate of growth in giving to education in the U.S. is likely to slow in the coming year, according to a new forecasting tool launched by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. The CASE Fundraising Index, or CFI, predicts philanthropic support for schools, colleges and universities will grow by 5.3 percent for the academic year that began July 1. Over the past 20 years, the average annual rate of growth for giving to education has been 7 percent.

New York Times, 7/18

Despite a decline in overall drug use, the rate at which young Americans between the ages of 15 and 24 have been dying from drug overdoses has jumped dramatically — more than doubling between 1999 and 2005. In the same period, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “accidental poisoning deaths” in this age group, mostly drug overdoses, have jumped from 849 to 2,355.

Instead of rushing to save these young people, state governments are actually shortchanging them. Only a tiny fraction of the money that Washington sends to the states under the Substance Abuse and Prevention and Treatment Block Grant program is aimed at young drug abusers.

Commonwealth Fund, 7/17

In its first national scorecard released two years ago, The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System found that the United States fell far short of benchmarks for access, quality, efficiency and other key measures of health system performance. The 2008 edition of the scorecard paints an even bleaker picture

Philanthropy News Digest, 7/15

The Denver-based Colorado Health Foundation has announced the launch of a $2 million program to help physicians pay off their education loans and make it possible for them to practice in underserved urban and rural communities across the state.

The Physician Loan Repayment Program will award 18 physicians with up to $150,000 over three years while they practice in Federally Qualified Health Centers, rural health centers and ClinicNet facilities throughout Colorado. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 57 of Colorado’s 64 counties currently are designated as Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment estimates the demand for family and general practitioners will increase by 28 percent through 2014.

Philanthropy News Digest, 7/13

A weak economy coupled with an increase in civic mindedness are driving a new generation of college graduates to postpone traditional postgraduate employment to work for social causes, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to a Monster Worldwide survey of almost 1,000 employers, only 59 percent of employers expect to hire a recent graduate by the end of the summer, down from 76 percent the year before. According to the article, the deteriorating job market is contributing to a surge in applications from young college graduates at public service organizations.

Philanthropy News Digest, 7/11

Giving to nonprofits slowed during the first quarter of 2008, due largely to a decline in donors, a new study from Target Analytics finds.

According to the Index of National Fundraising Performance (20 pages, PDF), donor numbers fell 4 percent from the first quarter of 2007 to the first quarter of 2008, with only 39 percent of the organizations surveyed indicating growth in the category. Driven by declines in new donor acquisition, donor numbers for most organizations have been declining consistently since the Gulf Coast hurricanes of 2005.

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