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these stories happened to so-and-so, they’re happening to us.

can theatre bring justice to homeless transgender youth?
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Jun 11, 2014 - 1 comment

Make Them Visible

The New York City Rescue Mission set up a social experiment with a hidden camera to see if people would notice their loved ones posing as homeless people as they walked past. [more inside]
posted by gman on Apr 24, 2014 - 27 comments

word has it, he got a deal for only $2350/month

An army of NYPD cops on Thursday evicted a homeless man from his Manhattan Bridge "home" — which was complete with a gas heater, hot sauce and beer.
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Apr 17, 2014 - 59 comments

"You're gonna be okay."

Writer David Dickerson tells the first time he used the word "homeless" to describe his situation to a stranger, and what effect that stranger's kindness had on his life. Now he's trying to reach out with an open letter of gratitude in hopes that he can find the amazing person who helped him. [slyt | via]
posted by quin on Apr 11, 2014 - 10 comments

Real Change

Homelessness in America Award-winning documentary by Michael Becker. (Vimeo)
posted by vac2003 on Apr 5, 2014 - 4 comments

“People don’t go nowhere in Brooklyn”

The number of homeless New Yorkers in shelters has risen by more than 69 percent since 2002, when Mayor Bloomberg took office. Each night as many as 60,000 people -- including more than 22,000 children, the highest number since the Great Depression, -- experience homelessness in NYC, and during the course of each year, more than 111,000 different homeless New Yorkers, including more than 40,000 children, will sleep in the city's municipal shelter system. Meet Dasani, one of the city's 'invisible children.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 9, 2013 - 112 comments

Names for Change

Name this mouthwash. Name this winter coat. Name this urinal. Name the herb garden. Name this salt and pepper. Name this fire extinguisher. Name this Case Manager. Name this pie. [more inside]
posted by threeants on Nov 26, 2013 - 28 comments

What It's Like to Fail.

Twenty-five years ago, David Raether was a successful comedy writer -- a member of the writing staff of Roseanne. Five years ago, he was homeless. This is his story.
posted by workingdankoch on Nov 18, 2013 - 92 comments

They say they thought there were fewer homeless people than before.

If you declare, in a famous poem affixed to the Statue of Liberty, in New York Harbor, “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me,” you might consider that a certain commitment has been made. (SLNYer)
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Oct 22, 2013 - 31 comments

Digital panhandling is the next internet boom

“It’s a lot less embarrassing,” he says. “You don’t have to put yourself out there.” And unlike panhandling in Pensacola, using an app like Bitcoin Tapper won’t put him on the wrong side of the law. This past May, Pensacola — where Angle has lived since April — passed an ordinance that bans not only panhandling but camping on city property. -- Homeless, unemployed and surviving on bitcoins (and food stamps).
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 25, 2013 - 19 comments

The Travelers and the Wanderers

Songs from the Black Chair, published by Bellevue Literary Review in 2004, from a 2005 memoir by the same name, by Charles Barber
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 19, 2013 - 4 comments

A housing liberation movement is brewing in Chicago

The idea is simple: Tens of thousands — possibly hundreds of thousands — of vacant, bank-owned homes are a large part of what is making the poorest neighborhoods of Chicago into semi-forsaken tracts ridden with crime and blight. So why not use them to house the homeless? [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on Jun 1, 2013 - 59 comments

"Maybe he has his own washer and dryer now."

Back in 1994, Mimi Haist was a volunteer at the BEST laundromat in Santa Monica. The then-struggling young comic Zach Galifianakis was a patron of that laundromat, and he and Mimi became friends. Flash-forward to 2011 when the now-successful Galifianakis learns that Mimi has become homeless. What does he do? Pays for her apartment and makes her his date at his movie premieres.
posted by jbickers on May 21, 2013 - 44 comments

Survivors

Street Children - Can you look them in the eye?
posted by Gyan on May 18, 2013 - 7 comments

Fitch the Homeless

One man's attempt to rebrand Abercrombie & Fitch as "The World's Number One Brand of Homeless Apparel". SLYT
posted by dobbs on May 14, 2013 - 49 comments

I hope your patience with my bama shit was worth it

Political reporter John R Stanton (aka Big John) has been thinking about the gentrification of DC. Late last night, he tweeted up a story about DC in the old days, personified by a junkie named Raymond.
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 9, 2013 - 16 comments

The Weeklies

“My husband and I, our parents wanted better for us than what they had,” Bonnie says. “And it’s gone backwards.” [more inside]
posted by threeants on Apr 28, 2013 - 92 comments

Documentary about homeless 15 year old artist wins first Oscar for a crowdfunded film

A documentary about homeless teen Inocente Izucar wins the first Oscar ever awarded to a film financed in part through Kickstarter. Link is to her personal site, with a trailer video about her life.
posted by carolinaherrera on Feb 26, 2013 - 9 comments

The human paperweight

Robert Lenkiewicz was a prolific and prodigiously talented (if unfashionable) painter, a self-styled outsider, and a philanderer rumoured to have slept with more than 3000 women. When he died, the embalmed body of a homeless man named Diogenes was found in a cupboard drawer in his studio. [more inside]
posted by misterbee on Feb 5, 2013 - 19 comments

Babes of Wrath

Homelessness activist Diane Nilan and progressive activist and former Green Party candidate Pat LaMarche are embarking on a tour around the southwestern US to call attention to homeless children and youth in crisis. [more inside]
posted by eviemath on Jan 20, 2013 - 10 comments

Bed, shelter, home, refuge.

The journey with no destination.
"We board in northwest London on a regular bus, with the intention of heading into the heart of the capital, where there is a much greater choice of night buses when it gets later and colder. By now the group seem to have fully accepted my presence and are keen to tell me about their lives. The most pressing question I have is: why? Why would you eschew safety and warmth and comfort for this? It turns out that while a couple of kids might be along for the ride, for most this is their only option.

A boy with huge brown eyes, who is so small he barely looks older than 12, tells me: “I’m allowed home in early mornings to have some food and change my clothes, but I have to be gone by the time my mum wakes up.” When I ask him why, he shrugs, as if the answer is forgotten or irrelevant."

posted by fight or flight on Jan 17, 2013 - 34 comments

We're changing our image.

Panhandling in Arcata tests the city's tolerance. 'Long known as the "Berkeley of the North," Arcata traditionally has welcomed the downtrodden, embraced the leftist fringe and fostered a live-and-let-live ethos.' 'But balancing the comfort of the haves with tolerance for the have-nots has come down to a complex question of just who is worthy of help.' 'Councilwoman Susan Ornelas reflected the community's torn conscience: "While we're a progressive town and we're very open-hearted," she said, "we have limits on our tolerance."' 'A report last fall by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty found that slightly more than half of 234 cities surveyed had bans on aggressive panhandling, the same proportion had outlawed it in specific areas, and one-fourth forbade begging citywide.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Aug 7, 2012 - 162 comments

Homeless on purpose

Homeless on purpose, how a U1 philosophy student braves the elements, sleeps outside, and keeps an eye on his GPA Shane is a U1 Philosophy student at McGill, and has been homeless since July. He lives on campus, using its facilities like most of us use different rooms in a house. He eats his meals in student lounges and does push-ups in the library. He showers at the gym and stashes extra socks in convenient hiding spots. He won’t say where – he guards his possessions closely.
posted by Strass on Mar 9, 2012 - 103 comments

It was Once Much Easier to inhabit public space.

Seeing so many Occupiers getting evicted made me think of this short 1988 documentary by Nancy Kalow on homeless squatter punk teens in the Bay Area (warning:cringe-inducing rapping in the opening scene). From their stories, it seems as if they had free reign of the abandoned Berkeley Polytech building for a while. Readers of Cometbus who aren't from the Bay Area can see a bit of the scene he made sound so attractive. 1993 sequel, The Losers Club.
posted by shushufindi on Dec 2, 2011 - 5 comments

Bank of America is a shitty neighbor

"I live next door to a house owned by Bank of America, and they are the worst neighbors I’ve ever had. The previous owner, Mike, was a good guy; he occasionally had loud parties, but we were always invited and the food was great. Then he was killed on the job. He had been single and had no will, so his house swiftly defaulted to the lender. More than three years later, that house is still empty." An essay on trying to fight off suburban decay, and the changing face of the margins of American society.
posted by ardgedee on Nov 16, 2011 - 62 comments

Vancouver aims to "end homelessness by 2015"

Vancouver aims to "end homelessness by 2015". Officials have been working over the years to reduce the city’s homelessness, and in July passed an ambitious plan that targets eliminating street homelessness by 2015 and creating nearly 40,000 new units of social, rental, and condo housing by 2021. The plan is aimed at building multiple types of housing to address shortages, but the first three years focus mainly on supportive and social housing. It calls for 3,650 units of such housing, 1,700 of which are already funded and in either the planning or construction phase. According to city councilor Kerry Jang, the need for this type of supportive housing has skyrocketed in recent years.
posted by modernnomad on Oct 24, 2011 - 96 comments

Transient Man

Transient Man. "Transient is a black comedy about a homeless man who's visions lead him to believe he is an inter-dimensional savior of humanity, on a mission to save the universe. Is he indeed the 'one', chosen by mystical divine forces to embark on a crusade against ultimate evil, or a hopeless lunatic, aimlessly wandering the streets of San Francisco? Transient is a spoof on the hero's journey that's part Men in Black, part Raising Arizona, flavored with liberal portions of Ghostbusters and John Steinbeck. It is a ballad to the city by the bay, and a heartfelt tale of the sacrifices one man will take for his love for his family, his friends, and all of humankind." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 3, 2011 - 20 comments

20 Facts About U.S. Inequality that Everyone Should Know

20 Facts About U.S. Inequality that Everyone Should Know
posted by ennui.bz on Jun 3, 2011 - 49 comments

A place on earth

Safe Ground is an organization of Sacramento's homeless population to claim a secure location in order to live decently. While resistance to tent cities (previously, 2, 3) has largely been due to political expediency (criminalizing homelessness is easier than ending it), a spot on Oprah brought media attention to the plight of the homeless and made it more difficult for police to bully them from place to place with the threat of jail. In response to this, Costa Mantis(of He Knows You're Alone fame [uncredited on the wiki]) started filming the personal stories of the homeless along the American River in Sacramento. This led to Searching for Safe Ground, a miniseries concerning the struggle of Sacramento's homeless for a place to exist. Incidentally, a federal jury ruled tonight that the city of Sacramento has been violating homeless people's constitutional rights by moving them from public property and confiscating their property. Stay tuned.
posted by Wyatt on May 24, 2011 - 15 comments

Down and out in Toronto and New York

Down and out in Toronto and New York: Freelance film critic Steven Boone recounts his experiences with the soup kitchens of Toronto and New York in First rate, second rate: In and out of the soup kitchens of Toronto and New York
posted by Harald74 on May 3, 2011 - 7 comments

Can you make it through the month?

SPENT is a flash game (or an immersive online experience depending on who you ask) that challenges players to survive poverty and see first-hand that homelessness is just a shortfall away. Created in partnership with Urban Ministries of Durham and containing scenarios commonly faced (pdf) by the working poor, it may not tell people anything they don't already know, but is a creative use of gaming and social media to raise awareness and bring in donors.
posted by ND¢ on Feb 15, 2011 - 47 comments

Homeless man with perfect radio voice

Ted Williams is a homeless man with the gift of a golden voice (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by sarastro on Jan 4, 2011 - 83 comments

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of?

Daniel Mustard has had quite a year. From homelessness on the streets of New York, to singing Creep on Opie and Anthony's homeless shopping spree, to getting sober, to getting a record contract. Is this the American dream?
posted by Xurando on Dec 18, 2010 - 10 comments

Beating the Odds - Homelessness in Sydney

An ABC Investigative Unit team hit the streets of western Sydney, where young people are struggling to break a vicious cycle of unemployment and family breakdown, to find out what's being done to stop them from falling through the cracks. In a great article by ABC reporters Eleanor Bell and Ed Giles, they found that the lack of resources, infrastructure and support for families in these communities is getting worse, not better but that despite this, many locals are still proud of their community.
posted by Effigy2000 on Sep 8, 2010 - 18 comments

Bamboo Charlie

In a narrow plot next to the Los Angeles River, Charles Ray Walker, 59, has created a refuge of terraced slopes from toys and trash discarded by Angelenos.

It's his home away from homelessness.
posted by gman on Jul 5, 2010 - 25 comments

We live in a brilliant city!

Streets of Plenty is a documentary set in Vancouver's DTES of Corey Ogilvie's 31 day homelessness experiment whose thesis wasn't resolved until the 26th (and last) day. [more inside]
posted by sleslie on Mar 21, 2010 - 24 comments

The homeless

Invisible people. A multi-link Vimeo post. Mark Horvath gives homeless people a forum, removes their invisibility. (Via NPR's Weekend Edition)
posted by caddis on Mar 6, 2010 - 4 comments

A Lot To Live For

An Olympic Tent Village has opened in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, on an empty lot currently being leased by the Vancouver Olympic Committee, in response to increasing homelessness in "Canada's most livable city", in spite of spending more than $6 billion on the 2010 Olympic Games. Mayor Gregor Robertson has stated that they won't be evicted - for now. [more inside]
posted by dinsdale on Feb 17, 2010 - 42 comments

She can move out of her car and into your home for a mere $95!

In the 1980s, American Girl dolls became an obsession for many young girls. The early options were limited, but the "family" of dolls has expanded to have Native American, New Mexican, African-American, and Jewish girls represented. Reaching across to a new un-tapped demographic: American Girl has released a homeless doll. Gwen Thompson, the homeless girl, retails for $95.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Jan 31, 2010 - 109 comments

How can one evict the homeless?

After a spate of recent deaths, efforts to rehabilitate homeless chronic inebriates in Anchorage now include involuntary confinement. Other city-wide efforts include a mayoral decree that established homeless camps should be scattered. [more inside]
posted by stinker on Oct 25, 2009 - 52 comments

Homelessness in Sydney

"I always had this picture in my head a homeless person is they're got torn dirty clothes, they're not shaven, they're, they're sort of sitting in the corner you know waiting for a handout and that was my and to think that - I'm not in that category - but I don't have a home for my family."
A report from Australia's Four Corners documentary TV show looking into homeless families in Western Sydney. Link has video and a transcript, plus background info.
posted by bystander on Sep 22, 2009 - 31 comments

Barbara Ehrenreich on Poverty in America

Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of Nickel and Dimed, has for the past two months been writing a series of opinion essays in the New York Times that discuss poverty, both new and entrenched. The pieces, so far, are "Too Poor to Make the News," "A Homespun Safety Net," and "Is It Now A Crime to Be Poor?" [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Aug 10, 2009 - 77 comments

"Homes not Handcuffs"

The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty has released a list of the 10 meanest cities in relation to criminalizing homeless. Full report (pdf) available here. [more inside]
posted by lunit on Jul 14, 2009 - 80 comments

homesick

"This is one of the greatest damn gifts you could ever give to anybody." The EDAR (Everyone Deserves a Roof) is a mobile sleeping shelter for the cold homeless in refrigerator boxes.
posted by four panels on Dec 10, 2008 - 58 comments

Life in the Tunnel - Dark Days

Sunday Morning Movie - A moving and fascinating documentary, Dark Days is on Google Video. Marc Singer lived in the tunnel, and started filming with the help of his fellow tunnel dwellers. Trivia here. Inevitable Wikipedia link here. [more inside]
posted by Fuzzy Skinner on Nov 9, 2008 - 19 comments

Tent Cities, USA

As forclosures rise, so do tent cities filled with Americans. Across the country, tent cities are rising everywhere. From California, where foreclosures are taking over 60,000 homes per month, to Vegas, where hungry children sleep in the glittered dust of the wealthy, to St. Petersburg, Florida where the cops are destroying the tents of the homeless to make them leave the city, to the suburbs, homelessness, hunger, and poverty are on the rise. The government's response? Change how "homeless" is defined, so that the numbers appear to be decreasing at the same time that tents are springing up all over the country. [more inside]
posted by dejah420 on Nov 7, 2008 - 135 comments

Domestic Violence Discrimination in Housing

Disclosing victim status could mean being denied that housing is even available. Women strong enough to flee their homes and their abusive situations were more likely to be denied housing outright, something that did not happen to people not disclosing.
posted by jacobw on Apr 24, 2008 - 29 comments

Coming Home

Homeless people are just too lazy to work, aren't they? Besides, they panhandle to get by, so what's the big deal? What does it mean to be homeless [previously] anyway? How do people find themselves in these sorts of situations, and why can't they get out of them? How do they feel about it? And are there any alternatives that we can supply them with?
posted by hadjiboy on Mar 23, 2008 - 69 comments

Contemporary Hooverville

Tent cities spring up in L.A. With foreclosures rates still rising, shantytowns have started springing up in Los Angeles.
posted by MythMaker on Mar 18, 2008 - 81 comments

On Skid Row

On Skid Row is a five part video series about Skid Row in Los Angeles from GOOD Magazine. Introduction, Kids, Drugs, God, Afterword via y2karl's earlier via
posted by sleepy pete on Mar 16, 2008 - 9 comments

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