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Harriet McDonald
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Harriet McDonald is Executive Vice President of The Doe Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides life-transforming services, economic opportunity, and transitional housing for the homeless, formerly incarcerated, veterans, and people living with AIDS.

Entries by Harriet McDonald

How to Invest in Miracles

(1) Comments | Posted December 24, 2014 | 1:18 PM

Last Christmas, two brothers reunited. We'll call them Devon and Trey. They had been separated since they were children, taken from their mother because heroin had taken her. Over the years, the two boys got older, sure, but they never had the chance to grow up.

To grow up, you...

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You're Young, You're Black, And You've Got No Future

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 11:10 AM

You're young, you're black, and you've got no future.

Why? Because you were arrested on drug charges. You've been arrested before, just like more than half of the other young black men in your neighborhood. But this time, you'll receive a mandatory "war on drugs" sentence.

Your father was incarcerated....

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Homes Don't Cure Homelessness

(7) Comments | Posted August 8, 2014 | 7:00 PM

"Give the homeless homes."

That's the latest trend in our country's fight to end homelessness. If we throw enough homes and money at the problem, somehow homelessness will end.

For a relatively small segment of the homeless population, a home may be the answer. We as a nation...

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Fatherhood Within Reach for Formerly Homeless Men

(10) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 5:37 PM

Conventional wisdom says that young, poor African-American fathers don't care about their children. Too often, the stereotype goes, they abandon them to single mothers, who struggle to cope on their own.

It's true that the proportion of children raised by single mothers has skyrocketed in poor, urban communities over recent...

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Nonprofits and the Cost Benefit Solution

(0) Comments | Posted July 12, 2013 | 2:26 PM

When President Obama recently proposed an ambitious scientific effort to build a comprehensive map of the human brain's activity, he cited the Human Genome Project as a model.

Every $1 that the government invested in that effort returned $140 to the American economy, he said, because of new...

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California's Recidivism Problem

(25) Comments | Posted May 31, 2013 | 12:12 PM

Two years after the United States Supreme Court ordered California to reduce its severely overcrowded prisons by more than 30,000 inmates, the state is still trying to figure out how to comply. Governor Jerry Brown released a new plan in early May that called for the...

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Helping the Homeless Help Themselves

(0) Comments | Posted April 10, 2013 | 5:22 PM

We need to ask much more of homeless people. I know this sounds harsh, and certainly politically incorrect. But I think it's absolutely true. We need to expect more from homeless people -- for our sake and especially for theirs.

For far too long, we've brought a paternalistic attitude to...

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How Nonprofits Can Do More With Less

(2) Comments | Posted March 5, 2013 | 4:26 PM

With Congress and President Obama having allowed $85 billion of automatic, broad-cased cuts in federal spending to go into effect late last week, it's safe to assume that nonprofit social service organizations are going to have to learn how to do more with less in the coming years....

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Rethinking Government Contracts for Prisons

(10) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 10:20 AM

Not long after Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey the power went out at Logan Hall, a huge, privately run halfway house in Newark. Then the locks clicked open and dozens of inmates ran amok. At least 15 escaped, in one of the largest mass escapes in the state's...

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Micro Units Proposed to Make New York City Living Affordable

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 3:00 PM

It's not exactly news that apartments in New York City are expensive and in short supply. In an attempt to alter that dynamic, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced this summer an experiment that might actually increase the availability of housing in the city.

But when City Hall made...

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Helping Formerly Homeless Men Achieve

(0) Comments | Posted October 11, 2012 | 1:18 PM

If you are following the presidential election campaign, you would have no idea that America's cities are in trouble.

President Obama and Mitt Romney have astonishingly little to say about our pressing urban ills. The homeless, whose numbers have been growing recently? Children abandoned or abused by their parents?...

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