News Round-Up: Working Hardest for the Least Return

Low-wage work is often what’s available to many Americans. What happens when it doesn’t pay the bills?

In Hawaii, Governor Neil Abercrombie wants to increase the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.75. According to Hawaii News Now, the governor introduced the proposal in his state of the state address, saying, “‘Minimum wage earners provide immediate infusion of dollars into the economy. Everyone is worthy of their labor. Industry and corporations do not lack for support in these halls. Neither should those who work the hardest for the least return.'” The article notes that Hawaii’s $31.68-per-hour housing wage means decent housing is out of reach for many workers in Hawaii’s service-driven economy. Many Hawaii residents interviewed for the article discuss the difficulty of getting by in their state, with one noting that having two or three jobs is the norm for many Hawaiians.

The situation can be particularly dire for the elderly. An article in The Nation profiles elderly homeless women in San Francisco and the inadequate social supports available to them. Skyrocketing rents, cuts to services and an aging population mean an increasing number of seniors spending their golden years in homeless shelters and on the streets.


Helping Women Veterans, Ending Veteran Homelessness

According to a recent report from HUD and the Department of Veterans Affairs, while homeless veterans are not likely to be women, female veterans are more likely than female non-veterans to become homeless.

Women veterans can face unique challenges when leaving the service, in addition to those challenges faced by male veterans, that can be a factor in their becoming homeless. Contributing factors to instability include being a single parent, or military sexual trauma, which is experienced by one in five female service members.

As a part of its commitment to ending veteran homelessness, the VA has special resources for women veterans. These resources address the physical and mental health needs of women veterans and their families. VA also works with HUD to provide housing to all veterans through special housing vouchers just for them.

If you or someone you love is a veteran who is homeless or at risk of homelessness, there are resources available to you. Visit the VA homelessness resources website or access to VA services 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans hotline, toll-free, at 1-877-4AID VET (1-877-424-3838).