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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Mike Zint for Occupy SF. Berkeley, CA – November 20, Day 5: It has been a busy day. The occupation is growing. We have had a lot of food support. Tents are still needed. Blankets are still needed. We have had channel 2, channel 7, the Dailycal, and KGO come by. We thank them for paying attention. And finally, many old friends are showing up. People I have not seen protesting for awhile. My hope is on 12/1, all our old Occupy friends reunite here to hang out, and stand in solidarity with the occupiers. 1 day, 1 Bay Area convergence here at city hall. Spread the word on our “peasant uprising.”