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MetaFilter posts tagged with homeless

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Published: Thu, 21 Dec 2017 10:18:43 -0800

Last Build Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2017 10:18:43 -0800


how America moves its homeless

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 10:18:43 -0800

"Once they get you out of their city, they really don't care what happens to you." Every year, American cities give free bus tickets to homeless people to leave the area. The Guardian looks at what happens next. DC does it. St. Petersburg, FL. Nevada's shuttered psychiatric hospitals. Denver. Though it's not clear what happened in Salt Lake City. The number of homeless people in the US has risen for the first time since 2010. This increase is largely driven by increases in California, where a huge hepatitis outbreak has been ravaging the community due to improper sanitation. US Housing & Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson says we know how to end homelessness. This piece is part of the Guardian's continuing series on homelessness in America.

No Loitering. Loiterers will be made painfully unwanted.

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 17:00:48 -0800

How Hostile Architecture Conquered Los Angeles (Jonny Coleman, LAist) ~ How Cities Use Design to Drive Homeless People Away (Robert Rosenberger, The Atlantic ~ Anti-homeless spikes are part of a wider phenomenon of 'hostile architecture' (Ben Quinn, The Guardian) ~ More on the politics of architecture at Failed Architecture. [Hostile architecture previously]

Practice, Practice, Practice

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 06:54:09 -0800

Last night, the Dallas Street Choir made their Carnegie Hall debut. The choir is made up of Dallas residents who are homeless, including some with mental illness and addiction issues. They are currently on an East Coast tour. They were joined last night by 17 New Yorkers who currently live in Manhattan shelters. Last April, they produced the music video Homeless, Not Voiceless. Over 1,200 individuals have attended at least one of their weekly rehearsals, since October 2014.

The Homeless in America's National Forests

Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:23:55 -0800

As Homeless Find Refuge in Forests, 'Anger Is Palpable' in Nearby Towns To millions of adventurers and campers, America's national forests are a boundless backyard for hiking trips, rafting, hunting and mountain biking. But for thousands of homeless people and hard-up wanderers, they have become a retreat of last resort. Forest law enforcement officers say they are seeing more dislocated people living off the land, often driven there by drug and alcohol addiction, mental health problems, lost jobs or scarce housing in costly mountain towns. And as officers deal with more emergency calls, drug overdoses, illegal fires and trash piles deep in the woods, tensions are boiling in places like Nederland that lie on the fringes of the United States' forests and loosely patrolled public lands.

"Be the reason someone smiles today."

Sat, 30 Jul 2016 21:04:44 -0800

Joshua Coombes' Instagram mostly consists of before and after photos of the homeless people in London who he provides with free haircuts while they tell him their stories.

"My sister insisted that the van lifestyle is a major trend. "

Fri, 17 Jun 2016 12:26:39 -0800

You'd Have To Be Crazy
My sister and I are both, in our own ways, like children. When she saw the coat, she ran for it. She picked it up and oohed and aahed over it, turning it this way and that. She showed it to me, and started talking quickly about how much it might be worth. I got embarrassed by how loudly she was talking, and I thought picking a coat up off the ground might be stealing. I was in Seattle to see her; she said she would tell me about what it was like to be homeless.
You'd Have to be Crazy (Part II)
My parents offered to help my sister on multiple occasions. They sent money, called, offered to help her find work. But the relationship was strained. My parents thought that a lot of my sister's symptoms were caused by an aversion to work. She thought that my parents couldn't understand her lifestyle choices and mental-health challenges. She was halfway between seeing herself as being a critic of the system pioneering a new nomadism, and being desperate to change her circumstances. I couldn't tell if she was faking it or not. I didn't have much experience with mental illness, and I wondered if she played it up for sympathy and as an excuse to herself for why she found herself in these circumstances.
You'd Have to be Crazy (Part III)
"You see those people?" she says. She pointed to an old man and a young woman on a bench. Totally ordinary looking people. "They're homeless," she says. "A lot of people you see on the street that look completely normal are homeless. We don't all call attention to it."
You'd Have to be Crazy (Part IV)
I was walking home from work once with my backpack and someone shouted at me, 'GET A JOB!'" Jay said. "I had a job. I just didn't have a home. I lived with my partner for 17 years. We made a lot of money, so I lived very, very comfortably. That was until three years ago, when that relationship ended, and I decided to be 'free.' Of course, I didn't really expect that to mean I would lose my apartment, my car, my job. Everything can come and go. You know, it's a crazy world out here. I wasn't ready for it I guess.
You'd Have to be Crazy (Part V)
I still had not figured out whether my sister was crazy. In fact, it was difficult to verify a lot of the stories I had been told by a lot of the homeless people I met. Several of them may have been nuts, or angling for something, or trying to come across as better than they really were. Stories about their pasts could have been invented, or exaggerated. They may all have been unworthy of special compassion. Who knows? I was staying with my childhood friend, Adam. He has known my sister since we were kids. But so far, she hadn't seen him. "He's hanging out with professors and stuff," she said. "I didn't want to embarrass you. Look at my haircut. I didn't shower in four days." She held out her uneven hair, which she had cut herself. "You don't embarrass me," I said.
People become homeless because of a tiny problem that gets them at the wrong time. It is a refugee crisis in slow motion. There was no one catastrophe, but millions of quiet disasters. So far, these small problems haven't added up in our minds. It is easy to ignore until it is your sister or your daughter or your friend, and then you can't ignore it anymore.

Paging Jean Valjean. Jean Valjean to the courtesy phone.

Tue, 03 May 2016 08:06:44 -0800

On appeal, Italy's Supreme Court of Cassation has overturned the conviction for theft of Roman Ostriakov, a homeless man who stole a few Euros worth of sausages and cheese in 2011. The court ruled that "in the face of the immediate and essential need for nourishment" the theft was not a crime.

"We have found a way to treat others how they want to be treated"

Tue, 26 Jan 2016 00:23:30 -0800

".. after 70,000 kilos of washing ... we realised it is so much more. We can restore respect, raise health standards and be a catalyst for conversation.

Orange Sky Laundry is a world first not for profit mobile laundry service. Launched in July 2014 by this years Young Australians of The Year Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, giving the homeless an opportunity to have their clothes laundered- and perhaps more importantly, the chance to sit down and have a chat with friendly, thoughtful and compassionate volunteers. Starting out in Brisbane, the service now operates in 6 cities around Australia- and continues to grow. Partnering with food vans and other homeless services, Orange Sky Laundry is helping to change lives, one load of washing at a time.

"What happened to Lane is illegal."

Thu, 08 Oct 2015 07:50:52 -0800

"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."

Our neighbour

Wed, 29 Jul 2015 09:34:55 -0800

Pechito Alejandro Ferreiro, better known as Pechito, lived with his 2 dogs on the corner of two busy avenues in the Palermo barrio of Buenos Aires for 12 years. Well-known and well-liked in the area, he died in 2013. In this short film he tells his story.

Bea Arthur's gift

Wed, 22 Jul 2015 18:49:40 -0800

How Bea Arthur Became a Champion for Homeless LGBT Youth, by Carl Siciliano, Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center.

The homeless blogger who became a millionaire overnight

Tue, 24 Mar 2015 09:04:17 -0800

"I simply can't afford to fuck this up, and if I'm drinking, I certainly would. Either I would waste all the money or kill myself". Mike Wille was the homeless loner who enraptured legions with his funny and touching stories on The Ground Score blog. After his mother's death, he inherited $1.8m and a house near New Orleans.

They don't see themselves as victims ... but it's not empowering for them

Wed, 25 Feb 2015 06:49:32 -0800

The Urban Institute has released (PDF) the first study to focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; young men who have sex with men (YMSM); and young women who have sex with women (YWSW) who get involved in the commercial sex market in order to meet basic survival needs, such as food or shelter.

Defensive Architecture Keeping Poverty Unseen

Fri, 20 Feb 2015 08:29:06 -0800

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?

You need housing to achieve stability, not the other way around.

Thu, 19 Feb 2015 10:59:16 -0800

We could, as a country, look at the root causes of homelessness and try to fix them. One of the main causes is that a lot of people can't afford a place to live. They don't have enough money to pay rent, even for the cheapest dives available. Prices are rising, inventory is extremely tight, and the upshot is, as a new report by the Urban Institute finds, that there's only 29 affordable units available for every 100 extremely low-income households. So we could create more jobs, redistribute the wealth, improve education, socialize health carebasically redesign our political and economic systems to make sure everybody can afford a roof over their heads. Instead of this, we do one of two things: We stick our heads in the sand or try to find bandages for the symptoms. This story is about how Utah has found a third way. Scott Carrier reports for Mother Jones on Utah's simple, cost-effective approach to ending homelessness: "finding and building apartments where homeless people can live, permanently, with no strings attached. It's a program, or more accurately a philosophy, called Housing First." + Hasan Minhaj investigates Housing First in Salt Lake City for The Daily Show: The Homeless Homed [video only] + Christopher Smart for The Salt Lake Tribune: Will Utah end chronic homelessness in 2015? + A four-part series published by NationSwell earlier this year:• part 1: Utah Set the Ambitious Goal to End Homelessness in 2015. It's Closer Than Ever • part 2: 13 Images of Resilient Utah Residents Who Survived Being Homeless • part 3: The Compassionate Utah Official Who Believes in Housing First, Asking Questions Later • part 4: Far From Finished: Utah's 5-Step Plan to Continue Helping the Homeless + Although it doesn't focus on Utah specifically, this special reporting project was published by NPR in 2002 (!): Housing First is a yearlong special reporting project by a team of NPR News radio and Web journalists. Through extensive coverage on-air and online, Housing First will explore why it's so difficult for Americans with special needs to find good housing -- and how the lack of housing often stymies their efforts to join, and flourish in, the mainstream of society. Tales of New Beginnings • part 1: "This isn't a bad place, but still..." • part 2: Beatriz and Jennifer move out • Part 3: The promised land of a new home • part 4: No beds, no gas -- but Beatriz is home • part 5: In the quest to succeed, 'no margin for error' • part 6: Coming out the other side of homelessness who needs housing? people fleeing abusive living situations, people recovering from substance abuse, ex-offenders, youth leaving foster care, chronically homeless people, people with mental illness, people with mental disabilities, people with physical disabilities // To find a shelter in your area, visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's State-by-State Homeless Shelter Listing, Homeless Shelter Directory[.org], the National Coalition for the Homeless, or the HUD Exchange's Resources for Homeless Persons. ★ If you are a young person at risk of becoming homeless, visit or call 1-800-786-2929 (1-800-RUNAWAY). ★ If you are a veteran in the same situation, visit the VA's Housing Assistance for Homeless Veterans site or call 1-877-424-3838 (1-877-4AID VET). ★ If you are in danger of experiencing domestic violence or simply hoping to help someone who is, call 1-800-799-7233 (1-800-799-SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) or visit For 24/7 access to confidential, personalized[...]

Hard Time Valentines

Sun, 15 Feb 2015 06:05:39 -0800

Four couples, who are homeless and living in New York, talk about their lives.

The Dignity of Risk

Mon, 05 Jan 2015 09:38:16 -0800

In the wake of increased compliance enforcement of the 1999 Olmstead Decision, which ruled that the unnecessary institutionalization of persons with mental illness was a civil rights violation, a man who suffers from schizophrenia and cerebral palsy struggles with the challenges of independent living after years of homelessness and psychiatric facilities.
"This world is not easy," he said. "You can't deal with it yourself. You gotta have somebody."

"Work Therapy"

Sun, 30 Nov 2014 14:13:34 -0800

Tampa homeless program uses unpaid, destitute residents as steady labor force, revenue source
TAMPA — Before every Tampa Bay Buccaneers home game, dozens of men gather in the yard at New Beginnings of Tampa, one of the city's largest homeless programs. The men — many of them recovering alcoholics and drug addicts — are about to work a concessions stand behind Raymond James Stadium's iconic pirate ship, serving beer and food to football fans. First, a supervisor for New Beginnings tries to pump them up. "Thank God we have these events," he tells them. "They bring in the prime finances." But not for the workers. They leave the game sweat-soaked and as penniless as they arrived. The money for their labor goes to New Beginnings. The men receive only shelter and food. For years, New Beginnings founder and CEO Tom Atchison has sent his unpaid homeless labor crews to Tampa Bay Rays, Lightning and Bucs games, the Daytona 500 and the Florida State Fair. For their shelter, he's had homeless people work in construction, landscaping, telemarketing, moving, painting, even grant-writing. [...] Now Atchison is applying to run Hillsborough County's new homeless shelter, a contract worth millions of public dollars that would entrust him with the county's most vulnerable people.
More coverage from Deadspin:
Reporter Will Hobson's investigation found the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, and Daytona 500 all employed labor from the New Beginnings ministry in a system the New Beginnings CEO calls "work therapy" but labor investigators call "indentured servitude." The money earned working the concession stands, the Times reports, goes directly to New Beginnings, which provides the men with shelter and food; in total, New Beginnings brought in $932,816 in income last year. Most of the men are homeless, destitute, and drug or alcohol addicts. Workers told the Times that New Beginnings confiscated their Social Security checks and food stamps and that while the organization claims to provide counseling, it employs no one with training to treat drug addicts or the mentally ill. One of the organization's chief ministers cited as qualification that "he ran a motorcycle gang."

"These people need homes. These homes need people."

Sat, 27 Sep 2014 04:27:43 -0800

"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 links on Focus E15 Mothers: Focus E15 Mothers on Facebook One first-hand account More details and photos in the Evening Standard Housing issues in London previously on Metafilter; previouslier; previousliest