Sep 14

Music Madness: Gun-toting Diva Shoots Destitute Derelict

Singer Shoots Homeless Guitarist After Waking Him at 3am

Nashville:  Evidently Partying in her White SUV at 3am, blasting loud music, and spewing fumes from her Porsche, Katie Quackenbush woke up a poor homeless man who was trying to sleep on the sidewalk.  The 54 year old man, Gerald “Doug” Melton yelled at the woman in the Porsche to be quiet, which led to a shouting match, and then Quackenbush jumped out of her SUV and allegedly shot Melton twice. She then fled the scene, leaving Melton bleeding on the sidewalk.  He is in critical condition in hospital.  The Diva Quackenbush is in jail for attempted murder.  Here’s the official press release from the City of Nashville about the incident, which is dated 9-11-2017.

Official Press Release

Woman Charged with Attempted Murder in Shooting of Homeless Man

September 11, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Midtown Hills Precinct detectives tonight charged Katie Quackenbush, 26, with attempted murder for the August 26th shooting of a homeless man outside 901 19th Avenue South near Music Row.

The victim, Gerald Melton, 54, was critically wounded and remains hospitalized at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The investigation, which is being led by Detective Anthony Chandler, shows that Melton was trying to sleep on the sidewalk at 3 a.m. when he became disturbed by exhaust fumes and loud music coming from a Porsche SUV.  Melton said he asked the driver of the Porsche, alleged to have been Quackenbush, to move the vehicle.  An argument ensued, with both parties yelling at each other.  Melton said he walked back to where he was attempting to sleep.  Quackenbush is alleged to have gotten out of the Porsche armed and, as the argument continued, fired two shots at Melton.  He suffered a critical abdominal wound.  He said the shooter got back into the Porsche and fled.

Bond for Quackenbush, of 45th Avenue North, is set at $25,000.

The Clash of Rich and Poor in Nashville

What is interesting is that Crooner Quackenbush and her friend drove away and did not report the incident or call an ambulance for Melton, who she shot in the stomach.  The incident took place at 3am on Saturday August 26, and it was not until Monday September 4th that an attorney for Quackenbush called the police to fess up to who it was that shot the homeless man. Maybe it took her a week to line up an attorney.

The homeless man can be seen in a youtube video, playing a love song on his guitar and singing.  He evidently has been down on his luck in his musical career, and forced into homelessness and sleeping on cardboard on a famous Music Row street in Nashville, where he dreamed of making it as a singer.

 

Meanwhile, Quackenbush comes from a well-to-do family.  Her father is a big attorney in Amarillo, Texas, and is giving interviews about his daughter’s innocence, painting her as a victim.  Click here to read the story in the Washington Post..

 

 

Sep 03

Hepatitis Outbreak in S.D. Homeless Community Leaves 15 Dead, Over 250 Hospitalized

Michael McConnell Leading Fight For Bathrooms and Medical Aid

From CBC Radio Program As It Happens with Carol Off and Jeff Douglas

San Diego is experiencing the worst outbreak in decades of hepatitis A, and the homeless population has been hit the hardest.

This is in part because the city hasn’t equipped homeless people with the necessary tools to fight the disease, says the former Vice Chair of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless in San Diego.

“The city does a poor job of providing basic need sanitation, rest rooms, hand washing, places to throw garbage. So I’m not overly surprised that this is continuing to be a huge outbreak,” Michael McConnell told As It Happens guest host Susan Bonner.

Since November of last year, 15 people have died from the disease and 263 people have been hospitalised.

Local health officials are reporting that around 70 per cent of the people affected are homeless.

McConnell spoke with Bonner about why homeless people in San Diego are vulnerable to hepatitis A. Here is part of their conversation.

‘We can’t just cycle people through our emergency rooms and our jails and just send them right back into the horror that is the streets of San Diego.’   – Michael McConnell

Mr. McConnell, local health officials are saying that as many as 70% of the people who’ve been hospitalised with hep A are homeless. Can you tell us about the homeless population and what living conditions they face in the city?

“We have a large unsheltered population of people experiencing homelessness in San Diego county.

“The city does a poor job of providing basic need sanitation, rest rooms, hand washing, places to throw garbage. So I’m not overly surprised that this is continuing to be a huge outbreak.”

Click Here to listen to radio interview and read the rest of the article.

Health conditions in other cities are similar to those in San Diego.  The authorities have continued to ignore basic health concerns for decades.  The shortage of public bathrooms in Los Angeles is at a critical stage.  Because of the huge surge of homeless folks, most restaurants and even fast food locations have installed code locks on their bathrooms to keep out non-customers.  It is a challenge to find a bathroom if you are homeless.

TIP To folks living in vehicles:  An old guy living in his van offered this tip to Gypsy Cool many years ago.  Get a used orange juice size bottle and fill it with a mix of liquid soap and water.  You can use this on the road to wash your hands.  Another similar sized bottle with just pure water can be used to wash off the soapy water.

Solutions Ignored by Cities in America

The City of Los Angeles has a lot of unused properties they could turn into homeless centers. An old Library could be set up with washers and dryers, showers and bathrooms to service homeless folks. This is low-cost compared to the billions they say they are going to use to build housing.  In England, pensioners work at the public bathrooms and collect tips.  They keep the bathroom clean and stocked up.  Why not hire some homeless folks and do the same in Los Angeles?  The City of Burbank has a Temporary Aid building where local homeless folks can get an appointment to shower or do their laundry.  It is mainly run by volunteers, with a small professional paid staff.  Los Angeles and San Diego could easily open many of these operations at a very low cost.  The question is:  Why aren’t they doing it?  Maybe the billions of dollars raised for the homeless are going to be funneled to the Mayor’s cronies in the building trades to build “housing”..  Building ten houses a year does nothing to solve the problem.  Opening 50 bathrooms would save lives.

Jammed Emergency Rooms

Think of the cost to treat homeless folks for hepatitis in emergency rooms and hospitals.  This can be prevented and the millions of dollars can be used for bathrooms, a much more cost effective way to deal with the problem.

Aug 29

Study Found Over One Million Homeless Students in America

Shocking 2009 Statistics Found Over 1 Million Homeless Students in U.S.  How Many Are Homeless in 2017?  Three Million?

Photo of homeless man in front of Salvation Army Youth Center by Uncle Paulie

Peter Miller of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, issued a study that found at least one million students were homeless in the year 2009 in the U.S  Here is part of his opening statement:

A Critical Analysis of the Research on Student Homelessness

by

Peter M. Miller

Since the onset of the economic recession, rates of student homelessness have increased rapidly in urban, suburban, and rural school districts throughout the United States. Despite the widespread urgency of the issue, there is a lack of general coherence in the research about how diverse conditions of home lessness affect students and how schools and communities can best serve them. This literature review attempts to deepen scholars’ understandings of such matters by examining (a) homeless students ‘school experience in comparison to that of other students, (b) federal policy’s shaping of homeless students’ rights and opportunities, and (c) homeless students’ key support mechanisms. The author suggests that these three focus areas provide foundational insights into the nature and extent of students’ opportunities to succeed in school. Although homeless students’ experiences are noted to be similar to those of residentially stable low-income students, they appeared to be distinguishable based on their high rates of isolation and school mobility. The McKinney- Vento Homeless Assistance Act was found to have profound formative influences on the wider field of practice, but its full implementation is limited by the disonnected nature of students’ diverse support mechanisms. Based on the findings, the author suggests that researchers and practitioners consider the people, places, and policies that affect students in more holistic manners—as networks of practice.

Approximately one million students were identified as homelesss in U.S. Schools during the 2009-2010 school year. Although this number represented only a fraction of the students who actually expeeriennced homelessness that year (many more went unidentified), it was startling because it was 41% greater than just 2 years earlier (National Center for Homeless Education, 2010). Given that 70% of school districts throughout the United States reported local increases in student homelessness during this period (National Associationn for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth {NAEHCY} First Focus, 2010), it is apparent that the crisis of student homelessness is escalating in widespread contexts. For example, large inncreases in homeless student identification were evident not only in New York (73%), California (62%), Texas (139%), and other states with large cities, but also in Iowa (136%), South Dakota (73%), New Mexico (91%), and a number of other states with smaller, less densely constituted populations (NAECY/First Focus, 2010). All told , at least 1 our of every 38 children living at or below the poverty level in the United States experienced sheltered or street homelessness in 2009.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE REPORT. (You can download the .pdf file)

 

Jul 09

San Diego Situation An Echo Across the Land

Plenty of homes for those who can afford 2-5k a month in rent. Tents for those who cannot.

 
Check out: Homelessness News San Diego on Facebook.  This post is from their FB  Page
Not only true in San Diego, but all over California.  Redevelopment, Urban Renewal, and other programs that gave billions to real estate and development companies are one cause. They built thousands of luxury units and a few “senior” apartments that quickly became occupied by seniors from other countries who were “political refugees.”  Not many Americans in these places, full of old people from around the world who never worked a day in their lives in the U.S., but now on the dole, getting eternal payments from Uncle Sam.  The politicians in Washington forgot who put them in office, forgot about our U.S. born seniors who worked their whole lives here and paid taxes, forgot about our injured veterans, forgot about their responsibility to us, not to some senior from Eastern Europe or the Middle East, of which hundreds of thousands occupy the so-called low income senior centers.  Don’t believe me?  I would be happy to send you to some of these in L.A., see for yourself.  A big secret nobody ever wants to discuss.
Huge immigration, legal and illegal, without any planning also added to the problem.  No, we don’t need any more “refugees” or immigrants until the government cleans up the mess that they have helped to create.  If anyone, from any country, wants to come to the United States, they should be able to pay an entrance fee of $250,000 per person and prove they can support themselves for 10 years.  The money goes to build low cost housing for the millions of OUR displaced persons living on the streets. If the rich politicians in Washington  want to bring in more “refugees” then let them personally pay the $250,000.  My prediction is that not even one would come in under that stipulation.
Too harsh?  The situation has led to a class war and a government movement to criminalize poverty.  Look at the so-called laws now being passed.  Illegal to be poor, illegal to sleep on a bench, illegal to feed hungry folks, illegal to give a homeless person a free haircut, illegal to feed hungry folks in a park, illegal to sleep in a tent on public property, illegal to sleep in your vehicle, in L.A. illegal to have a pillow in your car says new “Goofy Garcetti” law.  Huge “encampment sweeps” around the country, taking tents and sleeping bags from homeless folks to the dump, trashing private property of homeless, in some cities “rounding up” homeless people and moving them out to some desolate “camp” with orders not to return to the city.  On and on it goes, and every one of the items above have been published on this website.  It’s a brutal class war on the poor.  Even students now suffering.  Think about it.
Jul 02

Homeless Crises Hits California Students Hard

Adding to the Student Loan Crises are Savage New Figures on Student Homeless and Students Facing Hunger and Food Shortages.

by Uncle Paulie

 

The above chart, for the year 2013 (at least 4 years ago) shows the number of homeless kids in Public Schools state wide.  This would include presumably all grades up through 12.  The total of 64,218 would be at least a few percentage points higher today if current trends are applied.

The situation with the California State University system is not much better.  Their current report says that out of 470,000 students in the system, around 12% are in “unstable housing”, the politically correct term that is generally thought of as “homeless”. So by their own very rough count, 56,400 students in the system are homeless.

Even more shocking, if possible, is that about 112,800 students suffer from “food insecurity”, meaning in plain English that they are not getting enough to eat and some are actually starving at times.

What Needs To Be Done

Waiting for some future minor student housing is out of the question.  Action needs to be taken now.

Student Housing

  1.  Let students at CSU park and sleep in their vehicles overnight in the parking lots.
  2.  Remove “no parking at night” signs from the surrounding area.
  3.  Look into buying used RVs, vans and Motor-homes to use as temporary student housing.
  4.  Offer courses for credit for students to creatively “fix up” and make the vehicles look cool and  artistic.
  5.  Beef up shower and bathroom facilities.  Keep these open late at night.
  6.  Increase security on campus to protect kids sleeping in their vehicles at night.
  7.  If on campus parking is not enough then off-campus parking lots should be considered.  There’s  plenty of office buildings with empty parking spaces at night.
  8. . If not enough bathing and shower facilities are available then coupons or “chits” should be .issued to students to use local health club facilities.

Food

  1.  This is a very serious problem.  A long term solution is that the CSU system is going to have to  get into the food production business.  Property has to be acquired and students can volunteer  for credit to plant food gardens.  The schools should be able to grow a large part of their own  food needs. Fruit trees should be planted all over the campus areas.
  2.  Short term students and faculty need to form “Food Drives” to collect food from anywhere you  can, markets, bins placed in Starbucks and Post Offices and of course setting up outside the big  markets and have a canned food drive.
  3.  Farmer’s markets can be contacted to supply excess food from the day’s sales.
  4.  Some public schools are already putting in gardens to grow food as a credit.  This should be  expanded until the system can be self-sufficient.
  5.  Local residents should be encouraged to plant, with student help, gardens in their front yards.  Tax credits can be given to the residents who cooperate.  It might be possible to draw a 2 mile  circle around each school and give the tax credits in that special district to residents who enlist in  the program.
  6.  Many other ideas will come forth to give the schools housing and food security.  The next step  will be to cancel all student debt, jail crooked loan companies, and lower the costs of college for  all.

 

Jun 04

2017 Homeless Count – Staggering Numbers in Los Angeles

Here’s The Numbers

LOS ANGELES COUNTY:   57,794

23% INCREASE FROM 2016

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CITY OF LOS ANGELES:   34,189

20% INCREASE FROM 2016

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LIVING IN CARS:  2,147

50% INCREASE

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LIVING IN VANS:  1,862

21% INCREASE

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CAMPERS AND RVS:   4,545

23% INCREASE

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TENTS:  2,342

20% INCREASE

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MAKESHIFT SHELTERS:  3,516

23% INCREASE

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Further Details:  CLICK HERE  LOS ANGELES HOMELESS SERVICES AUTHORITY

Jun 04

California Homeless Population Swells to 118,000 in 2016

California Department of Housing’s Shocking Report

On a single night in 2016, more than 118,000 people experienced homelessness in California — 22 percent of the entire nation’s homeless population.  California also has the highest number of unaccompanied youth, veterans and chronically homeless in the United States, with nearly one-third of the nation’s youth, nearly one-fourth of the nation’s homeless veterans, and more than one-third of the nation’s chronically homeless residents.   Most of California’s homeless population resides in major metropolitan areas; however, homelessness impacts communities of all sizes and people experience homelessness throughout all regions of the state.

The availability of affordable homes is an important part of addressing California’s housing needs, but many households bear additional challenges.  For example, a person exiting homelessness may not have the credit or rental history required to rent an apartment, even if they have financial assistance, or they may need a variety of services to help them transition and stabilize.

Even with federal Housing Choice Vouchers that assist with rent, many households are still unable to find affordable homes. In many high-cost markets, the amount of rent a federal Housing Choice Vouchers will cover is capped based on the Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Fair Market Rent, which can fall significantly below the market rent. This, combined with too few available rentals and landlords who are unwilling to accept vouchers at all is exacerbating the problem

In addition to policy work on homelessness, HCD administers the following programs:

Following two-and-a half years of work, in 2016, HCD released a redesigned state Emergency Solutions Grant program (ESG). The updated program better aligns with the federal Homeless Emergency Assistance and Transition to Housing Act and increases coordination of state investment, federal investment, and local systems that address homelessness. HCD shared the redesigned program’s changes via roundtable meetings with regional bodies that coordinate homelessness efforts (continuums of care) and webinars. HCD prepared the 2016 ESG application and rating tool for scoring the applications. In May 2016, HCD released an ESG NOFA for approximately $20 million, and subsequently, made awards in September 2016 (FY 2016-17).

Learn more about the housing needs of people experiencing with homelessness in California’s Housing Future: Challenges and Opportunities.