New Homeless and Juvenile Justice Communities on Google

English: Google+ wordmark

English: Google+ wordmark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the battle against homelessness we are always on the lookout for new tools. Anything that can help to generate discussion and hopefully action needs to be investigated, especially in the rapidly growing world of social media.

Information is vital. There are lots of hysterical and histrionic “facts” bandied about on these topics. The “tough on crime” stance is a great example of this. Harsher laws and penalties seem like a logical step to take in attempting to reduce crime, but the empirical evidence accumulated over the past decade or so shows that the opposite is true.

The sharing of actual facts and generation of productive discussion, and eventually action, is vital if we are going to fix those aspects of our society that are broken. With that in mind we are doing the best we can to mobilize the technology available in order to effect these changes.

Earlier this week Google debuted a new tool that looks very promising in this regard: Google+ Communities. Thought by many to be their version of the now familiar Facebook groups, the communities allow you to follow a topic rather than just friending an individual.

So today we debut our newest tools in the ongoing battle for reform: Homelessness in America and Juvenile Justice in America. These two public communities are open to any and all with an interest and hopefully will help us move the conversation forward on these important topics.

The evidence is there. In both of these cases there is a common thread – too much money is being spent to too little effect. While boatloads of cash are being funneled out of state and federal budgets in order to fight the problems, it is almost always being spent recklessly and with little result.

While millions are spent on incarceration, rehabilitative programs with proven effectiveness are sidelined, costing the state far more over the long run and doing little to reduce recidivism. Millions more are spent on short-term solutions for the homeless, but comparatively little on programs that will give them the skills they need to rejoin society and embrace a better life.

The cure is accurate and applied information, but info does nothing when no one is aware of it. Please join us in our new communities and be part of the solution.

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