St. Louis Beacon: Hire education: When the economy is tough, many return to the ivory tower

January 30, 2009

Originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon

Written by: Kristen Hare

Posted 4:05 p.m. Thurs., Jan. 29 – Rich Gaasch graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia, with a degree in business administration.

He looked around for jobs.

He networked.

He found nothing.

And then he headed to graduate school.

“It wasn’t part of my plan,” Gaasch says. But now, instead of working 9 to 5, Gaasch puts in his 40 hours a week as a graduate assistant and student.

In bad economic times, getting that extra edge with a graduate degree made sense to the 21 year old, who is in his first year of the MBA program at Lindenwood University.

And in the past, economic downturns have sent other people back to school in large numbers, too, swelling both applications and admissions for graduate programs.

Read the rest of this entry »


Planet Money: Dueling Pigs

January 30, 2009

Something that we’ve been hearing in St. Louis is that people need to get their spending under control. When I ask Financial Counselors about what people should be doing with their finances the number one answer is always that “people need to spend less than they earn.” They follow that up with “anyone can save, regardless of how much they make.”

These messages are in direct conflict with what many call the “paradox of thrift.” In this Planet Money report we hear about different approaches to this issue. To listen to the story click on the picture below. To read more about savings go to

Dueling Pigs

St. Louis Beacon: Veteran opens his heart — and his home — to homeless vets

January 30, 2009

Originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon

Written by: Mary Delach Leonard

Posted 2:29 p.m. Mon., Jan. 26 – In Hence Forland’s age-battered brick house on Windsor Place, the rules are spelled out for homeless veterans who give up life on the streets of St. Louis for a warm and secure rent-free room under his dry roof.

Friendly reminders are posted on the kitchen and bathroom walls:

Cover food when using the microwave.

When emptying trash from YOUR room, check and empty kitchen trash. Thank you.

Do not wash dishes in the bathtub.

Forland enforces other rules, as well — from his simple “respect each other” to no drugs or weapons, no cooking or smoking in the bedrooms. And everyone chips in on utilities.

“Everybody needs some kind of structure and neatness to get back on track in their lives,” said Forland, 57, who wears a hat that says Desert Storm Veteran and speaks highly of what he learned from Uncle Sam during his own service in the Army.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Coffee Pot Indicator

January 29, 2009

Economists and news organizations pay attention to foreclosures, home starts, unemployment, and other rates. Most Americans have a much more nuanced way of knowing whether their local economies are in trouble.  To find out how some Americans are measuring the depth of this recession listen to this NPR/Planet Money piece by clicking here.

How do you measure the depth of the financial crisis? What is occuring in your everyday life? Please leave us your thoughts in the comments section of our blog.

St. Louis Beacon: How could so many of us have been so wrong?

January 29, 2009

Originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon

Written by: Mary Delach Leonard

Posted 3:13 p.m. Wed., Jan. 28 – In the grand scheme of the U.S. mortgage meltdown, Stacy Haynes of St. Louis is just one in 2.3 million

That’s the number of U.S. property owners who received foreclosure notices of some type in 2008, according to, a Website that has become the trusted source of statistics on American Dreams gone bad.

But even as she picks herself up, dusts herself off and begins to remake her life, Haynes has a question: “How could so many of us be so wrong?”

She seems willing to accept her share of responsibility but believes there is plenty more blame to go around.

“Are we responsible for what happened on Wall Street?” Haynes said. “Are we responsible for what happened to the banks? Are we responsible for the housing market falling through the bottom? Is that the fault of people like me? Am I responsible for decisions that were made in the White House?”

Read the rest of this entry »

Resources that can help…

January 28, 2009

If you or someone you know is having trouble making their mortgage payment or needs some type of financial counseling assistance please call the United Way’s 2-1-1 referral service at 1-800-427-4626 or visit their website at

For Financial Counseling assistance you can click on the link here Clearpoint Financial Solutions or call them at 1-877-422-9040.

For Housing Counseling assistance please click on this link here and call the agency closest to you. Or call the United Way’s 2-1-1 referral service at 1-800-427-4626

For Fraud Assistance please contact the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office at 314-612-1412 or e-mail them at

For mental health support go to or call their crisis hotline at 314-647-HELP (4357) or their toll-free number at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For other a variety of services contact the Salvation Army, Midland Division visit their website or call them at 314-646-3000.

For support that includes food and utility services contact the Human Development Corporation of St. Louis by clicking here or calling them at 314-613-2200.

Facing the Finanancial Crisis – LIVE TONIGHT!

January 27, 2009

Tune into Channel 9 TONIGHT or watch the live-stream of Facing the Financial Crisis at 7:00pm CST.

Channel 9 producer Ruth Ezell and a panel of experts discuss the impact of the national financial crisis in our area and answer questions from the audience. A team of counselors and advisors from area nonprofit organizations will be on the phones to answer specific viewer questions and connect residents with local resources.

You can watch online at 7pm CST tonight here:

You can join us for a live chat – after the show – at 8pm CST by clicking below:

Facing the Financial Crisis