By Steve Alhquist in Rhode Island Future – In response to the alleged harassment of the homeless population in and around Kennedy Plaza by Providence Police, Occupy Providence met in the People’s Park (akaBurnside Park) with members of the Rhode Island Homeless Advocacy Project (RIHAP) to discuss what could be done going forward to stop the criminalization of homelessness going forward. Organizer and Occupier Susan Walker pointed out that in the winter of 2012, Occupy Providence broke their occupation of Burnside Park after negotiating with City Hall for a Day Center for the homeless. “Where is the Day Center today?” she asked. Occupy Providence has long concerned itself with homelessness, so this event marked a return to the group’s roots. John Freitas of RIHAP spoke about the harassment of the homeless downtown by theProvidence Police Department.
By Haya El Nasser in Al Jazeera – Chronic homelessness is such a daunting problem in Los Angeles County that even after 10,000 people were moved into housing in the last three years, about 13,000 people on public assistance slip into homelessness every month, a new study has revealed. The number of people who become chronically homeless overwhelms the dwindling supply of affordable housing, according to a report released today by the Economic Roundtable, a research organization based in Los Angeles. “Ending chronic homelessness will be feasible if fewer people become homeless,” said Daniel Flaming, author of the report. “This requires the combined resources of health, mental health, social service, education, justice system and housing agencies to restore a place in the community for homeless individuals.”
By Bryce Covert in Nation of Change – On Thursday, the federal government announced that Connecticut is the first state in the country to end chronic homelessness among veterans. That means the state has found permanent housing for all veterans who have been homeless for at least one year or four times in the past three years, or has an immediate path to housing in place for them. A one-day survey in February found 18 veterans experiencing chronic homelessness in the state, just nine of whom were living without any shelter. Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) said that the state’s ongoing efforts have found permanent housing for a total of nearly 300 chronically homeless veterans. The governor credits state investments in affordable housing for the milestone, including at least $3 million in rental subsidies and obtaining an additional 129 housing vouchers from federal agencies.
By Drake Baer in Business Insider – The Economic Roundtable just came out with the largest study on homelessness in American history. And it turns out the best way to combat homelessness is to provide homes. The study’s focus was on Santa Clara County, California, home to the extreme wealth of Silicon Valley and the highest percentage of homelessness in the entire US. The methodology is enough to make a social scientist swoon: Researchers analyzed information about everyone in Santa Clara County who had been homeless between 2007 and 2012 — 104,206 people. Homelessness, the report details, gets very expensive. Between costs related to healthcare, social welfare, and the justice system, Santa Clara County as a whole spent $520 million on services for homeless residents. Those costs didn’t come from everybody who was homeless in that time period. As Gabrielle Canon at Mother Jones notes, much of those costs came from the roughly 2,800 people who were persistently homeless.
By Eleanor Goldfield in Occupy – This week, we test our math skills in the name of systemic dumbshitedness. Then Occupy Venice shows us how to fight the power while helping the powerless: hosting a people’s potluck every Sunday with locally sourced organic foods. Martin Kirk, founder and head strategist at /The Rules talks about breaking them, shifting paradigms and planned poverty. He talks strategy, Occupy Wall Steret and the role of scientific knowledge in campaigns. We ask the Internet, what are we? Oligarchy, plutocracy, oligarch-racy? Even after LA raises minimum wage to $15, too many folks remain homeless. And finally, France schools us on architectural design and food, but not in the ways you’d expect. Eleanor Goldfield performs spoken word for the movement, flipping the paradigms.
he number of homeless people in Los Angeles County jumped 12 percent in the past two years, to more than 44,000, amid a sluggish economic recovery that has left the poorest residents of the second-largest U.S. metropolitan area falling farther behind, a study released on Monday found. Most of those counted weren’t staying in homeless shelters. The study also found that the number of tents, makeshift encampments and vehicles with people living in them jumped by 85 percent, to about 9,500. “California was one of the hardest-hit states in the country during the economic recession, suffering high unemployment and high job losses,” the housing authority said in a news release. “There is a lag in rebound, and the working poor and low-income individuals have been hit particularly hard, with the trifecta of unemployment, stagnant wages and a lack of affordable housing.”
We make this document a Statement of Intent regarding the old Bank of England building on Castle Street, Liverpool. The intentions are as follows to feed, cloth and help all those who seek it and for the local community to help resource this project. We intend to use this building for the community, to inspire a feeling of community, which is lacking. We do this in direct response to a local council and government who are lacking in their efforts to help those in need and in fact, the local Council and government seem intent on making matters worse for the people by putting more and more austerity measures in place. We wish by the direct action of occupying an empty unused building and using said building to provide certain needs for the street people or for that matter anyone else who needs to use what is provided by donations, which come from the local community.
The U.S. has one of the highest relative child poverty rates in the developed world. As UNICEF reports, “[Children's] material well-being is highest in the Netherlands and in the four Nordic countries and lowest in Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and the United States.” Over half of public school students are poor enough to qualify for lunch subsidies, and almost half of black children under the age of six are living in poverty. Nearly half of all food stamp recipients are children, and they averaged about$5 a day for their meals before the 2014 farm bill cut $8.6 billion (over the next ten years) from the food stamp program. In 2007 about 12 of every 100 kids were on food stamps. Today it’s 20 of every 100. he U.S. ranks near the bottom of the developed world in the percentage of 4-year-olds in early childhood education. Early education should be a primary goal for the future, as numerous studies have shown that pre-school helps allchildren to achieve more and earn more through adulthood, with the most disadvantaged benefiting the most. But we’re going in the opposite direction.Head Start was recently hit with the worst cutbacks in its history.
A record number of students are homeless. Essential nonprofit organizations are being displaced from the communities they serve. Small, locally owned businesses can’t survive as rents soar. The angst that is swelling throughout San Francisco and pushing outward to other Bay Area cities is not because people are resisting change. The angst is over the largest growing inequality gap in the country. At the forefront of people’s concerns is how much people now have to spend on rent. Market-rate housing is catering to the region’s new wealth, while the government is rolling out policies to make the city a rich man’s playground.
Since December 9, 2014, over 100 of Sacramento’s poor and homeless have lined up every Tuesday for a free organic meal outside the doors of City Hall hosted by the Community Dinner Project, organized by Occupy Sacramento. The food line starts two hours before city council is called to session. Hundreds of Sacramento’s poor line the sidewalk in front of City Hall to share a hot meal. Although these dinners take place on city property, the event is not sanctioned by the city government. In fact, it is expressly forbidden. In October of 2013, the City passed an ordinance requiring all community groups to obtain a permit before sharing food with the homeless. The Community Dinner Project addresses this and other community issues by providing a hot meal and an environment for discussion.
Activists occupied six houses on the Sweets Way estate following a ‘sleepover’ protest. Comedian and actor Russell Brand joined hundreds of people at the housing estate in Whetstone last night, to oppose the redevelopment which has seen families evicted from their homes. He left early this morning. Campaign group Sweets Way Resists has occupied an empty house on the estate since last week, and other activists broke into five more empty houses last night. Housing activist Liam Barrington-Bush, who is involved with Sweets Way Resists, said: “We had some fireworks and there was some music. Then people hung about. At least several dozen stayed the night. “Residents came together at the end of the night and were overwhelmed to find out the petition has now reached 35,000 signatures. We are pretty excited by that. “It’s been a pretty hectic period. There’s been a lot of support coming in from different causes, the strength of the community is the primary thing. Russell pledged to keep the fight going. He has really connected with the kids here.”
Toronto’s mayor says the city will be turning some motel rooms into shelter spaces for the homeless, with at least 90 spaces to open as early as next week. John Tory says the city will be renting blocks of rooms in two Toronto motels in an effort to make extra space available as needed during the cold weather. It will cost roughly $100,000 from now until March, but Tory says it’s just a short-term solution. A report on the city’s homeless shelter system is expected in a few weeks. Four homeless men died in just over a week in the city, three of them due to the frigid weather.
The online hacktivist Anonymous has sent a threatening message to the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal (SMPV) and Montreal police against bulldozing of a homeless camp set up by Anonymous in Viger Square for OpSafeWinter. In retaliation Anonymous has called for occupy Viger Square movement in which a protest will be held against police activity against homeless people. Anonymous has also asked its supporters to bring with them protective gear such as gas masks, material for building barricades, and anything else that might be useful in defending the encampment should it be attacked by the SPVM (Montreal Police).
The online hacktivist Anonymous has sent a threatening message to the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal (SMPV) and Montreal police against bulldozing of a homeless camp set up by Anonymous in Viger Square for OpSafeWinter. The purpose of setting up shelter village was to save homeless people the extreme cold weather, but on January 7th, the Montreal police dismantled the camp calming “they are saving lives”. In retaliation Anonymous has called for occupy Viger Square movement in which a protest will be held against police activity against homeless people. Anonymous has also asked its supporters to bring with them protective gear such as gas masks, material for building barricades, and anything else that might be useful in defending the encampment should it be attacked by the SPVM (Montreal Police).