"The more we learn about the balance sheets of Americans, it becomes quite alarming," said Caroline Ratcliffe, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute focusing on poverty and emergency savings issues.Lack of savings can lead to homelessness, or other problems."The challenge for many often come from economic forces beyond their control such as a dip in the stock market that threatens their job or an unexpected medical bill, risks that have shattered the confidence of most in the broader U.S. economy.Thirteen percent would skip paying other bills, and 11 percent said they would likely not pay the bill at all.The AP-NORC results also correlate with a 2015 study by the Federal Reserve in which 47 percent of respondents said they either could not cover a $400 emergency expense or would have to sell something or borrow money.In the poll, 21 percent of Americans say they would strongly consider the option of putting the unexpected $1,000 bill on a credit card to be paid in full when their statement came due.
Students in the Girls Who Code program at the Brookview House.Homeless teens are working their tech-savvy sides thanks to a special club at their shelter.Brookview House executive director Deborah Hughes told The Huffington Post in an email that the club isn t just about helping the teens learn a cool, new skill — it s also about helping them prepare for the future.It is our hope that this confidence will propel them on to a track that leads to college.They re guided and coached through different modules by volunteers as well as members of the area s tech companies.In addition to gaining knowledge, Hughes told HuffPost that she s also noticed other positive changes in the teens since joining the club.
Yet, the immense transformative power of Social Actions still remains untapped due to the lack of centralised organisation.Outsourcing Social Actions has many multiple, cascading layers of beneficial outcomes and social impacts to it - including job retention and creation, new and existing businesses getting more work, stimulus of the local economy at the grass roots level leading to a ripple effect that invigorates, energises and swells the national economy on a long-term, sustainable basis making it more effective, resulting in people living better lives.Re-Give is the world s first free personal and enterprise global platform for crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, crowd commerce and payments regive.org/blogADDENDUM Exploration of themes from the above articleThe New Economics of Social ActionsAny person, business or organisation from anywhere in the world can use Social Actions as part of their normal transactions to achieve their objectives, whilst at the same time, enriching society: Freeing Students from DebtFinancial Contributions non-charitable donations Suppose a student says give me a financial contribution so that I can pay-off my student debt and in return, I will teach disadvantaged kids for a few hours every week for a year .ArchitectureTo attract backers, along with fortifying it with an inspiring Social Action, a Social Bond can also be secured by its issuer whoever they may be either with verified collateral or guarantees from third parties e.g.From the social perspective: Jane gets to do something good for society and her neighbourhood, while further progressing her business commercially and, after a year, perhaps she may even decide to keep the shelter for good, because by then, after a year of helping the homeless and seeing the difference she made, Jane might also start caring about homelessness.Funders aren t expecting a financial return but will help Li to be debt free and to expand her farm at the same time, and also enable small farms all over the country to flourish.
Julio López Saguar via Getty ImagesTents, sleeping bags, gently used clothing, an alarm clock.Those are just some of the items that people experiencing homelessness need to survive.They also are some of the items people not experiencing material poverty have lying around their garage and basement.But if you have a spare tent taking up space in your house, how do you get it to someone who sleeps in doorways and on bus benches?
-- Billionaire Warren Buffett has raised more than $20 million for a San Francisco homeless charity since 2000, and he's just added to that total by auctioning off a private lunch.By midmorning Friday, the bidding reached more than $2.6 million, nearly $300,000 higher than last year's winning bid by Beijing-based Dalian Zeus Entertainment Co.Six of the past eight winners paid more than $2 million to dine with Buffett, the investor who leads the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate.FILE - In this May 2, 2016 file photo, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett is interviewed in Omaha, Neb."Buffett has said he gets a wide range of questions at the lunches that usually run for several hours.The winners of the lunch auction typically dine with Buffett at Smith and Wollensky steakhouse in New York City, which donates at least $10,000 to Glide each year to host the lunch.Buffett's company owns more than 90 subsidiaries including insurance, furniture, railroad, jewelry and candy companies, restaurants and natural gas and corporate jet firms, and has major investments in such companies as Coca-Cola, IBM and Wells Fargo & Co.
Twitter established its headquarters in the Tenderloin district, a highly underdeveloped area of San Francisco, in an attempt to help rejuvenate the community.According to the latest One Night Count results, there are at least 4,505 unsheltered people in Seattle.Consider this scenario — you re racing to get to work, laptop bag in tow, coffee in one hand and likely your phone in the other.Also, in the back of your mind you wonder if they will use your money for drugs or alcohol, rather than clothing, shelter or food.For example, the Community Pillar program by Zillow works with local landlords and property managers to modify their standard tenant screening process to help applicants with low incomes or unemployment to be able to obtain housing.When I go out at night to distribute blankets or clean socks, I am told that more than any material item, a friendly human connection that offers someone dignity is what keeps someone from giving up.
Hamilton Family Center According to the common stereotype, San Francisco tech companies are full of white guys who grew up in the burbs and went to expensive colleges, and are here only for the high-paying jobs and fancy beer bars."I have met so many incredible passionate tech employees who have come and poured out so much love on to the families we serve," says Debbie Wilber, the director of development at the Hamilton Family Center, a non-profit that aims to end family homelessness in San Francisco by 2020.Hamilton House is a proponent of "re-housing," which proposes that the best way to reduce homelessness is to put people in homes.Until recently, the proposed solutions to homelessness were "paternalistic," in Wilber's view, arguing that people needed to be taught how to live in society before they could be granted a home.Salesforce has worked with Hamilton to create a database of available housing and its employees frequently volunteer through the company's 1-1-1 program which requires employees to donate 1% of their time to a non profit .A partnership between Hamilton and Google has helped the San Francisco public school district collect info about homeless and at-risk students — there are more than 2,000 homeless kids in public schools in the city today, which is about twice as many as were in the system in 2007.
"There are many ways these companies can help," Kositsky says.It's help that Kositsky is more than happy to accept."As an individual, I've drawn inspiration from the energy I feel working with people in the tech sector," Kositsky says.And Kositsky's team gets an unprecedented look, in real time, into who's applying for help, where, when, and which programs are most popular and helpful.Power and responsibilityAs Kositsky's team works on the navigation system and other projects in the works, he says that the tech industry has been generous with its time.Certain unnamed tech companies have gone so far as to lend engineers for a few hours or days to help the city vet new technologies and contractors, to make sure they're making wise purchasing decisions, he says.Those same companies are helping advise on how best to engage with their peers in the tech industry, which may well include a startup-like fundraising process to fund the development of the navigation system software.But Kositsky wants to be clear: whatever tech companies have done to contribute to the homeless problem, he doesn't take their support for granted."I don't feel like any particular sector should be held responsible for solving any social problem," Kositsky says.It's Kositsky's job to put donated resources to work in the most efficient and logical ways possible, whether they come from the tech industry, healthcare, financial, or whatever else.The other thing Kositsky wants people to know is that despite the city's historical struggles with the issue of homelessness, San Francisco is taking big steps in tackling this crisis, not least with his own appointment in this role.NOW WATCH: How to use Facebook s awesome new 360-degree photo featureLoading video...
You might have noticed an uptick of stories about the Bay Area s homeless crisis in your social media feeds recently.Dozens of news organizations worked together to coordinate the publication of stories on homelessness today—all of which are mean to specifically focus on solutions for housing the region s homeless population.Back in May a coalition of editors from 70 newspapers, blogs, radio stations, and TV channels met to discuss how to flood the city with coverage on a single day many other publications also published their own content independently .There are timelines, infographics, photo essays, videos, and many heart-wrenching stories about women and children living on the streets.Probably the worst part is seeing how bad the problem was in the 70s and 80s, and how it hasn t gotten better.The idea here is that giving homeless residents access to this kind of basic sanitation, no questions asked, not only provides a compassionate public service, but it also might be able to help people feel more confident about attending school or going to a job interview.
Back in May a coalition of editors from 70 newspapers, blogs, radio stations, and TV channels met to discuss how to flood San Francisco on a single day with coverage concerning issues around homelessness.There are timelines, infographics, photo essays, videos, and many heart-wrenching stories about women and children living on the streets.The coverage is meant to be solutions-orientated, meaning that in addition to addressing the problem, the stories should propose ideas for reducing the number of people living on the streets.London, for instance, has around 8,000 sleeping rough every year, while Manchester has twice as many people sleeping rough this year as compared to last.The Lava Mae is a retrofitted MUNI bus that travels around the city to give private restrooms and hot showers to people who don t have access to them.The idea here is that giving homeless residents access to this kind of basic sanitation, no questions asked, not only provides a compassionate public service, but it also might be able to help people feel more confident about attending school or going to a job interview.
These days the Bay Area increasingly seems divided into two factions — the techies and everyone else — and it s no secret the two groups aren t always on friendly terms.A new proposal announced in San Francisco isn t likely to help them play nice.A handful of San Francisco supervisors want tech companies in the city — and only tech companies — to pay extra taxes, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.The money would go toward addressing the city s homelessness problem and the high cost of housing.The measure, backed by three city supervisors and announced last week by Supervisor Eric Mar, would take a 1.5 percent payroll tax from tech companies pockets.A group of activists including Maria Poblet, executive director of nonprofit Causa Justa/Just Cause, is leading the charge to get tech companies to pay what the supporters consider to be their fair share.But The New York Times points out the measure is a long shot — it would take the support of six of the 11 members of the Board of Supervisors in order to appear on the November ballot, and then it would need approval of two-thirds of voters to take effect.Even if the tech tax  never makes it out of the gate, it s another sign of the growing animosity longtime Bay Area residents are showing toward hoodie-clad techies they blame for clogging the highways, raising rent prices and gentrifying neighborhoods that were once eclectic and culturally diverse.Protests have erupted over the Google buses the company pays to shuttle employees to its campus, as well as over evictions that displace non-tech residents.Some in the tech industry are finding creative ways to appease their neighbors.Mountain View-based accelerator Y Combinator, for example, recently announced two new projects to address income inequality and the affordable housing crisis — a Basic Income project that gives Oakland participants money to meet their daily needs, and an initiative to build new cities and do away with entrenched problems such as housing prices.Photo: The Golden Gate Bridge stands against the darkening sky over Fort Point in 2012 in San Francisco.
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesThe San Francisco tech boom has left many residents in the dust.Homeless people camp out on street corners while employees at firms like Google and Facebook get free lunch and private buses to the office.Now, legislators in San Francisco are demanding that tech giants pay for some of the problems they helped create.Eric Mar, who sits on the city s Board of Supervisors, has proposed levying a 1.5 percent payroll tax on tech companies to help mitigate the severe housing and homelessness crises facing the city.The tax would raise around $140 million, to be allotted to homelessness programs and affordable housing projects.
San Francisco city officials have found a possible solution to the city's homelessness problems: taxing tech companies.The proposal, which was introduced by three city legislators last week, would require the city's tech firms to pay a 1.5% payroll tax, which would be used to pay for programs for the homeless and to aid in solving San Francisco's affordable housing issues,
As I descend into the underground BART station at Civic Center, I see a tired young woman who looks like a high school English teacher.Her heavy satchel is stuffed with essays as she stands in line for her 90-minute return commute to more affordable housing in Concord, 30 miles to the east.Her salary falls woefully short of what would afford her rent for a modest San Francisco apartment.As a toddler I learned to walk on the jazzed-enveloped sidewalks of the Fillmore, a street I now cross each day coming to work at the oldest university in the city, where I teach economics.Inequality in San Francisco, and perhaps other cities like it that have experienced tech booms, has dramatically increased through a confluence of forces which I will call in highly technical economics terms the tractor beam, the idea hatchery and the internet megaphone .Workers who are imaginative, creative and possess strong technical skills are pulled toward San Francisco as if drawn by a high-energy economic tractor beam.
This doesn t mean you should stop being helpful or charitable to homeless people you encounter on the street—but if you see this guy, there s something about him you should know.At a recent Maker Faire in Nantes, France, a man wearing worn clothing and pushing a shopping cart actually turned out to be a lifelike robotic hobo, or robo, as they prefer to be called.Dirk s movements look realistic, mostly because we re used to seeing homeless people who are sick or injured slowly shuffling along the street.The robot s not autonomous, though.Its creator, Fred Ables, hides nearby, usually among the crowd of people that Dirk draws, and controls the robot like a puppet.That allows the bot to realistically interact with people, looking and nodding in their direction, and then playing an organ when someone gives it money.
View photosMoreHttps%3a%2f%2fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fcard%2fimage%2f172213%2fscreen shot 2016-08-09 at 1.34.35 pmA Stanford undergrad's AI-based chatbot has already helped us with our parking tickets and various legal issues, but now his DoNotPay bot is taking on an even bigger, trickier issue.After receiving acclaim for the bot, which challenged over 160,000 tickets, Joshua Browder taught the program how to help homeless people in the UK claim their right to public housing.The user simply asks for help, and the bot will ask them a series of questions to determine how best to help them.The UK native developed the bot last year at 18 years old.He hopes to expand to the U.S. by the end of the year, but this comes with a whole new set of challenges.
Lawyer s fees can be expensive, so this teen developed an automated service that gives free legal aid to people who have lost their homes.The DoNotPay website, created by Stanford student Joshua Browder, uses an online robot to provide legal assistance to newly evicted people in the U.K., according to the Washington Post.Users chat via instant messenger with an automated bot that poses a series of personal questions.After sharing what led to their eviction, their specific health issues, or any other concerns, the bot crafts an individualized legal document to help resolve the user s issue.Browder, 19, initially launched the site last year to provide legal support for people who wanted to contest parking violations, according to the Guardian.Through the site, users successfully overturned 160,000 parking tickets in London and New York.
You may have heard of DoNotPay, the free robot lawyer created by 19-year-old British computer whiz Joshua Browder, which has so far helped appeal $4 million worth of parking tickets without the need for expensive legal fees.Well, Browder is at it again — with a new expansion of the chatbot s services to help homeless people take advantage of UK laws providing assistance in the form of government housing.The project started when Browder — currently studying Economics and Computer Science at Stanford University — heard about the plight of a British woman being discharged from hospital, who had been evicted from her home and therefore had nowhere to stay while she recovered.As a result, he decided to update DoNotPay s online text message-based chat service to help people like her navigate the labyrinthine world of UK local politics.I m working with several lawyers and Centrepoint, the largest charity in the UK for homeless youth, to design a free way for those who face eviction and repossession to claim housing from the government, Bowder told Digital Trends.It works by asking questions to ensure the person is eligible before taking down specific details.
Joshua Browder believes parking tickets are a tax on the poor and really wants to make bots that help them.That s why his free bot DoNotPay that fights parking tickets launches in Seattle next week.Since creating DoNotPay bot last year he has helped 170,000 people in New York and London successfully dispute parking tickets, saving them millions of dollars.The parking ticket bot will come to the San Francisco Bay Area afterwards, he said.I think the next big step for me is going to be San Francisco parking tickets and even Bay Area parking tickets because for me it s kind of hypocritical because I get so many parking tickets, the 19-year-old Stanford student told VentureBeat on Skype.I would love to like use my own product and then homelessness I m looking to expand and then I m working on these immigration projects as well.Browder has been pretty busy trying to make bots that fix the world.Last week he launched a bot with the charity Centrepoint to help young homeless people in the United Kingdom find housing.
People pay as little as $7 a night to cozy up in a cybercafeA lack of affordable housing and a surge in homelessness in New York City has turned the relics of the dot-com boom into a makeshift refuge for the exhausted at night, as noted on The New York Times' blog on Friday.During the day, the few remaining 24-hour internet cafes