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Archive for May, 2007

Austrian Airlines’ Thumbs Up to Cheapoair

Posted by fifthdimension on May 31, 2007, one of the fastest growing travel sites, is the winner of Austrian Airlines’ coveted “Outstanding Sales Achievement Award for Austrian Airlines NYC District 2006”. The award was presented to Mr. Sam Jain, CEO, Cheapoair, at a glittering function attended by Barbara Birer, Director Sales USA and Deputy General Manager of Austrian Airlines, Robert Golden, District Sales Manager, and Cynthia Gonzales, Sales Executive of Austrian Airlines. is dedicated to providing cheap airfare, business class fares and first class fares to budget and business travelers.  The prestigious award marks high sales volume and accelerated volume in a short period of time. CheapoAir achieved this feat in just three months.

With travel sites like Orbitz, Priceline, Travelocity and a gazillion others in the fray, the award surely gives a tag of credibility to Cheapoair’s commitment to quality customer service, as they say, ” We discount the Fares, never the Service”. 

Also, the Hitwise Top 10 label testifies to the company’s dominance in the online travel market.  So, travelers now have one more trustworthy option to choose from.  A good thing for sure! If you’d like to check out the latest cheapoair  reviews and cheapoair customer feedback you may follow this link

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Travel Insurance- Is it Worth the Price?

Posted by fifthdimension on May 31, 2007

Last winter, Sarah was on the roll. She and her kids were vacationing in Europe. First Zurich, then London and finally Amsterdam. For most of the vacation, it was a perfect getaway, without any major hiccups or minor glitches until she was just a day away from catching her flight back home to Anchorage.

A souvenir freak, Sarah bought some very costly antiques at a tiny town near Amsterdam, especially paintings, valued at around $2500. But gosh, she found her luggage missing from her train compartment on her way back to Amsterdam.  

Unfortunately, she didn’t have any travel insurance, which would have compensated for her loss. Like many others, the high cost kept her away from travel insurance, and kept her counting on good luck. But we know that good luck do not visit us everyday. One bad day, and we’re doomed!

Travel insurance or travel protection is specially tailored to help you out of situations like the one encountered by Sarah. It provides coverage from the moment you leave, to the moment you return to your home.

So, travel insurance would have reimbursed Sarah for all antiques that she lost. Besides, standard medical insurance, on most occasions, is restricted to a network area. So, on event of any emergency  hospitalization or medical treatment in a foreign country, you have to pay every cent for it. Ever imagined how stressful it can get? Stripped of health and money in a foreign land…If you’re visting countries in Africa, Southeast Asia or any other region, where health risks  are high, travel insurance can save you from a lot of mess.

Get travel insurance when you hit the road. Right, even on a driving vacation, you need to get a full fledged travel insurance. This is simply because your automobile policy might not extend coverage outside your country. Guess how are you going to pay your car-rental agency if another driver crashes into your rented vehicle? Only travel insurance has got the answer.

This is just a primer of situations where travel protection can save you…the only way to a totally worry-free vacation. If you believe that you’ve got everything covered in your general insurance, better read the fine print once again!  Use your judgment.

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How do we End Homelessness

Posted by fifthdimension on May 27, 2007

Homelessness can be controlled effectively by developing effective solutions for those on the streets including targeted outreach and appropriate facilities and services, particularly for persons with substance abuse and mental-health problems.


We can also strengthen the system of shelter and services that enable homeless persons to make the transition to stability and job readiness. Permanent solutions will definitely be more effective to this end– provide jobs and housing so that people can break the cycle of homelessness and become stable and productive citizens. 


Homelessness prevention programs have to be tightened and strengthened in order to see to it that no one ends up in shelters or on the streets. This includes reinvesting in economically vulnerable neighborhoods; improving the school system; making sure people have access to health care; and providing jobs at a living wage. Cutting taxes will also allow the truly motivated homeless people to provide for themselves. Pan handling should be seriously discouraged. Beggars are not looking for anything except money to feed their addictions for booze, drugs and cigarettes. One can offer to buy them a meal instead of giving away the money.

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Homelessness in the United States: Policies, Laws, Legislations

Posted by fifthdimension on May 27, 2007

American government at all levels was active in the homeless arena during the 1980s and 1990s. In the mid-1980s, state and local governments greatly increased their commitments to homeless services. HUD’s 1988 study, collecting data in the first quarter of 1988, before anything but a trickle of federal money was actually in use, found that the total dollars committed to shelter services in the
United States had climbed to $1.6 billion, from $300 million in 1984.  (Martha R. Burt, Laudan Y. Aron, Helping
America‘s Homeless, Chapter I)
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, this is a period when worst-case housing needs are at an all-time high. The National Alliance to End Homelessness has developed a 10-year plan to end homelessness. For most of the past two decades, public and private solutions to homelessness have focused on providing homeless families with emergency shelter and/or transitional housing. While such programs may provide vital access to services for families in crisis, they often fail to address the long-term needs of homeless families.

Housing First Methodology 

“Housing First” is an alternative to the current system of emergency shelter/transitional housing, which tends to prolong the length of time that families remain homeless. The methodology is based on the belief that vulnerable and at-risk homeless families are more responsive to interventions and social services support after they are in their own housing, rather than while living in temporary/transitional facilities, or housing programs. With permanent housing, these families can begin to regain the self-confidence and control over their lives.

For over 10 years, the housing first methodology has proven to be a practical means to ending and preventing family homelessness. The methodology is currently being adapted by organizations throughout the
United States through Beyond Shelter’s Institute for Research, Training and Technical Assistance and the National Alliance to End Homelessness’ Housing First Network

Identified as a novel response to the problem of family homelessness, the housing first approach stresses the immediate return of families to independent living. This methodology:

·         Helps homeless families move directly into affordable rental housing in residential neighborhoods as quickly as possible;

·         Then provides six months to one year of individualized, home-based social services support “after the move” to help each family transition to stability.

The housing first approach provides a link between the emergency shelter/transitional housing systems that serve homeless families and the mainstream resources and services that can help them rebuild their lives in permanent housing, as members of a neighborhood and a community. In addition to assisting homeless families in general back into housing, the approach can offer an individualized and structured plan of action for alienated, dysfunctional and troubled families, while providing a responsive and caring support system.


The combined effort of housing relocation services and home-based case management enables homeless families to break the cycle of homelessness. The methodology facilitates long-term stability and provides earlier homeless families who are considered at risk of another episode of homelessness with the support necessary to remain in permanent housing.

The Housing First Approach is implemented through four primary stages: 

  • Crisis Intervention & Short-Term Stabilization
  • Screening, Intake and Needs Assessment 
  •  Provision of Housing Resources
  • Provision of Case Management

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Homelessness in the US: Consequences

Posted by fifthdimension on May 27, 2007

 It is very important to study the consequences of homelessness, for these individuals fail to play a full and productive role in the community. It entails lost productivity, lost capital accumulation or savings to the individual, and community as a whole. 

Homeless people do not enjoy the advantages of the resources that others have to compete in the labor market. They do not have a fixed physical address for correspondence. It is impossible for them to attend to grooming and hygiene, they have not been able to maintain education or training. Hence they have very limited opportunities for employment.  

Homeless people seldom maintain contact with their families or with active participants of mainstream society. Indeed, becoming separated from the family and associated support networks is a major cause leading to homelessness. For instance, when a young person flees a violent parent, a woman a violent partner, or a person with a mental illness becomes too much for their families to cope with. This separation results in a break down in supports most of us take for granted and rely on. For many, the loss of a home will also mean a loss of their broader social network. For women, the loss of a home has particular ramifications, as they tend to ‘network’ more in the home environment than the public environment, compared with men. Thus the homeless lack in the opportunities for interaction with resource rich networks. They are forced to forming relationships with members of excluded resource poor networks, which are not always beneficial to the individuals or communities involved.

Homeless people suffer from numerous physical health problems that threaten their life expectancy, and sometimes the lives of others. Most of the health problems experienced results from having to live without resources that guarantee good personal hygiene or nutrition. For instance, respiratory problems, dental problems, infectious disease and poor nutrition are common physical health problems experienced by the homeless population. The costs to the individual, others in the community and in government services are obvious. Many of the homeless suffer from substance abuse problems. Homelessness often makes rehabilitation very difficult – returning to an insecure housing setting where drug use is prevalent, after rehab sessions is not favorable to recovery. Homelessness can also make drug taking riskier than usual because the resources are not available for taking necessary health precautions, providing increased exposure to HIV and Hepatitis C. Again, the health rehabilitation and other costs of long term drug dependency among homeless people are quite obvious for both the individual and the community.


It is quite difficult for the homeless to undertake ongoing education. Without the achievement of basic educational standards, market prospects are limited. Homeless children experience slower than average language development, motor skills and personal and social abilities. As such, they are bound to suffer from low educational attainment. 

Thus, it naturally spins off negative effects for a society, which has scores of homeless people around. Even a short period of homelessness can lead to depression, mental illness and child neglect, yet increasing numbers of families are homeless for months and sometimes years. Emergency shelters are unable to provide the intensive long-term assistance, which homeless families require in order to stabilize their lives.

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Homelessness in the United States: Potential Causes

Posted by fifthdimension on May 27, 2007

 During the Great Depression of the 1930s, when unemployment reached the astonishing level of one-quarter of the workforce, an official government survey in the United States estimated that at least 1.2 million people (or 1 percent of the total population) were homeless at a single point in time (mid-January 1933). (Crouse 1986)

Most of the modern observers of homelessness often cite the following as the major causes of homelessness:·        The movement in the 1960s in state mental health systems to shift towards community-based treatment as opposed to long-term commitment in institutions. Unfortunately, absent state coercion, many patients failed to take their medications regularly and ended up in the streets.·        The failure of urban housing projects to provide safe, secure, and affordable housing to the poor.·        The economic crises and “stagflation” of the 1970s, which caused high unemployment.

·        The failure of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide effective mental health care for many veterans, particularly those of the Vietnam War.

·        Domestic violence.

·        Substance abuse.

·        Declining purchasing power of low-wage jobs

·        Decrease in availability of affordable family housingWhile the conservatives view homelessness as an offshoot of  drug abuse, and alcoholism, the liberals perceive it as an outcome of the de-institutionalization of the mentally ill. The radicals maintain that homelessness results from structural inequalities and inequities, taxation policies, poverty, unemployment, violence and discrimination.  

their lives.

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Homelessness in the United States: Historical Backdrop

Posted by fifthdimension on May 27, 2007

Homelessness can be dated back to the 1970s. The de-institutionalization of the mentally ill — unaccompanied by promised outpatient psychiatric and social services — led to a large increase in the homeless. As housing and social service cuts were raised,the number of homeless increased in the 1980s. This was, in part, an offshoot of the transfer of federal dollars to a huge military buildup and consequent budget deficits. However, public compassion soared, and in 1986, 5 million Americans joined hands across the country to raise money for homeless programs (May 25, 1986 Hands Across America). In 1987, the McKinney Act authorized millions of dollars for housing and hunger relief.

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Homelessnes in the United States: Demographics

Posted by fifthdimension on May 27, 2007

Traditional statistics reveal that it were single men who constitute an overwhelming majority of the homeless. In the 1980s there was a steep rise in the number of homeless families in certain parts of the United States; particularly in New York City. Most of the homeless families comprise of an unmarried mother and children. Teenagers and young adults, mostly runaways or street children represent a significant number of the homeless. A 1960 survey by Temple University of Philadelphia’s poor neighborhoods found that 75% of the homeless were over 45 years old, and 87% were white. In 1986, 86% were under age 45, and 87% were minorities.

Recent statistics show that an estimated 2.5 to 3.5 million people experience homelessness each year. Studies of skid row populations in the 1950s and 1960s (Bahr and Caplow 1974; Bogue 1963; Wiseman 1970) provided a different lens on homelessness. The situations they studied were different. These studies described a population, mostly of single men, who were housed, lived steadily in a particular part of a particular city, but lived by themselves. That is, they did not live with any family members although they clearly lived in hotel rooms with many other people on the same and adjacent floors. Very few men in these communities would have been classified as literally homeless by today’s formal government definition, yet they were considered homeless by the people who studied them. Even the U.S. Census Bureau, as late as the 1980 decennial census, identified people who lived by themselves and did not have a “usual home elsewhere” (i.e., with family) as “homeless.” This way of thinking about homelessness reflects a cultural expectation that the “normal” way to live is in a family, and that something is wrong when people live by themselves. “Home” in this usage implies people, not physical shelter. (Martha R. Burt, Laudan Y. Aron, Helping
America‘s Homeless, Chapter I)

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Homelessness in the United States: Introduction

Posted by fifthdimension on May 27, 2007

The United Nations attributes the term “absolute homelessness” to those without any physical shelter. This includes anyone living rough (i.e. outside, in parks or on the beach, in doorways, in parked vehicles, or parking garages), as well as those in emergency shelters or in transition houses for women fleeing abuse.

Homelessness has emerged as a serious social problem in
America. While it is often the result of intertwined systemic and personal problems, the basic cause of homelessness among families is the ever-increasing gap between housing costs and income. It was during the Great Depression that homelessness figured as a major social stigma for the first time. 


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Protected: An Evaluation of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony: References

Posted by fifthdimension on May 21, 2007

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