"A BuzzFeed News investigation into Texas judicial practice found that with no public defenders present, traffic court judges routinely flout the law, locking up people for days, weeks, and sometimes even months because they did not pay fines they could not afford. The result is a modern-day version of debtors prison, an institution that was common two centuries ago but has been outlawed since the early ’70s."
The spikes installed outside Selfridges in Manchester are the latest front in the spread of ‘defensive architecture’. Is such open hostility towards the destitute making all our lives uglier?
Tampa homeless program uses unpaid, destitute residents as steady labor force, revenue source [more inside]
"We were homeless; that’s why we were in the hostel in the first place. We didn’t have anywhere else to go. There were 210 other young women living there. Now it’s luxury flats."A group of young, homeless mothers have taken over an empty council house in Newham, East London, in protest over the council's plans to rehome them to other parts of the country while selling off social housing and closing the specialist hostel where they were living. The Guardian reports: "For real politics, don't look to Parliament but to an empty London housing estate." [more inside]
Rethink Homelessness asked a bunch of homeless people from Orlando to write down something about themselves that people who walk by them wouldn't otherwise know.
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]
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]
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)
"Imagine if you had never been homeless before and you'd just lost your job and you lost your home. What would you do? Would you immediately go begging or knocking on a door? No, you would downsize, move into cheaper accommodations, if that did not work you'd move in with friends or relatives and then you'd move into a cheap motel and then ... where would you want to go before winding up at a shelter door? You would much prefer to live at a park with your family and your dog." ... "In just about every major city, there are tent cities. Unfortunately, we're in a growth industry and the numbers are going to continue." -- Michael Stoop, a community organizer for the National Coalition for the Homeless, explaining that the surge in American tent city shantytowns, first highlighted on MeFi in 2008/09: 1, 2, 3, has not slowed. The Great Recession: Life in Tent City, Lakewood NJ / Photo Gallery / Video. [more inside]
Street interviews with Buffalo's freelance bottle collectors – the people who wander through the city to recycle our empties. [more inside]
Invisible people. A multi-link Vimeo post. Mark Horvath gives homeless people a forum, removes their invisibility. (Via NPR's Weekend Edition)
Becky Blanton spent a year in her van grieving her dead father. Even with a full-time job and a writing career, a depression quickly set in which made Blanton feel like a homeless person. How do we define homelessness? [more inside]
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]
"In a test of the American Dream, Adam Shepard started life from scratch with the clothes on his back and twenty-five dollars. Ten months later, he had an apartment, a car, and a small savings." Introduction to the book which arose from his "journey", which was inspired by Barbara Ehrenreich. [more inside]
Bulldozers for the Poor: despite being the brainchild of the chief of police, tent city, home to approximately 500 of the city's roughly 12,000 homeless, is slated to be disbanded to make room for state office buildings and a national jazz park. this comes at the same time hud is readying to demolish four housing projects, where many of the tent city residents hoped to return. meanwhile, residents of one of the swankiest neighborhoods in town are successfully protesting and receiving tax breaks.
A State Street Family Album - State Street in Madison, Wisconsin is a half mile link between the Capitol dome and the campus of the University of Wisconsin. Tree lined, traffic restricted, shops of all manner, State Street represents an almost picture postcard ideal. It is also home to the Family. In the 30's they might have ridden the rails, now they are hanging out in the Peace Park. Glenn Austin has documented their community.
The Homeless World Cup: "Yes, there is a World Cup for homeless people, made possible with help from corporate sponsors such as Nike, Adidas, Coca-Cola and Bank of America."
The Benefit Bank is a project which uses technology to improve the lives of low income Americans. Through the use of software and trained volunteers the program allows the needy to fill out one application which can be generated to receive assistance from a wide range of public and private resources. During stops in the South this week the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and National Council Of Churches sought volunteers and partners to help expand the program. The program has so far been opened in 48 sites in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Kansas including ACORN Housing, Jewish Employment and Vocational Service, and Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry.
IHateMyLife.Us. Homeless advocacy and support, from someone who's been there.
From crematorium scandals to pimp suits and Ben Curtis in between, the Chattanooga area has it all. Enter our latest wonder: Beer for the Homeless.com. Created by a local Talk Radio DJ or two, the site is a serious attempt (ok, it's kinda tongue-in-cheek) to stop homeless citizens from hassling people for beer money. Well, they made their first delivery last week and have some photos and quote from their "clients".
A flood of homeless at city shelters. '"I think that there must be a greater segment of our population that has tenuous connections to family and friends, and therefore has fewer resources to fall back on when something very bad happens like when they lose their job," he said.' How can there be so many people, who have no one to count on? Are we getting some serious payback from the nuclear family society?