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Quercki : homelessness   38

California Is Desperately Trying to Hide Homeless People, Critics Say - VICE
The result of a protracted legal fight, "right to shelter" forces America's largest city to provide temporary shelter to everyone who wants it, every night of the year. This includes traditional shelter beds, of course. But if those are filled, the city is legally obligated to rent out alternatives in hotels and motels to make up the difference. In 2018, according to Politico, that cost the city "$32 million per month for commercial hotels, $2 million for private apartments, also called clusters, and $96 million for traditional shelters."

Compare that to San Francisco's shelter situation, where the current waitlist for a bed is more than 1,000 people deep. It’s part of the reason why, when NYC conducted its "point in time" count—a contested one, it should be noted—of homeless folks last January, there were relatively few—3,588 people—officially sleeping on the streets.

The stark difference in the volume of human beings without a permanent roof over their head is why California lawmakers have been looking to New York as a model for getting the state's homelessness crisis under control.
homelessness  SF  solutions 
11 weeks ago by Quercki
Mayors in Alameda County want shuttered jail converted into homeless shelter -
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office closed Glenn E. Dyer Jail last month as a cost-cutting measure amid declining inmate populations and rising incarceration costs.

The mayors from 14 cities proposed the jail conversion this week at a meeting with the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, where they asked for more support from the county in dealing with the homeless crisis. The number of shelter beds available is not enough, they said.

“This is an incredible opportunity because it’s this huge piece of land in little downtown Oakland with multiple buildings that could be redeveloped,” said Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín. “I do think given the severity of the crisis, we do have to think outside the box. We’ve seen a significant increase in unsheltered homelessness. We need more space for shelter. We need more expanded mental health services.”
Oakland  East_Bay  homelessness  jail  building  solution 
12 weeks ago by Quercki
Homeless population jumps by thousands across the San Francisco Bay Area - Los Angeles Times
Farther south in the Bay Area, the number of homeless people living in Santa Clara County increased 31% over the last two years, from 7,394 to 9,706, according to preliminary results released by the county. San Jose saw a surge of 1,822 people, for a total of 6,172 homeless residents living in the county’s largest city.

“We all have a shared responsibility to address this crisis — every city and every neighborhood,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement. “That means we must house homeless neighbors here, not the proverbial ‘somewhere else.’”

In the East Bay’s Alameda County, the numbers weren’t any better, with a 43% increase since 2017. The homeless population there numbers 8,022, of which 6,312 are unsheltered.

The full reports for both counties will be released in July as well. The organization that conducted Alameda’s count, EveryOne Home, says that about 1,500 people return to permanent housing every year, but that number is offset by the 3,000 people who fall into homelessness for the first time each year.
homelessness  data  2019 
may 2019 by Quercki
New Stanzas for Amazing Grace by Allen Ginsberg | Poetry Foundation
New Stanzas for Amazing Grace
By Allen Ginsberg
I dreamed I dwelled in a homeless place
Where I was lost alone
Folk looked right through me into space
And passed with eyes of stone

O homeless hand on many a street
Accept this change from me
A friendly smile or word is sweet
As fearless charity

Woe workingman who hears the cry
And cannot spare a dime
Nor look into a homeless eye
Afraid to give the time

So rich or poor no gold to talk
A smile on your face
The homeless ones where you may walk
Receive amazing grace

I dreamed I dwelled in a homeless place
Where I was lost alone
Folk looked right through me into space
And passed with eyes of stone
Amazing_Grace  song  homelessness 
may 2019 by Quercki
How New Orleans Reduced Its Homeless Population By 90 Percent | Here & Now
On how the city afforded housing

"Actually, this is a very cost-effective approach, because when you think about it, it is costing the taxpayer a tremendous amount of money to leave people on the street. They're constantly cycling in and out of jail on charges that wouldn't even be relevant if they had an apartment, things like urinating in public, ....They're being taken by ambulance to the emergency room constantly. Those are huge charges.
homelessness  solutions 
february 2019 by Quercki
(12) Oakland Now!
Yesterday the independent Oakland Police Commission held its first public hearing on the topic of “Policing in the Homeless Community” at the Taylor Memorial Church. It was awesome! Over 150 community members, more than one half of them from our “curbside communities” came to testify before five sensitive, attentive police commissioners. Also listening and hearing were Council members Fortunato -Bas and McIlheny, as well as staff members from the offices of three other Council members Kaplan, Thao and Gallo.
Members of the Coalition for Police Accountability transported our unsheltered neighbors from many of the city’s seventy (70) encampments to tell of their difficult personal experiences and suggestions for improving policing practices. Volunteer men and women from the Skyline UCC and Plymouth UCC churches made yummy, healthy lunches for all. More volunteers provided professionally supervised child care for any children who accompanied their parent to the event.
Oakland  Police  Commission  homelessness  Measure_LL 
february 2019 by Quercki
There Are 2 Vacant Investor-Owned Homes for Every Homeless Person in America
According to ATTOM, 76 percent of all vacant homes in America are owned by investors — amounting to approximately 1.1 million vacant residential investment properties. Many of these vacant homes are in economically distressed Rust Belt cities with high poverty rates, like Detroit, Michigan, neighboring Flint, and Youngstown, Ohio. The states with the highest investment property vacancy rate also have high poverty rates. Michigan leads the pack with 10.3 percent vacancy, Indiana at 9.8 percent, Alabama at 6.9 percent, and Mississippi at 6.6 percent.

Meanwhile, in December of 2017, the Associated Press reported that homelessness increased in America for the first time since 2010 — the height of the Great Recession. 2017 data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development showed that local counts of homeless Americans reached approximately 554,000 nationwide, which is a 1 percent increase from 2016 (and roughly half of the number of vacant residential investment properties in America today). Approximately one-third of those counted as homeless had no access to nightly shelters and were sleeping on streets, and in vehicles and tents.
homelessness  vacant  housing  investing 
february 2019 by Quercki
Oakland calls Tuff Sheds a success; first village removed as lease ends - Story | KTVU
OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Oakland's first 'Tuff Shed' camp is gone. The city's year-long lease with a private developer at 6th and Brush streets in West Oakland ended this month and the city took away the 20 sheds that could temporarily house 40 homeless people at a time.

"We always planned on having a short lease. We moved the left over cabins to storage and they will be used when a new site opens soon," said Joe Devries, Oakland's homeless coordinator

The city says the success rate here was extraordinary.
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Of the 74 homeless people who stayed here, 76 percent are now living in either permanent or transitional housing. They're off the street including those who had lived here when the camp closed three weeks ago

"The net impact we had on unsheltered residents on our streets was positive. That is why we are continuing to expand it," said Devries.

The success rate at the three remaining Tuff Shed camps is lower at 68 percent. Two more shed camps are expected to open in the next few months.

"This isn't housing. This is emergency shelter in a non-traditional way. And it worked," said Devries.
Oakland  homelessness  solution 
february 2019 by Quercki
Room for hope for homeless at the Holland in Oakland -
The Holland, a gray building on West Grand Avenue, hopes to replicate the success of the 137-bed Henry Robinson Center, which is also run by Bay Area Community Services. The Henry, as it is known, serves about 300 people per year. According to Bay Area Community Services, since the Henry opened in 2013, a whopping 88 percent of its clients moved to permanent housing within six months.
Oakland  homelessness  solution 
february 2019 by Quercki
(2) Oakland mayor announces a new partnership to house the homeless - YouTube
Oakland mayor announces a new partnership to house the homeless
Published on Jan 16, 2019
Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf announces a new partnership with Kaiser Permanente to get people off the streets and into homes. Kaiser plans to invest 200-million dollars into its thriving communities fund with the aim of helping reduce homelessness.
Oakland  homelessness 
january 2019 by Quercki
Oakland’s new transitional housing aims to put ‘visual dent in homelessness’ - SFGate
The three-story, century-old property is expected to house 90 people for four- to six-month stays. It is an extension of downtown Oakland’s Henry Robinson rapid rehousing center, which is at maximum capacity and considered a “low barrier” way of getting individuals off the street.
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The city contractor that operates the center, Bay Area Community Services, will also run the new building, formerly known as the West Grand Hotel.

“We’re a harm-reduction model, so basically people can come in with an active substance-use issue, and we don’t turn them away,” said Jamie Almanza, executive director of the organization. “They can bring in their pets. They can bring in all their belongings.”

The existing downtown center places 88 percent of residents into permanent housing within six months of their moving in, according to the city.

Homeless people deemed to be the most in need — the elderly or those with chronic or mental health conditions — will get priority to move into the West Grand Avenue building. They will receive one hot meal a day and access to case workers who can help them get housing, government benefits, addiction treatment and legal documents, such as ID cards.

“The design of the model will actually put a real, noticeable, visual dent in homelessness because of the sheer volume of people it will be able to serve in a way that gets people permanent housing. It’s not a model where people stay and then return to homelessness, which many models unfortunately do,” Almanza said. “They don’t leave here until they find homes.”

The building, on West Grand Avenue between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Northgate Avenue, used to be a single-room-occupancy building that was sued by the city in 2014 for being an alleged drug den and “unfit for human habitation.” Oakland inspectors had red-tagged it for fire- and building-code violations.
A census in 2017 found 2,761 homeless people were living in Oakland — 25 percent more than there were in 2015.
Oakland  homelessness  solution 
october 2018 by Quercki
Federal Court: First Amendment Protects Sharing Food With Homeless People
In a colorful decision that managed to invoke the Boston Tea Party, Lady Macbeth and Jesus of Nazareth, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that feeding the homeless is “expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment.” The decision revives a challenge brought by a local chapter of Food Not Bombs, which sued Fort Lauderdale, Florida for requiring a permit to share food in public parks.

Thanks to the city's ordinance, Fort Lauderdale has become infamous for cracking down on compassion. In 2014, police arrested a 90-year-old man and two ministers who were simply trying to share food with the homeless.

“We are very pleased with this ruling, and we look forward to continuing our community organizing in Fort Lauderdale,” Nathan Pim, a member of Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs and a plaintiff in the case, said in a statement. “We hope we are one step closer to something we've fought for over many years—simply being able to help people without being threatened with arrest by people who should be working with us.”
food  Food_not_bombs  homelessness  Florida 
august 2018 by Quercki
Latest News - California Council of Churches- Walking the Walk, However You Can
This all started with a very simple act – I let homeless people use our address for their mail.  This is life altering for them since with an address for their mail they know when they have to update their records, know they have benefits at all, and prevent loss as reporting changes occur.  We get our own first class mail at a PO Box anyway, but it was such a simple thing and has made an enormous difference for all those people. 
Having protection from the vagaries of both homelessness and being out of touch has made a difference.  A lot of them are Vietnam vets, have worked, and are too old to find employment anymore. A few have disability income finally, one is on Social Security, and others have applied.   The cat lived on a harness and leash for two years to keep him safe, and now he and his owner have their own small apartment because they regularized their social service contacts via our address. We are thrilled for them both.  Others have gone home to family, and still others have VA or HUD housing.  All of this happened because they had an address.

---An essay by our Director of Public Policy Elizabeth Sholes, posted on facebook by Jean Reynolds
Christian  good  homelessness  solutions 
january 2018 by Quercki
Utah says it won 'war on homelessness', but shelters tell a different story | US news | The Guardian
A year after Utah officials announced to great fanfare that chronic homelessness had been nearly wiped out, a battle is brewing over the future of the largest shelter in the state.

Not because the Road Home, in Salt Lake City, and its 1,000-plus beds aren’t needed in the Utah capital – but because they are.

'Housing first': Dallas's new strategy for the city's most costly homeless people
Read more
On Sunday night, the massive operation housed 1,041 men, women and children on triple bunks in overflow dormitories, in small rooms for desperate families, on so-called medical beds for the sickest and most frail, on yoga mats on the floor.

Some had spent more than 3,000 nights in the jammed facility, one of the nation’s biggest. More than 300 fit the shelter’s definition of chronic homelessness, even if they don’t match the federal government’s guidelines, which the state used to trumpet their good news a year ago on 28 April.

That’s when the state housing and community development division boasted in a press release: “Utah’s Chronic Homelessness Approaching ‘Functional Zero.’ State Achieves Goal Ten Years in the Making.”
homelessness  solution  Utah 
december 2017 by Quercki
OHCHR | Statement on Visit to the USA, by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights*
2. My visit coincides with a dramatic change of direction in US policies relating to inequality and extreme poverty. The proposed tax reform package stakes out America’s bid to become the most unequal society in the world, and will greatly increase the already high levels of wealth and income inequality between the richest 1% and the poorest 50% of Americans.  The dramatic cuts in welfare, foreshadowed by the President and Speaker Ryan, and already beginning to be implemented by the administration, will essentially shred crucial dimensions of a safety net that is already full of holes.  It is against this background that my report is presented.

3. The United States is one of the world’s richest, most powerful and technologically innovative countries; but neither its wealth nor its power nor its technology is being harnessed to address the situation in which 40 million people continue to live in poverty.
poverty  U.S.  U.N.  report  taxes  homelessness  children  dental  healthcare 
december 2017 by Quercki
Gligor Tashkovich | Together in Dignity
Remembering Joseph: The Catch 22s of a Life “in the System”
“Homelessness for Dummies”: The Economics of Living in the Street
On Access to Information, Identity Politics, and Overcoming Poverty
homelessness  NY  poverty 
april 2017 by Quercki
Oakland Dismantles Tiny Houses at Homeless ‘Village’ | SF Homeless Project | The California Report | KQED News
By Ali Budner
FEBRUARY 3, 2017
On Thursday morning, scores of Oakland police officers in tandem with the Department of Public works, showed up to clear a unique homeless encampment called “The Village” at 36th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, near the MacArthur BART Station. The camp had been a grassroots partnership between homeless residents, local neighbors, and activist groups like Feed the People and Asians for Black Lives.

On inauguration weekend, they had begun building tiny homes and other amenities here in a public park, which they say the city had neglected for decades. They say this camp was in direct response to the homelessness crisis in the Bay Area and that around 16 people had taken up full-time residence here.

For nearly two weeks, scores of volunteers had helped build four tiny homes from pallets and plywood. Others had served hot meals from a makeshift kitchen, spread mulch over muddy grass to prepare for edible landscaping and provided 24/7 security for the dozen or so homeless people they say were residing there full time. They had also pulled together a donations tent, an information tent and a medical tent — all run by volunteers. Some had started calling it “The Promised Land.”

So when police and city workers arrived to vacate and demolish it, they were met by a passionate crowd of nearly 100 of the encampment’s supporters — some wearing neon-green “legal observer” caps from the National Lawyers Guild and others chanting and carrying signs that said “homelessness is not a crime.”
Oakland  homelessness 
february 2017 by Quercki
This is why veteran homelessness has dropped so dramatically.
The first major player? The first lady.

Michelle Obama has led efforts to encourage mayors to take on vet homelessness at the local level. And it's working.

Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images.
Her initiative, aptly dubbed the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, has prompted hundreds of local officials to commit to effectively ending homelessness among those who've served. Since its launch two years ago, the challenge has done just that in 27 communities across the country, including Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Houston.

These cities have shown that, yes, you can get every last vet into stable housing. Heck, even two states — Virginia and Connecticut — proved it can be done.

A second key factor? Opening the door to homeless vets, so to speak.


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Ending veteran homelessness has been a big component of the Obama administration's Opening Doors plan — the federal government's first-ever comprehensive strategy to get a roof over every American's head. Key partnerships within the strategy have helped more than 360,000 vets and their families find housing in the past six years alone, thanks to services from HUD and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.
And a third reason for the big drop? Housing First.

The evidence is mounting (and has been for a while now) that the Housing First approach to homelessness is the way to go. The White House-backed strategy — which provides a person with a home, first and foremost, and then provides helpful services (as opposed to a person obtaining housing only if certain behavioral conditions are met beforehand) — is being adapted by more and more nonprofits and agencies across the country.

It's how Utah was able to get its chronic homelessness rate slashed by more than 90% in just one decade.
veteran  homelessness  solutions  data 
august 2016 by Quercki
Why Utah is giving homes to the homeless – Susie Cagle – Aeon
The Housing First philosophy was first piloted in Los Angeles in 1988 by the social worker Tanya Tull, and later tested and codified by the psychiatrist Sam Tsemberis of New York University. It is predicated on a radical and deeply un-American notion that housing is a right. Instead of first demanding that they get jobs and enroll in treatment programmes, or that they live in a shelter before they can apply for their own apartments, government and aid groups simply give the homeless homes.
homelessness  solutions  comic  Utah 
august 2015 by Quercki
Housing The Homeless Not Only Saves Lives -- It's Actually Cheaper Than Doing Nothing
It's cheaper to give homeless men and women a permanent place to live than to leave them on the streets.

That’s according to a study of an apartment complex for formerly homeless people in Charlotte, N.C., that found drastic savings on health care costs and incarceration.

Moore Place houses 85 chronically homeless adults, and was the subject of a study by the University of North Carolina Charlotte released on Monday. The study found that, in its first year, Moore Place tenants saved $1.8 million in health care costs, with 447 fewer emergency room visits (a 78 percent reduction) and 372 fewer days in the hospital (a 79 percent reduction).

The tenants also spent 84 percent fewer days in jail, with a 78 percent drop in arrests. The reduction is largely due to a decrease in crimes related to homelessness, such as trespassing, loitering, public urination, begging and public consumption of alcohol, according to Caroline Chambre, director the Urban Ministry Center’s HousingWorks, the main force behind Moore Place.

One tenant, Carl Caldwell, 62, said he used to go to the emergency room five to seven times a week, late at night, so he could spend the night there. “You wouldn’t believe my hospital bills,” Caldwell, who hasn’t had health insurance for years, told The Huffington Post. Caldwell was a teacher for 30 years and became homeless five years ago, when he lost his job and his roommate moved out.

While living on the street, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The disease was particularly challenging for Caldwell, who said he spent his days “trying not to get robbed or killed” and trying to find bathrooms and shelter from freezing weather. Since he moved into Moore Place when it opened in March 2012, Caldwell has gained a regular doctor and has undergone radiation. Now his cancer is in remission. Without having to worry about where he will sleep, he can take his medicine regularly and keep it in his mini fridge.
homelessness  housing  solution 
december 2014 by Quercki
OM – Tiny Houses & More! | Occupy Madison, Inc. – Ending homelessness one tiny house at a time!
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
8 Replies
Big thank you to all those who turned out and all the help to get OM Build this far. It truly is amazing what people can do when they work together. It truly is a grass roots effort with no contributions of money from local government, and all volunteer run.

Check out our Facebook Volunteer Page to become involved in the next steps! And check out our donation page if you have a couple of dollars to donate — we had a hiccup with the link this past week, which is now fixed.

This entry was posted in News on November 16, 2014 by occupymadisoninc.
Occupy_Wall_Street  Madison  homelessness  solutions 
november 2014 by Quercki
(3) US Uncut - Timeline Photos
An Occupy group in Madison, Wisconsin just cut the ribbon to open a new community of tiny houses for the homeless. The community includes 9 tiny homes, a resource center, and a gardening space. No one should have to be homeless in the world's richest country. Pass this along if your city should follow Occupy Madison's inspiring example! Like our page US Uncut!

OM Build was only made possible by dedicated volunteers and generous donors from around the country. If you want to learn more and possibly contribute, please visit Occupy Madison's website:

Photo: Architect Ed Kuharski
Occupy_Wall_Street  Madison  homelessness  solutions 
november 2014 by Quercki
Phoenix Becomes First City To End Chronic Homelessness Among Veterans | ThinkProgress
The Obama administration has set a goal of ending homelessness among veterans by 2015, but one city reached that mark a year early.
Phoenix announced last week that it has eradicated chronic veteran homelessness — making it the first city in the country to do so — after it housed an additional 56 veterans on Wednesday.
Three years ago, city officials identified 222 homeless veterans living in Phoenix. Using both state and federal funds, the city had successfully housed the last veterans who were living without homes. They did so through an innovative idea known as “Housing First” — providing somewhere to live for homeless individuals without first requiring that they be sober or drug-free. The thinking goes that homeless individuals with drug or alcohol problems will be far more capable to address these issues if they first have a stable place to live. Housing First works best when it’s coupled, as it was in Phoenix, with supportive services like job training and health care.
In 2009, President Obama and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced an initiative to combat veteran homelessness with the goal of housing every veteran in the country by 2015. The most recent nationwide homeless count found 57,849 homeless veterans in the United States, fully 12 percent of the total adult homeless population. Though that number is still unbearably high, it represents a 24 percent decline over the past four years.
homelessness  veterans  Phoenix 
december 2013 by Quercki
Homeless Program ~ City of Oakland, California
Homeless Program
This program(s) provides housing and services to people in Oakland who are homeless, hungry, HIV/AIDS positive, or living on extremely low incomes. Services include: Emergency Housing Program, Winter Relief Program, Emergency Winter Shelter, Homeless Mobile Outreach Program, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), and more.

Community Housing Services recognizes the tremendous need for services specific to the homeless population. Through the administration of contracts, we partner with non-profit organizations to assist the homeless and near-homeless community with temporary shelter, hotel/motel vouchers, rental assistance, eviction prevention, transitional, supportive and special needs housing. Also provided are a continuum of other support services to the homeless such as food, employment, physical and mental health, drug abuse and domestic violence programs. Community Housing Services can provide information and referrals concerning any of the following:
Oakland  homelessness  solutions 
december 2013 by Quercki
Community Housing ~ City of Oakland, California
Community Housing
The Community Housing Services Division seeks innovative solutions to hunger and homelessness by:
Tracking and addressing the changing needs of homeless and at-risk populations
Enhancing and strengthening Oakland’s network of service providers
Building a consensus to provide “safety net” services
Working with regional partners to develop a seamless continuum of housing and service delivery
Oakland  homelessness  solutions 
december 2013 by Quercki
Utah Is on Track to End Homelessness by 2015 With This One Simple Idea | NationSwell
Give them an apartment first, ask questions later.

Utah has reduced its rate of chronic homelessness by 78 percent over the past eight years, moving 2000 people off the street and putting the state on track to eradicate homelessness altogether by 2015. How’d they do it? The state is giving away apartments, no strings attached. In 2005, Utah calculated the annual cost of E.R. visits and jail stays for an average homeless person was $16,670, while the cost of providing an apartment and social worker would be $11,000. Each participant works with a caseworker to become self-sufficient, but if they fail, they still get to keep their apartment.
homelessness  solution  Utah 
december 2013 by Quercki
Wyoming can give homeless a place to live, and save money -
— December 3, 2013
Wyoming is nearly a decade behind its neighbor Utah in doing something to end its chronic homelessness problem, but it’s never too late to start. There are many people to help and a lot of public money to be saved, in a humanitarian way.
In 2005, Utah set out to do something very different than the typical strategy of getting the hard-core homeless off drugs and alcohol, and making them jump through enough bureaucratic hoops to obtain some state assistance and finally get what they need most: permanent housing.
Utah started a pilot program that took 17 people in Salt Lake City who had spent an average of 25 years on the street and put them in apartments. Caseworkers were assigned to help them become self-sufficient, but there were no strings attached – if they failed, the participants still had a place to live.
The “Housing First” program’s goal was to end chronic homelessness in Utah within 10 years. Through 2012, it had helped reduce the 2,000 people in that category when it began by 74 percent. Lloyd Pendleton, director of Utah’s Homeless Task Force, said the state is on track to meet its goal by 2015, and become the first state in the nation to do so.
- See more at:
homelessness  solution  taxes 
december 2013 by Quercki
How Becoming a Librarian Saved Me
Each time I’d seen him with a game on his computer, it wasn’t a game he was playing; it was apparently a game he was building.

“What gave you the idea to do this?” I said.

It was like he had stepped out of a library advocacy brochure. “Just decided that I didn’t want to be a bum anymore,” he said. “Got sober and decided to try to learn how to be around people again, so hopefully I can learn how to be useful. This city’s got services I can use, and it’s nice to have a shelter for sleeping and showering, but education’s how you get off the bottom.” He spread his arms and gestured around the building. “And this is the education I can get. And I’m trying to teach what I’ve learned to some of the other homeless so they can have a little dignity again.”

“So you feel like the library can give you dignity?” I said.

“I don’t feel like it can,” he said, “I feel like it does, no matter what, no matter who you are. If you’ve never been in a situation like mine, you might not be able to need this place in the same way I need it, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need it just as much, in a different way, you know what I’m saying?”
library  solutions  homelessness  education 
april 2013 by Quercki
BeyondChron: San Francisco's Alternative Online Daily News » Homelessness: Cheaper to Fix Than to Let Fester
Right now, agencies at all levels of government combined are spending as much “to maintain a cot in a gymnasium with 100 other cots as it would cost to rent an efficiency apartment,” says Dennis Culhane, who studies homelessness and housing policies at the University of Pennsylvania. “We are paying for a form of housing that is largely substandard, and we are paying as much, if not more, than standard conventional housing.”

A HUD study backs up Culhane’s assertion. It finds that the cost savings of moving people into permanent housing would be astounding.

For example, putting a family of four in a Houston shelter costs nearly $1,400 a month while the market rate for a two bedroom apartment in the city is only $743. In Greenville, North Carolina – a much smaller city – the price tag for a shelter is $2,269, while rent for a two bedroom flat is just under $600 per month.

It also costs less to put an individual in their own place than paying for them to be in a shelter. HUD determines that it costs government $968 to keep one person in a shelter for one month in Houston, against only $743 to rent a one bedroom unit for the same individual. In Jacksonville, Florida, the price drops to $643 for someone to live in their own apartment from $799 in a shelter.

A USC study in Los Angeles – home to 10% of the nation’s homeless – finds that placing just four chronically homeless people into permanent supportive housing saved the city more than $80,000 per year.

Other Costs

There are other costs associated with homelessness that drive up the total expenditure to obscene levels.

For example, the homeless are more likely to access the most costly health care services. According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, homeless people spent four days longer per hospital visit than do people who live in their own place, costing $2,414 per stay.
july 2012 by Quercki
Surplus Government Property: Homeless Help vs. Revenue - Miller-McCune
For the past 25 years, many organizations that serve the homeless in America have been able to do so with a free supply of real estate: surplus federal property that the government no longer wants. Old warehouses have been turned into food banks. Small agency office buildings have been converted to counseling centers. Decommissioned military housing now sometimes shelters the homeless.
But in a reality of the recession, as America’s homeless ranks have risen, so too has the pressure in Washington to make a buck by selling these properties.
“The issue has kind of devolved into a complex one, and at its heart, it’s actually not a complicated issue,” said Jeremy Rosen, policy director for the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. “It was thought, quite correctly at the time — and I believe it’s still quite correct today — that if the federal government has property that homeless providers could use, and homeless providers need property, why don’t we match that up?”

Miller-McCune's Washington correspondent Emily Badger follows the ideas informing, explaining and influencing government, from the local think tank circuit to academic research that shapes D.C. policy from afar.

This idea dates to the 1987 McKinney-Vento Act, the first comprehensive federal law dealing with homelessness. The law governs the homeless assistance program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development; it also protects the rights of homeless children to enroll in school. One piece of the bill — called Title V — requires that the federal government must first offer surplus properties to homeless service providers at no cost before giving them away for other public uses or selling them to private buyers.
Occupy_Oakland  20120128  homelessness 
february 2012 by Quercki
8 Stories Buried By the Corporate Media That You Need to Know About | | AlterNet
1) Our Planet Saw the Largest Increase in Carbon Emissions Since the Industrial Revolution
2) Widespread Trafficking Of Iraqi Women And Girls Thanks To The Iraq War
3) More Iraq Veterans Committed Suicide Last Year Than Active-Duty Troops Died In Combat
4) Drone Strikes Kill Innocent Civilians, Not Just 'Militants'
5) Record Number Of US Kids Face Hunger and Homelessness
6) Prisoners Are People Too
7) US Deports 46,000 Parents, Kids Left Behind In Foster Care
8) FBI Teaches Agents That Muslims Are Violent Radicals
climatechange  trafficking  war  suicide  PTSD  homelessness  poverty  children  prison  immigration  homelandsecurity  FBI 
january 2012 by Quercki
(10) Notes from an Occupation 10: November 30 Update
If it wasn't for the Occupation, there wouldn't be the 'Decolonization' movement, and we wouldn't have such an amazing, unprecedented opportunity to teach priviliged white people like myself about our privilege. I always thought of myself as aware and considerate and educated to things like White Privilege. And then I attended a Multicultural Issues workshop and was humbled by my ignorance of just how badly my people don't understand and get angry about it. We've clearly got a lot of work to do as an Occupation and as a Society when all this shit is done and over with. Another day, I happened upon a Decolonization talk at OccupySF and learned about how subtly oppressive language can be. How the phrase "you guys" immediately diminishes the presence of women and transgender people. It's really insidious and just one example of many. It's been quite an interesting personal journey trying to use more uplifting, empowering and neutral language in my everyday talk and be conscious of privilege when dealing with others. And that was just one single meeting of each of those groups I was lucky enough to attend. There's been so many incredible things I've learned and it's hard to quantify them all. It all just sort of blends into this amazing ur-feeling and it's filling a void within that I didn't even know I had! For that victory alone, for me, the Occupation has already won. And I'm just one of tens of thousands of Occupiers who are going through similar awakenings. 
Occupy_Oakland  Occupy_Wall_Street  Native_American  homelessness 
december 2011 by Quercki
What If They Sent in Social Services to Help Occupations Instead of Riot Cops to Bust Heads? | | AlterNet
When all you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail, and in two months, cities have spent an estimated $13 million policing, and in many case evicting, their occupations. That's only part of the tab; they will spend much more defending themselves against lawsuits and settling claims of police brutality.

The Oakland PD is being sued by the ACLU of Northern California and the National Lawyers Guild. Other suits are pending in Denver, Minneapolis, Austin, Cedar Rapids, Tucson, New York and at the Berkeley campus of the University of California. That kind of litigation costs big bucks. A recent investigation by the Bay Area Fox News affiliate found that the city of Oakland, with 400,000 people, has paid out $57 million to settle lawsuits stemming from police abuse over the past 10 years.

One has to wonder about the opportunity costs. How many people could have been offered drug rehab, job training, low-cost housing, mental health and other services for that money? Here we have a community that needs those services, and its citizens are concentrated in one place. So, why not send in social workers instead of riot cops?

This preference for law enforcement over social support is part of a larger trend. Barbara Ehrenreich recently wrote about the fact that, “in defiance of all reason and compassion, the criminalization of poverty has actually intensified as the weakened economy generates ever more poverty.”

So concludes a recent study from the National Law Center on Poverty and Homelessness, which finds that the number of ordinances against the publicly poor has been rising since 2006, along with the harassment of the poor for more "neutral" infractions like jaywalking, littering, or carrying an open container.

Most cities, for example, have ordinances designed to drive the destitute off the streets by outlawing such necessary activities of daily life as sitting, loitering, sleeping, or lying down.
Occupy_Wall_Street  Occupy_Oakland  homelessness  drugs  recession  solutions 
november 2011 by Quercki
Occupy Wall Street And Homelessness: Millions Spent To Evict Camps, While Cutting Shelter Funds
As cities around the country have swept Occupy Wall Street camps from their plazas and parks in recent weeks, a number of mayors and city officials have argued that by providing shelter to the homeless, the camps are endangering the public and even the homeless themselves.

Yet in many of those cities, services for the homeless are severely underfunded. The cities have spent millions of dollars to police and evict the protesters, but they've been shutting down shelters and enacting laws to prohibit homeless from sleeping overnight in public.

In Oakland, Atlanta, Denver and Portland, Ore., there are at least two homeless people for every open bed in the shelter system, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In Salt Lake City, Utah, and Chapel Hill, N.C. -- two other cities that have evicted protesters from their encampments -- things are better but far from ideal. In Chapel Hill, according to the HUD study, there are 121 beds for 135 homeless people, and in Salt Lake City, 1,627 for 1,968.

Heather Maria Johnson, a civil rights attorney at the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, said most cities in the U.S. lack adequate affordable housing, emergency or transitional housing, or other social services for people who are either homeless or are in danger of losing their homes. "This was true before the current economic crisis and remains true today, particularly in areas that have cut social services due to budget concerns," Johnson said.

According to HUD, job losses and foreclosures helped push more than 170,000 families into homeless shelters in 2009, up nearly 30 percent from 2007. Of course, those are some of the same problems that have inspired people to protest.
Occupy_Oakland  Occupy_Wall_Street  homelessness 
november 2011 by Quercki
TMF: Re: Gen X concern / Living Below Your Means
My father was frequently angry and physically abusive. I was kicked out of my home and spent my senior year of high school homeless and living in a parking garage in downtown Seattle.

My father was fond of quoting an uncle of his who gave him some sage advice when he was beefing about having family problems once. "Families," he said, "are trouble." Children have a way of being nasty brats and parents can be the same.

Oregon just passed a law allowing parents (mothers, mostly) of new born infants to turn them over to state authorities and give up any responsibility for them ---I doubt if such women will be expected to pay child support, either.
seattle_pioneer  homelessness 
september 2010 by Quercki
I was incredibly impressed with the event today. It was really well organized—I felt like most volunteers knew what their roles were. Also, I was impressed with the breadth of services homeless people were provided with. From legal services to pedicures—there was a bit of everything for them.

Lastly, I was reminded how far simple kindness goes. All of the homeless people I met were so grateful that I helped them. But all I often did was just walk them from one line to another. I think they were just responding to my speaking to them in a respectful way.
homelessness  oakland  help  safetynet 
april 2009 by Quercki

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