Presentation on theme: "Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America By Jonathan Kozol PowerPoint presented by Jamie Kyzer."— Presentation transcript:
Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America By Jonathan Kozol PowerPoint presented by Jamie Kyzer
SUMMARY The author of this book describes the day-to-day struggles that homeless people must face while living in New York. Although several homeless shelters are discussed, the author mostly focuses on those families that live at the Martinique Hotel in downtown New York.
FACT When we think of the homeless, we think of drug addicted hobos, alcoholic bag ladies, or runaway, rebellious teens. Although this is sometimes the case, many of the homeless families discussed in this book once had their own apartment or house, and held a steady job. Circumstances beyond their control such as skyrocketing rents, loss of family members, or fire left them without a home and/or job.
REACTION This past summer I visited my friend who lives in downtown Boston. As we were shopping one day in Harvard Square, I remember passing an old homeless man who was asking people for money on the side of the street. Being careful not to touch him, I dropped a few spare coins in his hand. Automatically assuming that the money I gave him would be used for drugs or alcohol, I looked upon him with contempt. After reading this book, I understand that the man I saw on the side of the street could have, at one time, been just like me. On the other hand, had circumstances been different, and it was me who had fallen victim to a series of unfortunate events, I could be just like him.
FACT Homeless people who live in shelters, like the Martinique, are charged with an impossible task. Their task, day in and day out, is to look for a home. However, in New York, public assistance does not allow a family of four to pay more than $270 per month for rent. The lowest available apartments start in the $350s. Instead of raising the rent allowance to $350 a month, the city pays approximately $2,000 a month to keep families in hotels like the Martinique.
REACTION This makes absolutely NO SENSE! If the city would raise the rent allowance, they would save around $1,650 per family! It seems as though America is WASTING taxpayers’ money in order to keep our class system in check. Instead of using the money to help families get back on their feet, we are using it to keep them where society thinks they belong.
FACT The hotels that the city is paying $2000 per month for homeless families to live in: have lead paint on the walls. Lead paint can cause serious illness and brain damage to young children. are infested with insects and rodents. have guards who refuse to let family members (fathers, grandmothers) in, but open the doors willingly to drug dealers and prostitutes. do not have working smoke alarms, and catch fire often. do not have running water.
REACTION Living each day in a dangerous and unsanitary hotel is no way to live at all, yet the families who get long-term placement at these shelters are considered lucky. What does this say about the priorities of America? We pride ourselves on being a country of opportunity, but make it impossible for homeless families to rise above their circumstances and stand on their own two feet. They are prisoners of the system.
How does this relate to students with LD? It is predicted that 20% of the children living in homeless shelters have a learning disability. It is logical to assume that homeless children with LD will become homeless adults with LD. Dropping out of school, having social problems, and having trouble in the work force are all characteristics of adults with LD, and contributing factors of homelessness. Markos, P.A. & Strawser, S. (2004). The relationship between learning disabilities and homelessness in adults. Guidance & Counseling, 19(2), 46-56.
How does this relate to educators? Teachers often avoid initiating the pre-referral phase when a homeless child displays behaviors typical of LD because they assume that the child will move away before anything can be done. School is often the only place a homeless child can feel safe and secure. Homeless children can learn social/life strategies at school that can help transition them into adulthood and avoid the negative effects of homelessness. Markos, P.A. & Strawser, S. (2004). The relationship between learning disabilities and homelessness in adults. Guidance & Counseling, 19(2), 46-56.
Pictures These are some websites I found with pictures of the homeless and the places they live. www.homeless.org.au/pictures/ www.american- pictures.com/gallery/usa/USA-index8.htmwww.american- pictures.com/gallery/usa/USA-index8.htm
References American Pictures-Gallary. Retrieved November 7, 2006 from www.american- pictures.com/gallery/usa/USA-index8.htm Kozol, J.(1988). Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America. New York, NY: Crown Publishers. Markos, P.A. & Strawser, S. (2004). The relationship between learning disabilities and homelessness in adults. Guidance & Counseling, 19(2), 46-56. Rebecca’s Community. Retrieved November 7, 2006, from www.homeless.org.au/pictures /