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Pinellas grapples with how to fix homelessness among children listen

12/12/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Juvenile Welfare Board, Pinellas County, Pinellas County Schools, homeless, poverty

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More than 3,000 kids in Pinellas County are listed as homeless. A group of government and non-government agencies met Thursday during a Juvenile Welfare Board meeting in Largo to combine resources in hopes of minimizing what is becoming an epidemic among struggling families. And Sarah Snyder, president and CEO of the Pinellas County Homeless Leadership Board, says that staggering number likely only represents elementary students.

“What we don’t know and have no real picture of is how many...

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Fight for Fifteen minimum wage push and how it relates to eating babies

12/06/13 Janelle Irwin
Last Call Friday
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Tags: minimum wage, Fight for Fifteen, poverty, Mike Long

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Activists across the nation are calling on a federal minimum wage hike to $15 an hour. Critics think that's too high, supporters say it's a livable wage. We take a look at what our listeners think.

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National workers' strike hits Tampa Dunkin' Donuts listen

12/05/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Dunkin Donuts, minimum wage, wages, poverty, labor, unions, strike, Fast Food Strike

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Fast food workers in 100 cities across the country walked off their jobs Thursday as part of a national push to raise the federal minimum wage. Four Dunkin' Donuts employees told managers at a restaurant on East Busch Boulevard in Tampa they were going on strike until the franchise agreed to pay higher wages.

One of the workers is Brittany Wilkerson. She’s been working at that Dunkin' Donuts location for eight months making the federal minimum wage -- $7.79. But for two years prior to tha...

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Pinellas officials look to expand county health centers listen

10/29/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: Pinellas County Commission, healthcare, homeless, poverty

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The Pinellas County department of health and community services is recommending the county make some changes to healthcare programs to make preventative care more accessible in high poverty areas.

During a county commission workshop Tuesday agency head Gwendolyn Warren laid out plans that could use shuttered public schools in impoverished neighborhoods to provide comprehensive health services including dental, smoking cessation and mental health.

"It's to our advantage to have a medic...

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Tampa City Council tightens restrictions on homeless listen

07/18/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tampa City Council approved two ordinances Thursday that will tighten restrictions on the city’s homeless population. The decisions make it illegal to panhandle anywhere in downtown and some outlying areas restrict where people can sleep and congregate as well. A handful of homeless individuals, including Corey Williams, pleaded with council members to reject the measures.

“A lot of people automatically assume that if one’s homeless they’re either an alcoholic or a drug addict or ...

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Tampa City Council closes in on tougher panhandling laws decried by homeless advocates listen

06/27/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tampa City Council members took the first step in passing an even tougher panhandling ban than it already has during their meeting Thursday.

Ron Zealand owns Off Site Technology Solutions on North Franklin Street. He said women especially have been accosted by homeless individuals looking for money.

“Some of my employees have concealed weapon permits and they’re using them now because they’re telling me that they’re concerned about their safety in that area.”

One ordinanc...

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Manatee County votes Tuesday on sales tax referendum to fund indigent health care listen

06/17/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Residents in Manatee County will vote Tuesday whether to fund emergency health care for the poor with a half-penny sales tax hike. Mary Ruiz is the president and CEO of a non-profit mental health and addiction center that treats uninsured people. She’s worried that if voters reject the plan, some people will go without life-saving health services.

“What the half penny sales tax represents is a plan to continue crisis health services for people who are the working poor who don’t have...

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US Rep. Kathy Castor blasts Republican colleagues for proposal to cut more than $20 billion from Food Stamp program listen

06/17/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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A House version of the federal Farm Bill would cut more than $20 billion from programs that provide food assistance to low-income families and some individuals. Tampa Bay area member of Congress Kathy Castor, a Democrat, lashed out Monday at House Republicans for going too far.

“They have proposed extreme cuts to SNAP and supplemental nutrition that could have the effect of throwing thousands of children off of food stamps and SNAP.”

Castor said people a...

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Poverty in South St. Pete is the focus of city budget during public forum listen

06/13/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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St. Petersburg residents poured into the Enoch Davis Center in mid-town St. Pete Wednesday evening to weigh in on the city’s budget. During the final public review before the mayor submits his proposed budget on July 1, residents were focused on issues affecting the low income areas of South St. Pete. Sharon Russ pushed for a change in the way the city uses neighborhood stabilization money set aside to rebuild homes in blighted communities.

“I would like the city to do more to maybe ...

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Some of Hillsborough's 2,225 homeless receive assistance at annual veterans outreach event listen

06/07/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Volunteers from all over the state joined forces today to help struggling Hillsborough County residents get off the streets. As many as 400 homeless veterans and civilians had access to services from more than 30 agencies during an annual outreach event in Tampa today.

Edi Erb is the development manager for the Hillsborough Homeless Coalition. Erb was one of the lead organizers of the annual Stand Down and Health Fair at the Hyde Park United Methodist Church.

“This is our annual Stan...

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