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Study Reveals It Costs Less to Give the Homeless Housing Than to Leave Them on the Street

“According to the UNCC study, housing these people led to dramatic cost savings that more than paid for the cost of putting them in decent housing, including $1.8 million in health care savings from 447 fewer ER visits (78% reduction) and 372 fewer hospital days (79% reduction). Tenants also spent 84 fewer days in jail, with a 72% drop in arrests.
What’s more, Moore Place is enabling the formerly homeless to find their own sources of income. Without housing, just 50% were able to generate any income. One year after move-in, they’re up to 82%. And after an average length of 7 years of homelessness, 94% of the original tenants retained their housing after 18 months, with a 99% rent collection rate.”
The cost of NOT housing homeless people is exorbitant — a stunning $39,458 in combined medical, judicial and other costs. This pilot program (rent for housing at Moore Place) is paid for 30% by tenant benefits (welfare, etc) and an additional $14k per person per year (comes from federal funding and donations). We are looking at more than $25k cheaper to house a homeless person per year than to leave them on the streets.
Moral legitimacy of this aside, economics supports providing more transitional/homeless housing.

Study Reveals It Costs Less to Give the Homeless Housing Than to Leave Them on the Street



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Patent Law and Supplements

Almost 75% of U.S. clinical trials in medicine are paid for by private companies.  In the drug industry, these private companies are largely pharmaceutical companies.  However, because natural supplements are harder to patent, we see a paucity of clinical trials/studies of natural products compared to pharmaceutical drugs. (Big pharma doesn’t want to pump money into research of a product they can’t potentially “own” via patent).

This is a double-edged sword—-while the consumer has  easier access to supplements, they are often 1. more expensive for out-of-pocket costs (western medicine skepticism and clinical based medicine make insurance coverage sparse, if not completely non-existent, for supplements) and 2. more unpredictable in best mode of use and results achieved.

Thoughts on how to balance the incentive to invest in patentable drugs versus investing in natural (non-patentable) products that harness many health benefits?
How to increase funding for research on recreational drugs that show promising results as therapeutic modalities (e.g. MDMA (“molly”) for treating post-traumatic stress disorder)?

Also check out this article on “Regulating Supplements”…via Regulating Supplements.

California pledges changes in protecting underground water

California pledges changes in protecting underground water.

A much needed initiative!

Some of these issues have been addressed in the Newkirk Center for Science and Society’s Towards a Sustainable 21st Century conference series while I worked at UC Irvine.  Check out some of the topics….

Reacting to Objects: Mindfulness, Tech and Emotion

Museum in a Bottle

There’s been a lot of discussion about mindful looking and unplugging in museums of late. By pure coincidence, I’ve been thinking about looking at objects while traveling over the last 2 months, developing an understanding of how mindfulness and technology work together for me to connect emotionally with museum objects.

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50 Years Ago Today in the Umberg Home

An email from my dad

Erin Umberg, Brett, Tommy and Ellie:

I don’t know what my great grandfather, Jacob Stein, knew or thought when Lincoln was assassinated 148 years ago. He was alive at the time, but that story has not been passed on. I have often thought it would be interesting to know.

50 years ago today on Friday November 22, 1963 — I was a third grader in Miss Rydell’s class at Our Lady of Lourdes school in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Your Aunt Susan was in first grade at the same school; Uncle Jay in kindergarten in public school; Uncle Greg and Aunt Julie were at home. Your Mom, Robin, was in third grade in Texas — Amarillo.) About 2:00 pm Sister Phillipa, the principal, came over the PA system and announced President Kennedy had been shot. A few minutes later she came on again to say the President was dead. After a couple moments of stunned silence, Miss Rydell began weeping. Soon afterwards I heard other teachers (mostly nuns) in the hallway sobbing loudly. Not long after we were let out to take busses home. The kids were unusually quiet while waiting for the bus and while riding home.

When we arrived home, your grandmother Joan was crying and transfixed by the TV. I had never seen her so sad and so preoccupied. (The closest she came was when the Cincinnati Reds lost the 1961 World Series to the Yankees.) For the next three days the TV was on non-stop one of the three networks that existed at the time. There were no commercials for over three days on any network. I don’t recall if Mom made us watch or we did so on our own. Whatever the case, I remember sitting the couch watching the events in Dallas and Washington non-stop: Jacqueline Kennedy arriving back in Washington; the coffin lying in state with the military standing at attention around the coffin for 24 hours; Lee Harvey Oswald being shot on live TV; the funeral and young “John John” saluting the riderless horse and caisson.

I also recall grandma predicting that somebody was going to short Lee Harvey Oswald when they were transporting him out of the jail — a few minutes before he was actually shot. I think she predicted it because the TV networks were making a big deal out of his appearance and broadcasting the details of where Oswald was going to be and when.

For Catholics — in the early 1960’s — John Kennedy was the equivalent to Barack Obama to African Americans. Although she already had four children — your grandmother was only 27 when Kennedy was elected. She was crazy about Kennedy. She had gone to rallies for Kennedy in 1960 and apparently was in front of the crowd by the stage when he mispronounced a word and she shouted a correction. (I think the word was “Cincinnati.”) We had Kennedy straw like hats and campaign paraphernalia. I recall wearing a hat myself.

Maybe an additional reason she was so enamored of the Kennedy’s was a story she told about the Jansen family having a special connection to the Kennedy family. Her Uncle, my great uncle, Father Cornelius Jansen, was a diocesan priest and a scientist. According to her, Uncle “Corny” (no kidding that is what we called him) knew the Kennedy’s in Florida. Joe Kennedy, the father of John Kennedy, asked Uncle Corny to preserve a special coconut from John Kennedy. (John Kennedy was the skipper of a PT boat that was cut in two by a Japanese ship. The PT boat sunk and most of its crew swam to an island. They were rescued after natives delivered a coconut that had a message craved into it specifying their location.) Uncle Corny apparently preserved it and gave it back to Joe Kennedy Sr.)

Anyway, I thought I would pass this along so when you take your grandchildren to visit our graves at Arlington — and you better — you can also visit the Kennedy gravesite and tell them this story.



Uninhibited muscle activity in children with primary dystonia, Erin Umberg

Testing Erin Umberg. PosterNCM08 copy

Erin Umberg

Some of the best lessons we ever learn are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future.

-Dale Turner

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