Gemeinschaft in USA Today

Brent Finnegan -- February 28th, 2008

There’s a story in USA Today that mentions Gemeinschaft. The story was prompted by a report from the Eisenhower Foundation, a nonprofit group that analyzes and advocates programs for what they describe as “inner city, the truly disadvantaged, children, youth and families.”

According to the article, the Foundation makes the following recommendations to alleviate the social problems affecting “urban blacks” in the U.S.

•Increase funding for national programs such as Head Start, which promotes early childhood education; Safe Haven and Quantum Opportunities, which offer after-school tutoring and mentoring; and the Gemeinschaft Home, a residential program in Harrisonburg that helps inmates make the transition from prison.

•Raise the federal minimum wage from the current $5.85 an hour.

•Create a federal Employment Training and Job Creation Act.

The report does not put a price tag on its proposals.

“We know what works,” says Alan Curtis, the foundation’s president, who wrote the report. “It’s a matter of having the political will to do it.”

The Eisenhower Foundation works with Gemeinschaft to help the local halfway house “diversify its funding base and earn more income from business training schools.”

While the Foundation has been working to help to expand that program, Sen. Mark Obenshain has called for a reduction. Last year, he called for the Gemeinschaft on Chicago Avenue to close, because he said it was too close to a daycare and Waterman Elementary.

9 Responses to “Gemeinschaft in USA Today”

  1. Barnabas says:

    I’ve known people who have gone through the program and their lives are much better now. I know people who have been mentors and have had good and bad experiences depending on the individual they were mentoring. I have worked with men who reside their that were honored to have the oportunity to be in the program. Other than a few bad seeds, from all the aspects I’ve seen, Gemeinschaft is a good thing.

  2. David Miller says:

    I don’t know specifics about Gemeinschaft but I do know that there only so many prisons we can build and fund. Something has got to give and Gemeinschaft seems to be a step in the right direction.

  3. Karl Magenhofer says:

    The Shenandoah Valley is also mentioned in another USA Today write up today. It’s in a travel column about cheap vacations and talks about the new flights from SHD and several others to Dulles.

  4. finnegan says:

    I assume you’re referring to this:

    United has started new service from nine east coast cities to Washington-Dulles. Smaller departure cities such as Jamestown, New York; Johnstown, Pennsylvania; and Shenandoah Valley, Virginia now have a direct route to Washington, D.C.

    I had no idea the Shenandoah Valley was a city.

  5. David Troyer says:

    I had no idea the Shenandoah Valley was a city.

    Most people probably didn’t realize Weyers Cave was a city, either. :-)

  6. Tim says:

    I thought Weyers Cave was that gas station near Blue Ridge…

    (that’s a joke, I know that Weyers Cave is a very lovely community with very nice people and homes in it).

    I’ve known quit a few Gemeinschaft residents and I think it’s a study in where you’re focus is. I’ve met some great people who are doing a great job of turning their lives around and becoming positive members of the community again, and I’ve met a couple who have spent life times telling people what they want to hear and then doing what ever is best for themselves. I hope the project has community support (I feel that it does), because the residents who take it seriously really do have positive stories to tell, the ones who don’t take it seriously remain static, which is sad, but prison wasn’t going to do them much better.

  7. Marcus says:

    I think it is a great idea and a great cause. I’m all for it and continued efforts everywhere. The problem I see is the same as it was with the Gemeinschaft on Chicago Avenue for Mark Obenshain and for Ron Copeland’s group efforts to open a house for those in need.

    Where will you put it that doesn’t upset someone? I think a lot of people support both ideas, as long as it isn’t in their backyard.

    Do you really want to place someone, that already struggles feeling welcomed back into society, as far from other people as possible so that locals feel more comfortable? It is better than nothing, but still sad and probably not doing as much good as it could.

    Do we / can we find a community of people that would be welcome either of these projects? Maybe a poll? Maybe someone can create a community that would be willing. Perhaps even a builder would be willing to try something different…

  8. Atessa says:

    Why is it that we are honored to have the moniker “The Greatest Country in the World,” yet we treat our own “not so great” as lepers and continously try to keep them in shackles instead of promoting their success stories as our own “GREAT” success stories. Wouldn’t that be a “GREAT” reason to applaud this country…as a country who takes not only initiative but pride in changing “the not so greats” into productive and successful citizens of their own communities? Have a heart…why not help those of our “OWN” who need the help instead of always sending to other countries who need help? CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME!

Reader Tweets

Latest Flickr photos in the hburgnews Flickr pool
Announcements & Press Releases
  • Friendly City Grand Opening Set for July 9

    Friendly City Food Co-Op, Harrisonburg’s consumer-owned grocery, invites the community to come see its new destination for natural, organic and locally-produced products at the store’s grand opening 11 a.m.-5 p.m. July 9 at 150 East Wolfe Street.

  • Friendly City Becomes Member of National Cooperative Grocers Association

    HARRISONBURG, VA — Friendly City Food Co-op, slated to open this month in Harrisonburg, Va., has become the newest member of the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), a business services cooperative serving 120 consumer-owned food co-ops nationwide.

  • Harrisonburg Recognized as a Bike Friendly Community

    May 2: Harrisonburg was honored when the League of American Bicyclists announced the latest round of Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) designations over the weekend to kick off May as National Bike Month.