"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]
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)
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]
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."
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.
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
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.
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.
Invisible people. A multi-link Vimeo post. Mark Horvath gives homeless people a forum, removes their invisibility. (Via NPR's Weekend Edition)
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]
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]
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]
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]
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?
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
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.
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?