Monthly Archives: June 2014

This Coming Forth of July

I can’t help thinking that there can be no democracy without two things: A belief that everyone should be free and everyone is equal. If you don’t have those beliefs then there can be no democracy. Sure industry can thrive and the economy will build wealth when everyone works and does their share, and that is a good thing. But, in the end all the wealth and success will be in the hands of tyrants fighting for control of the government and making stupid decisions that endanger the common people. History repeats itself.   


‘Designing out’: a callous or compassionate response to rough sleeping?

I have a better idea, tax overweight people and use the money for homeless programs. That may save more then a few lives on each side of the equation.

Social Policy, Housing, Environment and Real Estate blog

Dr Sarah Johnsen Dr Sarah Johnsen

The installation of ‘spikes’ to deter people from bedding down in a doorway regularly used by rough sleepers in London has recently prompted an outcry that has gone viral in social media.  To many, such actions seem cold-hearted, callous and misguided given the obvious discomfort and vulnerability of street homeless people. To others, the very same response is viewed as a necessary means of deterring vulnerable individuals from engaging in behaviour that is severely detrimental to their own health and wellbeing and, furthermore, has a negative effect on the wider community.  Emotions run high on both sides of the debate, it seems.

The practice of ‘designing out’ street homelessness by manipulating the built environment to make ‘hotspots’ less conducive to rough sleeping has a long history here in the UK and overseas.  It has always been controversial, as evidenced by public outrage inspired by the installation of…

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U.S. and Global Conflicts: Veteran Homelessness


Housing Affordability Improves Student Test Scores

Affordable Housing from P Dribin

A study by Johns Hopkins University demonstrates that students’ school test scores improve if the students are residing in more affordable housing. This is consistent with other studies. If housing is not affordable, that causes instability, more frequent moves, which are contrary to school success.

New Study Finds Child Test Scores Affected by Housing Affordability

Children’s academic achievements are impacted by the affordability of their housing, says a new study from Johns Hopkins University. Children from families that spend 30 percent of their income on housing have significantly higher test scores than those spending significantly more than or less than 30 percent. According to the study, families spending more than 30 percent have less income for other essential items that contribute to child development, such as food and health care. On the other hand, families that do not invest enough in housing often live in distressed neighborhoods and inadequate dwellings…

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Homeless people perform new opera in art gallery

Down Not Out

From the Northern Echo:

An opera performed by homeless people will take place at an art gallery next month.

See more here

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Functionality in Advertising Space

Hey, this might work. 🙂

Public Artwork

“The worldwide phenomenon of homelessness has become a growing concern during past couple of decades. Finding solutions is a complex task which involves a coordination of skills in socio-psychological and administrative fields. Created by designdevelop, the main priority of ‘The Gregory Project‘ is to find optimal alternatives for the existential questions of people without homes through the use of billboard objects and their advertisement spaces.”

Billboards are money makers. They advertise products for mere seconds as commuters drive past, and they are absolutely everywhere.

So what if advertisers invested in billboards with an additional purpose? The concept of The Gregory Project is to transform billboards into alternative living situations for homeless men and women. It begs the question: why not?

Advertisers still get to advertise their products, consumers will still be easily reached, and the company that sponsors these alternative houses gets an exclusive logo that they can utilize…

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Denver to Adopt Social Impact Bonds to End Homelessness

Affordable Housing from P Dribin

Mayor Hancock Announces Plans to Connect Hundreds of Homeless to Supportive Housing

Denver commits to city-led social impact bond during Clinton Global Initiative

DENVER – June 25, 2014 – Mayor Michael B. Hancock today at the Clinton Global Initiative announced Denver’s plan to connect hundreds of chronically homeless individuals with supportive housing and intensive case management by engaging in one of the first city-led Social Impact Bond programs in the country.

Through an innovative financing and data-driven solution, the Denver’s Road Home supportive housing Social Impact Bond program will work to improve the lives of up to 300 individuals in the city by addressing the underlying causes of homelessness, including mental illness and substance abuse, while also reducing costs in the criminal justice and emergency health systems.

“Denver is among many cities in which jails and emergency rooms have become the most expensive housing program for the chronically homeless,” Mayor…

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Anacostia High valedictorian going from a homeless shelter to Georgetown

The Homeless Blogger

Here’s a success story.

Just Asking: Anacostia High valedictorian on going from a homeless shelter to Georgetown

Rashema Melson, 18, will graduate on June 11. She lives with her mother and two brothers in one room at the D.C. General homeless shelter.   [William Tell’s note: This is the same facility that housed Relisha Rudd.]  Her father was killed when she was 7 months old.

What will you talk about at graduation?

I’m going to talk about how Anacostia pushed me. People feel like Anacostia is this place where all the ghetto kids go and that Anacostia is really easy, and I’m like, “No.” My speech is going to be dedicated to all the teachers who pushed me and who I could talk to in a time of need and who helped me when I didn’t have anything like food or clothing.

Your mom must be excited about your being valedictorian.

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Remembering Al

Andy Robbins Photography

I heard yesterday that Al passed away.  I wrote about Al last year, he was the first homeless person I really got to know.  He was inspiring, I didn’t hear resentment about his lot in life, only care for himself and his friends.  He taught me about the realities of a life without shelter and basic comforts, each day a fight for survival and yet Al was a survivor.  Al was willing to share his story without judging me, he was simply grateful for the conversation.

When a tree falls in the forest, does it make a noise if there is nobody to hear it?  When a homeless person dies, does it matter if there is nobody who cares about them?  Fortunately in Al’s case, the homeless community and organizations like Operation Nightwatch do care and his life was celebrated.  Is that true of everyone in this situation?  Can we accept anyone…

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Housing before services gives homeless better life, says study

Housing first. Oh really, you think? Of course!