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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  December 29, 2011 9:00am-12:00pm EST

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helping me. i hope you would think about the 10,000 youth in chicago who are homeless or the teens in your town who don't know where they are going to sleep tonight. our country should give more money to programs that help homeless youth. so we can be able to break the cycle of homelessness and become successful adults. thank you. ..
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>> you have to show that you be homeless for a long time. doesn't that kind of -- [inaudible] the next 60 days if i'm not mistaken, or 14 days for more than one place. and that would be really inconvenient put on a person i was staying with. i didn't want to overstate my welcome. i was already asking a huge favor, and ask for documentation i think would be, i didn't want to jeopardize my situation. >> it seems that you certainly did want to be homeless for a long time, so it defeats the purpose. >> the. >> of the hud helping. and then you also said that in
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school, school, really recognize the homeless and provided the services. >> yes. >> i think that's been mentioned a couple of times. we're trying to, we've already worked with the schools in the definition there. we are really trying to move this into the health and human services, hud, to provide such help. why do the school seem to have the ability to help homeless? >> at schools, the teachers will be able to recognize certain students, and no representative from hud knew my situation and i wouldn't tell them if they asked, because i didn't know this person. but at school unfamiliar with the teachers. the teacher asked and show genuine concern, i will share information. >> thank you. and then, rumi come you
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testified and found safe harbor. could you tell us more about safe harbor and how you got into that and what it means to you? >> well, me and my mom came in and ask for a place to stay, and they gave -- first we're in the emergency side for a little while -- >> who is they? >> safe harbor. safe harbor davos a place to stay which is on the emergency side. they stay there for a while and they got to move this up to like where transitional side. and it's like a little apartment, and we have our own space, we have our own room. and it feels very safe, and sometimes i don't feel homeless because i do have a roof over my head. and me and my mum are together
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in that room. and we had neighbors and we had friends in their. >> have did you find safe harbor? wasn't recommended to you by somebody? >> yeah. >> that was fortunate, wasn't? >> yeah. >> thank you. brooklyn, you said that your mother now is going to school, got a diploma and a drivers license, and then is going to train to be a nurse assistant. who helped you, your mother, during the hardest times, and how did she figure out how to do that as well to take care of you? >> i would say ms. benjamin helped us the most. >> could you pull that little closer? thank you. >> ms. benjamin helped us with most everything. >> what kind of help do you wish your mother had when you were
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moving between places? >> i don't know. i just, i just wish, like, because she was always there for everyone else, i wish they would do the same for her when we needed help, but they didn't. >> thank you. and then, brittney coon, you certainly had some bad experiences, but it seems like wearing the uniform and everything that things have really straightened out for you? >> yes, ma'am. >> and your state is a big knowing us, which come utah's only reinforce our knowledge that our community has abandoned us and that nobody cares about us. do you still, as you moved on, do you still feel that way? >> honestly, yes, i do. >> okay, thank you.
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my time is expired, and mr. cleaver, you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chairwoman. i really have reservations about asking you a lot of question, or any for that matter. in my state of missouri, we have approximately 24,000 homeless children, which means, to me at least, there's a certain level of -- some of you kind of mentioned it, and that is you try to stay under the radar. you don't want to be noticed. i'm wondering, as you have struggled, have you met other young people who were in your same situation? and if so, i mean, was there any attempt to to measure each other
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situation to see if there was a place or a way to get help? any of you at all meet others in your same situation? which even promotes the whole issue, that is probably more severe than disability, they wouldn't want anybody to know, without the actor, ms. rodgers? >> yes. imacs are in a program whether several other groups in my situation. we all connect, like, okay, how did you get here from and did you call other resources that may be turned you down, or that, because we're all in the same situation. well, we are. we are either pregnant or have a child. so the programs that they were in, we asked okay, who could we get into those programs and this is probably the best way for us to go, is to stay in the shelter of. >> one final question. my wife and i took in a young
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man and kept him, and actually he went to school with our kids, our twin boys that he was later killed in a jet crash in everglades, but the one thing that we discovered was that he had never been to a dentist. he had never been to a doctor. for some obvious reasons. i don't want to give you the details, but i'm wondering how much health care, i mean, you have had, going to dentists or getting checkups. anybody? >> as a child, i was well taken care of come but as the years got on i was in high school, i don't recall ever really going to the doctor.
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it's a question of how did i get past the physical, you know? i'm just, you know, no doctor visits, and a dentist, nothing. >> i have also, i go to the doctor or the dentist, too. all the time. >> i didn't have a lot of health care, but i had to go through a lot of work to the dentist in order to get in the army. >> thank you very much. i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you. the gentleman from ohio, is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you so much, madam chairwoman. and i think many of you mentioned in your testimony, i think brandon and britney, and i think destiny all taught a little bit about, or maybe it was brooklyn, about grades and how your housing situation really impacted your schooling and your ability to continue your education. you know, can you just help me
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understand, obviously those things are linked, and it then can, you know, change the course of your life and a negative way because you don't get the education you are pursuing or you don't get as good an education. do any of you want to expound upon sort of impact and the connection between your experience when you are homeless, or having to jump between home and home? and what it meant to her schoolwork and your ability to ready yourself for your future? >> it was very difficult to study given the fact that the long distance traveling, maybe even traveling again after i traveled the initial long distance, it was not, no real type of the worker does a lot to planning and okay, it's late now, i have to go to sleep because classes start at eight.
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>> it's hard for me because i lack sleep, too. and when we are moving, it was very stressing and hiring, and staying up late was affecting my schoolwork because i couldn't focus in school. and my grades have gone down a little bit but i'm trying to go to sleep earlier and bring my grades up. so i can get a's. >> it affect you that when you're sitting in class you're sitting worrying about where you going to go after, how are you going to get your homework done? have the time you don't have internet access or you break up and, you might not have a pencil sharpener to complete the in your word about all night, am i going to be safe, what's going to happen to me? do i have a gas to put of a car to go back to school tomorrow? should i sleep in the school
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parking lot. you're always worried about something. >> yeah, i can speak on that, too. in high school it was harder than college because the people i grew up with and it was hard to let them know that i was homeless or that i needed help. but in college i got more help at the shelter that i'm living in. like, i would have more help with my essays. and on english. so had to had to do a a lot of papers, and i did pass a lot of equipment i need to do the papers with. and at the school programs i was involved in, they didn't help me either. that going on into college, i had to get a lot more support at the shelter i lived in. but when i was homeless, my grades were maybe d's and c's. i was barely passing in high school i got a's and b's. for my first semester. >> and i think many of you talked about the hud requirement on documentation. i think chairwomen bickered
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asked that question before, but i do see that came up in multiple testimonies from you and i think that's something we need to take a pretty serious look at because obviously i think brandon did a good job of explaining how to create a hassle on the people that were trying to help you and i love you brought it up. so i know that something else we need to take a series look at it on any other specific issues that you think we should take a should look at? i think the chairwoman's bill addresses a lot of things that will help homeless youth. does anybody have any other things like that, through the system you've experienced? >> when you live in a motel, if you can pay for, at least for 14 days, you're not categorized homeless, but that's still not your home because, like a mention, at any moment you could be kicked out for anything. we had a lot of help, like when
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someone else pays for it for you, you are homeless. if you could pay for for 14 days, you're not. it's the same room and either way goes but it's not your home. you don't have your own privacy. you are all crammed in one little room. that makes no sense because it's the same place. and i think that should be changed. >> great, thank you but i appreciate your time to get looks like my time is almost expected i really appreciate you sharing your stories, experience, with us. we will work hard to do the best we can to help. so thank you so much, and i yield back. >> thank you, mr. stivers. ms. waters, do you have any questions? >> thank you very much. >> recognize you for five minutes. >> i'd like to first thank all of our young panelists who are here today for coming to share your stories, so that we can be better informed, and know how to
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best use our public policy influence to do much better than we are doing about homelessness. i would like to share with you that recently i decided to walk through the system in los angeles. and what i saw disturbs me greatly. i do not think that systems are working the way we think they are up here, and for the last three or four weeks, i've been trying to get a family, a mother with three children, placed in transitional to permanent housing. and i've not been able to do it, so i've gone to a big agency called the oversight agency, and i am confronting them on how the system is not working. and i think that the members of
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this committee, ms. biggert, and her leadership, we should all, not just visit, shelters and sit down and talk with people who are supposed to be implementing what we think is public policy, we've got to walk through the system with people who require shelters and or transitional housing or permanent housing. i discovered that this mother with three children was being asked for all kind of documentation before she could get into the shelter. they want the birth certificates of all the kids, which is unreasonable. and some other documentation that they were asking for. so let me just say to you that priority on my list of how i spent my time will be to try to correct some of these problems, and other things i discovered. one shelter, they had to be in
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by 4:00 or they lose their bed. this person had stayed out until five so i had to put them in my car and taken back and tell them that i wanted him to be sheltered, despite the fact he had missed by one hour. and it goes on and on and on, so i know which are going through. one question i may follow up on from mr. stivers, and that is, i am very concerned about while you are trying to get into permit housing, your families, what's happening with your education and school. because long distances, many of, you know, our homeless young children are long distance from other schools. would it help if somehow we could put something in the system that would require tutoring at every shelter where there are children? what kind of assistance could help while your families are working on getting permanent
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housing? do you have any suggestions what we could to help, how we could get support so you don't fall behind and you don't get bad grades simply because you can't sleep at night because you're in a situation where you don't feel safe or there is noise? would tutoring help? someone on the site workplaces where you have members of young people, would've helped to try to get some assistance from the school district that teachers or a teacher on side? with any of the health? >> i definitely feel tutoring would help a lot. and also feel that someone trained to deal with children in high stress situations would also help. >> i think transportation to school would help a lot, because i ride my bike to school and it's very tiring. i get to school very exhausted and my legs hurt. >> how many schools have you
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gone to, or stories about young people who may have gone to three, four, five schools in the year? have you heard that? >> yes, i actually tried to stay at the same school, which i should have done because i missed too many days. one, from house to house, i was going -- i should have transferred schools, but i knew i wasn't going to be on the south side for long. by either way, it it was hard. >> if you had a teacher or a tutor that was in the area of the shelter who could keep you on track and to ubb and a permanent place so you could lose time, or lose grades, without health? >> yes. that would help a lot. and it would especially help like high school students, because i know, like, the classes that are mandatory,
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those are classes we need help with most. those other classes the school can help you with. >> if there was a teacher helping you and then could help you transfer your work to your permanent school once you got permanent placement and the like an advocate and a support person, that would be helpful if? >> yes. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. let me just say that the first thing that we did work on in this whole issue was the education, and to make sure this was put into no child left behind, and it was to make sure that no homeless child was turned away from school. and didn't have had the record, you didn't have to have your grade, but you could be enrolled immediately in school where you are homeless, living at the time, or where you had been in school. and i know that it took us several years, and this was
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under mr. miller's committee at the time, and -- >> would the gentlelady yield for a second? >> it just wasn't that -- go ahead. >> i just want to add to that, that is absolutely very helpful, but the real problem i'm running into is the number of schools that the young people end up going to while they are homeless, and they lose credits. >> and having to switch so often, and you are right. but we did add transportation and i think that took us a long time to get that in. but i think you're absolutely right that we should really look at maybe the tutor, the teacher actually at the shelters. that would be a big help, and that would go through the hud and that is something we should look out for this bill. so appreciate it. >> thank you very much. >> mr. green, you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much, madam
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chair. i also would like to thank the ranking member, mr. gutierrez, for his efforts in these areas as well. and i am very concerned about your indications that you are homeless but you did not want anyone to know that you are homeless. and i understand why. you have all spoken quite well, and let me compliment you. it took a lot of courage to do it as well as you have. and i thank you for that courage that you have exhibited today, but you all said that you didn't want people to know. was there, on any of the school campuses, a counselor or someone
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who had some degree of responsibility to work with you and help you? from the campus, from the school campus. did anyone have a counselor or anyone on the campus that you're able to work with? >> there were counselors on staff at school, but i didn't speak to them until i had a connection from someone who did work at the school. >> did you say and tell you have a connection to? >> yes your rhonda pearlman, she helped me get scholarships and introduce me to the coalition for the homelessness. and from that point on, that's what i talk to the counselor, mr. murphy, at my high school, but he didn't help any. >> was there any, any outreach, did you do that you in an environment where, if you could go to someone at the school and say, we need help, we have this
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situation, and i just want to talk to someone? did any of you feel there was any avenue, any means available for you to do this? >> i personally didn't reach out, because i did what any authorities going after my parents. >> yes, ma'am. be back i can have on school help but we had a coordinator, she is here today, she helps, she is helping with a few hundred families, helping them with food, places to stay, making sure they keep up with their education but if it wasn't for her, i would still be staying at a motel, and my grades would still be horrible. at my school we don't have any one on campus really that helps, but most, there's a lot of kids there. we had a program that everyone got to come and have a free lunch and stuff.
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we had hundreds and hundreds of kids there that came because they were homeless. and there's nothing, no one in the school to the. but most of kids don't want everyone to know. and is, there's no point in telling people if nothing is going to happen. >> thank you, ms. raynor. ms. rodgers? >> yes, i actually didn't, i didn't feel comfortable telling everybody that it was homeless because i knew that they were going to look at me different. i was afraid that it would get out in the whole school and that i was going to have to turn because the people were looking down on me. but i did come to this lake and one lady who came up to the school and who got me into a program that gave me bus cards like to get to school. and they notice me that i was homeless because of my attendance. and i was coming in late. like, i was doing all the work and i was doing other work, but my attendance was affecting my grades. so they actually came to me, but
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i didn't actually tell not one person my whole story. >> yes, this can? >> is not always about you don't want to share because i'm very open when it comes to share with people. it's just that society puts a label on you. like i was talking to people in the unit about, they asked him what i was going to d.c. for, and i do know and they laugh at me. they say, you can get into the army if you're that way. or you can, why you going to this expensive college and you're losing your car, that's not possible. people label that based on what you're doing with what you have. >> yes, sir, mr. koh? >> also, having gone to my friends because i'm embarrassed and afraid that they're going to make fun of me because they have everything. and i'm homeless, and it's kind of embarrassing for me. and i don't go to the counselor at my school, and when me and my mom went to the counselor, and she was supposed to come to the
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school every other week or something, and she's never, comment and can't shoot anybody but my mom. >> thank you very much. madam chair, i just think i will close with this. we all have a duty to do all that we can, even if it's not enough we have a duty to do all that we can, and from my perch i am convinced that we are not doing enough. there is more that we can do that we are not doing. and while we have addressed the young people who have spoken, i do want to thank the adults who came today, and we are with them, whether you're a mother, father, brother, significant other, whatever their guy just want to thank you for the role that you're playing in helping us to give these young people a brighter future.
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and with this i will yield back the balance of my time. thank you. >> thank you, mr. greenberg and let me just say that we are very happy that you have told us, because have not been afraid to come to the us congress because things are going to change and we're working on this bill, and just giving us a lot more to put into. so we really appreciate it. mr. miller, you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much, madam chair. we certainly does not let me begin by thanking you so much for coming and sharing your stories with us as numbers of congress. the legislation is under consideration this morning is really designed to address many of the things that you have mentioned here in some parts of the federal law already do that, and other parts are inconsistent with it and we're trying to remove those barriers so would be easier for you and your parents and counselors to access the services that you need while
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you and your family members are homeless. so that's our goal is to address exactly what you told us in person here today, but i think it's very important that we hear from you. and i want to tell you that you just, all of you, exhibit a remarkable strength and maturity beyond your years. and i recognize the adverse situations of being homeless can make you grow very fast, and that's unfortunate. but you have responded to help other members of your family in the same situation. and it's an exhibition of strength and character that sometimes we don't always see. but also, i want to just commend you for your own achievement in school, as difficult, there's
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been ups and downs but you have persevered, and you should really feel very good about yourselves, and certainly we feel very good about you're willing to come here and to publicly demonstrate to us the need for this legislation so that it will be easier for you and your families and other homeless children. on the other side, on the education sector we have put many provisions into the law to try to reduce the barriers and the obstacles you getting services in schools, transportation and counselors being required. but again, we need to go to some of the housing agencies, we find there are various and we're trying to reduce those. so hopefully your testimony will turn out to be very valuable to us and very helpful to us. and you look back, you will remember when you made this kind of contribution on behalf of others, who will be homeless in the future.
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so i hope you take that away from this, this hearing. and thank you again so very, very much. and obviously are very best wishes to your and your families and hopefully your circumstances will change for the better for all of you. thank you. >> the gentleman yield back? >> i yield back. >> the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis, you're recognized for five minutes. >> anti-very much madam chair minka kelly first of all thank you, not only for calling this hearing, but certainly given the opportunity to participate though i'm not a member of this particular committee. i also want to commend you. we get an opportunity to ride back and forth together on the airplane and sometimes we even get seated in the same room, and i want to commend you for your passion and your sensitivity to this issue.
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i know of it firsthand, because we do get a chance to talk, and unaware of how high you hold this as a priority, and the work you've done on it over the years. so i thank you very much for that. i also want to commend representative miller for the leadership he has provided as chairman, and now ranking member, of the education committee, trying to make sure that we merged together for housing and social service needs with the educational needs of students who are homeless. i want to commend all of the witnesses. i've been totally intrigue by your testimony, and appreciate your level of understanding in recognition of where our country not only is that where we need
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to go. particularly do i want to welcome brandon and starnica rodgers, as both of them are from chicago, where i come from. and i think the night ministry which i'm very comfortable with is one of the most innovative and creative programs i've ever heard about, read about, participated with, i observed what it does. not only with homeless youth, but with other homeless individuals. and we are fortunate that the coalition for the homeless has been one of the most effective advocacy groups for homeless persons in this country, at least for the last 20 years. and so i would commend them. branding, i didn't get a chance to hear your testimony, unfortunately. are you associated with a
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program, what program are you connected with? >> i'm here with the coalition for the homeless. >> all right. so you are connected with the coalition for the homeless, and i'm sure you can verify what i said about them, because not only do they pinpoint the need for services, but they are so inspirational in terms of their approaches to doing it. starnica rodgers, where do you get your health care? >> it was connected with the night ministry. they recommended me over. >> is at a clinic? >> it is a clinic in a school-based clinics? >> no. >> not a school-based clinic but it is a community health center clinics?
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>> gas. >> it is a team health clinic, which i think also do fantastic work. so i am just delighted that you all came to share with us. chicago is somewhat fortunate. i mean, truman college where you attend which is part of the city college system does in fact have a level of sensitivity to all kinds of students. it is also a college that is a united nations of students, and so they pay particular attention to the needs of young people, the needs of their students. and they are located in an area where i think individuals from every race, creed, nationality, color, everybody lives in uptown, in the area where it's located. and i think that also helps.
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chicago board of education has tried. i happened to be very much aware of what they do, because the woman who directed that program for several years happened to have been my sister's classmates in college. so i became very familiar with them. the one question that i wanted to ask, do any of you know other homeless young people who have not been able to connect with any broke and? >> gas. >> you know young people who are not connected to a program or a service? >> yes. >> branding, the you know young people? a few? >> f.u. >> and that kind of projects and indicates that we not only need legislation, but we also need to make sure that there's adequate
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funding for a program that are authorized. so again, i thank you all for coming, for your participation, and i thank you, madam chairman, for your intelligence is and for the opportunity to be here. and i yield back. >> thank you. we have a second panic, but i have just one question, so if people would like, the second round, if you would like, keep it to two minutes so we can have a second panel. but i just want to come back to rumi, you talked about the fact that you and your mother were turned away from a shelter because you are an older boy. and i think, destiny, you talked about the fact that going to shelter you were afraid you going to split up the family, or the senate would be split topics i wanted to come back to that. if you could explain a little
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bit more, and i know that this has been true, i've heard this before, that they don't want to take into older boys, but what happened? did this happen in other places, too? >> it has happened in, like safe harbor. they don't accept, like older males or single males. i guess it's because they don't want to start relationships in the shoulder. that's my best guess. and yeah, that's happened to me, and i'm not sure why it happened. so yeah. >> something will happen to look into. guesting? >> the ones, most of the shelters down in florida is, they separate the males and females, not depending upon the age. and we all wanted to stay together because they would separate my younger brother and my dad, they go to a separate
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shelter and will be me, my little sister and my mom. and we didn't want that to happen. >> what would happen, let's say a family that has the father and two daughters that are young? >> they would be separated. the children would go away different shelter. and i guess the leaders of the shelter would take care of them. >> thank you. well, we will look into this, too. mr. cleaver, do you have anything? okay, thank you. mr. stivers? >> thank you. i'll be brief but i just want to say to brandon and rumi and brooklyn and starnica how proud we are of you. we're proud of your accomplishments, your college graduation, joining the military, but we are also proud of your perseverance and your passion on this subject. i want to share just a really quick story so you understand that while homelessness affects
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a lot of people, it certainly does not have to get in your way. we have a cole, a good friend of mine named hanson clark from detroit, michigan, who was homeless, and after his homelessness he went on to college and then they can a state representative, state senator, now he's a member of congress. fudge is what all of you do know that you have bright futures can have a lot to offer our society, and we as a society and as an institution here in congress need to do a better job of trying to help get folks the resources they need, and that's what i think the chairwoman's bill is about. i'm looking forward to supporting that. and appreciate your testimony today, and we will take it and try to address the situations you brought up. but i just want to make sure you know how proud we all are. thank you, madam chairwoman,. >> mr. green to have a common? >> just a brief, madam chair.
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i think the young people have given us an opportunity today to understand that this is not a problem for democrats or republicans or conservatives or liberals. this is an american problem, and it deserves an american solution. i look forward to working with you to reach that solution. thank you, madam chair,. >> mr. miller? thank you. mr. davis? >> the only thing i would say, i remember my mother telling me when i was a young person that problems are like babies. the more you nurse them, the more they grow. that is not always what your problem does to you, but it's a matter what you do with what could've been your problem. i think you're all well on the way to not having problems with
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having solutions. thank you very much. >> thank you. and with that we will excuse this panel, and there are seats available for you, for the other, to listen to the other panel. and with that, let me just say that the chair recognizes that some numbers may have additional questions for this panel which they may wish to submit in writing. without objection beginning record will remain open for 30 days from it was just submit written questions to the witnesses. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> i know it's going to be hard to top that panel, but thank you, thank you all for being here. i we now introduce the second panel. first, we have ms. alicia puente cackley, the director financial markets and community investment, u.s. government accountability office.
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mr. seth diamond, commissioner, new york city department of homeless services. ms. maria estella garza, homeless liaison for san antonio independent school district. mr. mark johnston, deputy assistant secretary for special needs, office of community planning and developing. u.s. department of housing and urban development, known as hud. barbara poppe, executive directors. homeless. doctor grace whitney, director of connecticut head start state collaboration office, connecticut state department of education. thank you all for being here. you will be recognized for five minutes and we will start with ms. cackley.
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>> chairwoman biggert, good morning or good afternoon almost but i'm pleased to be or to participate in today's hearing on homeless children and youth. the census bureau indicates the 22% of all children in the u.s. lived in poverty in 2010 and the department of education identified nearly 940,000 homeless students drink 2009-2010 school year. and 18% increase since 2007-2008 school year. multiple federal agencies administer programs designed to address the needs of children and youth expensing homelessness at some programs use different definitions to determine eligibility. these definitions range from people living in emergency or transitional shelters or on the street to living, to those living with others because of economic hardship or living in motels or campgrounds because they lack other accommodations. my statement today is based on gao's june 2010 report on differences and the federal definitions of homelessness and other factors that impact the
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effectiveness of programs serving persons experiencing homelessness. in that report we found that definitional differences have posed challenges to providing services for persons experience homelessness including children and youth. in particular children and youth living in certain precarious situations such as doubling up with others or living in motels historically were excluded from receiving government funding housing services and we certainly heard about that this morning. in our work we also found that data collected on homeless have a number of shortcomings and consequent do not fully capture the true extent and nature of homelessness. further, homeless children their the agency partly because various federal programs that use different definitions. congress enacted the homeless emergency assistance and rapid transition to housing act of 2009, the hardback which brought definition homelessness and by greater statutory specificity concerning those issued. last month hud issued a new rule
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on the definition of homelessness adding a new category, and the company and families with children and youth who are defined as homeless other federal statute. the changes may alleviate some challenges previously faced by children and youth in accessing services. in particular some children and youth previously were not answered homeless by hud one a qualified as homeless. however, not enough time has passed was to assess the impact of these changes and the broadening of the definition does not mean the editor than meets new definition will be entitled to benefits in all homeless assistance programs the constraints and resource will likely continue to restrict access to housing services for many children and youth. unedifying in a 2010 report was a different definitions of homelessness a defective collaboration across federal programs more difficult. based on our work, we recommended that federal agencies develop a complicated for homelessness.
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agencies agreed with the recommendation that have taken some steps toward him something them. for example, in january of this year the interagency council convened a meeting of experts to discuss the government of a common vocabulary and issued a report to congress in june that summarizes the feedback received during that meeting. the report notes that a common vocabulary would allow federal agencies to better measure the scope and dimensions of homelessness and may ease program implementation and coordination. recently interagency council staff told us that they held three meetings this fall to discuss implementation of common vocabulary and data standard with key federal agencies. the interagency council also noted that individual federal agencies have taken some positive steps to treat this common data standard and improved coordination across agencies. for example, hhs and the have been working with hud to plan potential transition of some of the data collection and reporting to hud's homelessness management information system.
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to sum up, we believe that a comic book ever and data standard used by all federal agencies that provide services for the homeless is an important step towards that goal of providing efficient and effective programs to in homelessness. it would allow for the collection of consistent data that agencies could use to better understand the nature of homelessness and it would allow for more effective communication and collaboration across federal, state and local programs that serve the homeless. this concludes my prepared statement that i will be happy to respond to questions. >> into so much. mr. diamond, you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. and good morning. i'm pleased to be with you today to discuss new york city's ongoing efforts to prevent family homelessness and to work with those who are homeless to return to the community as quickly as possible. the new york city's approach mayors president obama's federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. and emphasizes preventing homelessness, increasing economic security through
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employment, improving access to mainstream programs and improving the health and stability of vulnerable population. as we heard it so powerfully this morning, shelter can be particularly difficult for children come in many of whom have to leave their school and communities they know when coming into the shelter system. there are 16,500 children in new york city shelter system, and work closely with all our families to ensure we can bring as much stability as is possible into the lives of children in shelters. the most important service we can provide for children is to make sure they are enrolled in school and are attending each day. we recognize that teachers and education department officials are critical in those efforts. we try place families and shelter as close as possible to school with the youngest youngest child was enrolled in staff from the city department of education is located at our town and take center to assist families and a role children in a new school if that turns out to be necessary.
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once found a place in shelter, education staff collaborates with shelter-based staff to ensure children have transportation, to reach school. we've also begun to provide attendance data to shelters so they can track how children are attending schools and work with those where attendance is an issue. we have also established homework rooms in shelters as a quiet place for students to work and receive tutoring from the many non-for profit organizations that partner with us. it is far better for families not to be in shelter at all. to help those already in shelter we have worked to increase our employment efforts, and this year alone, 7500 shelter households have moved into jobs provide not only income but greater stability. for those at risk of homelessness, new york city prevents homelessness primarily through a network of 13 prevention offices called home base, located throughout the city. these offices use a range of services in their efforts to
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fight homelessness. among the services is a close coordination with local schools. homebase does regular presentations to parents and teacher groups and school officials so that they become aware that a family is dealing with housing issues, they can be referred for services. the service next that homebase offers is different in each case, but our offices are operated under two important principles. first, those who ask for assistance must take concrete and verifiable steps to improve their situation and assistance is contingent upon their taking a step in the bushes working with a caseworker must design a plan to address the circumstances that put them at risk of homelessness, and put that plan into action. the plan might include, for example, an aggressive jobs search, looking fo for a new apartment or attending financial counseling. second, as called for in the open door report, homebase is an
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evidence-based effort will be continuously and rigorously review our work to ensure it is efficient and cost-effective. especially at a time of limited resources it is critical that our services be based on solid and reliable data. homebase meets that test and its programs are continually evaluated to both ensure we are targeting those most in need of services, and that we are possible national providing the services that are not only beneficial to the families but we prevent those households from needing shelter. to further ensure homebase prevention services are effective, we have undertaken a series of independent evaluations of the program. these reviews conducted by leading researchers and universities across the country as well as the random assignment study undertaken by asked associate them with a leading social research firms, looks a series of the most critical questions involving our prevention efforts. the research is underway and we look forward to sharing the results as those funds become
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available. prevention efforts have become a greater part of the national discussion of homelessness and we're gratified a new emergency solutions grant support and work. we think this change will be critical and encouraging communities across the country to direct more resources towards prevention, and believe that those programs are established and operated under the high standards we accused back in the effective and believe it would be a good investment of taxpayer dollars to expand esg funding to allow additional resources to be put in place. hud resources now primary dedicated to shelter, however, should be focus on those with the greatest need. with financing already stretched thin, the to further dilute those allocations would hurt the substantial efforts being made in new york, and across the country, to assist those in shelters. dedicated resources are essential to provide is in shelter with needed housing, employment, and rehabilitative
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and case management services. while those living with others may be need of service, those needs can be addressed through other funding streams such as esg the existing allocation such as the transit program provides an opportunity to assist those at risk of homeless. i think you for the opportunity to testify and look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you. ms. garza, you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. good morning, members of the committee. my name is a stellar garlic and for the past 70 years have been the homeless liaison in san antonio, texas. last year we've enrolled 3171 homeless students in san antonio isd. 56% increase over the year before and we're on track for another increased this year. about 80% of the homeless students we serve lived in doubled up situations staying with other people because they have no other place to go. we can debate hud homeless
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persons had homeless. but in reality they are all the same kids. families and youth cannot find space in the shelters or the shelters don't have the space that their families. so they are all, what's left is just for them to be doubled up. they bounce from one situation to another. in san antonio there isn't a double a population, a motel population and a shelter population. it's all one group. a homeless population. however, they are defined. they are here and they will be here. they are not counted in our view of homelessness, it will be extremely skewed. and when we talk about ending homelessness in five or 10 years, we must realize that we cannot do that without addressing the needs of our doubled up children and youth. because if we continue to experience, if they continue to experience the instability of doubling up as they're known, then he'll become the chronic
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homeless adults of tomorrow. as we heard from our youth, which testified earlier, doubled up children live in extreme of a crowd and stressful conditions that affect their every aspect of their development. we work hard to serve our families and youth despite the constant mobility, but since there's no way to ask a stable housing, openly school districts start using children. example, i insisted a mother this october than doubled up in five different homes in two months big. she did know where to enroll his son. he was enrolled what i could help to access the hud service. she was not homeless according to hud. another family comes to mind, a mom, a better with a high school son. they were living in a motel in a terrible neighborhood in one room with no facility could not even a microwave or the refrigerator. i remember her son's exact words, this life is for the birds, not humans. housing services, mom pay the hotel. they are not homeless according to hud. i hope to change into hearth act
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so that children and youth usher, after ray kelly, particularly documentation requirements, i realize the new definition would not make any difference for the vast majority of my families and youth. for example, it will be impossible for a doubled up family to provide certification of, from the host family about how long they can stay, how many times they have moved, or even confirm they are actually staying there at all. host families don't want to admit to any agency that they have to families in their apartment window lease and occupancy indicates one family. i have seen dembski defected from hud subsidies housing for going over the occupancy limits but housing of a double appendix a now have to homeless families, not one. so it's understand that even a case manager calling the host family would be threatening and likely to result in the host family asking to double up family to leave immediately.
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if hud school is too great a high degree of anxiety and animosity among family members in my committee, this documentation requirements are and actually doing it. they will destroy kitt family networks, create more mobility for my kids, more stress an even greater challenges. it seems like hud is trying to keep their old definition of homelessness and limiting my double up family and youth for required, by requiring too much documentation. i understand hud categorizes families and youth at risk of that service my family and youth need most are housing and supportive services which are not available for average families. plus the added risk population again won't count it which again creates the false picture of homelessness in my community. h.r. 32, the homeless children, the homeless children and youth act, would be more efficient and hud's paper chase and would help our coc identify, needs and pursue common goals with one mindset.
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i in you to surf on homelessness for other federal programs such as usda free meals at school, hhs head start, and the college financial aid for unaccompanied homeless youth. i certainly would be glad to accept responsibility of certifying children and youth to art in -- under the definition so that we can serve them and prevent them from becoming tomorrow's homeless adults. thank you so much for your time. >> thank you. esther johnston, you are recognized for five minutes. >> chairwoman biggert, ranking member gutierrez, thank you for allowing me to testify on this important issue. i also want to thank you for having the young courageous witnesses on the first panel, and there is certain evidence all of us need to do more. to help someone in this nation have no place to call home. families with children make up to large a share of our homeless population. u..
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importantly, this overall decline reflects reductions in all groups, individuals, the chronically homeless, veterans, and families with children. the reduction of homelessness among families was 2.4% from
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2010 and 5% since 2007. while we as a nation have a long ways to go, given high record poverty rates and unemployment rates, it's heartening that we are seeing at least some progress again in reducing homelessness. these reductions are a testament to both recent nationwide homeless prevention efforts as well as continued funding of proven programs authorized by this subcommittee, that provides supportive housing to homeless families and individuals. the harry potter act provides communities for the first time a full range of tools to prevent end. hearth program are declined of at risk of homelessness and expands the definition of who is considered homeless. hud began to train this week on tuesday on the definition of homelessness with our over 8,000 grantee partners. it's important to note that as grantees begin to use the new more expanded definition of
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homelessness, and the definition of at-risk homelessness, we continue to receive essentially flat funding year after year. we're obviously in a time of great fiscal constraint and it will be very challenging to serve more people without additional resources. related to the definition i would like to relate the good work of the gao when it comes to the issue of homelessness. i enthusiastically support the finding that there should be a common vocabulary. the hearth act was due to many years of hard work from those in the community and in the congress in general, the advocacy community, homelessness service providers and hud. i was personally involved in these efforts from the beginning and was very heartened to see congress passed this bipartisan bill. in addition to broadening the definition of homelessness, the hearth act consolidation three hud programs into one, creates the emergency solutions grants
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program and the rural housing stability program. though now for the first time hud's homeless assistance programs will have the full range of tools that communities need to confront homelessness for families and children from prevention for those who are at risk of losing their housing, to emergency shelter and additional housing, rapid rehousing and permanent housing. to implement the hearth act amendments, hud has developed and is issuing six sets of regulations, the details are in my written testimony. solving homelessness will require more resources than hearth. we will work to reduce and solving homelessness for children and for youth that attempts to both bring more resources to the table and to find the best strategies to deal with this problem. in conclusion, i want to thank you for the opportunity to testify today and i look forward to answering any questions you
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may have. >> thank you, mr. johnston. ms. poppe, you're recognized for five minutes. >> i want to talk about the impact of homelessness and youth. i want to thank chairman biggert for the passage of the hearth act. today we are here to pass three requirements in that act. a change in hud's homeless definition, a gao study on federal definitions and the development of a federal plan. i'm pleased to report that we have made progress in all three. hud's new definition reflects the agreement that was reached in the hearth act. and we have followed up on the gao's study to advance federal work on a common vocabulary. and as you know, we have the first ever federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. it is horrifying in a nation as wealthy as ours that nearly 1 million children and youth experience homelessness. the testimony we have just heard underscores this tragedy. the deputy assistant mark
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johnson has noted the latest hud data shows nearly 240,000 family members were homeless on a assemble night in january of 2011. while the 2011 point in time count is less than the 2010 count other trends are not so positive. there are significant mismash between housing, more families are experiencing foreclosure. the shrinking of affordable housing stock and falling household incomes and income for high incomed renters have lowered the gap. the needs of family, youth and children vary and often require not only housing and employment but attention to health care and other needs. these operate at different silos often at different jurisdictions. instead of a tailored and holistic response family and youth confront a highly fragmented, uncoordinated set of services that are usually left to navigate on their own. not only is this tragic for homeless families there's a
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growing body of evidence that repeated housing instability is costly to public assistance. the good news is that there are solutions. investing in more housing assistance now can save money over the long term for schools, child welfare, the health care system and other public institutions. in june of 2010, the obama administration acted. for the first time the federal government set a goal to end family youth and child homelessness by 2020. opening doors is based on a growing body of evidence that shows how targeted comprehensive solutions are more cost-effective than temporary fixes. affordable housing is a cornerstone of any effort to reduce and ultimately end homelessness. the preservation and expansion of affordable housing through rehabilitation is critical to ending family homelessness. unfortunately, though, the trendline for affordable housing are going in all the wrong directions. too many many americans cannot afford a safe place to call home.
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despite the growing need, housing assistance programs are threatened at all levels of government in the current budget environment. next to more affordable housing prevention is critical. targeting interventions to keep families from losing a home in the first place, spare children the trauma of homelessness. absences from school or changes in schools. the key drivers are access to affordable housing, financial assistance, and support during a crisis. another proven solution is rapid rehousing. short-term assistance helps families quickly move out of homelessness and into permanent housing. hprc made an enormous impact around the country and helped many communities shift to more cost-effective programs focused on prevention and housing. housing stability over the long term requires the right types of support provided in a highly coordinated way. these include good health care, education, transportation, child care and a job that pays enough to meet household needs. federal collaboration is moving from silos to solutions that
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connect these systems to prevent homelessness whenever possible. and when it does not happen, to return and resolve it as quickly as possible. that is work we are doing across federal agencies so too this needs to occur at state and local levels. what gets measured gets done and this administration has improved data collection, analysis and reporting. agencies within hhs and va are coordinating with hud on these efforts. our nation has faced economic uncertainties during the first 18 months of opening doors implementation. but one thing remains clear. homelessness is an urge problem, not only is it devastating to families and individuals who experience it, but it is costly to society as a whole. republicans and democrats in congress and across the country have collaborated for decades to fight homelessness. family, youth and child homelessness is an outrage that should know no partisan boundaries is an area where we can make a real difference together. we need to invest in what works.
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we need to invest in our future, our children. let us work together to ensure that by 2020, not a single american child or youth experiences homelessness. thank you for the opportunity to testify and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you so much. dr. whitney, you're recognized for five minutes. >> good morning, representative biggert, representative green and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony today. my name is grace whitney. for the past 15 years i've served as director of the head start state collaboration office for the state of connecticut. the head start act requires that state collaboration offices be in each state to partner with states in specific printer areas, one of which is children experiencing homelessness. for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers living doubled up in motels and other homeless situations creates toxic stress causing developmental challenges such as physical delays and failure to thrive. higher incidents of persistent illness, mental health problems
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such as trauma and depression, irritable behavior, trouble eating and sleeping. young children's neurological networks their actual genetic expression and the architecture of their young brains are being created based on repetition of experiences. unhealthy conditions accumulate and seriously jeopardize their potential for a healthy future. for instance, one of our former head start managers explains that children living in motels, and i quote, live in extremely crowded rooms with numerous family members and often have very limited food preparation options. often these environments are full of transient adults and outdoor areas are unsafe. certainly, not ideal for young children and, of course, as you know, infants and toddlers who must move. many of these families would be excluded for using the hud definition. families living in unstable conditions including those who reside in motels or doubled up often move repeatedly this this is extremely stressful for babies and young children who need consistency or routine for healthy development and
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emotional stability. relocating often requires families to requalify for essentially services, provide documentation yet again and they can lose their place in line. high mobility is stressful for parents too and often leads to depression which interferes with parenting, further compromising child development. in connecticut we find that even young children in hud shelters often are not getting adequate services and there are delays in accessing services to surely to the lack of awareness of the needs of babies and toddlers and preschoolers. head start focuses its services on children of home. they recognize the full range of family and child homelessness that head start programs see every day. head start is a mainstream program without sufficient capacity to serve all eligible children. without current funding head start serves about 50% of eligible preschoolers and less than 5% of eligible infants and toddlers. yesterday head start programs
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are required to identify and prioritize doubled up or other homeless children due to their dire living circumstances. homeless families are allowed to maintain. head start strive to begin services right away to offer or obtain all needed services quickly and to work in whatever ways they can with community partners to remove barriers. in serving homeless children, head start is a natural partner for hud homeless and housing service providers. head start is a comprehensive two-generational program that provides a full range of health, mental health, education and social services to children and their families. since roughly half of children in hud shelters are age 5 and under, these are children who are not on the radar screen of the schools. our services complement those of hud providers and are a critical strategy to meet the multiple needs of homeless families that may otherwise go unmet however, since hud does not consider many doubled up families to be homeless, this can present a
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barrier to head start programs who cannot then provide these families to the critical referrals to hud-funded programs. even though who might qualify under hud's definitions may face barriers which could not only be stressful but impossible for families. such requirements can create delays and creating inbabies and young children and create situations that puts the needs of vulnerable children needs last. most beneficial for young children are policies and practices that recognize and align with their unique needs and promote rather than hinder their health and future success. in closing, we all share the goal of ending home homelessness but without dealing with the needs of young children with multiple systems we will fall far short of this gome. we must evaluate all homeless and housing policies including the definitions of homelessness from a child development perspective. and ensure housing policies take into account the threat to further lives of these young
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children the very dire consequences, the well-being of our nation of doing anything less. thank you again for the opportunity to share my experiences and those of the head start programs in the state of connecticut. >> thank you so much. and now we turn to the members. i'm glad to see there's a couple of us. and it really is important and it's ashamed that there's so much going on. that this happens when we talk about homelessness and it keeps happening so i will allow myself 5 minutes. the definition of hud, as you know, i worked on the definition for education. and i think that's when we realized what the discovery of hud really getting to know the numbers of how many homeless children there were because of
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enrolling in schools and being able to do that right away. and then finding out that, you know, hud didn't match that and really -- the first generic definition of hud was, you know, this hid who lacks a regular -- an adequate nighttime residence, and it was really addressed for -- what we would call the people that were living on the street or under the bridge. and very important that they were protected from this. but moving towards young people, children, and expanding that was very slow and we the hearth act and working. there was a few people there and it was one of the most important hearings and one of the members of congress talked about the fact that he was homeless and had been abused. and i have to say we were all in tears, all five of us.
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[laughter] >> and it had such an impact and so we really worked on changing the definition there. but it wasn't enough. and if you look at the hud definition, with title 1, obviously, is the general, you know, definition but then the things that you have to go through still, that an individual or a family who will imminently lose their house, their housing including the housing they own or rent or live in, sharing with others rooms in hotels or motels, not paid for by federal, state or local government program. court ordered family or individuals having a primary night residence which is a room in a hotel or motel and where they lack resources to reside there for more than 14 days. or credible evidence that the owner will not allow the person to stay more than 14 days has no
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subsequent residence identified. lack of resources needed to obtain other permanent housing, unaccompanied youth and other homeless families with children. having experienced a long-term period without living independently in permanent housing, have experienced in persistent and instability with the moves can be expected to continue for an extended period of time. you know, we really just can't make these kids jump through all those hoops. most of the children, homeless children, recognized by the department of education would not meet the hud standards and i think this is what's happened for some of the children that were here today. and they don't qualify. they can't -- they don't meet the requirements. they don't qualify for the homeless housing and supportive services and we really have to make this change. and i really am happy to see
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that you are really, you know, bringing this up and talking about it. and we really have to have a definition that is the same as the other agencies. that is the same as the department of education if we're going to get all of this together. and that's why we have h.r. 32 as well as doing some other things. i don't think that the kids on panel 1 or most of the homeless kids recognized as homeless as i said by the department of education should be considered at risk. these kids are homeless. that's their problem. and their challenge. and so hud needs to recognize this fact. and i think that congress and every federal agency needs to work together to help these homeless kids. and i would hope that we would work together and continue to do that and as you do rule-making, it's very important that you don't put up more and more barriers to do that. and ms. garza, throughout your
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testimony, you mentioned that you couldn't help certain families secure housing or an assistance through hud programs. and the reasons why families and children and youth can't secure is important. can you address that quickly? >> as i indicated, 80% of our families that we identified are in doubled-up situations. many of these families are chronically homeless. we work with these families ongoingly year after year after year. because they are in a doubled-up situation, they don't really qualify for hud services. and these families, being that they've been chronically homelessness, there's a lot of mental health services. so the supportive services are especially, especially -- would be very beneficial for the families that i serve. >> and i think we heard today in the testimony that moving -- and
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they'd be doubling up with somebody and they would be asked to leave and for various reasons sometimes because people might be afraid that they rented for one family and suddenly there's another family living there. so some are legitimate but i think the idea that they're being kicked out of someplace and they have nowhere to go and it keeps happening -- >> because they're doubled up, doubled up to doubled up, they've already exhausted a lot of their family connections, their family support systems. they've gone from family member to family member to family member to family member. and in every location they overstayed their welcome and so because of that, then again their limitation or their resources become very limited as to where they can go. so it gets to be a really challenging situation when they actually just move in because they have to be somewhere, in a relatives' house and then to ask them for documentation to support that they really are
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homeless for hud. that would be really, really challenging. >> and we're hearing this and this panel is great and we have a couple people here today that are really active in this. one is diane nyland who has traveled all over the country visiting the homeless throughout the country and then did a documentary, and i hope you have an opportunity to see that. and then alexandria pelosi has done one and 60 minutes did a program on this and we have barbara here from the national coalition of homelessness that has done so much. we have all the tools and the help but we have to get this done. with that i recognize the gentleman from texas, mr. green, for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. again, i thank witnesses for
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appearing today. it has been said and i will say it again, it is better to build a strong child than to repair a broken adult. so for those who deal in the social sciences, the psychologists, psychiatrists, the criminologists, paleontologists, i want you to know i don't necessarily like the language of a broken adult. but i need to communicate. so just allow me to communicate. i would be interested in knowing if you've seen any empirical evidence on the number of people who are incarcerated or who were homeless for some period of time
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in their lives? anyone with any -- anything that you can point me too? i'm sure that google will help. but you may give me a head start if you have some empirical intelligence. >> one or two observations that i have is years ago we did a study that looked in part at that topic, about 50% of homeless adults had had some experience with the criminal justice system, either in prisons or in jails. i know having visited rubbingers island before and seeing their homeless prevention program up there, the tremendous challenges we have in our cities and communities everywhere with people coming into the jail system because they're homeless and often leaving the jail system because they're homeless. and so prevention really is a key factor here. >> now, someone indicated that people move from one state to another because they find that
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in state a they don't receive the resources that they can receive in state b. to what extent to you find this to be the case where we have people who literally will hear, you go over to state a, you'll get some help. ms. poppe? >> certainly, the imputation of federal programs at state and local levels varies quite widely because a great amount of discretion is given to locals and state how they implement the resources. state and local government governments contribute to the solutions also varies. some states contribute and support heavily homeless programs to support assistance. other states provide very little if not no assistance at all. and so the resources available to families vary quite greatly. i think you can see that great most in the unsheltered numbers is the high rates of unsheltered children and youth that we see
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primarily in southern states and in california is reflective of a lack of investment by often state and local governments in real housing solutions to address the problem. and so certainly that variation is quite different from what services are available in the state of new york, say, what would be available in the state of california. >> do you find that people will migrate based upon knowledge that they receive about these benefits from one state to another? >> most of the studies that i have seen indicate that people are moving for reasons of greater economic opportunities so they're moving to find the jobs. and then sometimes those jobs don't pan out and in that case, they experience homelessness so. it's not they moved for homeless services, per se, they moved because they were seeking a better job opportunity than they had in that situation. i think an exception to that will be domestic violence victims who often are fleeing abusive situations and they do try to leave states or other communities simply for safety
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reasons. >> mr. johnston, would you care to add something to this, please. >> i remember being in st. petersburg a few years ago and there was a statewide conference on homelessness that i was going to be speaking at the next morning. i was walking around the city talking with people that were out on the streets at night in a park. and this one particular gentleman observed that he's actually from ohio. but he comes down in the summer, actually in the wintertime, to stay in florida. he's increasingly staying there time and time again. i was intrigued with that and as we looked at our data within communities all across the country, the vast majority of people who do tend to stay within -- where their family's from, frankly, although there's certainly examples as barbara is mentioning if they need greater economic opportunity they're going to be searching wherever that might be. and i did want to emphasize the point i've seen huge disparities on the level of assistance
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provided. 60 minutes contacted us before they did the story. we provided them all the data they had and they, therefore, picked the state of florida in large part because two-thirds of all homeless families live outside in florida. there are very few places like that in the country but every state is somewhat different. and that's certainly a huge concern of families with children would be living outside. >> i really would like to explore this more but my time is limited so i'll move on to something else. we've heard a good indication that one can be housed yet homeless. housed yet homeless. doubled up as you have put it, living with a friend and the intelligence that you have quoted us with reference to how this impacts the formative years of very young children is very, very disturbing.
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which gets us to the notion of a common definition but a common vocabulary. a common vocabulary could be a great benefit across agencies as i'm understanding your testimony today. i also understand i want you to help me with us with assistance that these definitions were promulgated because there was a need that they were trying to meet although they arrived at a definition that would work for a given need which developed these silos and stovepipes that did not function across the lines. how did we deal with the different needs that have to be met with a common definition? i'm hopeful and believe that we're moving in the right direction. i just want to hear from the experts on the record as to how we get it done? so which of the experts would like to be first?
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mr. johnston. >> about two years ago, hud and department of health and human services and education launched an effort and submitted a proposal to congress to try a demonstration in particular for homeless families and another one for current homeless persons and we were trying to hook up mainstream resources that hud has with hhs and education. and it was interesting and this went on for about a year in fine-tuning proposals that we could use. and when we spoke the word "homeless" it certainly was used in different ways, from my good friend john mcgolflynn about a need for a vocabulary would be helpful i know they have taken great leadership to work on that. i mean, the challenge in this country is there's so many
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different needs, huge housing needs, that we've got to be able to converge great agencies in federal and local levels to solve this problem. >> yes, sir. >> i would agree that there's tremendous needs and i certainly think that we should do more to invest in both in people in shelter and people who are living in precarious living situations of all kind. new york city has made a great effort in the hprc funding. we have really used in a targeting at risk-behavior and even with the level or declining funding broadening the definition away from shelter potentially means taking resources away from the shelter system to use in other situations. there are other needs, clearly, and there are funding streams available but we really need to make sure we continue our investment in those in shelter
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because those are high need families that have a variety of case management and other kinds of services that need to be provided if they're going to be able to leave the shelter soon. >> ms. poppe, would you care to respond? >> what i wanted to add is as we've heard all the testimony this morning from the young people, they, in fact, were all eligible for hud programs related to providing mainstream housing assistance. but the reality is those mainstream housing programs are oversubscribed. hud programs can only meet about one-fourth of the need for those who are eligible. and so the larger issue goes back to the need for the resources to meet those needs. and that's why the interagency council has worked across the definitions toward this end of creating a common vocabulary so that even in these places we can talk about the different eligibility criteria and how we can try to effectively use the
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scarce resources that are available to get families who are living precariously and doubled up in really difficult circumstances the best access to affordable housing which is what i heard each of these young people testified about, is what they were really looking for was a safe stable home. and we just, as a country, haven't yet made a commitment of the resources at the federal, state and the local and the private sector resources to make that occur. and that's the work that sits before us and that's the larger call to end homelessness. >> thank you very much, miss biggert. i'll wait if there's another round. i'll wait. >> let's do another round. well, let's go to mr. sherman first for five minutes. >> we have a shortage of housing for the homeless. we've got an incredible shortage of money here in the federal government. and we got an enormous surplus of boarded-up houses, at least
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in some communities. is there any way that we can use the housing stock that has already been constructed to meet these needs and knowing that some of these houses that are boarded up are 2 or 3,000 square feet, is there any way that they can accommodate more than one homeless family? i'll ask mr. johnston. >> we do have an initiative that we've had for years and it certainly is much more active during years where we have huge foreclosures like in the recent past, where discounts can be made to allow these houses to be used for a variety of different reasons including housing homeless persons. >> well, it's one thing to find somebody who's homeless, but some have the finances to make reduced mortgage payments, is
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that the kind of program you're talking about? or are you talking about a program by which community organizations acquire use or ownership of these structures? >> it was really the latter terms of foreclosed properties. >> are many of these foreclosed properties have been turned over to those housing the homeless in the last year? >> i will get that answer for you 'cause i do not know. >> because everywhere i look -- well, not everywhere i look, in many places where you look around the country, the homes are being boarded up, they're being torn down. the ones that are being torn down are in bad shape, when measured against good housing. their -- it's compared to sleeping in the car and it's compared to sleeping in a car they don't have so we're in this bizarre circumstance where we got boarded up houses and people
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sleeping on the streets. in another vein -- >> actually, it just occurred to me, i did not refer to the neighborhood stabilization program funded by congress that has been tremendously helpful. we looked in distressed area with high foreclosure rates and be able to rehabilitate and get those houses back into service. and in the many, many tens of thousands. >> that's back in the service for people who are going to own the homes which really get people out of apartments and into homes -- into single family homes they can help. i don't know if that affects the problems that we're talking about today, although it could be -- >> well, when we did the training in launching this program, we also encouraged the use of these properties for nonprofit organizations to house persons with special needs including homeless persons. >> okay. what problems are you having administering the hearth act?
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>> i'm sorry, what problems what? >> the hearth act? >> well, the -- we are just now launching the implementation of the hearth act amendments. the definition of homelessness, for instance, comes into effect on january 4th. the first program coming out of the line is a grants program which is january 4th as well. i will mention that we have identified a few technical challenges -- technical errors that we found in the law that are going to be limiting communities, for instance, and one of the most concerning ones -- >> well, when did you discover these errors and when did you bring them to the attention of members of this committee? >> well, the committee staff recently received a copy of them to look at. we briefed them on it. >> when did you discover the problems? >> well, we discovered the problems probably a year and a
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half, two years ago. >> okay. >> and -- well, and let me say the senate was hopeful to actually be enacting changes to this. >> so you've found the problems a year and a half ago. you waited a year and a half to tell the house, but somebody in the senate did know about the problems and was trying to do something about it. i yield back. >> so you sent it to the house of lourdes which takes a while to get to these things. could we see a copy of it, please? i have not received anything. i appreciate it. dr. whitney you highlight some very compelling evidence for many of the barriers that have prevented the children and youth from getting the housing assistance and services from hud. and i won't read them over again that's in your testimony. but i want to say thank you for all you're doing.
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i had the opportunity years and years ago. i'm a lawyer, and i had been clerking for a judge in the u.s. court of appeals who was waiting for my job that was going to start in september. so i spent the summer volunteering at head start and hull-house in chicago. and it was the first year it had just opened and so that was -- i won't tell you how long ago that was, but it was a long time. and it was really, i think, you know, for the help -- it was kind of the start of really helping preschool kids, you know, to be ready to go to school. and we just need more and more of that now. and we need the kids that are in homeless -- i guess i'm not asking questions really, but i really would hope that we could all work together to really -- to solve this and really take a look at removing these barriers because the more regulations that we get in, the harder it
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is -- i know, mr. diamond, it seems like you don't really like h.r. 32. [laughter] >> i'm certainly supportive of the concept of investing in people who are in difficult housing solutions. and the city makes a major investment in trying to help those families and we have offices throughout the city that provide services. our concern is that shelters are very expensive and in need of resource. and if we're going to take money away from the shelter system, it will have an impact on our ability to effectively serve those families. but that's our concern. not that there isn't a need. not that -- if there were increasing resources available we wouldn't want to invest in everyone who has needs. but our concern is taking resources away from those who are in the shelter system. >> and that really is a different issue. but i know that this is something -- even when we were trying to do the hearth act, to
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get that through, to try and get everybody on board with difficulty but i think everybody realizes the importance of it. and i think new york is doing -- is probably doing a lot of the states really and the programs that you have. i was impressed by that. but i really would like to see us all on board with making sure that there aren't these barriers. ms. cackley, we haven't asked you any questions. >> i just have one comment, and i wanted to also make the point in talking about the benefits of the common vocabulary is one of the other things is that it does, it allows you to do a much better job of measuring homelessness which then allows you to know what you're dealing with in a much more complete way. the prioritizing does have to take place but you can't even really prioritize if you don't know the extent of the problem. so for that purpose, having a common vocabulary allows
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measurement to happen. >> thank you. and all the measurement would be the same, hopefully? >> that would be the hope. >> okay. >> with that i yield back. do you have something briefly? >> yes, ma'am. i'll make it very brief. thank you. and i would like to thank, if i may, thank the staff. they just provide us a an inordinate amount of intelligence to provide us the amount of assistance that they do. following up on ms. -- is it cackley. >> cackley, yes. >> does a common definition would yield greater intelligence on the length, breadth, width, depth of the problem. is there anyone who differs? >> well, i think there's a distinction between common vocabulary and common definition in the sense that if we all understand the terms we're using, we have a common dictionary that we all can use, then we can understand each other. we can communicate and we can
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implement programs. i too have a concern, as does mr. diamond -- if you were to expand hud's homeless definition, which is in the law to, for instance, education definition, it's got some big challenges with it. and what i mean by that we have enough funding from congress for three-and-a-half years in a row to houses 300,000 people in transitional permanent housing, expanding the definition greatly does not allow us to serve a single additional person and that's sort of the concern we've got about having one common definition. when the resources that we provide are very, very expensive. >> would the gentleman yield? >> of course, madam chair. of course. >> i might have put that sort of the wrong way. what we're looking for is that if a child is -- a child is homeless under the definition, education, then they should be considered homeless. it doesn't really put that
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definition into hud. it doesn't expand it to adults. >> thank you, madam chair. let me move to another area rather quickly. and this is in the area of veterans who are homeless. and they have children, too, of course. and all children are reported that no child should be elevated to some status higher than another. but i am curious, do we have ms. poppe, any intelligence on the children of veterans? >> thank you, mr. green, for this question. this is an area that has been a strong focus of the president and the secretary shin saike
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just this week we have more veterans experiencing halloween. there are a couple of new programs -- programs that have really been pushed out about this administration. one is the hud dash program. the dash program provides a rent subsidy with hud combined with health care services and other supports through the va and that program is able to serve veterans' families including the children in them. and so it's a wholistic response to veterans homelessness. the v absence has also just put together with the support of congress supportive services for veterans' families. that program provides flexible assistance to help families with children. the va services have been limited to the veterans themselves and with these two initiatives they can now serve family members who are part of that. so, yes, we are seeing veterans' families, unfortunately, experiencing homelessness and yes we are able to respond and this is what contributing to
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overall reduction in homelessness with veterans. >> madam chairman, i want to thank you again and alert the witnesses that the chair recently marked up a piece of legislation styled homes for heroes and this legislation would station a person in hud whose sole responsibility it would be to monitor homelessness among our veterans and there would be a report recorded in congress and i want to thank you for allowing that legislation to receive a mark up and hopefully it will matriculate through congress and get to the president's desk. thank you very much. >> the gentleman is very humbled. it was his legislation that passed. just one further thing for clarification. ms. cackley, you note in your testimony that the department of education identified nearly 1 million homeless students during
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the 2009/2010 school year. and there was an 18% increase since the 2007/2008 school year. so you note that some evidence suggest the homelessness among children is increasing. how do you explain the discrepancy between the hud numbers that were just reported by the administration on tuesday and the education numbers? >> i haven't looked at them in great detail, but i would assume that part of the discrepancy is the definitional differences still. >> okay. >> thank you. >> with that, i have a request, a unanimous consent to insert in the record the hearing record, the following materials into the record. december 7th, 2011, letter from women against abuse. december 8th, a letter from
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national center on family homelessness letter from the chicago coalition for the homeless a letter from the national human services assembly, a letter from the social work association from america. the letter from the american school counselor association, a letter from first focus campaign for children, a letter from the homeless prenatal letter and the letter from the national associationle for the realtors a welfare letter from the national network for youth, letter from the western regional advocacy project, letter from the national health care for the homeless council, letter from alliance for excellent education letter for the national law center of homeless and poverty letter and the national association for the education of poverty association. a letter from family promise, letter from family promise of midland. letter from the national network to end domestic violation. letter from horizons for
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homeless children letter and a letter from the family promise of greater helena and a letter from the greater network of burlington county, a letter of family promise quality and a letter from essex county. a letter from the home -- the road home letter from the family promise of albuquerque, and a family promise from the interfaith hospitality network of northwest philadelphia, letter from family promise of mammoth county, letter from the family promise of idaho. letter from the family promise of hawaii, letter from the national pta, letter from the national association of secondary school principals, report from there national center on homelessness and the june 2001 data collection from the u.s. department of education. without objection? >> madam chair, i have unanimous consent as well from the
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national low income housing coalition. >> without objection. we left one out? [laughter] >> thank you. and thank you all -- i really thank you for being here and thank you for your testimony. and the chair notes that some members may have additional questions for the panel which they may wish to submit in writing without objection. the hearing and record will remain open for 30 days for members to submit written questions to these witnesses and to place their responses in the record. and there is one more request for unanimous consent. the national association of home builders, without objection, so ordered. with that, thank you so much and you've been great witnesses and you've been a great panel. thank you. the hearing is adjourned. >> thanks.
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[inaudible conversations] >> here's what's ahead today here on c-span2. next, a look back at the collapse of enron 10 years later. then, the commonwealth club of california hosts a discussion on energy policy and later, a look at how the u.s. military is using renewable fuels.
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>> and we've got more from the road to the white house. coming up later today, with texas governor rick perry. the republican candidate will be at the blue strawberry coffee company in cedar rapids, iowa. watch that live at 1:30 pm eastern also on c-span. and there's more from iowa later today with mitt romney. the former massachusetts governor will be in ames at a rally with voters and supporters. that gets underway at 6:45 pm eastern on c-span. >> with the iowa caucuses tuesday, january 3rd, c-span's cameras are following the candidates at events throughout the state. and every morning live from iowa, political guests are taking your calls on our
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"washington journal" program. you can also stay up-to-date with c-span's campaign 2012 website with new features including candidates on the campaign trail with bio information and videos from campaign stops. candidates on the issues let's you see what the candidates have said on issues important to you and alt social media buzz see what the candidates and political reporters and people like you are saying on sites like facebook and twitter, all at c-span.org/campaign2012. >> next, a look back 10 years after houston energy company enron filed for bankruptcy and dozens of top company executives were arrested. a "wall street journal" investigative reporter who helped break the story and the former enron vice president of public relations spoke to students in october at the annenberg journalism school. it runs an hour and 10 minutes.
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>> folks, thank you so much for coming this afternoon to this event. i'm very excited about this. we have two very distinguished panelists here. of course, 2011 is an incredibly opportune and important time to talk about corporate america and corporate collapse and we have a very important lesson which we can look at here which is, in fact, exactly 10 years old. so it's kind of stunning to some of us that 10 years have transpired since enron collapsed. certainly a lot of lessons for us to learn from that collapse. and to apply it today. we've got two people here who were really kind of front row protagonists in enron's collapse from two different perspectives. john was an investigative and is an investigative reporter at the "wall street journal" who documented a lot of the issues that led to some of the
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investigations around enron and did a lot of the reporting that brought to light some of the practices, the accounting practices, at enron. erin denny who is an former adjunct professor here as well was the vice president of public relations at enron and saw this transpire from a completely different perspective. so we're here today to contrast these two viewpoints, to look at the same event from two different angles. i just want to review some of the different details of enron. so ten years might seem like a blink of an eye for some of us, for some of you, it isn't quite as prominent in your memory. so enron was really a corporate darling for so long. it got tremendous press coverage and it had just amazing growth. it was formed in 1985 by a merger of two other companies. and by 2000, it had over 22,000
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employees. five years in a row, "fortune" magazine ranked it as the most innovative company in america. and it claimed revenues of over 100 billion in 2000, its market value went from 10 billion in 1995 to around 70 billion in 2000. and that ended very quickly. as john will tell you about. and its stock went from $90 very briefly -- $90 to essentially nothing in one year. many of the major executives are doing time or have completed their sentences now. one of them cheated jail by dying. and it also led to the disillusion of arthur andersen, among other things. it led to new legislation. and some of the reporting on enron which had just been
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glowing for so long quickly turned and john was one of the people who wrote some of the early stories that really questioned the accounting at enron. and, of course, this was some of the final chapters that the press wrote about enron. so we're going to have time for questions at about 45 minutes after the hour, but i first want to just ask erin, who worked at enron for seven years, it must have been a wonderful place to work for so many years. it was -- it got, you know, wonderful news stories, one after the other. what was it like to work there in the beginning? >> i can say it was -- it was a great place to work. i absolutely loved it. and even knowing how things turned out, i would do the entire experience again in a heartbeat. there was incredible energy at the company. there were the smartest people i ever had the good fortune of
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working with. incredibly dedicated, hard-working, talented -- it was amazing. it was a lot of fun. and when i started, i was at enron from 1997 to 2004. so when i started at the company, no one had really heard about enron. i was originally from southern california. i started as a newspaper reporter and then segued into public relations. and i was recruited to enron as a corporate generalist. and when i took the job and moved to houston, all of my friends said, enron, what's that? no one had even knew what the energy company was. and the media coverage at the time was really contained to industry stories. it was in mega watt daily and electricity daily. it really wasn't a company that was covered in the mainstream stress. as the revenues increased, as the stock price grew, and as we expanded into new lines of business like internet trading, like broadband, like weather
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derivatives and freight trading, the media interest increased and the public relations department and the whole country was so metrics driven and results-oriented we had to quantify the work that we did, and in 2000 we did generated so many stories and it was cover stories. it wasn't enough to generate stories but we wanted cover stories and we were able generate that. >> you want to tell us the first moment when it occurred to you that something was going awry? >> to be honest, it was when we filed for bankruptcy. i was -- i was in so -- in such denial and when you have a to realize is that the enron crisis happened 10 years ago, long before any of the wall street sims that have since permeated the news pages. i mean, this was at the time it was absolutely unheard of.
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that the 70 largest company in america could virtually evapora evaporate. that the stock prices could call so precipitously. that the entire company could go out of business. we were desperate lit trying to save the company. we were trying to have a merger with a rival company down the street. so until we finally filed for bankruptcy we thought we could still save the company. >> i do want to mention that while john and karen worked cross-purposes in many respects, they learned about this experience with a lot of mutual respect. karen even listedon as a reference when she was applying for her current job. so despite that, she got the job. [laughter] >> john, can you tell bus your -- this was not your primary beat at the time. you sort of got sucked into this story because of a number of
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sort of strange coincidences. .. >> so that was my basic express with enron. they were very friendly and basically open to talking at the point about this. so i had positive views to the degree they were at least a talkative corporation.
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then as you mentioned, i got sort uphold in an august 2001 when an event happened that essentially change the future of enron, i think. jeff skilling who was the then president chief executive officer and will lead architect in many ways of enron that karen was talking about, suddenly up and quit after six what do so as the chief executive. you know, he was at the time in his late '40s, 47. people thought he would be the head of enron for the next decade or more. suddenly quits comic is the reason as family. family reasons which, of course, no reporter ever gleefully chief chief executive resigned for family reasons. but we didn't have a good other alternative explanation. i was out of town that day. becky smith it was the regular enron reported was on vacation for the week. when i got to town the next day, the day after the announcement, i sort of the order to do a
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follow-up story, which, of course, there's nothing to say. tried to get in with skilling so i call my colleague and say, have an interview with skilling, is he still there? they always come enron to their credit almost always got you on the line with top executives if you wanted to talk them. sometimes the almost push top executives to talk to you. very different from many corporations. in preparation for this possible interview with skilling, i did a quick search of the most recent filings because i'm knew very little about the corporation and its operation be on the california electricity stuff. and it just so happened the day before, the day he quit, enron filed its 10-q, quarterly report with the sec for the second quarter. so, you know, i have been taught by other, older, wiser "wall street journal" reports how to quickly read and sec report when you don't have a lot of time. one of the places you go into
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something called the related party transaction section where they have to list all the possible dealings, all the dealings that corporate executives had with a company outside of their regular job. so this is where he get the kind of low conflict of interest like the chairman immediate nephew was made a vice president finger painting, and $200,000 year and have to report that to the public. i went to the enron section, and i say these transactions involving hundreds of millions of dollars the dealings between enron and unnamed entities that were being run by some unnamed senior executive, which i immediately thought with skilling. i thought this is why he quit. i call the polymer and he tells me no, no, that was andy fastow. i knew so little about enron at the time i said he was andy fastow? he tells me the chief financial officer of our company. made me feel like something of an idiot, but i didn't know. but that was our first moment
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when i start thinking, this house like an incredible conflict of interest. that's what sort of, that discovery set us off on digging deeper into what turned out to be the so-called ljm partnerships that andy fastow was running on half of, well, himself and doing duties dashing doing dealings with enron which later turned out basically hiding hundreds of minutes of dollars of losses the company otherwise would have otherwise had to report in 2000, and into 2001. and that trip is what sort took us up to the crisis and helped trigger the crisis. >> karen, there's one, many seminal moments in the sort of end of story of enron, but one was the night before the earnings were released in october, i believe october 16. can you tell us a little bit about what was happening -- this is basically, the company i don't think it ever reported a
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loss possible. it had been a tale of steady growth. on this day they reported a loss of seven -- $709 which i think shocked everyone. >> wanted to all a bit about how corporate earnings release took place at enron. when i started at the company, the earnings, the courtly earnings press release was generated by the pr department and we get the numbers from finance or investor relations. we released before the opening of the market, so we would have a core pr team that would stay late the night before. we get hotel rooms because a hotel adjacent to the enron building. we would basically stay up late into the night. we would lock the earnings release and then we would be there the next morning for it to go out on the wires. about a year before this happened, the earnings release process shifted to investor relations. so we are no longer responsible for the content of the press release. all we did was put it out on the wire but it was really a blessing in disguise because the
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two top investor relations executives served time. so, -- [laughter] hopefully not. but the night before that release we went to the regular process, checked into the hotel, change your clothes and went back to the office. we were on the 49th floor, 47th floor, and the executive floor was on the 50th floor. so we were here were trickle-down from the 50th floor that there was a problem with the numbers. and so every hour we were checking her where are we on the numbers? we would like to get at least two or three hours of sleep tonight. and finally word came down to the towns were having trouble signing off on the numbers. and, finally, i think is probably around two or three in the morning we started talking about what would happen if we didn't have the numbers to release before the market. and finally the numbers came down. none of us went to the hotel. none of us get any sleep. we literally just put the release right out on the wire,
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and i think we got it just moments before the 5:00 or 5:30 release. and i remember at the time there were sections in the press release that didn't make sense, that i had questions about. my background was as in his paper reports i knew there were phrases that were red flags, that just didn't make sense. i was just reassured no, no, no. that's nothing but everything is fine but don't worry about that. they were indeed the very quotes and phrases that john and rebecca picked up on. >> go ahead, john. >> the funny thing is there report this huge loss, $609, right off, what turned out to be these lousy outfits that the ljm partnerships were typing through various hedging transactions that they have done. so they come up with this huge loss, but enron spun i in the sense of they report a surgeon operating profits, which, of course, is a classic corporate we are dealing with bad news, you find some part of your, the
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result in good news and the other stuff is just one-time event. and the press basically on the day they announce the earnings bought -- a stock price actually went up to date announced a $600 million loss. almost comes from the stories even mentioned the 600 some odd million dollar right off. and ken lay went on all these talk shows on cnbc and stuff, and we sang great quarter, you know, we are set for the great future. everything will be great. heading towards $200 billion they're going to report in 2001. so everybody was, you know, seemed to be very happy with, on the face of a seemed to be terribleness which i think partly says something about the company's position at that time in the sort of corporate a firmament, and something about the press of you of the world in 2001 still.
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and the fact is that people just were not questioning what's this all about? and wall street woes and. we called wall street analysts. because the announcement basically treated us to push what we had discovered about ljm into the papers, party on the assumption that somebody else, perhaps "the new york times," somebody was going to say we better start doing something about enron. we didn't want to get beat, and we been working sort of steadily since august trying to dig into very aspects of partnerships, talking to people, digging up some documents. we sort of got waylaid by 9/11 when basically everybody in american journalism for two or three weeks was writing about nothing but terrorism but i remember the day the earnings story, i was writing it and is going to come up the next day, we had a front-page story they were editing of mine and a
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couple of other people on the possibility of terrorists setting off nuclear weapons in the united states. so is kind of a busy day. but we wanted to get in what we could and we started getting these conflicting answers from enron, from mark palmer, about how much of this $600 million loss was due to, this writeup off was due to ljm. and enron came up pashtun i think mark was also trying to give me a straight answer, because i don't think he had the answer. but he gave me one number and came back with a much lower number and as it turned out, later we found out that essentially the entire six-hour event our right of was related to ljm. and the number they gave us on the record, much, much lower number had to do with essentially a termination fee that they said well, and then the classic like corporate think of also sort of classic someways
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like enron, especially they would give you very precise answers that were completely misleading. but, they would say, okay, you know, this is precisely, you know, i remember one guy told me when things really started to go bad, one of the analysts called and said have you hired bankruptcy counsel? that guy said no, haven't hired bankruptcy counsel. what they have done instead chosen bankruptcy counsel and and hadn't quite yet signed the agreement. no, they haven't hired bankruptcy counsel yet but they're going to. >> let me jump in there, because an interim perspective, we had employees that we're trying to communicate with. we're putting together, trying to put together a merger picture huge confidentiality issues that really preclude us from going beyond that black and white, i mean, granted had we been asked
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the question have you met with bankruptcy counsel, we never gave an answer that we knew was not accurate. however, we didn't open the kimono and say yes, we met with them on this day, we retained in the paperwork is no sign, but go headed by the end paper and then we'll see how the dynegy merger goes through. [inaudible] palmer and i had this at one point shouting match, actually his boss were on the phone screaming at each other. basically called him a life. he was screaming i never lied. i never lied. but i think somebody did lie to market and i think somebody who wrote those at the sec filings, for two years in on its are buried in the sec filing stuff about the ljm partnerships. some of the wording was exquisitely precise and misleading. >> can you give a brief description of what the ljm partnership is, just a we sort of understand it?
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>> the biggest one was called ljm2 the ljm was the initial of the first, the first letter of the first name of andy fastow's wife and two sons. some legacy to leave them. and so basically what the idea was that fastow, remitted seal of enron, was to become a part owner and managing partner of these partnerships which were, could be treated as separate entities for accounting firms. so that if enron wanted to hedge some asset they had, in other words, protect the value of it. they could go to a third party within take on the risks, theoretically, of the assets. normally you might go to goldman sachs or morgan stanley, somebody was real money on their own. they went to ljm and ljm have a certain amount of money because andy fastow went out to some degree strong-armed a lot of a lot of enron vendors, the banks, to invest, particularly in ljm2. so that this one, this pool of
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capital from the investors paper than enron also worked on a very complicated deals which essentially enron was hedging the back of some of their assets, like the power plants, power deals with her own stock. -- with their own stock. if enron, that i of the assets went down, ljm would absorb those losses but essentially they be using in one stock to absorb the losses which is one of the reasons why enron stock prices became so critical for the company, because when enron stock was 50 or 60 or $70 a share it could absorb a lot more losses than when it was at 35 or $36 a share, which it was in october 2001, by the time the crisis started. that started putting in on his pressure on the ljm deal. they were set up, some partner, entities called raptors which enron had all kinds of, some of these andy fastow had these weird names for things but one
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of his other partnerships was called chewco, named after chewbacca. there's a certain, i don't know -- >> definitely an extraterrestrial beast. chairman -- karen tumulty but the relationship between the press office and the executives? i know that you never sort of felt you were purposely misleading reporters, but what about your relationship with senior management and the kind of figures and information you're getting from them, how did it change because we worked very closely with top management, both before the christ and and throughout the crisis. and i think once third quarter earnings were released, that access and the free flow of information really dried up. in part because there was in total chaos in upper management just didn't know what was going on the other one moment where can we do know how much debt the company had big no one could answer the question, how much debt does enron have. that was a pivotal moment that
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the chief financial officer, the chief accounting officer didn't know. at one point, and this was further on in the crisis, when we quote lawyered up, our chief of staff knew that we really, we have tried very hard to have strong media relations. and the one thing i will say is it's important to establish a solid relationships with the good access, accessibility long before there's a crisis but it will really pay off. we had trouble getting the information internally, and everything had to be vetted by olympics of steve aqsa got a lawyer and said you're going to sit on the 47 for the great trading for environment so as a. he did nothing but sit there and vet every statement were able to release to the guys were giving is anything you say to the media you have to be able to answer the question, what was the basis for the center. they were incredible cautious.
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they called the law of the loofah because they had to scrub everything we've told them he becomes frustrating for us internally because we're so used to having a lot of accessibility. we really pride ourselves on able to get back to reporters likely and with answers and really helping them do their jobs. it was frustrating and we knew there was a lot going on but it was such into the chaos, that we are stuck but i will tell you that the one moment that physically made me sick to my stomach was, i had really done a lot of, i have been the company spokesperson for the california energy crisis. and we had been assured by our trading team, by top management, that we had done nothing wrong with the california electric city market. when we heard the tapes of the traders when they played in the market, it just, it may be sick because i knew -- >> can you give us details? >> a sickly it was burn baby
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burn. grandma, you know, you don't need any electricity tonight. they had manipulated power outages but they have taken equipment down and cause rolling blackouts which jacked up energy prices. again, if they are trading megawatt hours and they're really able to manipulate the trading process, and so that was just, it was sickening to realize that we been on the frontlines in we had done nothing wrong, which clearly there was a group of behavior. >> with the senior executives, so one point there's a lot of pressure on the cfo and fastow, and ken lay is forced to basically make a decision about fastow. how did that play out? >> so, ken lay held a conference call with analysts, and i think media was on as well. basically saying i have full confidence in andy, he has done nothing wrong. everything is fine. and the next day he was put on
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leave. so again, from a company perspective, you've got to have credibility cannot have your actions match what you're saying. i think, the further problem, andy was put only. it took the board six months to actually fire him. >> the other piece is, the company i think didn't know, and partly didn't know because they didn't try to know. some of the key things about the ljm partnerships. the board of directors and top management approved what was unique in a corporate relationship in history of american corporation, perhaps. i once did, as part of all this, went to the sec filing, fortune 500 companies in all 500 of them, just to see if there's anything like it. and essentially there was nothing comparable to the ljm partnership. so they have this incredible conflict of interest, and then see million sort of ignored it for two years, let it roll
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along. andy is doing what andy is doing. he is sucking in losses and covering them, and then this crisis hits and we start writing about these partnerships. and suddenly they start saying well, we better find out about what's going on here. so the board of directors actually request a meeting with andy, which i thought was incredible when the directors have to request a meeting with the cfo who works for them. he meets with them, and you know, they ask them, andy, how much money have you made from these to partnerships over the last two years? supposedly trendy -- andy was understood a lot of time on these partnerships, maybe a little add on money, a minute or two in compensation for him to add to his paycheck. so he tells them, i made $42 million. now, that was on the afternoon i think, after ken lay had given this bear hug of support to andy fastow in front of the world. and he tells to the directors i made for too many dollars. they practically swaddled their tongues.
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i think that's probably pushed in the out. they kept finding at this time bombs that they should've known. i mean, any competent responsible board of directors, first off, i don't think in my humble opinion wouldn't have approved the ljm partnership. but if they had somebody should've been on it like everyday find out what is he doing, how much are you making? is the enron shareholder getting shafted or not? and they just let it roll along because one of the most irresponsible things i've ever seen a board of directors do. >> how much of this was apparent to you as it was unfolding what you said before you always felt those going to be some quick future for anyone until the very end, but when fastow was put on leave, i don't know what the stock price is at this point, but it's been -- >> it started about 36 on the day, it jumped up to about 37 i think on the day they announced their earnings. we started writing our stories, the next 10 straight trading days ago. by november 8, the day --
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>> that's when they came out and said you can't rely on our last two years of financial statements because we made all these mistakes. >> and they readjusted earnings but i think six or more than $7 million? >> basically, yeah, they renounce their premiums from financial same as the they had to write off things for the chewco partnership. >> karen, as the company basically been announced that the previous five years, six years of earnings information, which you've sat there and help produce and help disseminate, can't be relied upon, how did that impact your job and how did you kind of communicate that to the public? >> and keep in mind we were in the eye of the storm. this was long before, 10 years ago before any company just collapsed in the blink of an eye. and so we really didn't have any sense of the magnitude of what we were in the midst of. what did happen was the number of me calls escalated.
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a business crisis takes much longer to catch on publicly. i think the journal was on it before anyone, and it really took a long time for it to escalate. but by the time we filed for bankruptcy we were fielding upwards of 300, 400 media calls a day. there were four of us into assistance. we just, we couldn't keep up with the onslaught. >> it's also interesting, the question of like dealing with india ouray county like enron. part of their media openness, i think him and i think kerry will probably agree, was in large measure a reflection of the personality of jeff skilling and his approach to corporate affairs. jeff was a very self-confident man in many ways. and believed almost with religious fervor in the enron story, which he helped write. so he was always open, much to his credit even after the crisis hit and things went south for him. about talking to the reporters.
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and when he left i think there was a change at the top. ken lay was much less open to talking up his push about things that were critical. so when we put in a call, we started taking out the step which we thought was very serious questions, so we called enron to an interview with lay and fastow, and the chief accounting officer. whoever they would make available. we were expecting they would make everybody available like they always do. instead i get a callback from mark palmer saying send us a list of written questions. in my experience and becky's experience in any other journalist, nobody at enron had ever asked for a list of written question. so that was odd. so we put together a very extensive list of written questions, and there's apparently a large mistake anyone i later found out about how to respond.
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andy fastow is very much against talking at all, and lay went along with it. they send us back a one paragraph, very, you know, bland statement, restatement, we haven't done anything wrong. and in some ways that was my first real sense that we might be onto something big. >> that was sort of here's the map to where the treasure is buried kind of response to? it's interesting because they would does anything about it but they, by not talking suddenly, they suddenly gave me a sense that must be something really seriously wrong here that they're not willing to talk about it. >> it is still fairly early on. >> before they came out with the earnings, late september. >> before they announced their losses? >> basically they shut us down. it's interesting because this list of questions came back to haunt, predictably ken lay, because when the company collapsed and the federal justice department came in and they basically scooped up every
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document in enron, one of the documents they scooped up in the subpoenas was our list of questions. so ken lay at the trial, 2006 when he was on trial, basically was trying to tell computers on the stand basically claiming i did know this until then, i did notice until then. you know, so that therefore, the statements he had made publicly, which the government said he is lying about because of his knowledge, he says i didn't even know that then, they brought this list of questions out, covered this same things that were asked by us in late september, and so, the prosecution use our list of questions actually that they insisted on getting in helping to basically undercut lay's. >> mark palmer was really on the front line dealing with upper management. but i knew that there were problems. and we were pushing, again, because with such an open
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relationship with reporters in the past, we were of the belief that any time there is negative news, get it all out at once and be as up front as possible. and there was, there was a lot of hesitancy. again, i think the upper management because they really didn't know what was going on. they did know the extent of -- >> some of them did, i think. [laughter] >> but also, the day after the eight k., when earnings were restated. ken lay declared we have a pr problem. the prt knew this wasn't a pr problem. it went far deeper than that but he really did believe i think probably until his dying day that the collapse of the company was caused by "the wall street journal." that was their defense at the trial. it was our star that caused the collapse of the company and otherwise nothing wrong with the company. and if the stock price we're gone up none of this would've been disclosed. >> i was not mentally and this mr. lay and mr. skilling were too modest about the own constitutions to the collapse.
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[laughter] >> they are now. >> at least just isn't. >> can you just can't talk about again mancini is shipped with the media would have been open and then all of a sudden that access you had your own senior management disappears, and what wasn't like again to kind of confront the press with this kind of new face of enron? >> we try to be, i mean, we had solid relationship with a lot of reporters so we were on us. we did say you know what? i don't know. i can get straight answers internally. when we did get answers were always able to couch them with its my understanding that, or what i'm told is, but as i think we realize at some point that we could necessarily trust the answers we're getting internally, or that they would change from day-to-day as mark found out was the amount of write him pick what you think reporters picked up on when this tone changes and you're
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certainly also change? >> they knew something was going on. reporters are reporters for a reason to get ask questions, and they know if something is not right that john come at a certain point you start to get a decent amount of information from outside enron. people started giving you tips and clues about where to look for things. how did that change your reporting? >> well, i mean, our initial, we got initial break very early on after we wrote our first story mentioning these algae in partnerships, briefly. we got a call from a source which i never identified. but was very helpful telling us there was a lot more and points to some some doctors were able to get helping to start delineate the ljm relationship and activity. but, you know, we were still going in the dark alone. wouldn't have a lot of ideas.
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enron was a complicated company. and trying to figure out, if you read their sec disclosures, they were almost indecipherable. you know, like somebody got paid to make them as unintelligible as possible. especially regarding the ljm partnership. they are almost laughable. at one point i sort of pushed the paper early on to put an entire section from s. -- sec filing in which i would never do because it's so boring, but just to show that these things make no sense to the outside reap even analysts at the end golfing as many analysts who covered enron did know about the ljm partnerships into we wrote about them, even though they have been in sec filings, were buried, for two years. in here guys are getting paid a half nine bucks and they don't even bother to read the entire filing of one of the biggest companies they cover. i'm thinking, i am getting underpaid. [laughter]
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>> you brought up a good point, which is, and again, another one of the frustrations internally was that the immediate more information than we had. i think as more sources came forward and shared information with the journal and with other reporters, they would call us and say what's this? with the partnerships out of we still came chewco and jedi and all the raptors. we looked at each other and said -- [inaudible] >> early on there was clearly -- >> though you still believe in the company it was a year ago, 10 years ago today that the deal from dynegy was announced. that dynegy was going to essentially buy enron. and dynegy had been a much smaller competitor basically. when that happened when they came about, how did that change your perceptions about this recess of the problem? >> that was really the saving grace and that was what was going to get as out of the
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crisis. dynasty was going to merge with enron and that's going to shore up our balance sheet and everything would be fun. and i'm sure ken lay thought and a couple of years we were in a split again or he would be head of the new enron. and so then the focus became on we've got to face the company and this is how we do. so we focus on internal, we put together communicate and how we going to commit it just employs, how will we convince them this is a good thing. had been how we communicated externally connect you say you thought ken lay that is still going to emerge from this impact. and this is kind of an attitude that we've also seen in 2008-2000 with a lot of wall street titans that just serves to believe that they somehow are going to get by, no matter what. the fall of lehman brothers, he making at bear stearns, et cetera. can you tell me just a little bit about, both you, about what your impression of what ke ken y was thinking and how he was
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doing this at this time? >> i've worked close with both ken lay and jeff skilling, and ken was really kind of the father figure of the company that everyone loved them. he was very well-respected. he had a tremendous civic identity. he was very philanthropic. and jeff was the traitor mentality, and, but as you got to know both of them, people tended to like geoff moore and ken lessig is very concerned with helping. there was rumors he at one point had been up for a cabinet position in the white house. he was very politically connected. and at one point he tried to get the government to step in and bail out the company. but he was just 10 years too early. >> on a lot of things. [laughter] >> ten years too early and alone. it helps when you have the entire wall street coming,
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saying i don't think the bush administration come one, could have saved them, but tonight, it wasn't worth the poker cause of george bush to save a dying company run by a political crony. so they basically said, you know, -- >> it was before too big to filter and again as a founder, he really wanted, this was his identity. he had created this company with the merger of two pipeline companies, and he was going to say that he just wasn't going to have his reputation or the company, company's reputation tarnished. >> let's talk about the very end here of enron and then we'll have an opportunity for questions. but the dynegy deal, very quickly, comes together and then fairly quickly falls apart. what was alike asked that was falling apart from inside the company? >> so, the dynegy, this was i think thanksgiving weekend. that dynegy deal was falling apart, and we knew we're going to to file for bankruptcy. that that was it. so it was i think a sunday night
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of thanksgiving weekend, we found for bankruptcy in delaware and also sued dynegy for the failure of the merger. and at that point all hell broke loose inside the company. because employees turned on the tv, saw that the company was bankrupt. the traders brought in kegs of beer and they started parting. a lot of other employees simply start taking furniture and so they wielded their chairs out the front doors. they took the potted plants. they loaded up anything they could and headed out the front door. we had i think a half-dozen or eight satellite trucks out in front summon all of us. and it was just absolutely surreal. and that was really not even at the end of the crisis. i mean, it continued going long after that. >> john, do you expect bankruptcy to be the way that the story was going to end of? >> well, clearly not initially. we started the story really as a
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corporate conflict of interest story. you know, back in august, september of 2001. thinking okay, andy fastow has found a way to make some extra bucks, maybe he will be suspended. so really, you know, you and never foresaw the snowballing that this would have. i don't think i ever figured they were toast until about november 8 sec filing where they had to renounce what they had been reporting, you know, as financials for the last two years. then it was pretty clear that the proper were not going to survive as an independent entity. he would either have to merge with somebody and had been rumors already going around they were looking for somebody, and as you know the next day they had somebody. or if they couldn't get somebody, they would end up in bankruptcy court because their trading operations you starting to go into vapor lock because, you know, as your stock price collapses, your confidence collapses, all your trading partners, which was the heart of enron, were asking for more and more collateral. more and more cash up front.
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they were sucking cash in like a sponge that they took down the entire credit line one day of $3 billion probably used it in a week. i think they got another billion from dynegy. they use that up like nothing. and so, you know, they just were, they ran out of cash. so without cash, not many alternatives as a corporation. so by early november it was clear they were not going to be enron anymore. wasn't quite clear whether they were going to be dynaron. >> i was part of the restructuring team so i was retained two and half years after the bankruptcy. >> what was that like looking for essential a carcass of? >> it was much slower pace. [laughter] >> fewer employees. and our messaging change. we were then working for the creditors. so our job became preserving
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value for our creditors. i remember in a mix of the crisis we made a strategic fashion a strategic decision not to do any interviews but we do have confidence in answers or the information we're given and we were not going to put ourselves, anyone on the pr team come we were not going to put ourselves in a position to stand front of a television camera and not have acceptable answers. after the bankruptcy -- [inaudible] >> and the fbi confiscated the shredders. after the bankruptcy, i guess it was a year and a half, two years after the bankruptcy, again because we're working for the creditors, we're going to auction off the surplus items, the big e in front of the building, the computer, chairs, boardroom furniture. at the time we made a decision that it made sense to do a broadcast interview. it was an online auction, and we thought well, we will generate as much interest in that. so i went on the today show to talk about the auction, and as soon as it ended, the number of
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auction lines that they had or phone ban they had for the auction blew out the circuit. so it just completely exceeded the capacity. >> so really should have been in another business at the end. john, you own to write a book about this with becky smith, 24 days which is still taught in this school. and elsewhere. still available. and you continue to follow the enron story for years, the appeal which went to the supreme court. is there one sort of big lesson that you kind of took away from this whole experience of? >> i don't know they're coming, some of them are just for self evident. better to be honest and july. it's worse to lie and be caught then why. -- then july. i don't know, in one in some ways, jeff skilling uses a all the time that enron was caught
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in a perfect storm. and oddly enough, in some ways he was right. when enron collapsed there were still lots of things we did know about the inner workings of enron. that would come out to this gigantic communal, federal investigation which i think was the largest federal investigation ever of a single corporation. they greatest task force that was unprecedented. and, of course, one question people could have is, you know, there have been relatively few indictments out of 2008-2009 meltdown of top corporate officials. now, that may be because there's just not the evidence there, it's so widespread. but i suspect that there was not a single corporation out of that that was investigate the way enron. they had a dozen federal prosecutors, probably 20-25 fbi, irs and sec investigators working for time for four years. you know, going through every
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nook and cranny of the company. i suspect if he did that with any other corporation you would probably find some things. so, you know, enron -- [inaudible] >> bernie is serving time, too, but might not be. so, you know, enron i think it did some outrageous things, you know, but with them are out rages in some the of the things that went on. i'm not sure. some of those mortgage-backed securities, these copies were peddling, which is astonishingly bad, from what i can tell. so i don't know they're coming, i'm not sure what lessons to draw from that, but certainly enron got the but and that kerry can use we certainly, when you look back on it, 10 years now, what comes to mind? what's the sort of, what is your
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take away from this whole chapter? >> there are a couple lesson from and again, it was a lifetime, out a career's worth of expensive if a short period of time, but i would've done it again but it was such an amazing experience that i would've taken notes and written a book. i would've exercise my stock options and i wouldn't have been, my 401(k) was 100% enron stock, so. >> one point on this though, looking back on it now, do you sort of see red flags that you had ignored? what were some of those. >> there were red flags. long before john and rebecca start writing the story, there are a lot of insider stock sales, and -- >> executives selling their own? >> yes, but significant enough that they had to be reported. and when we got questions about them they're always good answers. they had to sell for tax purposes, they're getting a divorce, or they're buying a new house. there were always explanations. that was one concern. anytime you have to hide
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executive is, jeff skilling calls an analyst an expletive on an analyst call, that was concerning. ken lay called the pr department has said the hold music is too upbeat, can we change the hold music tracks things like that. [laughter] >> okay. for a while their hold music was tina turner singing simply the best. that was during saturday's. >> there are a lot of executive departure to read a number of business units and the ceos of those business unit works gradually dropping off and leaving the company. >> okay, at this point i like to open up the opportunity of minutes of the audience to ask our panelists about this experience. i hope that there's questions here. let me look through, i see bob surprising as the first question. and remember, it is a question. >> why don't we skip it didn't? >> just getting. >> what we are talk but is a
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criminal enterprise your define as such. and yet you say you are happy, they were smart, you'd go back and do it again. no remorse. i don't quite get it. this was a monkey enterprise even on a much lower level, som soul-searching, what is the damage, who got hurt when peopl lost their savings? but hiñs cheerful, wonderful md in describing this enterprise, and then we have the idea that it's not unique to enron. the others may even be worse. and so my question, first of all, say you had this great relationship with the media. i have gone back and done some research on the. yes, close. and we had all this deregulation including a commodity act, the enron loophole pushed through by phil gramm, the husband of wendy
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gramm who was the head of your oil committee. they were very cozy, and the question is was there corruption in immediate? were you just particularly effective at spinning and many putting? it have anything to do with campaign contributions? i mean, there's a larger story of the enabling of enron, which after all is a company that didn't actually make things of value. they manipulated. this is not the old industrial is, do you few that you are essentially part of something that was destroying the best part of american? >> you said a lot of questions their. >> basic one question that i will tell you -- >> do you feel corrupted by the expense be? was i corrupted by the expense? absolutely. despite that i can still say it was a tremendous professional experience. the pr team that i worked with were among the best in the industry. they were fantastic. they were great people. as the company was collapsing
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and a new they're going to lose their jobs, they slept at the office. they worked around the clock. to me, that's a tremendous professional. work people are by the come to? out slowly. i was one of them. my 401(k) was 100% enron stock. i lost all of it. i, i am not here to defend the company. what i'm here to do is tell you about the experience from the inside and what it was like from a pr perspective. and from that, there were certainly things that we didn't know that. keep in mind i was not the account. i was not the finance person. we were as good as the information we were given. so often times we had inaccurate information. but i'm not karen denne can enron representative anymore. at the time i was. and that's something that i live with. but it was a strong experience. the people who were involved in the criminal activity are doing time.
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>> thank you for a great conversation. just had a question for john emshwiller. in the five years that separated the precipitation of the collapse and the criminal, you know, findings in the criminal case, the derivatives market grew even bigger and mushroomed even more. and it seemed like that development was missed by financial reporters. what explains the identifications of the risk posed by derivative instruments with enron, worldcom, others, what sort of created that? did people get so captivated by the cat, you know, the hubris represented by the ceos like lay and dennis kozlowski and bernie ebbers, that they got so fixated on the individuals and
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didn't really dig into the systemic questions that were being posed by these instruments that ended up leading to the '07, '08 collapse? is just any thought on what was going on in the investigative reporting around derivatives during that first half of the decade of the 21st century. >> i think most reporters probably don't understand derivatives, so in tend to shy away from what you don't understand which is not a good excuse for reporters. but it happens. it's reality. i mean, frankly i think a lot of regulators didn't understand and tended to shy away from them come and politicians basically, you know, didn't care about them because everyone was happy. i think to some degree people convince themselves that enron, worldcom, you know, some of the others were one offs. okay, this company was bad because they did ask. world, was bad because it cooked its books on accounting. kozlowski just been money like it was, there was no tomorrow.
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and they all went to jail. there's a certain okay, that problem is fixed. congress passed a law which made congress feel like they had done something. but then had this whole other world over here that was similar, connected in a sense, you know, with things like mortgage-backed security markets. but in the 2000 time period, the last decade after the collapse there was huge amounts of momentum pushing those kind of markets forward. you know, president of the united states were behind it and everybody should own a home, congress both republicans and democrats were happily sing oh, yeah, let's make it easier to own homes. and let's not take a look at how it is happening. with these people can actually afford, whether people are lying on their loan applications. i mean, the system in that area got almost laughably uncontrolled. and nobody much seem to care but
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there were some stories. you know, that raised some red flags but it was such a huge, you know, tidal wave of activity and optimism that, i don't know, maybe journalists could have stopped it, certainly could have done more. but there was a certain systemic, large numbers of people involved in it, that, you know, didn't stop until they couldn't keep the merry-go-round going anymore in other questions from the crowd? over your. >> first of all, thank you for coming and speaking with us. one of my classmates had pointed out today that when all this was going on 10 years ago, a lot of us usc students in this room are young, and we had no idea what was going on. all we saw was the commercials from cnn and one -- from what our parents were just telling us basically. our question, for the kids in
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here, shouldn't say kids, students, that are planning to go into corporate america, are there any pointers or any tips such as enron, no more, but any going wrong within the company, at what point do they say hey, i need to leave, something doesn't feel right, so they can avoid having, you know, questions, you know, such as these are just looking back, saying i really should have worked for enron? that something is wrong within a >> those are exactly the right point to raise. you need to ask why and ask questions. and if you don't get satisfactory answers, you keep asking, and if you have reason to not trust your executives or the people who you work for, you've got a decision to make, whether to leave or whether to
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stay. it's a very difficult question, but you really do, particularly post-enron. where that is it possibly that a company can simply evaporate. he really do have to have confidence in the people you work for. you want to trust them, you want to believe them. you don't want to come to work everyday and represent a company that you don't believe in. so you do have to ask those questions. >> other questions here from the audience? >> trying to find that why you decided to stay, when all of the stories cannot come you stay for two and a half years. wasn't there a point where you're like, i can't, you just said before in your talk that you are not sure that what they were saying was the truth. how can you continue to stay? how can your conscious let you do a? >> once the company files for bankruptcy it became a different company. it was owned by the creditors. and i was one of the creditors.
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we had a chief restructuring officer brought him that was entirely new management team brought in big it was under the eye of the bankruptcy court. and it became a completely different company but our job at that point was to cooperate with investigation. it was to maximize value for creditors. and it was to preserve jobs. we still have a number of employees working for the cover. the pipeline companies were really the only asset driven businesses that the company had come and go someplace kept their jobs. they continued working. so there was, there was still a viable business that was part of the bankruptcy. [inaudible] >> i wasn't. >> and it was a different company. enron, the old enron, the enron that everybody wrote about, cared about, in some ways was no more. it was a ghost, a corpse. i don't know if this is kid? but i know there's a number of people to sit enron, partly because they wanted to get a
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paycheck. they needed a job. having enron on your resume wasn't exactly getting you recruiters knocking on your door. so that was i supposed another issue for some people, but it really was a different, you know, entity. it wasn't going to be borrowing any more money from people. it wasn't going to be selling any more stock. it wasn't going to be do any of the things that it did in that incredible run it had for essentially 15 years. >> you brought up the legal team being part of public relations, and then broadcast images. how has come in your view, public relations changed with something like this? because, in terms of sarbanes-oxley come into play and public companies, and now with the media kind of been, anybody can do video's and stuff, it's not just in your control anymore. like how has public relations changed? >> when this happened, there
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were not so many blogs. that wasn't the social media, there was a facebook. there was any other social media vehicles. the speed with which anything happens is much faster now. >> is it any different terms of companies be more cautious because of legal repercussions? things like social media kind of comeback and backfire a lot more quickly. >> i would say, i mean, there's certainly more legal guidelines, but if you look back since 2008, i mean, companies have still had questionable practices and they still had losses, and that's really continued. >> i must say, some of my colleagues have covered corporations on an ongoing basis what i do, have told me they been told sort of occasional
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sort of pr person that a lot of corporations are carrying much less about publications like "the wall street journal," "the new york times," and focusing much more on social media because they feel is much easier to get their message out in kind of an unfiltered way, you know. and i guess they think maybe it's easier to manipulate the social media picture than it is the press picture, and given how easy it is too many that the present times, that's quite a statement. i do think that is, you know, those kinds of sources are diminishing the power and important and a lot of corporations mind of traditional media. >> i think we have time for one more question here. yes. >> you bring up a point of how you were not involved, you are an account. you are not the one changing the number to you got a great point. you shouldn't be blamed, and because, because the fact that
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you don't to blame, you know, you are not a part of the people, the individual that were causing this entire problem, but how about the people who caused this current economic crisis and that we're dealing the question practices? there's no repercussions. i just want to hear your opinion on that. >> i think it's unfortunate, and me, enron was the first. enron really, i mean, to john's point, i think the onslaught of government investigations and scrutiny was unique. i don't think that the wall street firms, the financial houses have that same scrutiny. i think the government was willing to step in and bail them out. and it's, again, jeff skilling is the one in the jail cell. >> john, any follow-up comment
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on that? >> i agree. jeff skilling is in a jail cell. [laughter] been and will be i think for, is a 24 years? >> twenty-four years and four months. but he still has appeal going, although it is getting, you know, grammar and grammar as far as his chances of getting out. but yet, he as not to to be released, absent some court decision, until i think another 10, 15 years maybe, he's been in this coming december, he will be in five years in an andy fastow served -- >> fastow got a very, got very lucky. he cut a deal with the government to cooperate after spending, after waiting a while, long enough to get his wife indicted and put in prison for you. he cut a deal, and basically took a 10 year prison sentence. reat was supposedly not

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