Editor In Chief Gilbert Mercier Suffers Massive Heart Attack
On February 21, 2012, Gilbert Mercier, News Junkie Post Editor in Chief, suffered an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.. a myocardial infarction… a massive heart attack. Gilbert was given only a 10% chance of surviving the surgery that required he be put in a comatose state in order to both repair the damage and perform a bypass. Fortunately, due to his physical strength, as well as the indefatigable spirit and tenacious character that he brings to every challenge he faces, Gilbert has survived both that initial surgery and a subsequent surgery in early March.
Gilbert’s recovery and rehabilitation will be a long process. He is surrounded by loving family and friends but his intense medical needs and the astronomical costs for them will continue for quite some time. The all-too-familiar story of how the American health care system can eviscerate a person’s personal financial security, regardless of insurance, is playing itself out with a cherished member of our family.
We will be regularly featuring some of Gilbert’s thought provoking and challenging pieces over the next few months. A donation account for Gilbert has been set up at WePay. Donations can be made HERE. It is our hope that all of you who have been affected, educated, and challenged by Gilbert’s work will assist him in his time of need and help provide the necessary support so that he can return to his former level of activity and resume his mission of informing, agitating and engaging.
Sincere gratitude from the News Junie Post family for your donation.
US Homelessness: 1.6 Million Children Are Homeless, Up by 38 Percent Since 2007
By Gilbert Mercier
According to a report released today by the National Center on Homelessness, more than 1.6 million children are currently homeless in America. This amounts to one child in 45. It represents a dramatic increase of 38 percent since the onset of the recession in 2007. The report “America’s Youngest Outcasts”paints a grim picture, and it provides a ranking between the 50 states. It also recommends some policy solutions to be implemented both on Federal and State levels.
“The recession has been a man-made disaster for vulnerable children. There are more homeless children today than after the natural disasters of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which caused historic levels of homelessness in 2006. The recession’s economic devastation has left one in 45 children homeless, an increase of 38 percent from 2007 to 2010,” says MD Ellen Bassuk, President and Founder of the National Center on Family Homelessness and associate Professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
The report shows that homeless children in the United States suffer from hunger, poor physical condition and emotional health as well as limited academic proficiency in reading and math. “The constant barrage of stressful and traumatic experiences has profound effects on their development and ability to learn,” says the report. According to the report, 30,000 children become homeless each week, and more than 4,400 each day.
Yet the planning and social safety net to protect these vulnerable children is extremely limited. Sixteen states have no planning at all, and only seven states are actively addressing the issue. The states fairing the best are Vermont, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Montana and Iowa. At the very bottom of the ranking are Georgia, Florida, Nevada, Louisiana, New Mexico, California, Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi and, at the very bottom, Alabama.
“In the face of this man-made disaster, there must be no further cuts in federal and state programs to help homeless children and families. Deeper cuts will only create more homelessness that will cost us more to fix in the long run. We can take specific actions now in areas of housing, child care, education, domestic violence, and employment and training to stabilize vulnerable families and prevent child homelessness,” says Bassuk.
Editor’s Note: All photographs by Eliza Io.