Monthly Archives: May 2015

Homelessness in it’s most basic form.

You are welcome to read my blog and pass on any info. T.J.


Typically when people think of homelessness they think of older men or women living in dirty clothes and living under bridges. In reality homelessness is a lot more common than a lot of people think. In Australia there are over 105,000 (about 0.5% of our population) people who are considered homeless.

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Coffee shop does things differently and shows compassion for the homeless

I could never understand why no one can buy a cup of coffee with food stamps… that comes under hot food (yada, yada, yada).

Fitzrovia News

A speciality coffee shop which prides itself on doing things differently is showing compassion for Fitzrovia’s rough sleepers by asking its customers to donate a coffee so that a homeless person can come in and enjoy a free cup.

Front of coffee shop. At Black Sheep Coffee, 63 Charlotte Street., customers are invited to donate a coffee so that a homeless person can enjoy a cup for free.

The initiative which started this spring is in stark contrast to the Fitzrovia Business Improvement District which has been discouraging its members from engaging with Fitzrovia’s rough sleeping community.

Gabriel Shohet, one of the co-founders at Black Sheep Coffee and responsible for the Free Coffee Initiative, told Fitzrovia News that everyday they see homeless people in the area and would like them to come into the shop and “get a coffee just like anyone else”.

Board with sticky notes. For each donated or “suspended coffee” the shop staff write a…

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Do more than help your fellow man, make him equal to you.

If you are helping the homeless, that is great. If you are voicing support for equality, that is great also… there is the long-term fix to the problems of poverty.

Gentrification causes homelessness? Simplistically linking problems does not translate to good housing policy

In the west, you are expected to have skills and ambition that evolves at the speed of the technology… and if you “fail” by not having all the modern conveniences, achieving a six figure income, or at least pretending to do those things by living on credit, well no sympathy for you! Meanwhile, we forget that all the blue collar jobs have left this hemisphere. T.J.

CPR Urban blog

by Mukta Naik

Scholars, bloggers and journalists in the Global North, especially in the UK and the US, have drawn clear links between the process of gentrification and the increase in homelessness since the early 2000s. With the problem of homelessness growing steadily—some 60,000 people in New York sleep in shelters each night as per the Coalition for the Homeless, about 6,500 slept on London’s streets in 2013-24, 70% more than the number in 2010 as per local agencies—quite a bit of passionate soul searching has taken place over its causes. It has seemed logical to pin the blame on the gentrification of erstwhile poor, debilitated areas of the city. Global capital and the greed of investors, sometimes from far overseas, and even the idea of the global city have been named the villains. In short, global capital (the rich) has pushed out local capital (the middle class and the…

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Man digging for food in trash sparks restaurant to take action in Virginia Beach

Homelessness is not a ‘lifestyle choice’

Most people do not choose to be homeless, but many don’t like living in the dog-eat-dog world that has been created by modern society. T.J.

Fitzrovia News

“When one has consorted with them, and found that they are ordinary human beings, one cannot help being struck by the curious attitude that society takes towards them,” wrote George Orwell about the homeless in his 1933 memoir, Down and Out in Paris and London.

A man under a blanket on a park bench. Down and out in Fitzrovia. “Cuts to housing benefits and a massively inflated housing market are the primary cause of increasing homelessness today, not individuals’ poor moral choices.”

What would Orwell, who championed clarity and transparency in writing, have made of Camden Cllr Jonathan Simpson’s comments, as reported in a recent Fitzrovia News article (“Counting Rough Sleepers…”, 13 April), when he included rough sleepers as among those who have a “street based lifestyle”?

Grinding poverty is cast as a “lifestyle choice” as in a “physically active lifestyle” or a “meat-free lifestyle”. Or what about the recent report from Fitzrovia Business Improvement District…

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Who’s the expert on your life?

Can You Relate?

On March 22nd my home flooded. Suddenly I lost my safe haven and my life became a ball of chaos and stress.

It was hard for me to focus at work, I was constantly on the phone with the insurance company, I forgot to pay my credit card bill twice, and I broke down crying about a dozen times. This was my experience despite having a loving partner by my side, a flexible job, and friends and family to offer their support. Which made me think about how much harder it is for those who don’t have support or resources.

Photo by Jett Loe Photo by Jett Loe

Like this story of a survivor who was forced to choose between her housing and violence. Her abuser isolated her from friends, family, and social networks. She left with literally $4 in her pocket. She had nowhere to turn and wound up in shelter. She’s not the…

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How to Help a Homeless Veteran


vetsYesterday, our country celebrated one of 10 federal holidays- Memorial Day. This holiday was known as Decoration Day, for the practice of decorating graves of fallen soldiers with flowers, wreaths and flags. On many occasions, Veterans are celebrated, honored and loved by most family members and friends.

We want to be able to show that same support to the men and women who have fought for our country and now are living among the homeless. So what can you do to help a homeless person who says they are a veteran?

Thankfully, in 2009 congress created several programs that would help end homelessness among veterans. While the US Department of Veterans Affairs has many VA Benefits such as education and training, employment resources, disability compensation and more, they are helping fight homelessness with a threefold focus:

  • Conducting coordinated outreach to proactively seek out Veterans in need of assistance.
  • Connecting homeless and…

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The Supreme Court has given the most important, and most positive, judgement for homeless people in 15 years

” Until now, single homeless people had to prove that they were particularly vulnerable compared to other homeless people in order to qualify for support. This has now changed. They no longer have to show that they are more likely to come to harm (commit suicide, resort to drug use, etc.) than “an ordinary homeless person”.

This is really the way they think in social services, I kid you not. Oh, the drama I had to stir up just to get my apartment after 4 years of being homeless. The housing department said I “didn’t look homeless”! T.J.

Andy Winter's Blog

Earlier today (13 May) the Supreme Court gave a ruling on a case about the way local councils decide who is ‘vulnerable enough’ for housing help. The judgement is quite sensational. Until now, single homeless people had to prove that they were particularly vulnerable compared to other homeless people in order to qualify for support.  This has now changed.  They no longer have to show that they are more likely to come to harm (commit suicide, resort to drug use, etc.) than “an ordinary homeless person”.

That led to situations where single homeless people suffering from problems including depression and suicidal thoughts were deemed not vulnerable because “an ordinary homeless person” would also be expected to suffer from those problems.  (I kid you not!).

The Supreme Court has, in effect, said that councils must do more to help single homeless people, that local authorities were failing to recognise homeless people…

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How Did We Become OK With Homelessness?

You don’t have to do anything to stop homelessness… too big a task. Just don’t do something to discourage those who want to get off the streets. Don’t refuse to help when it is in your power to do so (esp. when you are being paid to help). Hear that caseworkers?

The Warming Room

By: Christian Harvey

“I remember the first time I saw someone lying on the cold street,
I thought, ‘I can’t just walk past here, this can’t just be true.’
But I learned by example to just keep moving my feet.
It’s amazing the things that we all learn to do.”
-Ani Difranco, from the song ‘Subdivision

I can relate so well with this quote from Ani Difranco. My first memory of seeing someone on the street was walking with my family in Toronto. I remember being shocked that the person was going to hav2064e to sleep all night out there on the pavement. I remember being shocked that everyone was just walking past like they didn’t see the person. It all seemed so different than everything I had been taught about caring for people, looking out for people, sharing with people. But as I grew and I saw…

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