Suicides Spike for long term unemployed

While listening to cable TV idiots prattle on about the wedge issue du jour, we have this:

There is no saying how many suicides the recession has caused.

During the Great Depression, the suicide rate increased about 20 percent, from 14 to 17 per 100,000 people. The Asian economic crisis in 1997 led to an estimated 10,400 additional suicides in Japan, Hong Kong and Korea, with suicides spiking more than 40 percent among some demographic groups. But such statistics can mislead, social scientists say. Joblessness does not cause suicide. Rather, it correlates: Depressed persons tend to lose their jobs due to poor work performance, and a few also commit suicide. Jobless people tend to turn to alcohol, worsening their depression, and increasing the chances that they harm themselves. Still, academic studies show that suicide rates tend to move with the unemployment rate. Researchers in New Zealand found that the unemployed were up to three times as likely to commit suicide, with middle-aged men the most likely.

So how many suicides are associated with the recession? Nobody knows, not yet. The statistics lag about three years, so the official Center for Disease Control numbers still predate the financial crisis. Right now, therefore, the reports remain anecdotal.

NYC to charge homeless rent

I'm not sure if this is a sign of how desperate the nation's cities are for money, or just a complete lack of compassion and morality.

New York City is set to begin charging rent to the "working homeless" to stay in shelters, reports the NY Daily News.
Mayor Bloomberg decided to begin enforcing the 1997 law that states New York can charge rent to homeless citizens "who can afford it," which allows the city to take up to 44% of their income in the first year...
Shelter residents able to pay rent, however, only amounts to about 15 percent of that population, leaving many to wonder what the point is.. these people may never be able to dig their way out of poverty if they are penalized at such a difficult time in their lives.
Officials admit the move is mostly based on "principle" as rent funds gathered will not impact the city's budget in any significant way.

Surge in homeless schoolchildren

This sort of story just breaks my heart.

While current national data are not available, the number of schoolchildren in homeless families appears to have risen by 75 percent to 100 percent in many districts over the last two years, according to Barbara Duffield, policy director of the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, an advocacy group.
There were 679,000 homeless students reported in 2006-7, a total that surpassed one million by last spring, Ms. Duffield said.
“It’s hard enough going to school and growing up, but these kids also have to worry where they’ll be staying that night and whether they’ll eat,” said Bill Murdock, chief executive of Eblen-Kimmel Charities, a private group in Asheville that helps needy families with anything from food baskets and money for utility bills to toiletries and a prom dress.