11/25/14 - Today’s Topical Currents examines studies of South Florida’s “working poor.” Having a job doesn’t preclude a lack of sustenance. Only 1% of those who get food assistance are unemployed. Seniors often face a choice of paying utilities and rent . . . or going hungry. We’ll learn more about the efforts with guests: United Way of Miami-Dade Sr. Dir.
A Homestead-based food-assistance program called Farm Share received a $1.5 million check last week. State Rep. Kionne McGhee delivered the money, which was allocated in this year’s state budget. This is a $500,000 increase from last year’s state contribution.
Farm Share uses inmate and volunteer labor to sort, package and deliver food to churches, soup kitchens or other organizations across the state that use and distribute food to those in need. It provides the food for free, unlike many other food distribution organizations.
If you walk into Legal Services of Greater Miami on any given weekday morning, there are rows of plastic chairs filled with people looking for help with legal issues. Over the past couple of years, though, it’s been the various legal service and aid providers themselves that have needed help -- financial help.
To make up for significant loss of funding in recent years, Florida Legal Services, the umbrella organization, is floating an idea to get more money. Through the Florida Supreme Court, it will ask the Florida Bar to up its dues -- to have lawyers pitch in more.
Keren Bolter is a doctoral student of geosciences at Florida Atlantic University researching what areas in South Florida are particularly threatened by rising seas. She says all methods of analysis for the risks of sea-level rise only focus on financial vulnerability -- ranking Fort Lauderdale Beach and Miami Beach as high-risk -- but to her, that's not the whole story.
Miami’s West Grove residents, unhappy a trolley garage servicing Coral Gables was built in their neighborhood, may soon be able to claim a small victory. After a series of legal battles including a civil-rights investigation, Coral Gables and the garage's developer are now looking to pull out of the West Grove.
The North Miami Police Department, code enforcement teams and even parks and recreation are joining forces in what are being called “building inspection sweeps.” The city says going in together as a team helps streamline code enforcement.
Three months ago, the roof of an apartment building in North Miami collapsed, displacing over 250 people from their homes. Though that was not the impetus for creating this coalition, city representatives said they learned from the accident.
Out of 51 large metro areas examined byThe Atlantic Cities, Miami ranks 46th most segregated by poverty. In other words, the city made the study's "least segregated" list.
The Atlantic Cities looked at 2010 Census data to determine if the poor were concentrated in pockets or sprinkled around a city. The study mentioned Miami's abundance of service-industry jobs as a possible explanation for the level of segregation of the poor.
02/27/14 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins with an update on the plight of the homeless in Miami–Dade. The federal Department of Health and Urban Development (HUD) have mandated that funded agencies eliminate chronic homelessness in 2015. Is it possible? We’ll speak with two board members of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust. And more . . .
According to the federal government, "enough" is a simple, five-figure amount: $23,850. That's the poverty line. It marks a distinction between who is poor and who is not, who doesn’t have enough money to make ends meet and who does.
But over the past month, I've asked you to tell me what you think it really takes to live in South Florida. Your answers averaged about $47,600 a year -- almost exactly twice the federal poverty level.
The U.S. House of Representative voted Wednesday to approve a new farm bill after a two-year standoff. It cuts $8 billion over the next decade from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, but the brunt of those cuts won’t be felt in South Florida.
The food stamp program accounts for almost 80 percent of the current farm bill. With pressure to reduce spending, it was inevitable that the program would be scaled back.