Monthly Archives: January 2014

Left Outside Alone

An idea. Put some old clothes and coats in the trunk of your car and give them away when you see the need. –T.J.

1 Life Laughing

I read an article recently about being homeless during the winter months, something that flits in and out of my consciousness when I walk through Norwich, or back in London, when I ignore the crouched figures in tube stations or guiltily avoid the eye contact of the man waving the Big Issue under my nose. It made me wonder, how can so many of us, suited booted and able-bodied, walk past a lone shivering body, huddled in blankets on a doorstep, without shovelling them into our arms and running with them to a safer, warmer, better place?

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Photos: Portraits of homelessness

Amy Feldtmann

These are just some of the photos of people experiencing homelessness, taken by Lee Jeffries. Subjects are from all over the world, including London, Paris and New York City. These are sad yet beautiful portraits of people who are usually invisible.

You can view more of Lee Jeffries’ work here.

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My Life In Storage

Just went by my old storage facility today. Glad I have a place now and don’t have to rent a locker any more. It is awful when you can’t get to something and then have to dig 5 feet in to get to a box with the stuff you need in it. Sometimes you just end up buying another one of the thing you can’t find, but know you have. I think storage places would be a great place for the VA to put brochures about their services. Lots of homeless vets use lockers. Just an idea.


Nova Scotia woman takes homeless concerns into her own hands, opens private shelter

National Post | News

When the overnight homeless shelter in a church in Truro, N.S., closes at 7 a.m., it is often volunteer Audrey Bailey’s job to hand out bag lunches before politely prodding the 12 or so patrons outside. But as temperatures dropped below -30C this month, Ms. Bailey was having trouble watching them go. And with plans for a city-funded, 24-hour shelter still in the early stages, Ms. Bailey decided to take matters into her own hands: she opened a shelter herself.

A former mental health outreach worker, Ms. Bailey leased some downtown office space and announced after a meeting of city and community members that it would soon be open to anyone looking for reprieve from the cold after the overnight shelter closed.

“All I could think of was those people walking around town,” said Ms. Bailey, who often drives patrons to a nearby Tim Horton’s and buys them a drink…

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5 Worst Things About Being a Homeless Teenager

Jenna L. Sexton, PhD

Criss Jami QuoteI spent most of my teen years homeless. My situation was not that different from a lot of other runaways and throwaways in the 80’s. Many people think that homeless teenagers are prostitutes and panhandlers. In fact, very few do either of those things and the ones that do are in basic survival mode. Unfortunately, they are all very vulnerable to various types of predators. Many end up abusing drugs and/or alcohol and eventually become incarcerated for delinquent behaviors. The ultimate cost on these kids’s lives, as well as on society as a whole, is immense.

Overall they are a very misunderstood group of young people who are dealing with a lot of the worst of what life has to offer. The following are a few of the worst things that I remember about being a homeless teen, in descending order.

5) Isolation. It is incredibly difficult to go to…

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The @NewYorkCares coat drive is still going on until Feburary 7th, Donate today!

Street Intell

Have an extra coat or a few that can’t fit you anymore? Donate them to individuals in need.

 

The warehouse is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Dropping off donations call 646.801.4022 upon arrival and a New York Cares staff member will be there to greet you.

New York Cares Coat Drive Warehouse
157 West 31st Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues
New York, NY 10001

There are countless ways that you can help keep the community warm this winter find out below:

 

  • You can set up a collection site in your apartment building, workplace, or church. New York Cares will provide you with all the promotional materials you need to run your own drive. All you have to do is provide boxes to collect the coats and deliver them to the New York Cares Coat Drive Warehouse as soon as and as often as possible.

 

  • You…

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Well, I Hoped Things Were Getting Better…

But, they seem to be getting worse. The state lawmakers have gotten back from their holiday break and the homeless abuse has began again. Yesterday a couple with 2 small girls got all their clothes and food taken from them. I hope all the new residents of this country (that are pushing for these kinds of sweeps) get a chance to experience the same sense of loss some day. They returned our welcome with such cold hearts, and I think it only fair.


What does the end of chronic veteran homelessness mean for cities?

If they want to helpvets not to become homeless, they need to look at certain risk factors: Family background (turbulent family history), Life choices (addictions, transient relationships, etc.), and Relative independence of the individual (high independence=higher risk). If someone has the combo of these factors, then they should receive intensive help to get on their feet when returning to civilian life. — T.J.

CitiesSpeak

Last month, Phoenix made the historic announcement that all of their chronically homeless veterans were off the streets. This amazing milestone is the result of collaboration between all parts of the community and the use of data to drive decisions and allocate resources. The accomplishment has sparked a national conversation about whether or not a city can end homelessness.

The success Phoenix has seen around chronically homeless veterans can serve as an example for other segments of the homeless population. As Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said while making his announcement last month, “The strategies that we’re using to end chronic homelessness among veterans are the exact same strategies that we’re going to use to end chronic homelessness among the broader population. This model – doing right by our veterans – is exactly how we’re going to do right by the larger population.”

The progress made in Phoenix does not…

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Senator Spends Vacation Day With Homeless Man To Learn About The Challenges He Faces

Should this be a requirement for people in office, if their homeless population increases dramatically. Hmm, just a thought. — T.J.

By Scott Keyes

Just another guy who I should avoid eye contact with and hope he doesn’t ask me for spare change, many residents likely thought as they walked by Chris Murphy on the streets of New Haven, CT Monday.

Few knew his day job: United States senator.

While most Americans were still on vacation celebrating the holidays, Sen. Murphy (D-CT) spent Monday shadowing “Nick,” a New Haven man who has been homeless for the past six months. Nick preferred that his real name not be printed.

The cards were stacked against Nick from the beginning. His father was a drug addict, and by 13 years old, Nick was hooked on crack as well. Two years later, Nick was a ward of the state.

The fact that he was able to overcome these odds, graduate from high school, and find work as a salesman is a testament to his resolve. But Nick…

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Glad that more people are interested in the small time…

I see that more people have been clicking on my Small Houses Resource Guide post. It would be great if the mayors of our cities would take an interest in providing small housing options for people who do not want or need a large house, but who do want to feel like they have a house and a piece of land to work on and grow food.
I know, I know, we are all supposed to live in apartments, if we can’t afford big monstrous homes. That’s our punishment, right?
When did housing your body get so complicated? Lots of people only need one room and can only afford it. But does that mean they should be cramped into an apartment slum? Think about it; land that is just going to waste somewhere. Lay some plumbing and a road. Some street lights. Then divide up lots. 25’x25′ or 50’x50′. The people can move in with just tents, if the climate permits, and then move around in the space to find neighbors that they are comfortable with. No assigning and locking people in. Too George Orwell. When they find their spot and keep peaceful for a trial period (about a year)… then they get to meet with charities who can help them build their safe, affordable, snug home. Whooo ray for us, we helped stop homelessness.