With support from Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank and a local homeless shelter, Dana Knight overcame homelessness with her health and dignity intact. For several months this past fall, Dana lived in the strange world of victimization and kindness that hundreds of Grand Rapids' homeless live in every day.
During the early Salkin years, I often took head trips in elementary school. My mind and I escaped the institutional brick walls for a day at the beach, body surfing in aquamarine waves, lost in the opiate haze of a daydream. An adolescent problem I had thought until my seaside getaways continued through my teenage years and beyond.
This week was dominated by the ongoing Congressional hostage drama. Democrats trumpeted a poll showing more Americans blame the GOP (53 percent) than Obama (31 percent) -- with the GOP garnering a record low approval rating. But while the White House may be winning the battle, it's the country that continues to lose the war. With 7.3 percent unemployment, and 20 million people unemployed or underemployed, the fact that all notions of "compromise" are taken only to mean some mix of further self-destructive cuts -- instead of investing in infrastructure building and a real jobs program -- shows just how far the economic debate has been shut down. At some point, this manufactured crisis will end, but it will take a lot more than getting back to the status quo to release the true hostages: the poor, the middle class and the American Dream.