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Community services

The Bee Project

Iowa - One might see children playing around the installation, like the boy in this photograph, admiring the bee made from a Rubik’s cube – he thinks it’s such an inventive idea! He, his younger sister, and their cousin made their bees from plastic bottles and tape and added them to the installation a few weeks earlier. Now they are often checking on their own and other people’s creations: there is an enormous bee made from two biking helmets, there is a tiny one from the nail polish bottle, there is a bee crocheted from yellow and black yarn, there is one made from old plastic toy and used kitchen mixing bowl! Furthermore, it’s a great place to hang out with friends! And there is more to come. Starting this April, two more public works by Russian American multimedia artist Elena Smyrniotis will be installed in Iowa.

A School Created A Homeless Shelter In The Gym And It Paid Off In The Classroom

San Francisco, California - On a Friday evening in the fall of 2019, Maria Flores stood waiting with her “crazy heavy” duffel bag and her teenage son outside the office of a man whose home she cleans. A friend of hers had told him that Flores had been evicted from the apartment she had lived in for 16 years. There, the single mom had paid $700 a month in rent ever since she’d moved in eight-months pregnant. Now, one night at a motel cost as much as $250. “Every single day I was looking for a place to live,” Flores said. He’d offered two air mattresses, keys to his office, and permission to sleep there on weekends. For the better part of a year, Flores, who asked to use only one of her two surnames, lived that way: Back and forth, spend and scrimp.

Rural Towns Surrounded By Farmland Are Losing Food Access

Born and raised in Mount Pulaski, a town in central Illinois, Tom Martin has seen several grocery stores shut their doors over the years. The last one closed in 2016. It was hard to buy basic staples, such as milk or bread, after the independent grocery store’s closure, said Martin, 65, a local farmer. Residents in the 1,500-person town had to rely on the nearby dollar store and gas station to purchase food. “When a grocery store closes up and it’s your last one,” Martin said, “you feel it immediately.” Rural towns, such as Mount Pulaski, have lost grocery stores while dollar-store chains have been on the rise, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The departure of food stores leaves residents, especially those in areas with high poverty rates and dwindling population, with fewer options to buy food.

Will Investing In Community Groups Keep Immigrants Out Of Detention?

“It’s solidarity, not charity,” said Grace Kindeke, who helps people recently released from immigration detention with housing, food, legal and health services in her community of Concord, New Hampshire. Immigrants come to the United States looking for safety and stability. But instead, many find confusion navigating the complexity of the immigration system, said Kindeke, who works with the nonprofit American Friends Service Committee. Language barriers, limited cash and the federal government’s reliance on detention can prevent recently arrived migrants from getting a lawyer, understanding their legal obligations and settling into a new community, especially if they’re dealing with trauma, Kindeke said. In her experience, immigrants are highly motivated to comply with government requirements, as long as they understand what’s being asked of them and have the basics to get by.

Database And How-To On De-privatizing Public Services

Basic services like water, energy, health care and education build the foundation for healthy, just and sustainable communities. All over the world, citizens, public authorities and labour unions have been mobilising to bring these vital services and infrastructures back into public hands after a period of privatisation, where financial profit was put before social need and communities’ wealth. A new generation of public organisations is emerging to provide the basis for livelihoods in sustainable, democratic and affordable ways.
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