Monthly Archives: April 2014

No Local Address

I recently heard a popular radio personality state that most of the people who commit crimes are homeless, because… they list “no local address” when they are arrested. Can it be that these people are not “on the street homeless”, but people who have been in trouble with the law and choose to hide from the law by not saying that they are on a friend or family members couch? In these cases, they are not really homeless.

Make Them Visible

Each morning when I walk to work in the Back Bay, I am surrounded by the juxtaposition of homeless people sitting by Gucci, Burberry and Kate Spade. While there are a few “regulars”, the man who repeats “spare quartah please” or the small woman who dances around singing, “do you have a dollar?” (with her voice getting higher and higher each time), I never have taken the time to look these people in the eyes. In fact, I try and look the other way every time I see a homeless person for the fear of the immense guilt that overcomes my body each time I see someone wrapped in an old blanket on a cold New England day. Yes, I am an awful person because of this, but unfortunately I am not the only one.

New York Rescue Mission recognized that when the general public sees homeless people, they tend…

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Homeless Men: Almost Half Have Had Brain Injury

Quote: “The fact that so many homeless men suffered a TBI before losing their home suggests such injuries could be a risk factor for becoming homeless, she said. That makes it even more important to monitor young people who suffer TBIs such as concussions for health and behavioural changes, she said.” Great idea! –T.J.


Almost half of all homeless men who took part in a study had suffered at least one traumatic brain injury in their life and 87 percent of those injuries occurred before the men lost their homes. While assaults were a major cause of those traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, (60 per cent) many were caused by potentially non-violent mechanisms such as sports and recreation (44 per cent) and motor vehicle collisions and falls (42 per cent).

While assaults were a major cause of those traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, (60 per cent) many were caused by potentially non-violent mechanisms such as sports and recreation (44 per cent) and motor vehicle collisions and falls (42 per cent).

The study, led by Dr. Jane Topolovec-Vranic, a clinical researcher in the hospital’s Neuroscience Research Program, was published today in the journal CMAJ Open.

Dr. Topolovec-Vranic said it’s important for health care providers…

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Overcoming Invisibility

Homelessness Is Not a Crime

It is hard to believe that you wouldn’t stop and recognize one of your loved ones homeless on the streets the way that a recent video by the New York City Rescue Mission demonstrates. However, according to social psychology research out of Princeton, it’s actually not surprising because of how our brains process images of homeless individuals. Stereotyping and prejudice have been related back to a lack of activation in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex, usually very active when recognizing other people, particularly faces, and reward processing.1 While images of all other groups of people activated the MPC, the brain was only activated in places associated with recognizing objects when presented with images of homeless individuals.

The scenario presented by the video combined with the proposed neurological basis behind prejudice brings up a few interesting points regarding our treatment of the homeless. If the invisibility of the homeless in the…

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New Movie About Homelessness Coming Out

Tragic Choice: Homelessness or Abuse?

Quote: “According to the report, a “high number” of homeless single women who struggle with substance abuse and mental health issues also have a history of sexual abuse. Other physical and emotional effects, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include battering, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, addiction, anger, and isolation.” — To prevent some forms of homelessness, sometimes we must address the abuse that is going on in a child’s home. –T.J.

Madison Homeless Project

By Natalie Amend 

One by one, they fall.

Identification. Medication. Toiletries. Money, if possible. When he’s in a bad mood, she hides each object in her pocket, throwing them out the window one by one.

They accumulate on the porch throughout the day. When he becomes violent, she opens the door, grabs her pile of necessities, and runs.

She doesn’t have a plan. She only runs, because anywhere is better than an unsafe home.

This is the story of a Madison woman who chose homelessness over domestic abuse. She eventually found a home at the World Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). According to Libby Tucci, Bilingual Housing First Case Manager at the YWCA, every domestic abuse case is unique, but this woman’s story represents a commonality: desperation.

“When you’re fleeing a violent relationship, you’re not thinking about the big picture, which is why many [domestic abuse] survivors become homeless,” Tucci…

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Tiny Home Slideshow

Here is one person’s story about downsizing, in a good way:

So who is Foster Wings?

Foster Wings

Foster Wings is a team of students current enrolled in the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business Technology Management MBA Program. As part of their Social Media for Managers class, they are creating a social media campaign targetting a social cause. Foster Wings has chosen to focus their efforts on the fight to end homelessness here in Western Washington. The team plans on not only highlight different Homelessness related organization but also drive volunteers and donors to support their causes. Here’s a few of the teammates spending a beautiful Saturday afternoon planning for their main event

Some of the organizations they are currently researching include:

Cocoon House of Snohomish County

DESC – Breakfast of Champions

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The Tent

Unfortunately, living in a tent in my city is seen as a terrible crime that must be eradicated by force, if necessary. I, on the other hand, see it as a positive sign. Tents clustered together shows a sign of community and support (maybe that is why it is so threating to some). The homeless nomads that drift to and from and sleep in doorways, more often then not, have some form of mental illness that keeps them from connecting to others and forming friendships. Some DSM terms such as “quiet form schizophrenia”, “attachment disorder”, etc. describes them. They have given up on people as a whole and keep to themselves. Not sharing their suffering until they die a victim of it.

That is why seeing a cluster of tents in a park or along a street is a sign of hope to me. Yes, I did say hope. These people are struggling , but still want to form bonds. They are much better off then those who are drifting wordlessly throughout the day, lost in their depression. But, the people who make decisions in our government see the tents in another light. They see (I suspect) visible evidence of failed educational, economic, and social policies. In an effort to do something, they react to lowered property values and fearful community members pleas to “do something” by confiscating property and breaking up the homeless persons community. Instead of taking a step forward, they take two steps backward.

Can’t areas be designated to be used for these homeless people? If the community is worried about crime, step up police patrols around the tent cities to catch anybody who is breaking the law. I’m sure not all people who can not afford rent or a home is a criminal and those who are not shouldn’t be treated like they are. Our state is missing an opportunity to help homeless people by seeing the hope in a cluster of tents and working with that hope instead of destroying all hope for those people.


Four women on being homeless: ‘I sleep in the front of my car’

Down Not Out

By Eleanor Tucker in The Telegraph:

A lawyer who seemed to have it all – even a private jet. A divorcee now living in a Ford Mondeo…

Four women describe how they lost their homes, and what happened next

See the full article by clicking here

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