Hawaii is employing one of the um, more creative ways I've come across to save money on housing, food, and other services earmarked for the homeless. The Aloha State is offering one-way plane tickets to volunteers to ship them back to the mainland. The “return to home” pilot program, which will be run by the Department of Human Services, is a three-year endeavor that will launch this fiscal year. The state legislature has approved spending $100,000 in the first year. The state, which has an estimated 17,000 homeless, expects to save money even if some people return. To be eligible for the program, individuals must have a support system in their home state and must not be able to afford the airfare on their own.
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- Abercrombie & Fitch
- Affinity Group
- Critical Condition
- Department of Homeless Services
- Department of Human Services
- Housing Bill
- Liberty Plaza
- Los Angeles
- March Against Monsanto
- Mark Horvath
- Mike Jeffries
- NBC News
- NYC mayoral elections
- Occupy Detroit
- Occupy Homecoming
- Occupy Sandy
- Occupy Wall Street
- Police Chief
- Prince Alwaleed bin Talal
- Rachel Rivera
- Return to Home
- Save Cooper Union
- Seth Diamond
- Social Media
- Superstorm Sandy
- Van Nuys
- World Bank
- affordable housing
- background checks
- community groups
- court support
- displaced families
- fair elections
- five-star hotel
- nevada city
- police brutality
- police terror
- public school
Jason Collett: "I Wanna Rob a Bank"
On June 1st, Occupy Wall Street is coming home.
Join us at Liberty Plaza for a celebration of all we've done on the first nice Saturday of summer, and recommit to all we still have left to do together!
This Occupy Homecoming is designed to help us reconnect with each other, as well as to the great work that lies still before us. The struggle has continued on, and we have continued to struggle – but social distance has drawn us apart from the shared community we once so intimately embraced. We want to re-engage with each other so that we can draw on each others’ strength and share support in our challenge against the powers that be.
Head to occupyhomecoming.net for the full schedule.
We the people are too big to fail! Come Re-Occupy with us.
-- from the ‘Your Inbox: Occupied’ team
After this, he might not sleep so well anymore!
After hearing Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries express his desire of not wanting larger-sized women or "not so cool" kids wearing his brand, this guy decided to fight back. He helps a group of people who could really use the clothes that Jeffries tries so hard to keep out of the hands of people he doesn't deem worthy. Check under the video for other ways in which you can help the homeless.
Click on these to find out more about how you can help:
From Rachel Rivera, the mom who started the petition to keep Sandy families from being evicted"
"My family and other families displaced by Sandy will sleep tight tonight knowing that, at least for the time being, we won’t be evicted from our hotels. This evening, just before the city’s arbitrary deadline to evict us, a Manhattan Supreme Court Judge ordered the city to extend the hotel program for families like mine for 15 days as a result of a lawsuit filed by Legal Aid. NYCC members will continue to fight to secure long term affordable housing for all families displaced by Sandy."
Read more about this great victory in the Wall Street Journal, click here.
Thanks to all who signed the petition!
Six-months after Superstorm Sandy, shore towns are rebuilding, but recovery is slow. Remnants of Sandy's destruction are clearly visible. Towns are working hard to complete boardwalk projects to draw tourists back in time for summer, notes the Associated Press. But while the media wonders where tourists will spend the vacations, 600 families who fell victim to Sandy are wondering if the only place left for them to call "home" is the streets.
The following message is from Rachel Rivera and her petition pleading for the NYC Department of Homeless services not to throw her and her 7-year-old daughter out on the street.
Families who were displaced by Sandy and are living in hotels need long-term affordable housing, not to be thrown out into the streets for the second time since the storm. Extend the April 30th deadline until all displaced families are placed into apartments that they can afford.
Why is this important?
My seven year old daughter Marisol and I have called our room in the Holiday Inn Express on 29th Street home for the past six months since the roof in our apartment collapsed during Hurricane Sandy. But in a few days, we are going to lose our home again—this time because of an arbitrary deadline set by the Department of Homeless Services. No one wants to call a hotel home, but the only other option we’ve been given by the city is the streets.
My daughter and I are not alone. Hundreds of Sandy victims, living in hotels throughout New York City will be evicted from our rooms on Tuesday April 30th. Like Marisol and I, many of those families have nowhere else to go. The number of New Yorkers sleeping in homeless shelters is at an all-time high and families like mine are about to join them. We are victims of natural disaster and deserve to be treated with dignity.
Sign my petition demanding that DHS Commissioner Seth Diamond postpones the April 30th deadline to evict Sandy families living in hotels until there is a plan to find us all housing that we can afford for the long term.
For more information about the impending eviction of 600 Sandy families, click here.
A homeless woman in Connecticut has been sentenced to prison for using a fake address to enroll her son in a public school outside of her former district. Tonya McDowell, who is black, listed her babysitter’s address so her son could attend a school in Norwalk, instead of Bridgeport, where she used to live. Now living out of a van, McDowell occasionally has stayed at a homeless shelter in Norwalk. She was accused of stealing over $15,000 in "free" educational services for her son. Coupled with other charges for selling illegal drugs, she was given a 12-year sentence in prison, suspended after she serves five years. Her attorney, Darnell Crosland, said: "You shouldn’t be arrested for stealing a free education. It’s just wrong."
Community groups and Occupy Detroit using "any means necessary" to save homes from foreclosure, and keep families from becoming homeless.
[Photo via Flickr]
By Cheryl Strauss Einhorn, Special to ProPublica
This story was co-published with Foreign Policy.
Accra is a city of choking red dust where almost no rain falls for three months at a time and clothes hung out on a line dry in 15 minutes. So the new five-star Mövenpick hotel affords a haven of sorts in Ghana's crowded capital, with manicured lawns, amply watered vegetation, and uniformed waiters gliding poolside on roller skates to offer icy drinks to guests. A high concrete wall rings the grounds, keeping out the city's overflowing poor who hawk goods in the street by day and the homeless who lie on the sidewalks by night.
The Mövenpick, which opened in 2011, fits the model of a modern international luxury hotel, with 260 rooms, seven floors, and 13,500 square feet of retail space displaying $2,000 Italian handbags and other wares. But it is exceptional in at least one respect: It was financed by a combination of two very different entities: a multibillion-dollar investment company largely controlled by a Saudi prince, and the poverty-fighting World Bank.
The investment company, Kingdom Holding Company, has a market value of $12 billion, and Forbes ranks its principal owner, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, as the world's 29th-richest person, estimating his net worth at $18 billion. The World Bank, meanwhile, contributed its part through its International Finance Corporation (IFC), set up back in 1956to muster cheap loans and other financial support for private businesses that contribute to its planet-improving mandate. "At the World Bank, we have made the world's most pressing development issue—to reduce global poverty—our mission," the bank proclaims.
Why, then, did the IFC give a Saudi prince's company an attractively priced $26 million loan to help build the Mövenpick, a hotel the prince was fully capable of financing himself? The answer is that the IFC's portfolio of billions of dollars in loans and investments is not in fact primarily targeted at helping the impoverished. At least as important is the goal of making a profit for the World Bank.
I reached this conclusion after traveling to Ghana—in many ways typical of the more than 100 countries where the IFC works—to see firsthand the kinds of problems the World Bank's lenders are supposed to tackle and whether their efforts are really working on the ground. I pored through thousands of pages of the bank's publicly available reports and financial statements and talked to dozens of experts familiar with its performance in Ghana and many other countries.
A homeless woman in her 60s was set on fire as she slept on a street bench outside of a Walgreens Drug Store in Van Nuys, California early Thursday morning. Witnesses reported seeing a man pour something on the woman, then lighting a match before he fled the scene.
"It was like when you pour gasoline on something -- like an explosion," said witness Erickson Ipina, who added that he often saw the homeless woman in the neighborhood.
The man purchased the bottle containing alcohol in the Walgreens store, then poured the contents on the woman, Ipina told a Newsreel photographer. Ipina said he called 911 and followed the attacker, who brandished a knife.
"He told me, 'Stop following me, or I will cut you,'" Ipina said. "I kept following him and then the police came."
The homeless woman, whose identity is not known at this time, has been hospitalized in critical condition. Police have one person in custody at this time.
Attacks such as this on the homeless are not uncommon, sadly. In the past week alone, a 55-year-old man was also set on fire as he slept outside a donut shop in southern Los Angeles County.
2010 was the “deadliest in a decade,” according to the National Coalition for the Homeless in its latest report on hate crimes against homeless people.
Forty-three homeless people died from acts of violence committed against them by housed individuals who were biased against them and/or found them a conveniently vulnerable target for aggression.
Mark Horvath has been a drug addict, a con artist, a producer for Christian television, and for a time, homeless. Now, he's using social media to raise awareness about homelessness and poverty in America. Armed with a website (invisiblepeople.tv), Twitter account (he goes by @hardlynormal), and a camera, Mark's on a mission to give "a face and a voice to homelessness."
Watch, and meet the guy who just might solve homelessness with his Twitter account.
Nevada City, California will provide a handful of permits to homeless persons if they submit themselves to a police background check. Even if they have done nothing illegal, the small number of permits give the police the power to send anyone else having the audacity to want to shut their eyes and rest their weary head while living in abject poverty moving on down the road to the next town.
How is it that when your world falls down around you, your basic rights vanish and the police treat you like some vermin that must be eradicated?
Nevada City, California has passed a new law which requires homeless people to have a permit to sleep in public.
Chief James Wickham told CBS Sacramento: “The goal is to start managing the homeless population within our city. Those are the ones we really don’t want in our city and that we’re trying to keep from camping in our city.”
A no-camping ordinance was also passed by the city, which would criminalize the poor for sleeping in a car, tent or in the woods.
However, if the police give a permit to a homeless person, then that poor person would not be arrested for sleeping.
There are no similar permits required for non-homeless people who might take a nap in a park.
Wickham says he has identified about 60 homeless persons in Nevada City, and will hand out approximately 6 to 10 sleeping permits. If it "works out" he will consider more permits in about 6 months.
The Chief claims that the majority of the area's homeless are "troublemakers," and "criminals," and he hopes his goal of managing the city's homeless population will rid them of these undesirables.
I've got more than a handful of people now that I would like to see be visited by three spirits in the night, and not a moment too soon.