Hundreds Suffer As City Shuts Down Church For Helping The Homeless

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By Annabelle Bamforth for Activist Post – A church in Davenport, Iowa, facing zoning restrictions related to its outreach program to feed the homeless, is appealing its local council and questioning the legality of the city’s regulations. This all stems from a cease and desist order they received — because feeding the homeless is not allowed when you’re zoned as a church. Pastor Jim Swope founded Timothy’s House of Hope in 2009 and is associated with Compassion Church, which was founded by Pastor Nick Cantwell. One of the primary missions of the church is focused on outreach to poor and homeless individuals, offering addiction resources, haircuts, a food pantry, clothing, and meals at no charge, according to the ministry’s website. Timothy’s House of Hope center has estimated thousands of meals served each month. Timothy’s House of Hope recently moved its operation from West 4th Street to Washington Street, which is where the Compassion Church is located. The center’s location change resulted in its closure just days later due to what has been described as “zoning issues.”

London NGOs Help Authorities Detain, Deport Homeless Migrants

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By Staff of Tele Sur – The war on the homeless has turned into a war on migrants and non-profits are readily offering their services. London nonprofits are collaborating with immigration authorities that collect intelligence and conduct raids to detain and deport hundreds of homeless people, and are even lobbying for harsher policies, according to a report published Tuesday. At least three organizations with the shared goal of ending homelessness and connecting the vulnerable to appropriate resources — St. Mungo’s, Thames Reach, and Change, Grow, Live — regularly conduct joint operations with the Home Office “Immigration Compliance and Enforcement” and “through a creeping process of changes they are being turned into informers,” Corporate Watch found in its investigation.

Doctors Could Prescribe Houses To Homeless Under Radical Hawaii Bill

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By Liz Barney for The Guardian – One day last month, Stephen Williams asked a passerby for help and then collapsed on the sidewalk. When the ambulance arrived in downtown Honolulu, his temperature was well over 104F. A life-threatening staph infection had entered his bloodstream. Williams, who lives on the dusty streets of Chinatown, spent seven days hooked to an IV, treatment that can cost $40,000, according to the hospital that admitted him. But Williams didn’t pay: the bill was covered by government dollars in the form of Medicaid. Over the past four years, he has been to the hospital for infections 21 times, he said, a consequence of psoriasis flare-ups in a humid climate and unsanitary conditions.

Medicine Hat Becomes First City In Canada To Eliminate Homelessness

The Alberta Council of Women's Shelters released its annual report Thursday that said despite the economic downturn the province hasn't seen a spike in shelter visits. (Andy Clark/Reuters)

By Staff for CBC Radio – Medicine Hat, a city in southern Alberta, pledged in 2009 to put an end to homelessness. Now they say they’ve fulfilled their promise. No one in the city spends more than 10 days in an emergency shelter or on the streets. If you’ve got no place to go, they’ll simply provide you with housing. “We’re pretty much able to meet that standard today. Even quicker, actually, sometimes,” Mayor Ted Clugston tells As It Happens host Carol Off. Housing is tight in Medicine Hat. Frequent flooding in the past few years didn’t help matters. With money chipped in by the province, the city built many new homes.

In Tampa, Food Not Bombs Activists Arrested For Feeding Homeless—Again

Two activists with Food Not Bombs are handcuffed after they defied police orders to stop feeding the homeless in a downtown Tampa public park.Anthony Martino

By Kate Bradshaw for Creative Lofting Tampa Bay – Temperatures were dipping into unfriendly territory Saturday afternoon as sports fans flocked to the events at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. At nearby Lykes Gaslight Park, members of Tampa’s homeless community were gathered for hot coffee and bagels, courtesy of the group Food Not Bombs. There were no altercations, no illicit substances, no bad behavior—unless you count that, according to the City of Tampa, that coffee and bagels were illegal. Why? Because you have to have a special permit in order to offer free food to the needy in city parks.

Unhappy Holidays: Houston Police Force Homeless People To Throw Away Food

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By Derrick Broze for The Anti-Media – On Thursday, the Houston Police Department targeted a group of homeless advocates who were attempting to hand out hot food and gifts to the homeless. Houston, TX – On Thursday, the Houston Police Department targeted a group of homeless advocates who were attempting to hand out hot food and gifts to the homeless. Local activists attempting to hand out food and gifts were shocked on Thursday afternoon when Houston police forced the homeless to throw away the donations. Around 1 pm on Thursday, several individuals met in downtown Houston to distribute plates of hot food, blankets, and other supplies to the city’s growing homeless population.

Will Detroit Use Funds To Restore Water or Tear Down Homes?

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By Sara Jerome for Takepart. Detroit, MI – Aurora Harris is familiar with the way people sound when they first lose water service. “I try not to let it affect me emotionally, but there are some days where it’s heartbreaking to listen to elderly people crying on the phone, begging for water,” said Harris, cofounder of the community group We the People of Detroit. In Detroit, water and sewer bills have doubled in the last decade for thousands of customers living in poverty, according to the advocacy coalition People’s Water Board. Rates continue to rise. In May, the city resumed its practice of shutting off the water of delinquent customers, and as of July 1, nearly 4,000 households were eligible for disconnection, according to Bryan Peckinpaugh, spokesman for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

Colorado City To Pay People Jailed Because They Couldn’t Afford Fines

In Colorado Springs, people who told judges they could not afford to pay fines were sentenced to serve a day for every $50 they owed, with some sentenced to multiple terms for multiple offenses. Photograph: Craig F Walker/Denver Post via Getty Images

By Staff of Associated Press – In a rare move, a Colorado city has agreed to pay dozens of people, most of them homeless, who were sent to jail because they could not afford to pay fines for minor offenses such as panhandling and jaywalking. The $103,000 deal requires Colorado Springs to pay up to 66 people $125 for each day they spent behind bars. The city said municipal courts stopped imposing “pay or serve” sentences by the end of 2015 and the ordinances that allowed the practice have been changed.

People’s Assembly A Call To End Homelessness

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By Genesee Martin for Capital Hill Times – The first People’s Assembly drew several hundred attendees to City Hall on Saturday, many carrying signs and flyers with slogans concerning healthcare and housing. Dozens of organizations, advocates, activists and union workers participated, as well as councilmembers Kshama Sawant, Lisa Herbold and King County Councilmember Larry Gossett. Sawant organized the all-day event with the help of several different advocacy groups.

Homeless Forced Out Of Camp They Were Moved To Before Super Bowl

‘If it was my front yard, I wouldn’t want to see this either. But you can’t keep running your problem from this side of town to another side of town. You have to just deal with it where it is,’ said a part-time bartender who is homeless. Photograph: Eric Risberg/AP

By Julia Carrie Wong for The Guardian – Residents have been ordered to vacate the San Francisco homeless encampment under a highway overpass after police and public workers pressured the city’s homeless to relocate there from areas of the city slated for Super Bowl 50 festivities. The 21st-century Hooverville became a symbol of the city’s gaping inequality in the run-up to and throughout the week of star-studded Super Bowl festivities in February, rekindling long-running controversies over how the city should address the needs of its nearly 7,000 homeless residents.

Homeless Advocates Fight For The Right To Rest In Denver

Tiny homes constructed by Denver Homeless Out Loud for those experiencing homelessness in Denver, Colorado. (Photo: Alais Clay)

By Chris Steele for Truthout – Homelessness in Denver has grown 600 percent in the last 20 years, while the amount of emergency shelter beds has been stagnant. In October 2015, Denver Homeless Out Loud (DHOL) occupied space at Sustainability Park and, financed through online donations, began constructing tiny homes for those experiencing homelessness. The group named the site Resurrection Village, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign, which culminated in 1968 after King was assassinated.

Homeless Activists Feed Shelter With Rooftop Garden

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By Steven Maxwell for Activist Post – Every activist has read the increasing number of stories where homelessness is being criminalized, as if simply being homeless isn’t punishment enough. However, there is a rising tide among all walks of life that is beginning to view homelessness in a very different light. As a sinking economy and the criminal actions of the banking elite are leading many middle class, stable families into abject poverty, it is becoming much easier to identify with the less fortunate the closer their plight appears to be.

Buffalo, N.Y., Only Has 25 Chronic Homeless People Left To House

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By Eleanor Goldberg for The Huffington Post – One of the poorest cities in the nation is on track to end chronic homelessness. It just needs a few landlords to step in to finish up the job. Four years ago, Buffalo, New York, had 400 homeless people living on the streets and streaming in and out of shelters. Today, it has knocked that figure down to 25 people, thanks to its collaborative housing efforts, the Homeless Alliance of Western New York said in a press release. The city’s success is due to its employment of the “housing first” strategy. The approach supports giving housing to people in need, and then dealing with their employment and health issues afterward.

Squatters Occupy Royal Mint Site To Protest Against Homelessness

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By Lexi Finnigan for The Telegraph – A group of 20 anti-capitalist squatters have taken over the former Royal Mint Building in protest over Britain’s homelessness problem. The squatters, wearing V for Vendetta masks and hanging out of windows, have set up camp in the grade II-listed Johnson Smirke building, in the City of London, and are refusing to leave. They claim they will only be removed when the owners of the building arrive with a High Court order. Some of the protesters have taken to the roof of the building while others have hung banners with messages such as ‘anticapitalista’, as well as adorning the walls with ‘End World Debt’ posters.

Fifteen Cities Are Destroying Homeless Camps Days Before Christmas

38 	 	  LAURA PROTO Published: 23 July 2015 Updated: 10:49, 23 July 2015 Squatters were today evicted from the historic Elephant and Castle pub after a month-long protest about gentrification and the selling off of social housing.  Police said bailiffs secured the pub in the early hours of this morning and about 20 squatters were removed.  The group took over the pub on Wednesday, June 17, in a protest against gentrification after estate agent Foxtons submitted an application to open a premises at the famous pub site.  Kazz Rafi, who works at Elephant and Castle Food and Wine, said five or six police vans and security crews arrived just before 4am today.  He told the Standard: "The people were sleeping inside and [police] told them to go. They were illegally inside - it's not their property."  The squatters were expected to move on to occupy another vacant building.   Elephant and Castle pub Historic: The pub has been at the centre of a row about gentrification (Picture: Laura Proto) Some were seen being forced to leave the abandoned pub in just their underwear while it remained dark outside.  Mr Rafi added since the squatters, a group of 20 to 25, arrived last month it had changed the feel of the area.  He said: "It is a lot of noise in the morning.  "It is more rough here now because of them. They smashed the glass on the pub about three days ago."   The group are said to have been mostly male Europeans and Mr Rafi said one older man, of about 65 years old, was also seen with them on occasions.  The pub, which has been part of the community since written records began in 1765, lay unused since March after it had its licence revoked following an assault.   Elephant and Castle pub Graffiti: One slogan outside read 'better squat than let homes rot' (Picture: Laura Proto) This morning the abandoned pub was covered in graffiti on outside and signs placed in the windows reading "f*** Foxtons", "Heygate, Aylesbury, Guinness Trust: Your Home Will Be Next!" and "Every great injustice has been at the hands of someone just following orders."  Southwark borough commander Zander Gibson said: "The Elephant and Castle Pub has for many years been a central feature of life in the area. I totally understand that the topic of its future use and occupation has caused so much comment, concern and split opinion.  "Thankfully, the bailiffs were able to operate without the need for police intervention this morning and I'm glad the eviction took place without anyone from either side getting hurt.  "Whatever form the pub takes in the future, I look forward to it again becoming a central feature of life at the Elephant."  38 	 	  Top stories in News Fire in Montagu Row Marylebone fire: Victorian pub badly damaged as blaze breaks out Belinda Ball has been missing since July 22 Woman's body discovered in Thames linked to missing east Londoner Belinda Ball, 52 Sunshine in London - but it won't last London weather: South-east wakes up to day of sun following monumental rainfall... but it won't last, forecasters warn Minicab crash in King's Cross Minicab driver dead after going into cardiac arrest at wheel and crashing into metal barrier in King's Cross News pictures of the day 1 of 55 Big fansSmokyFireCrime sceneDizzyBlast off!Spot the penguinUsain BoltFinal touchesProtestFlaming goodLog rollingHow long have you been a lobster?Flying highSanta runTake thatIconstues1.jpgRed sunsetSeaworthyHippo-tot-amusMeals on wheelsFlood crashA long journeyPlumesMona in manoA meeting of mindsThe next generationMagma-nificentUnrestLondon goes greenArtist BorisChick it outRespectDino-robotModestyEmotional scarsSea of redRescue effortFlyoverFox hunting protestersRamadan celebrationsSpecial TessBull raceVictorAceAIMaking a splashOn guardQueen of SelfliesTravel chaosPETA Protest in ParisOrder of the dayLionesses roar homeRoyal guests at SW19 Next Big fansSmokyFireCrime sceneDizzyBlast off!Spot the penguinUsain BoltFinal touchesProtestFlaming goodLog rollingHow long have you been a lobster?Flying highSanta runTake thatIconstues1.jpgRed sunsetSeaworthyHippo-tot-amusMeals on wheelsFlood crashA long journeyPlumesMona in manoA meeting of mindsThe next generationMagma-nificentUnrestLondon goes greenArtist BorisChick it outRespectDino-robotModestyEmotional scarsSea of redRescue effortFlyoverFox hunting protestersRamadan celebrationsSpecial TessBull raceVictorAceAIMaking a splashOn guardQueen of SelfliesTravel chaosPETA Protest in ParisOrder of the dayLionesses roar homeRoyal guests at SW19 Comments  Post a new comment Login  2 CommentsRSS|Subscribe  DarrenG2 days ago Oh boo hoo. Coming to an venue near you soon. "The squatters were expected to move on to occupy another vacant building"   At least they are keeping a few lawyers in jobs Reply 0  Stoatgobbler2 days ago I was expecting to see a picture of a young squatter nymph in her black, lacy lingerie, being handcuffed and chucked into a police van. 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By Tom Cahil for Global Research – Christmas is normally known as the time of year when Americans try to be a little more giving, more compassionate, and more altruistic than during the other 11 1/2 months of the year. But in cities across the US, many are simply fighting for the right to exist in hastily-constructed homeless camps. The National Alliance to End Homelessness reports that on any given night, there are over 578,000 Americans sleeping on the streets. At the same time, there are at least 10 million vacant homes across America that are lying empty. Here are 19 cities that are going above and beyond to push the most vulnerable Americans out of the public eye during the most compassionate time of the year.