Poverty is the scarcity or the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Poverty is a multifaceted concept, which may include social and political elements. Absolute poverty, extreme poverty, or destitution refers to the complete lack of the means necessary to meet basic personal needs such as food and shelter; the threshold at which absolute poverty is defined is considered to be about the same, independent of the person's permanent location or era. On the other hand, relative poverty occurs when a person who lives in a given country does not enjoy a certain minimum level of "living standards" as compared to the rest of the population of that country. Therefore, the threshold at which relative poverty is defined varies from country to another, or from one society to another. Providing basic needs can be restricted by constraints on government's ability to deliver services, such as corruption, tax avoidance and loan conditionalities and by the brain drain of health care and educational professionals.
Strategies of increasing income to make basic needs more affordable include welfare, economic freedoms and providing financial services. Poverty reduction is still a major issue for many international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, United States Agency for International Development, Oxfam, CARE, World Vision International, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Red Cross among a plethora of others. In 2012 it was estimated that, using a poverty line of $1.25 a day, 1.2 billion people lived in poverty. Given the current economic model, built on GDP, it would take 100 years to bring the world's poorest up to the poverty line of $1.25 a day. UNICEF estimates; the World Bank forecasted in 2015 that 702.1 million people were living in extreme poverty, down from 1.75 billion in 1990. Extreme poverty is observed in all parts including developed economies. Of the 2015 population, about 347.1 million people lived in Sub-Saharan Africa and 231.3 million lived in South Asia.
According to the World Bank, between 1990 and 2015, the percentage of the world's population living in extreme poverty fell from 37.1% to 9.6%, falling below 10% for the first time. The People's Republic of China accounts for over three quarters of global poverty reduction from 1990 to 2005. Though, as noted, China accounted for nearly half of all extreme poverty in 1990. In public opinion around the world people surveyed tend to incorrectly think extreme poverty hasn't decreased. During the 2013 to 2015 period The World Bank reported that extreme poverty fell from 11% to 10%, however they noted that the rate of decline had slowed by nearly half from the 25 year average with parts of sub-saharan Africa returning to early 2000 levels; the World Bank attributed this to increasing violence following the Arab Spring, population increases in Sub-Saharan Africa, general African inflationary pressures and economic malaise were the primary drivers for this slow down. There is disagreement among experts as to what would be considered a realistic poverty rate with one considering it "an inaccurately measured and arbitrary cut off".
Some contend that a higher poverty line is needed, such as a minimum of $7.40 or $10 to $15 a day. They argue that these levels would better reflect the cost of basic needs and normal life expectancy. One estimate places the true scale of poverty much higher than the World Bank, with an estimated 4.3 billion people living with less than $5 a day and unable to meet basic needs adequately. It has been argued by some academics that the neoliberal policies promoted by global financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank are exacerbating both inequality and poverty. Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money; the word poverty comes from Latin paupertās from pauper. There are several definitions of poverty depending on the context of the situation it is placed in, the views of the person giving the definition. Income Poverty: a family's income fails to meet a federally established threshold that differs across countries. United Nations: Fundamentally, poverty is the inability of having choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity.
It means lack of basic capacity to participate in society. It means not having enough to feed and clothe a family, not having a school or clinic to go to, not having the land on which to grow one's food or a job to earn one's living, not having access to credit, it means insecurity and exclusion of individuals and communities. It means susceptibility to violence, it implies living in marginal or fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation. World Bank: Poverty is pronounced deprivation in well-being, comprises many dimensions, it includes low incomes and the inability to acquire the basic goods and services necessary for survival with dignity. Poverty encompasses low levels of health and education, poor access to clean water and sanitation, inadequate physical security, lack of voice, insufficient capacity and opportunity to better one's life. Poverty is measured as either absolute or relative. In the United Kingdom, the second Cameron ministry came under attack for their redefinition of poverty.
Considering that two-thirds of people who found work were accepting wages that are below the living wage t
Pennsylvania the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle; the Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, New Jersey to the east. Pennsylvania is the 33rd-largest state by area, the 6th-most populous state according to the most recent official U. S. Census count in 2010, it is the 9th-most densely populated of the 50 states. Pennsylvania's two most populous cities are Philadelphia, Pittsburgh; the state capital and its 10th largest city is Harrisburg. Pennsylvania has 140 miles of waterfront along the Delaware Estuary; the state is one of the 13 original founding states of the United States. Part of Pennsylvania, together with the present State of Delaware, had earlier been organized as the Colony of New Sweden.
It was the second state to ratify the United States Constitution, on December 12, 1787. Independence Hall, where the United States Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were drafted, is located in the state's largest city of Philadelphia. During the American Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg was fought in the south central region of the state. Valley Forge near Philadelphia was General Washington's headquarters during the bitter winter of 1777–78. Pennsylvania is 170 miles north to south and 283 miles east to west. Of a total 46,055 square miles, 44,817 square miles are land, 490 square miles are inland waters, 749 square miles are waters in Lake Erie, it is the 33rd-largest state in the United States. Pennsylvania has 51 miles of coastline along Lake Erie and 57 miles of shoreline along the Delaware Estuary. Of the original Thirteen Colonies, Pennsylvania is the only state that does not border the Atlantic Ocean; the boundaries of the state are the Mason–Dixon line to the south, the Twelve-Mile Circle on the Pennsylvania-Delaware border, the Delaware River to the east, 80° 31' W to the west and the 42° N to the north, with the exception of a short segment on the western end, where a triangle extends north to Lake Erie.
Cities include Philadelphia, Reading and Lancaster in the southeast, Pittsburgh in the southwest, the tri-cities of Allentown and Easton in the central east. The northeast includes the former anthracite coal mining cities of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton. Erie is located in the northwest. State College serves the central region while Williamsport serves the commonwealth's north-central region as does Chambersburg the south-central region, with York and the state capital Harrisburg on the Susquehanna River in the east-central region of the Commonwealth and Altoona and Johnstown in the west-central region; the state has five geographical regions, namely the Allegheny Plateau and Valley, Atlantic Coastal Plain and the Erie Plain. New York Ontario Maryland Delaware West Virginia New Jersey Ohio Pennsylvania's diverse topography produces a variety of climates, though the entire state experiences cold winters and humid summers. Straddling two major zones, the majority of the state, with the exception of the southeastern corner, has a humid continental climate.
The southern portion of the state has a humid subtropical climate. The largest city, has some characteristics of the humid subtropical climate that covers much of Delaware and Maryland to the south. Summers are hot and humid. Moving toward the mountainous interior of the state, the winter climate becomes colder, the number of cloudy days increases, snowfall amounts are greater. Western areas of the state locations near Lake Erie, can receive over 100 inches of snowfall annually, the entire state receives plentiful precipitation throughout the year; the state may be subject to severe weather from spring through summer into fall. Tornadoes occur annually in the state, sometimes in large numbers, such as 30 recorded tornadoes in 2011; as of 1600, the tribes living in Pennsylvania were the Algonquian Lenape, the Iroquoian Susquehannock & Petun and the Siouan Monongahela Culture, who may have been the same as a little known tribe called the Calicua, or Cali. Other tribes who entered the region during the colonial era were the Trockwae, Saponi, Nanticoke, Conoy Piscataway, Iroquois Confederacy—possibly among others.
Other tribes, like the Erie, may have once held some land in Pennsylvania, but no longer did so by the year 1600. Both the Dutch and the English claimed both sides of the Delaware River as part of their colonial lands in America; the Dutch were the first to take possession. By June 3, 1631, the Dutch had begun settling the Delmarva Peninsula by establishing the Zwaanendael Colony on the site of present-day Lewes, Delaware. In 1638, Sweden established the New Sweden Colony, in the region of Fort Christina, on the site of present-day Wilmington, Delaware. New Sweden claimed and, for the most part, controlled the lower Delaware River region (parts of present-day Delaware, New Jersey, Pe
Homelessness is defined as living in housing, below the minimum standard or lacks secure tenure. People can be categorized as homeless; the legal definition of homeless varies from country to country, or among different jurisdictions in the same country or region. According to the UK homelessness charity Crisis, a home is not just a physical space: it provides roots, security, a sense of belonging and a place of emotional wellbeing. United States government homeless enumeration studies include people who sleep in a public or private place not designed for use as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. People who are homeless are most unable to acquire and maintain regular, safe and adequate housing due to a lack of, or an unsteady income. Homelessness and poverty are interrelated. In 2005, an estimated 100 million people worldwide were homeless and as many as 1 billion people live as squatters, refugees or in temporary shelter, all lacking adequate housing. In Western countries, the majority of homeless are men, with single males overrepresented.
However, current data suggests similar rates of homeless females. In 2015, the United States reported that there were 564,708 homeless people within its borders, one of the higher reported figures worldwide; these figures are underestimates as surveillance for the homeless population is challenging. When compared to the general population, people who are homeless experience higher rates of adverse physical and mental health outcomes, which renders them vulnerable to health conditions associated with climate change. Chronic disease severity, respiratory conditions, rates of mental health illnesses and substance use are all greater in homeless populations than the general population. Homelessness is associated with a high risk of suicide attempts. People experiencing homelessness have limited access to resources and are disengaged from health services, making them that much more susceptible to extreme weather events and ozone levels; these disparities result in increased morbidity and mortality in the homeless population.
There are a number of organizations. Most countries provide a variety of services to assist homeless people; these services provide food and clothing and may be organized and run by community organizations or by government departments or agencies. These programs may be supported by the government, charities and individual donors. Many cities have street newspapers, which are publications designed to provide employment opportunity to homeless people. While some homeless have jobs, some must seek other methods to make a living. Begging or panhandling is one option, but is becoming illegal in many cities. People who are homeless may have additional conditions, such as physical or mental health issues or substance addiction. Homeless people, homeless organizations, are sometimes accused or convicted of fraudulent behaviour. Criminals are known to exploit homeless people, ranging from identity theft to tax and welfare scams; these incidents lead to negative connotations on the homeless as a group. In 2004, the United Nations sector of Economic and Social Affairs defined a homeless household as those households without a shelter that would fall within the scope of living quarters due to a lack of or a steady income.
They carry their few possessions with them, sleeping in the streets, in doorways or on piers, or in another space, on a more or less random basis. In 2009, at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Conference of European Statisticians, held in Geneva, the Group of Experts on Population and Housing Censuses defined homelessness as: In its Recommendations for the Censuses of Population and Housing, the CES identifies homeless people under two broad groups: Primary homelessness; this category includes persons living in the streets without a shelter that would fall within the scope of living quarters. This category may include persons with no place of usual residence who move between various types of accommodations; this category includes persons living in private dwellings but reporting'no usual address' on their census form. The CES acknowledges that the above approach does not provide a full definition of the'homeless'. Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted 10 December 1948 by the UN General Assembly, contains this text regarding housing and quality of living: Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing and medical care and necessary social services, the right to security in the event of unemployment, disability, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
Homelessness is addressed differently according to country. The European Typology of Homelessness and Housing Exclusion was developed as a means of improving understanding and measurement of homelessness in Europe, to provide a common "language" for transnational exchanges on homelessness; the ETHOS approach confirms that homelessne
The Baltimore Sun
The Baltimore Sun is the largest general-circulation daily newspaper based in the American state of Maryland and provides coverage of local and regional news, issues and industries. Founded in 1837, the newspaper is owned by Tribune Publishing; the Sun was founded on May 17, 1837, by printer/editor/publisher/owner Arunah Shepherdson Abell and two associates, William Moseley Swain, Azariah H. Simmons from Philadelphia, where they had started and published the Public Ledger the year before. Abell was born in Rhode Island, where he began journalism with the Providence Patriot and worked with Newspapers in New York City and Boston; the Abell family and descendents owned The Sun (later after 1910 colloquially known in Baltimore as The Sunpapers until that same year of 1910, when the local Black and Garrett families of wealthy financial means invested funds in the paper under the suggestion of former rival owner/publisher of The News, Charles H. Grasty, they, along with Grasty gained a controlling interest.
That same year, an additional daily publication was established called The Evening Sun under the guidance of former reporter, editor/columnist Henry Louis Mencken, From 1947 to 1986, The Sun was the owner of Maryland's first television station, WMAR-TV, founded 1947 and longtime affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS television network, along with several radio stations. In the postwar years, The Sun expanded its overseas presence; the newspaper opened its first foreign bureau in London in 1924. Between 1955 and 1961, it added four new foreign offices; as Cold War tensions grew, it set up shop in Bonn, West Germany, in February 1955. Eleven months The Sun opened a Moscow bureau, becoming one of the first U. S. newspapers to do so. A Rome office followed in July 1957, in 1961, The Sun expanded to New Delhi. At its height, The Sun' ran eight foreign bureaus, giving rise to its boast in a 1983 advertisement that "The Sun never sets on the world."The paper was sold under recent non-family publisher Reg Murphy in 1986 to the Times-Mirror Company of the Los Angeles Times.
The same week, the 115 year old rivalry with The News American, came to an end, as that ancient old paper with publishing antecedents since 1773, with subsequent mergers, announced that it would fold. The oldest paper in the city, it had been owned by William Randolph Hearst and his Hearst Corporation since the 1920s. A decade in 1997, The Sun acquired the Patuxent Publishing Company, a local suburban newspaper publisher that had a stable of 15 weekly papers and a few magazines in several communities and counties. In the 1990s and 2000s, The Sun began cutting back its foreign coverage. In 1995 and 1996, closed its Tokyo, Mexico City and Berlin bureaus. Two more — Beijing and London — fell victim to cost-cutting in 2005; the final three bureaus — Moscow and Johannesburg, South Africa — fell a couple years later. All were closed by 2008, as the Tribune Co. streamlined and downsized the newspaper chain's foreign reporting. Some material from The Sun's foreign correspondents is archived at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
In the 21st century, The Sun, like most legacy newspapers in the United States, has suffered a number of setbacks in the competition with Internet and other sources, including a decline in readership and ads, a shrinking newsroom staff, competition in 2005 from a new free daily, The Baltimore Examiner that lasted two years to 2007, along with a similar Washington publication of a small chain started by new owners that took over the old Hearst flagship paper, the San Francisco Examiner. In 2000, the Times-Mirror company was purchased by the Tribune Company of Chicago. I, 2014 it transferred its newspapers, including The Sun, to Tribune Publishing. On September 19, 2005, again on August 24, 2008, The Baltimore Sun as the paper now titled itself, introduced new layout designs, its circulation as of 2010 was 343,552 on Sundays. On April 29, 2009, the Tribune Company announced that it would lay off 61 of the 205 staff members in the Sun newsroom. On September 23, 2011, it was reported that the Baltimore Sun would be moving its web edition behind a paywall starting October 10, 2011.
The Baltimore Sun is the flagship of the Baltimore Sun Media Group, which produces the b free daily newspaper and more than 30 other Baltimore metropolitan-area community newspapers and Web sites. BSMG content reaches more than one million Baltimore-area readers each week and is the region's most read source of news. On February 20, 2014, The Baltimore Sun Media Group announced that they would buy the alternative weekly City Paper. In April, the Sun acquired the Maryland publications of Landmark Media Enterprises. Although there is now only a morning edition, for many years there were two distinct newspapers—The Sun in the morning and The Evening Sun in the afternoon— each with its own separate reporting and editorial staff; the Evening Sun was first published in 1910 under the leadership of Charles H. Grasty, former owner of the Evening News, a firm believer in the evening circulation. For most of its existence, The Evening Sun led its morning sibling in circulation. In 1959, the afternoon edition's circulation was 220,174, compared to 196,675 for the morning edition.
However, by the 1980s, cultural and economic shifts in America were eating away at afternoon newspapers' market share, with readers flocking to either morning papers or switching to nightly televisi
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a historic document, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its third session on 10 December 1948 as Resolution 217 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France. Of the 58 members of the United Nations, 48 voted in favor, none against, eight abstained, two did not vote; the Declaration consists of 30 articles affirming an individual's rights which, although not binding in themselves, have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, economic transfers, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions, other laws. The Declaration was the first step in the process of formulating the International Bill of Human Rights, completed in 1966, came into force in 1976, after a sufficient number of countries had ratified them; some legal scholars have argued that because countries have invoked the Declaration for more than 50 years, it has become binding as a part of customary international law. However, in the United States, the Supreme Court in Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain, concluded that the Declaration "does not of its own force impose obligations as a matter of international law."
Courts of other countries have concluded that the Declaration is not in and of itself part of domestic law. The underlying structure of the Universal Declaration was introduced in its second draft, prepared by René Cassin. Cassin worked from a first draft, prepared by John Peters Humphrey; the structure was influenced by the Code Napoléon, including a preamble and introductory general principles. Cassin compared the Declaration to the portico of a Greek temple, with a foundation, four columns, a pediment; the Declaration consists of a preamble and thirty articles: The preamble sets out the historical and social causes that led to the necessity of drafting the Declaration. Articles 1–2 established the basic concepts of dignity, liberty and brotherhood. Articles 3–5 established other individual rights, such as the right to life and the prohibition of slavery and torture. Articles 6–11 refer to the fundamental legality of human rights with specific remedies cited for their defence when violated. Articles 12–17 established the rights of the individual towards the community.
Articles 18–21 sanctioned the so-called "constitutional liberties", with spiritual and political freedoms, such as freedom of thought, opinion and conscience, peaceful association of the individual. Articles 22–27 sanctioned an individual's economic and cultural rights, including healthcare. Article 25 states: "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing and medical care and necessary social services." It makes additional accommodations for security in case of physical debilitation or disability, makes special mention of care given to those in motherhood or childhood. Articles 28–30 established the general ways of using these rights, the areas in which these rights of the individual can not be applied, that they can not be overcome against the individual; these articles are concerned with the duty of the individual to society and the prohibition of use of rights in contravention of the purposes of the United Nations Organisation.
During World War II, the Allies adopted the Four Freedoms—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear, freedom from want—as their basic war aims. The United Nations Charter "reaffirmed faith in fundamental human rights, dignity and worth of the human person" and committed all member states to promote "universal respect for, observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, language, or religion"; when the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany became apparent after World War II, the consensus within the world community was that the United Nations Charter did not sufficiently define the rights to which it referred. A universal declaration that specified the rights of individuals was necessary to give effect to the Charter's provisions on human rights. In June 1946, the UN Economic and Social Council established the Commission on Human Rights, comprising 18 members from various nationalities and political backgrounds; the Commission, a standing body of the United Nations, was constituted to undertake the work of preparing what was conceived as an International Bill of Rights.
The Commission established a special Universal Declaration of Human Rights Drafting Committee, chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, to write the articles of the Declaration. The Committee met in two sessions over the course of two years. Canadian John Peters Humphrey, Director of the Division of Human Rights within the United Nations Secretariat, was called upon by the United Nations Secretary-General to work on the project and became the Declaration's principal drafter. At the time, Humphrey was newly appointed as Director of the Division of Human Rights within the United Nations Secretariat. Other well-known members of the drafting committee included René Cassin of France, Charles Malik of Lebanon, P. C. Chang of the Republic of China. Humphrey provided the initial draft. According to Allan Carlson, the Declaration's pro-family phrases were the result of the Christian Democratic movement's influence on Cassin and Malik. Once the Committee finished its work in May 1948, the draft was further discussed by the Commission on Human Rights, the Economic and Social Council, the Third Committee of the General Assembly before being put to vote in December 1948.
During these discussions many amendments and propositions were made by UN Member States. British re
A tent city is a temporary housing facility made using tents or other temporary structures. Informal tent cities may be set up without authorization by homeless protesters; as well, state governments or military organizations set up tent cities to house refugees, evacuees, or soldiers. Tent cities set up by homeless people may be similar to shanty towns, which are informal settlements in which the buildings are made from scrap building materials. In the military, the term "tent city" refers to temporary living quarters erected on deployed military bases, such as those found in Bosnia and Herzegovina or Iraq. Depending on the branch of service and the length of time the tent city has been in place, the living space may be equipped with most modern amenities. For sanitary reasons, military tent cities place toilet and laundry facilities at least 50 feet from living quarters. Tents are divided into clusters of 8-10 to prevent the rapid spread of fire, of utmost concern because of the tent and bedding materials.
Since Hurricane Katrina made landfall in August 2005, the term has been used to describe temporary housing sites set up for Gulf Coast residents who were left homeless by the storm. Some of the tents that were built by Seabees and funded by the U. S. Federal Emergency Management Agency are wooden structures covered by tents. With the exception of indoor plumbing, most of the tents have heat and lights; the tent city can hold as many as 250 occupants. Displaced residents are only expected to stay for three to six months. Camp Hope is an alternative transitional living project, in the form of camping, it is located on the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope campus and is an alliance of agencies that address homelessness in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The tent city can house 50 people that would otherwise be on the streets, providing them a safe place to seek direct services and find jobs and housing. Camp Hope has provided the homeless with the opportunity to be right next to all the Direct Services the agencies on the MVCH campus provide.
The camp was founded in November 2011 with temporary permission from the city of Las Cruces. The camp was supposed to disband in March 2012, but there was no funding available to build another shelter and the City Council stated that the tent city benefited the city. In 2013, with help from engineering students from New Mexico State University, the site was rezoned as a planned unit development that sanctioned a permanent campground along with a number of other uses on the non-profit's campus. Dignity Village is a city-recognized encampment of homeless people in Portland, United States. Dignity Village is incorporated in Oregon as a 501 membership-based non-profit organization, is governed by bylaws and a board of directors with an elected chairman and other corporate officers. Membership is by application review. Dignity Village states that membership is not limited "based on religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, lifestyle choice, previous record or economic status." Continued membership is dependent upon following the community's rules of behavior, contained in their membership agreement: No violence toward yourself or others.
No illegal substances or alcohol or paraphernalia on the premises or within a one-block radius. No stealing. Everyone contributes to the upkeep and welfare of the village and works to become a productive member of the community. No disruptive behavior of any kind that disturbs the general peace and welfare of the village. Membership size varies and is limited by the physical size of the available space at the city yard site; the BBC did a news story, which talked about how the causes of the crisis in the U. S. economy has forced many people, who used to now live in tents. AlterNet published a story in 2009 about the mainstream media "discovering" the homeless situation in Sacramento. In late December 2006, homeless people formed an impromptu tent city on the St. Vincent de Paul property in the 1400 block of Fourth Avenue N. of St. Petersburg in Saint Petersburg, Florida when dozens of homeless moved off of public land across the street from the society. In early January 2007, city officials noted city codes that prohibit living in tents and gave the society one week to evict the occupants of the tent city.
Camp Quixote, a homeless encampment began as a protest movement of homeless people and homeless advocates against criminalizing "anti-social" legislation, passed by the city in January 2007 - referring to the ordinance restricting people from sitting on sidewalks. City officials ordered the camp to disband; the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation offered the encampment sanctuary on its property, being familiar with the Seattle faith-based network of homeless encampments. What began as a protest surrounding homelessness became a faith community protest; the church community protested the city's insistence of dismantling the community on the grounds that churches maintain a specific land use right that allows t hem to offer sanctuary to the poor. The adversarial protest turned to negotiation with local municipalities, with new ordinances condoning Camp Quixote with specific regulations and a ninety-day limit; because of the ardent support of a volunteer team PANZA, the tent city is soon to be transformed into permanent supportive housing, Quixote Village - winter 2013.
Homeless people have long resorted to seeking shelter in tents, but these communities are one of the first known to be organized by a sponsoring organization (a partnership between the Seattle Housing and Reso
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now was a collection of community-based organizations in the United States that advocated for low- and moderate-income families by working on neighborhood safety, voter registration, health care, affordable housing, other social issues. At its peak ACORN had over 500,000 members and more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in over 100 cities across the U. S. as well as in Argentina, Canada and Peru. ACORN was founded in 1970 by Gary Delgado. ACORN still exists internationally and in several cities across Canada; the rest of this article refers to ACORN-USA, unless otherwise noted. ACORN conducted voter registration drives, worked to remove systemic barriers to registration of low and working-class voters; the Republican Party accused ACORN of committing or encouraging voter fraud, but few cases have been found or prosecuted. The organization conducted its own audits and cooperated with investigations of employees, referring some cases to law enforcement.
ACORN suffered an damaging nationwide controversy beginning in the fall of 2009 after two conservative activists, James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, secretly made and released videos of interactions with low-level ACORN personnel in several of their offices, portraying the personnel as encouraging criminal behavior. Multiple investigations on the federal and county level found that the released tapes were selectively edited to portray ACORN as negatively as possible, that nothing in the videos warranted criminal charges against ACORN or its employees, though the confidential recording of the tapes violated privacy laws in Maryland and California. In the meantime, the organization suffered an immediate loss of funding from government agencies with which it had contracts, from private donors; the loss of funds had been too damaging, by March 2010, 15 of ACORN's 30 state chapters had closed. ACORN announced it was disbanding. On November 2, 2010 its U. S. offices filed for Chapter 7 liquidation closing the organization.
ACORN members and organizers formed new organizations in at least three states. ACORN was composed of a number of distinct nonprofit entities and affiliates including a nationwide umbrella organization established as a 501 that performed lobbying. ACORN's priorities included: better housing and wages for the poor, more community development investment from banks and governments, better public schools, labor-oriented causes and social justice issues. ACORN pursued these goals through demonstration, lobbying for legislation, voter participation. ACORN investigated complaints against companies accused of predatory lending practices. ACORN worked to support strict state laws against predatory practices, organized against foreclosure rescue scams, steered borrowers toward loan counseling; the settlement created a $72 million foreclosure avoidance program to provide relief to household borrowers who were at risk of losing their homes. The settlement came on the heels of an earlier $484 million settlement between Household, Attorneys General, bank regulators from all 50 U.
S. states. ACORN and its affiliates advocated for affordable housing by urging the development and establishment of housing trust funds at the local and federal levels; the group pushed for enforcement of affordable-housing requirements for developers and promoted programs to help homeowners repair their homes and organize tenant demands. An ACORN official voiced support for a proposal Hillary Clinton made during the 2008 presidential primary election to create a federal fund for distressed homeowners. Living wage ordinances require private businesses that do business with the government to pay their workers a wage that enables them to afford basic necessities. ACORN has helped pass local living wage laws in 15 cities including Chicago, New Westminster, British Columbia, Oakland and New York City. ACORN maintained a website that provides strategic and logistical assistance on this issue to organizations nationwide. ACORN members across the country in the Gulf region, organized fund-raising and organizing drives to ensure that victims of Hurricane Katrina received assistance and will be able to return to affected areas.
ACORN's home clean-out demonstration program has gutted and rebuilt over 1,850 homes with the help of volunteers. The ACORN Katrina Survivors Association formed in the aftermath of the storm is the first nationwide organization for Katrina survivors and has been working for equitable treatment for victims. Displaced citizens were bused into the city for general elections. By October 2007, ACORN said its Housing Services had helped more than 2,000 homeowners affected by the storm; the non-profit was working with the city on reconstruction. ACORN supported education reform in the form of organizing neighborhood groups and "community" or "ACORN schools". In Chicago, ACORN has advocated for a certified teacher to be in every classroom. In California, ACORN has documented the need for school repairs. ACORN works with teachers unions to gain funding for school construction and more funding for schools. ACORN supports school reform and the "crea