Protecting our children is any parent’s highest priority, but there is a hidden danger in our homes that can harm their health and their futures.
It’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week – a time we set aside every year to reinforce an important message about an environmental enemy that attacks hundreds of thousands of our children – lead poisoning. In the United States, paint containing lead was banned for residential use in 1978. However, lead paint is still present in millions of homes, often covered under layers of newer paint. Lead-contaminated dust is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning but it’s entirely preventable.
Here are some simple tips to help protect your kids:
- If you live in a home built before 1978, have your home inspected for lead.
- Get your child tested. Even if your young children seem healthy, ask your doctor to test them for lead exposure.
- Get the facts. Visit hud.gov/healthyhomes or call 1-800-424-LEAD.
Creating Global Awareness
Given that lead impacts children around the world, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are partnering with the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint to announce the First International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action. This year’s theme, “Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future,” stresses the importance of testing children and homes for lead, and knowing how to prevent serious effects.
“We’re thrilled to join our federal partners in helping National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week go global this year,” said Jon L. Gant, Director of HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control. “Children’s exposure to lead affects them in whatever country they live, so raising awareness around the world about this problem and the solutions to it benefits us all.”
This global partnership is working to raise awareness about lead poisoning in more than 35 countries. Read more about National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week and how you can protect your children.
Welcome to the very first edition of a new blog series, A Day in the Life, which will introduce you to HUD employees and highlight the important work they do. Today, we meet Marcy Thompson, a Program Specialist in HUD’s Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs – a mouthful, I know, which is why HUD folks just call it, the SNAPS office or “SNAPS” for short.
If you aren’t familiar with SNAPS, the office is responsible for addressing the housing and service needs of one of our most vulnerable populations: persons who are experiencing homelessness. SNAPS administers the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program and the Emergency Solutions Grants program which provide funds to communities for emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing, and supportive services to prevent and end homelessness. It works closely with the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness in order to establish policies and priorities to meet the goals of Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. Marcy advises the Office Director on a variety of policy issues and serves as the lead on efforts like ending chronic homelessness. Marcy also acts as the liaison with USICH and participates in HUD-wide discussions around homelessness.
“I started doing case management after I received my degree in Social Work but knew I really wanted to focus on homeless policy. I love being able to have a voice on policies that have an impact on a population that I care a lot about. I have a really great mentor who gives me the freedom to speak openly and give my opinion even if it’s not the same as hers,” said Marcy.
Marcy describes the most challenging part of her job as juggling several competing inquiries at once. Nothing can slip through the cracks in SNAPS without there being an impact on the people they serve. She also admits there are never enough hours in the day. I know we can all relate to that one!
Prior to coming to HUD, Marcy worked in the social work field where she helped the homeless and persons with disabilities. She is committed to making a positive impact on the policies that impact the homeless and the organizations that serve them.
Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check back next month for a new edition of A Day in the Life!
April is a Public Affairs Specialist in HUD’s Office of Public Affairs.
Cross posted from Zillow.com
I will never forget the uncertainty that loomed over our nation five years ago, when a financial collapse on Wall Street spurred the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. At the time, I was serving as a commissioner in New York City. I vividly remember being in City Hall when Congress voted down the first TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) bill. Afterward, Mayor Bloomberg said something I’ll never forget: “The world is coming to an end.”
By the end of 2008, the economy was shrinking at a rate of more than 8 percent and shedding 800,000 jobs a month. Banks had stopped lending to families and small businesses. The housing market was on the brink of collapse.
These were the extraordinary challenges facing our country when President Obama took office in 2009. In response, he took swift, bold action, and five years later, we have fought our way back from the brink. Over the months, American businesses have created 7.5 million jobs, including 1.2 million jobs added this year alone — with housing serving as one of the building blocks of this recovery. Continue reading
HUD’s programs serve lots of people in lots of ways. So many ways, in fact, that it’s sometimes hard to put a face on them, to really see how those programs are improving the lives of those we serve.
Which is why our HUD Seattle office was pleased to receive a copy of a letter sent to the Spokane Housing Authority by an Iraq War vet, about what HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher rent subsidy has meant for him and his kids.
“I have been a beneficiary of the Spokane Housing Authority’s Housing Choice Voucher program for almost six years now. I am an Iraq war veteran and a single father of three children. When I was first accepted into the Section 8 program I had just gained custody of my three young boys and our financial situation was pretty bleak. Over the last six years we have struggled as I put myself through school while also providing basic needs for myself and my children. It has not always been easy but I am happy to report that I graduated this last summer from Eastern Washington University with two Bachelors of Science Degrees. Shortly thereafter I accepted a position with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland Washington. Because of this I will be withdrawing from the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Continue reading
On Friday, Secretary Donovan traveled to New York City to speak at the TED City 2.0 Conference about poverty and the future of our cities. He discussed why it’s so important for us to collaborate and connect with each other so that we may tackle poverty and push to shape a better future for our cities.
Other speakers in the daylong session included Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and many more.
If you missed his talk on Friday, be sure to watch below. You can find the start of his talk at 1:15:40.