Monthly Archives: October 2012

Election 2012 – Biden vs. Ryan – Who won?

As a non-profit organization, we can’t take a position for or against candidates or parties. We can encourage people to get informed about the candidates and the issues – and to VOTE! We’d like to hear your opinions about this year’s candidates. So what do you think? Did you watch the debate between VP Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan?  Who won and why?

Open Mic was a Blast!

Check out the photos from our second Open Mic Night!  We’d especially like to thank all of our donors, including the Montgomery County CSP Committee, Giant Supermarket and ShopRite Supermarket.  




You can see a video of our first place winner, Amy, here:


No place to go for longer term treatment

Where do people go for longer term treatment to recover from their mental illnesses? Not Norristown State Hospital says members of the hospital’s Human Rights Committee.

Not too long ago, individuals who needed more than a few weeks of treatment in a hospital were sent to state hospitals like the one in Norristown for long periods of time. But today, with the knowledge that people recover better in their communities and not in institutions, many state hospitals have been closed.  Norristown State Hospital (NSH) is still open but most of the facility now treats individuals with criminal backgrounds.

“NSH is becoming a forensic hospital: 60 percent of the civil population is forensically involved and of the 50 people on the waiting list to enter NSH, 36 are listed as forensic,”  a  Human Rights Committee member told advocates at a recent meeting.

When there is an opening at NSH, individuals with criminal backgrounds will be admitted first. This leaves others without legal involvement with no place to go.  That means many individuals find themselves locked in emergency hospitals for months – some unfortunate souls are being confined for over a year in a crisis environment.

Advocates and family members said being confined long term in a short-term crisis hospital is inhumane and traumatizing for the person who is ill. It’s just not acceptable.

But there are few alternatives.

In Philadelphia, there are some facilities that provide extended acute care. But in the four surrounding suburban counties – Bucks, Chester, Montgomery and Delaware – there are none. According to information from the Montgomery County Behavioral Health Office,  proposals are being sought from area hospitals to provide extended acute care for individuals from the suburban counties. To date, no proposal has been received.

The proposal stage is a long way from up-and-running.  What do people do until then?




Should you need an ID to vote?

Our HopeWorx staff meeting started late today because a lively conversation arose when a few people started commenting on the news that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has delayed the implementation of the Voter ID law until after the November election. The conversation went kind of like this:

“I think you SHOULD have an ID to vote. The media keeps saying that Democrats are against this law, but I’m a Democrat and I don’t see a problem with requiring people to have an ID to vote.”

“I agree that people should have IDs but I also think it’s too fast – people need to have time to get ready”

“I don’t see any problem with the law – everybody should have an ID. You need an ID even to get an apartment.”

“Why does everyone have to have an ID? If you need to get an ID to drive and stuff like that, fine, but it shouldn’t be required by law.”

“I can tell you that I used to not have any ID, and I couldn’t get any help. And the police stopped me and when I didn’t have an ID, they arrested me and took me to jail to fingerprint me because they wanted to know who I was and whether I’d been in any trouble.”

“Well I don’t think the police should be able to do that, either. Look, I get that most people have to have an ID anyway, but once you make this a law, where does it stop? Right now I”m living a stable life and so I don’t have any problems having an ID that shows that I live where I’m registered to vote, but lots of people are not in stable lives and they move a lot and their IDs expire and they can’t get it together to get a new one and the ID they do have has the wrong address. Voting isn’t like getting an apartment – it’s a right, as a citizen, and there shouldn’t be laws that restrict that right.”

“Well, then, how would you stop people from just making up a bunch of names and registering and then swinging an election?”

“That would take so much effort – who would do that?”

“People would do that! If all you need is a signature? Some people are really good forgers.”

“Hey, can I interrupt? I vote that we start the staff meeting before we run out of time….”


So what do you think?  Please join our discussion by commenting below.