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From July 10th through July 24th, Hayward Public Library is offering a one-time library amnesty program, “Food for Fines,” during which Library customers may bring in donations of food to help the hungry while clearing some of their overdue fines. During this amnesty program, each food item donated to the library can be used to “pay” for $1 in library overdue fines, up to a maximum of $25 cleared per card. All donated food will be given to the Alameda County Community Food Bank.
A valid Hayward Public Library card must be presented at the time of the donation. Donations will be accepted in person during normal Library operating hours. Food donations will apply towards overdue fines; they will not apply towards lost or damaged item fees, replacement library card fees, or interlibrary loan (LINK+) fees.
The most needed food items are:
• Canned Fruit and Vegetables
• Powdered Milk
• Tomato Sauce
• Low-Sugar Cereal and Oatmeal
• Canned soup (low salt)
• Peanut Butter
• Canned Meats and Fish
• Powdered Milk
• Healthy Snacks (Granola Bars, Raisins, Pretzels, etc)
Donated food items must be unopened and sealed in original packaging. Homemade items, perishable items, opened or repackaged items, or items packaged in glass cannot be accepted.
Help Hayward Public Library and Alameda County Community Food Bank wipe out hunger (and your library overdue fines) by participating in Food for Fines. For more information visit the library’s webpage http://library.hayward-ca.gov, or call 510-293-8685.
Posted in News, Newsline
Posted on 13 May 2010.
Courtesy of Patricia Shannon
Kamy Moran/ Staff Writer
Homelessness can happen to anyone–even to you.
Several years ago, I had a car accident and my car was totaled, so they towed it away and left me hurt and in much pain on the street. I was lying down on a bench near a restaurant. A nice lady came by and thought that I was homeless. She attempted to give me a 20-dollar bill. Instead of taking it and thanking her, I shouted, “What are doing? Do you think that I’m homeless? I’m not! Please leave me alone!”
I can imagine that the good woman was hurt and confused by my response to her generosity.
Don’t say you would never be a homeless person because, in our day, it could happen to you. I was born in wealth, but now I’m very close to becoming a homeless person. If you survey people on the streets and ask them what is a homeless person to you and what would you do if they became one, he or she will respond they would rather die before becoming homeless.
Most people can’t imagine being homeless. People stereotype the homeless. They are mentally ill. They are pushing stolen shopping carts. They are on some type of drugs and alcohol. Homeless people are criminals or mentally retarded. Those days there are many unemployed people who lost their homes and are heading to homelessness.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor statistics, there are over 14 million people nationwide in 2009 on unemployment benefits. Many of those also are losing their homes, too. Many of them may end up on the streets, on beaches, in homeless shelters or sleeping in their cars. They’ll try to keep it as a secret and be ashamed to tell anyone about it.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Mental Health Services Administration, as many as 3.5 million people were in 2007 homeless.
Patricia Shannon, an instructor in philosophy, humanities and religion, said several years ago she had a homeless student in her class who is now graduating from University of California Berkeley this spring.
Shannon said that she wishes that the voters, the community and schools were more aware of the problem of homelessness. According to the USA Today in March 2009, 1 in 50 children endure homelessness and the numbers keep rising.
“As an institution, we focus on student success and retention, but sadly not about problems in their personal lives,” Shannon said.
Shannon said she would like to see two things happen first, she wants to make the public become aware that education is about students and teachers. For an example, if she had 44 students in the first week of class, by the end of the semester as many as half dropped the class. It was not because of her teaching or academic difficulties, but mostly for personal reasons that stem from their social or financial conditions. “However, the college is evaluated on success and retention, and these numbers don’t tell the whole story,” she said.
Secondly, “We need the state and voters to know that educators cannot be responsible for everything and every problem students bring to the classroom,” said Shannon.
“A student who can’t get to class because he lacks transportation isn’t failing academically. Another student who can’t do her homework because the student has to work to support herself and her family isn’t failing academically,” she said.
“These are not academic problems. Solving these problems will take a different set of solutions. These solutions will require that we (the college, the city, and the state) think differently about education. We need to provide a set of integrated social services to meet students’ needs,” Shannon said.
Posted in Local