Manhattan: a city of empty luxury condos and overflowing homeless shelters

New York's luxury real-estate market has been in freefall for years, and now the city's super-luxe buildings are sitting empty -- even as property prices in the city remain stubbornly high, prompting 300 New Yorkers to move out of the city every day, and filling the homeless shelters to capacity and beyond. Read the rest

Homeless man seriously injured after a cleanup truck scoops him up, along with his tent

A homeless man has undergone surgery and is in serious condition after a city cleanup truck in Dublin grabbed and lifted the man's tent with a mechanical claw in the middle of the day – while he was sleeping inside of it.

Apparently, the city wanted to "tidy up" the canal, and decided to clear the homeless tents alongside it. They supposedly checked inside the tents before snagging them, but even if that's true, they obviously missed this one.

According to CNN:

The unnamed man was injured when workers from Waterways Ireland, the body responsible for maintaining Ireland's rivers and canals, cleared a walkway along a canal in the Irish capital.

"A man (age unknown) was sleeping in his tent when it was being removed in an attempt to tidy the canal walk way," local police said in a statement. "The man received injuries during this incident and was removed to St. Vincent's Hospital where he remains in serious condition but stable."

According to Dublin City Council, the incident happened on Tuesday afternoon, when workers "were removing tents that were placed in a precarious and dangerous location."

A spokesman for Waterways Ireland said the body is "cooperating fully" with police investigating the incident, adding that "our thoughts are very much with the individual who was involved."

This isn't the first time something like this has happened. In December 2017 a homeless person was nearly killed after being picked up and tossed into a San Diego trash truck, as told by The San Diego Union-Tribune. Read the rest

Strip club gave away tents with their logo to homeless people

In San Diego, California, strip club chain Deja Vu Showgirls distributed 150 tents to homeless people. The tents are emblazoned with the Deja Vu logo, natch. From 10News:

A picture of one of the tents was posted onto the “Homeless News San Diego” Facebook page and it received both praise and criticism. Some believed it was a form of shameless advertising. Others applauded the company for stepping up to help.

Read the rest

Supreme Court affirms homeless peoples' right to be on public property

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to let Boise ban people from sleeping rough.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Boise would be violating the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishments by enforcing criminal penalties under its anti-camping ordinance when its three homeless shelters are full.

“The state may not criminalize conduct that is an unavoidable consequence of being homeless -- namely sitting, lying, or sleeping on the streets,” the 9th Circuit said.

State abuse of the homeless is one of the nastier trends in 21st century governance—the end is usually accomplished by more subtle means (pictured) than criminalization. Read the rest

Banksy's brilliant new mural commenting on homelessness

Over the weekend, Banksy stenciled a genius new artwork on a wall on Vyse Street in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham, UK.

Then last night, someone added red noses to the reindeer.)

Read the rest

California's housing bubble is spilling over into poor and exurban neighborhoods, creating waves of crises

California has such a huge undersupply of housing -- and oversupply of housing speculators -- that affluent homebuyers have effectively rendered the state's major cities unaffordable for all but the very wealthy, even pushing into neighborhoods that were historically undesirable due to poverty, poor housing stock and crime. Read the rest

Short documentary about people living in tunnels under Las Vegas

According to this short documentary, there are hundreds of miles of service, storm, and sewer tunnels beneath the glitz and neon of Las Vegas, and these tunnels are home to many people. The video has interviews with some of the residents, who say they rely on each other for food, money, and support.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

Homeless people not welcome on Nextdoor

The verification requirements on the neighborhood app Nextdoor effectively make the app an unwelcome place for homeless people. Read the rest

Video about homeless people who live on a footbridge in Hong Kong

Seventeen homeless people live on a footbridge in Hong Kong. This video profiles several of them.

From South China Morning Post:

Nguyen Van Son and Eppie Yip were among the 17 homeless people who lived on a footbridge in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong’s poorest district. After packing up their shelters in mid-July, some of them have moved to a nearby park. But the homeless problem still persists in the neighbourhood.

Hong Kong property is the most expensive in the world. The monthly rent for low quality subdivided flats even smaller than a car park space can cost more than HK$4,000 or US$509, while public housing has a five and a half year long waiting list. Soaring rents, and inadequate public housing force the city’s poorest inhabitants to sleep rough.

Read the rest

Santa Monica expands highly successful rent subsidy program for seniors

A successful program in Santa Monica, California is simply helping folks who need help.

LAist: Read the rest

In homeless LA, the families, retirees and working people who live in their cars are desperate for overnight parking

LA's homelessness epidemic continues to rage unabated as housing prices soar and wages stagnate; the result is a "wheel estate" boom of people living in cars and vans, with the greatest proportion of vehicles-dwellers being seniors, families with children, and working people. Read the rest

LA's new homelessness stats reveal a crisis that is only worsening

LA has the nation's worst homelessness problem, a (literal) epidemic so terrible it distorts the national statistics. Read the rest

Amazon killed Seattle's homelessness-relief tax by threatening not to move into a massive new building, then they canceled the move anyway

Seattle's immensely popular business tax was designed to do something about the city's epidemic of desperate homelessness, but then Amazon threw its muscle around to get the tax canceled, mostly by threatening not to occupy its new offices in Ranier Square, a 30-story building currently under construction that Amazon was to be sole tenant of, with 3,500-5,000 employees working out of the building. Read the rest

New Orleans reduced homelessness by 90% (and saved a fortune) by giving homeless people homes

Homelessness in New Orleans spiked after Hurricane Katrina, reaching 11,600 by 2007; today that number has been reduced by 90%, thanks to a "housing first" (previously) approach that starts by giving homeless people stable, permanent housing, and then addressing confounding factors like mental illness and substance addiction (on the grounds that these conditions are easier to treat when people have stable housing). Read the rest

Sesame Street introduces Lily, the first muppet to experience homelessness

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street, isn't afraid to keep it real for kids. Last year they introduced Julia, the first muppet with autism. Now they've launched an initiative called Sesame Street in Communities that, amongst other things, will bring the first muppet to experience homelessness. Her name is Lily and she was originally introduced in 2011 as a character whose family was struggling with hunger.

Unfortunately, Lily’s path is common for many children experiencing homelessness. “We know children experiencing homelessness are often caught up in a devastating cycle of trauma—the lack of affordable housing, poverty, domestic violence, or other trauma that caused them to lose their home, the trauma of actually losing their home, and the daily trauma of the uncertainty and insecurity of being homeless,” said Sherrie Westin, President of Global Impact and Philanthropy at Sesame Workshop. “We want to help disrupt that cycle by comforting children, empowering them, and giving them hope for the future. We want them to know that they are not alone and home is more than a house or an apartment—home is wherever the love lives.”

CNN:

"When Lily was first launched, she came out as part of the food insecurity initiative. So she's not brand new, but this seemed like a really perfect extension of her story, so that we could use her to help children identify with," Westin said. "With any of our initiatives, our hope is that we're not only reaching the children who can identify with that Muppet but that we're also helping others to have greater empathy and understanding of the issue."

Read the rest

Bay Area organization offers free birthday parties to homeless kids, cake and all

Habitot Children's Museum in Berkeley, California is making an unusually generous offer to the families of homeless kids. They are providing them with the opportunity to celebrate their child's birthday at their facility for free. Their free birthday party offer includes all the standards: decor, pizza, juice, cake, and even goodie bags for the guests. Plus, they gift the birthday child something special.

Now, I'm not sure the age limit for the eligible children but, according to their site, the museum serves infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

Want to learn more? Email the museum's Family Programs Manager at familyprograms@habitot.org. Also, if you have the means, please consider donating to Habitot so they can keep the magic going.

photo by Yoshika Mcalister Read the rest

San Francisco spends $3.1m/year on homeless toilets and $65m/year cleaning up poop

San Francisco's housing crisis is also (of course) a homelessness crisis, and homelessness crises beget public defecation crises -- and San Francisco has a serious public defecation crisis. Read the rest

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