Focus

WILL - Focus - April 03, 2013

Homelessness a Concern in C-U

At homeless shelters in the Champaign-Urbana area, budget cuts due to the sequester are especially unwelcome. This hour on Focus, we talked about the unmet need for sheltering and rehabilitation services in the area and will hear from a mother who has been working for the last two years to get back on her feet.

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(Duration: 51:29)

A new emergency shelter for the homeless recently started serving families in Champaign county, filling the unmet need for sheltering services for families with children. But funding for the shelter will likely dry up before the end of this year. Even with the new emergency shelter in operation, Nancy Hiatt, Executive Director for the Center for Women in Transition, says there’s a huge unmet need for sheltering and rehabilitation services in East Central Illinois.

This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Hiatt and Beverly Baker, the Director of Community Impact at the United Way of Champaign County. They’ll tell us about the challenges of providing shelter to families and to homeless men and women.  Host Jim Meadows also talks with one woman form Champaign who has been working to get back on her feet and recover from homelessness and drug addiction for the past two years. She’ll tell us about the stigma associated with being homeless and how difficult it really is to regain footing after losing everything.

Categories: Community, Poverty


WILL - Focus - December 04, 2012

Growing Up In Poverty

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(Duration: 51:16)

Nearly one out of every five children in Illinois is growing up in poverty, and in more than half of Illinois' counties, 1 out of every 4 kids experiences food insecurity. Nationwide, childhood poverty costs the country $500 billion a year, or 4 percent of GDP. In addition to the economic costs, there are high personal costs: children growing up in poverty face ongoing psychosocial stress that affects their health and development, from high blood pressure and impaired immune functioning to deteriorated connections in the brain. We’ll explore the effects of poverty on children, and what can be done to ameliorate those effects.


WILL - Focus - July 31, 2012

The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change

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Most of Africa’s farmers are so poor they can’t grow enough to feed their families year round. In January of 2011 a group of Kenyan farmers decided to take a chance--joining the One Acre Fund, a social enterprise set up to help some of Africa’s most neglected people. The hope was that they could feed their families for the year, and have a bit left over to sell.  Roger Thurow brings us the story of a farm community on the brink of change, the subject of his book "The Last Hunger Season."

This is a repeat broadcast from Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 11 am


WILL - Focus - July 02, 2012

Student Loan Debt and Default, a National Crisis?

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(Duration: 49:06)

More than 90 percent of today’s students earning a bachelor’s degree borrow money to pay for school. That can leave them with a huge burden of debt when they graduate. Why have so many students turned to borrowing to pay for college? And what happens to them and to the country if they can’t repay their loans? Our guest will be Lauren Asher, president of the Institute for College Access and Success, and we’ll explore the growing problem of student debt.

This is a repeat broadcast from Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 10 am


WILL - Focus - May 30, 2012

The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change

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(Duration: 52:57)

Most of Africa’s farmers are so poor they can’t grow enough to feed their families year round. In January of 2011 a group of Kenyan farmers decided to take a chance--joining the One Acre Fund, a social enterprise set up to help some of Africa’s most neglected people. The hope was that they could feed their families for the year, and have a bit left over to sell.  Roger Thurow brings us the story of a farm community on the brink of change, the subject of his book "The Last Hunger Season."






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