Rob Holmes

Rob is a graduate of the WORLD Journalism Institute’s mid-career course. Follow Rob on Twitter @SouthernFlyer.

Associated Press/Photo by Rob Carr

Florida voters mull inviting felons to join their ranks

Compassion | A ballot initiative in November could restore voting rights to some ex-convicts
by Rob Holmes
Posted 2/14/18, 05:07 pm

Florida voters will decide in November whether former felons may join their ranks at the polls. The referendum on proposed Amendment 4 will reveal whether Sunshine State residents are willing to grant free speech, in the form of a vote, to lawbreakers usually seen as undeserving.

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Westminster Presbyterian Church

Faith in action during the Super Bowl

Compassion | Minneapolis churches band together to reach out to the vulnerable in the Super Bowl’s host city
by Rob Holmes
Posted 2/07/18, 03:57 pm

In downtown Minneapolis, a tall, snow-covered sign hints at what happened to the homeless during the Super Bowl on Sunday: They went to church.

As football fans thronged Super Bowl Live events around U.S. Bank Stadium, Westminster Presbyterian Church, a Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation, became a refuge for the homeless and vulnerable. The church stands adjacent to the Nicollet Mall shopping district, only blocks away from the stadium.

Its sign beckoned: “Need to warm up? Come on in. Hungry? We have food. Experiencing homelessness? Leave your bag here for the day.” 

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Associated Press/Photo by Jae C. Hong

From blight to blessing

Effective Compassion | Los Angeles wants to convert rundown hotels to housing for homeless
by Rob Holmes
Posted 1/31/18, 04:49 pm

With a wave of the legislative wand, Los Angeles could allow conversion of 10,000 motel rooms into housing for the city’s homeless population. LA has at least 382 older motels with rooms suitable for quick transformation into low-cost housing, and the City Council is debating an ordinance that would convert some of these seedy “nuisance” motels into permanent living quarters, some with on-site supportive services.

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