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Reasons to be Cheerful

David Byrne

26 February 2021

Eugene, Oregon, United States

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800-1500 Words

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The CAHOOTS program, which sends medics and counselors on certain 911 calls instead of the police, has become a national model in the wake of 2020's criminal-justice protests. But its roots reach back half a century, ...

KGW-TV

Dan Haggerty

24 February 2021

Denver, Colorado, United States

Broadcast TV News

3-5 Minutes

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Although Eugene, Oregon's long-running, successful CAHOOTS program serves as one model for the new Portland Street Response, a more relevant model can be found in Denver's STAR program. Like CAHOOTS, STAR responds to ...

WBEZ

Edie Rubinowitz

21 February 2021

Evanston, Illinois, United States

Radio

3-5 Minutes

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When a teenager in Evanston, Illinois realized that senior citizens were facing difficulties securing Covid vaccination appointments due to technology barriers, he created a website to help eliminate some of the techn...

Wall Street Journal

Ruth Bender

21 February 2021

Berlin, Austria

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Schools in Austria are teaching schoolchildren how to use noninvasive antigen tests to test themselves for COVID-19, in an attempt to keep schools open and coronavirus spread low. Although some question how reliable t...

The Seattle Times

Danny Westneat

17 February 2021

Washington, United States

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Retired software engineers in Washington have joined together and created a website that aggregates all available COVID vaccine appointments by using "screen scrapers." Although the site doesn't allow the visitor to b...

Associated Press

Scott Smith

16 February 2021

Caracas, Venezuela

Photojournalism

Under 800 Words

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With Venezuela's hospitals and ambulance services crippled by the country's long-running economic and social crisis, a volunteer corps of paramedics formed two years ago to respond to medical emergencies. With donated...

Next City

Claire Marie Porter

15 February 2021

Austin, Texas, United States

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Arts From The Streets gives artists living with homelessness a path to economic mobility and housing stability by offering ways to make and sell their art. An annual show can bring in $100,000 in sales, 95% of which g...

Transitions Online

Kathrin Yaromich

10 February 2021

Belarus

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During the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, volunteers across Belarus worked together to collect and deliver personal protective equipment to frontline workers, despite the Belarusian government denying the spr...

USA Today

Grace Hauck

6 February 2021

Denver, Colorado, United States

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In its first six months, Denver's STAR program (Support Team Assistance Response) handled 748 emergency calls that in the past would have gone to the police or firefighters. Two-person teams of a medic and clinician h...

CBS News

Li Cohen

6 February 2021

Denver, Colorado, United States

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Denver's STAR program (Support Team Assisted Response) replaced police officers with health professionals on 748 calls for help. In incidents involving mental health, homelessness, and substance abuse, police backup w...

Denverite

David Sachs

2 February 2021

Denver, Colorado, United States

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Denver's STAR (Support Team Assisted Response) program deliberately reduces potentially violent encounters between uniformed police officers and troubled people by responding to certain low-level crises with a mental ...

Crosscut

David Kroman

Sara Bernard

28 January 2021

Eugene, Oregon, United States

Podcast

Over 15 Minutes

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Like many cities, Seattle is looking to Eugene, Oregon, for a model to shift resources from police to unarmed crisis responders handling 911 calls about mental health, addiction, family conflict, and other non-crimina...

TVO

Justin Chandler

22 January 2021

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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A program started in Hamilton, Ontario that allows paramedics to "hold routine drop-in sessions at social-housing buildings, at no cost to residents" has expanded throughout the entire country after reporting notable ...

Eco-Business

Tim Ha

21 January 2021

Kampung Buayan, Borneo, Malaysia

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An indigenous-led nonprofit group called Tonibung installed a micro-hydro electrical system for a village deep in Borneo’s rainforests. The project not only supplied much-needed energy for the villagers of Kampung Bua...

Cronkite News - Arizona PBS

Catie Cheshire

Sinead Hickey

Miles Green

12 January 2021

Arizona, United States

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Arizona's Inmate Wildfire Program trains incarcerated people to fight wildfires, paying them low prison wages to provide a critically needed service as wildfires grow more common. Members of the only all-female crew, ...

Knox Pages

Cheryl Splain

4 January 2021

Mount Vernon, Ohio, United States

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In 55 Ohio counties, judges can appoint volunteers from Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs to represent the interests of children when their families' struggles end up in court. CASA volunteers act as a ...

Wired

Sara Harrison

23 December 2020

Washington, United States

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A unique partnership between scientists, state agencies, and coastal communities in Washington state allows these different entities to monitor and manage toxic algal blooms. Known as the Olympic Region Harmful Algal ...

WHEC-TV

Deanna Dewberry

21 December 2020

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Broadcast TV News

5-15 Minutes

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Since 2002, aging neighbors in Boston have been creating networks, known as villages, of supportive services that allow them to remain in their homes rather than leave to live in a senior center or nursing home. Now, ...

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Chris Serres

18 December 2020

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

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800-1500 Words

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After facing staffing shortages during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the Minnesota Department of Human Services developed an aggressive emergency hiring initiative ahead of potential new outbreaks. Using...

The Local

Michal van der Toorn

11 December 2020

Arnhem, Netherlands

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Rather than import masks from elsewhere, an organization in the Netherlands set up a face-mask factory, and then hired "people with a refugee background to make surgical face masks." According to the project spokesper...

Impacthub Media

Zeddy Odanga

7 December 2020

Kibera, Nairobi Area, Kenya

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800-1500 Words

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Concerned with a rise in misbehavior by students who were staying home much more due to the coronavirus pandemic, a resident of Kibera started a rope-making project that both engages and employs the children. "I felt ...

Global Press Journal

Nansalmaa Oyunchimeg

6 December 2020

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

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After banning the burning of raw coal as a way to reduce air pollution in Mongolia, residents of Ulaanbaatar switched to refined charcoal to heat their homes. However, that coal also wasn’t the cleanest and contribute...

Yes! Magazine

Anne Pinto-Rodrigues

26 November 2020

Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh, India

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In the face of climate change, the nonprofit SABALA is working with nearly 2,000 women farmers in India to participate in millet farming, which can also strengthen community food security and empower women. Using trad...

KUNC

Leigh Paterson

17 November 2020

Denver, Colorado, United States

Radio

3-5 Minutes

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Since Denver launched its Support Team Assisted Response (STAR) program in June, it has handled more than 600 calls for help with a mental health clinician and a paramedic instead of sending police officers. Modeled o...

Reasons to be Cheerful

Hannah Wallace

13 November 2020

Sacramento, California, United States

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An initiative being piloted in the Sacramento hospitality industry aims to decrease the stigma restaurant workers face when talking about mental health concerns with their peers. This peer-to-peer mental health suppor...

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Photo Credits: Almudena Toral; Cody Pope; Matt Stokes; Kriston Bethel; Noah Friedman-Rudovsky

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