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.

 

May 17

San Diego “Encampment Sweeps” Stunning Videos

Michael McConnell Posts Videos of San Diego “Encampment Sweeps” Which Puts Homeless Tents and Belongings Into Garbage Trucks

Off to the Garbage Dump
How Society Deals with a poor person.

In a stunning series of videos, Michael McConnell has documented the scores of “Encampment Sweeps” where San Diego cops, security guards, and sanitation workers raid various areas of the city and grab the private property of the city’s poor homeless folks and send it to the garbage dump.  In video after video, these heartless raiders destroy what little is left for a poor homeless person living on the street in a tent or cardboard house.  This, of course, does nothing at all to work towards a solution to homeless issues, it just further pounds these poor folks into further despair.

The so-called “sweeps” are the latest tool that cities across America are using to make poverty a criminal offense.  Arresting homeless folks for sleeping in a tent and looting all their belongings is a reflection of the dissolving and breakdown of our civil society.  It is the tip of the iceberg of the new class war that is pitting the rich against the poor.  The massive shipment of jobs to China and the far east has led to the shuttering of thousands of factories across the country, pushing former middle class folks out of their homes and into the streets.

What has become obvious is that the rich class is now in a frenzy of cruelty.  These “sweeps”, now taking place in most cities, is but the first round of the harsh things to come.  Some cities are even moving homeless folks out to the suburbs into “camps” and they are forbidden, under threat of arrest, to return to the city.  These are the forerunners of Nazi-style concentration camps that murdered millions in Europe during World War 2.  The irony is that many of the homeless men are themselves veterans of the various ongoing wars that the U.S. is waging around the world.  Returning home from service, often with physical and mental disabilities, they end up on the streets.  Now their paltry belongings are being seized, their tents thrown into garbage trucks.  It is a sad end to the American dream.

Check out Michael McConnell”s videos Click Here.

May 17

Facebook Site Features San Diego Homeless

Keep Up With Homeless Issues in San Diego at Michael McConnell’s Facebook Page

A surging homeless population in San Diego is the subject of Michael McConnell’s Facebook Page called Homelessness News San Diego.  He keeps tab of City activities and the relentless drive to “clean up” and move out the hundreds of tent camps in the downtown area.  Surging rents in San Diego, as in other big cities are driving out the working class and young folks who cannot pay the $1800. per month for an apartment while working jobs that are at minimum wage.  This drives them to living in vehicles or worse, living in a tent on the street.  Click Here to view Michael’s Facebook Page.

May 14

Happy Mother’s Day

A Woman on the Street

 

 

I have no family, not even a friend

Some days I think that this is the end

The end of a long time of sadness and grief

I was hoping my spell of bad luck would be brief

It’s been going on now for a very long time

There’s no money left, not even a dime

Who can I trust out here on the street

Can’t even depend on my tired old feet

Very few smiles, no looks in my eyes

They leave me alone, they don’t hear my cries

Not even a soul to say a kind word

Or to sympathize with what might have occurred

I feel so alone, no one helps me out

But isn’t caring what it’s all about?

Even a smile would do very well

To help me get through my Holiday hell

–Anonymous poem sent to us at GC.  Photo by uncle paulie of a homeless

woman in a bank alcove in Studio City, CA.

May 08

The Pavement – London Magazine for Homeless

Magazine in London Helps Homeless With Articles on Where to Get Food and Services

Pavement magazine, 5 year anniversary film from nick aldridge on Vimeo.

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THE PAVEMENT MAGAZINE (LONDON)

SERVICE PROVIDERS

“We are always happy to get a call from The Pavement – it’s one way of telling that something we are doing is having a real impact on the lives of homeless people. Plus we rely on The Pavement to help us get news and information about services and issues out to the people most affected.” Alison Gelder, CEO, Housing Justice.

“I have seen The Pavement a couple of times now and am really impressed with the content of it. It contains helpful information for our clients regarding what services are available in the city.” Programme Coordinator, The Salvation Army

READERS

“I think The Pavement is brilliant. To people that don’t know it, I’d describe it as like a mix of Private Eye and the Yellow Pages for homeless people. It’s certainly something that I relied on many times.

“I remember the last time I was homeless, I went to a Day Centre and said it’d been a while since I’d slept rough in the city and needed some information about soup runs. They gave me a copy of The Pavement and that sorted me out.

“I knew where I could go to get food, where I could find day centres and get the help I needed. With a copy of The Pavement in your hand, you can survive.

“Homeless people need The Pavement. It gives us a voice and we don’t have a voice. You don’t hear these stories in the mainstream media. They tell you about Katie Price’s wedding but not about the homeless guy who was stabbed in Blackfriars last night. That’s what The Pavement is for.” Christopher Ubsdell, former rough sleeper

OUR MISSION AND AIMS

The Pavement is committed to publishing independent advice as well as hard-hitting and entertaining reportage, tailored to a homeless readership within the UK via our regional magazines and UK-wide website. We aim to provide and publicise appropriate information that is objective, timely and relevant on a range of advisory and practical services available to homeless people, as well as news on the issues impacting the homeless and dispossessed from across the UK. Our ultimate goal is to help reduce short-term hardship amongst our readers and longer term to provide them with information to enable them to guide their own futures.

The Pavement exists because there was nothing like it, but it fulfils a need.

The Pavement is a small charity, founded in the spring of 2005. We distribute The Pavement in London, Scotland and the West Midlands, and we plan to launch in other regions. In London alone, we deliver 4,000+ copies of The Pavement to over 70 hostels, day centres, homeless surgeries, soup-runs and libraries. By using volunteer journalists and homelessness sector professionals, as well as work from the country’s best cartoonists (many of them Private Eye contributors), we’ve achieved a balance of news, features, humour and service listings unlike other publications.

Our journalists cover the news from the streets or news affecting the streets, and we often deal with topics ignored by the mainstream press. Alongside this, other professionals provide features on health, foot care, legal advice and life in hostels, with the back pages given over to The List, a regularly updated directory of homeless services.

As always, we welcome comment, so do get in contact.

RECENT AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS

WORD ON THE STREET

The Pavement’s Word on the Street project aimed to empower homeless volunteers to contribute as fully as possible to the magazine. For three months, volunteers with direct experience of homelessness attended workshops, run by media professionals, to help them develop skills in reporting and photojournalism. They were given training in everything from interviewing to computer skills. The team pulled together a very special November 2014 issue of The Pavement, which featured a brand new cartoon strip (1, 2), Heartbreak Hotel, based on their experiences in hostels, as well as a host of first personal pieces. The group will continue to contribute to the magazine, drawing on a growing bank of ideas for articles, and creating podcasts for the website. A short film about the project is in development.

1 Forget Dennis the Menace and the Bash Street Kids… Beano artist’s new cartoon strip stars a homeless Scot (Sunday Herald, 2 November 2014)

2 Karin Goodwin talks about Heartbreak Hotel (STV, 14 November 2014)

THE UK COMMON RIGHTS PROJECT

The UK Common Rights Project allowed homeless people to speak about the lack of those common rights – water, sanitation, food and shelter – the rest of us take for granted. We worked with Housing Justice and Open Cinema to create a hard-hitting report and website, which were launched at the House of Commons. One of the project films won the Best Short Documentary category at the 2014 Moondance International Film Festival in the US. The project was a follow-up to 2010’s Rights Guide for Rough Sleepers, which we worked on with Housing Justice and Liberty.

WHO BENEFITS?

Over 100 charities, big and small, are members of the high-profile campaign that aims to show the reality of the help that benefits provide, why they need it and the difference it makes. Almost a third of homeless people on Jobseekers Allowance have had their benefits sanctioned (cut off), for instance, compared to just three per cent of housed claimants, leading to destitution and desperation among some of the country’s most vulnerable people.

JUST FAIR CONSORTIUM

The Just Fair Consortium monitors the fundamental human rights to food, housing, social security, education, equality, employment and health. Members, who include Oxfam, the Trussell Trust, the Trade Union Congress and Unicef UK, endorsed a common statement of recommendations from the Going Hungry? The Human Right to Food in the UK report. In 2015, the United Nations will review the UK’s human rights record, and the consortium will be part of the reporting process.

American readers can go online to www.thePavement.org.uk to read the current and past issues for free. Be sure to check out their comic strip.  Below are some photos from some of their issues.

Feb 28

Donate toHope of the Valley

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Don’t Discard…Donate!
Donate your gently used clothing and household items to the Mission. We will use your donations to provide clothing to those in need and all proceeds from our 3 thrift stores provide food, shelter, counseling, and care to those who need it more.
Hope of the Valley….Where Everyone and Everything Gets A Second Chance!

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