The United States, despite often advertising itself as the world’s “most developed” nation, has a major problem with homelessness, with approximately 3.5 million currently living with no place to call home. Even though vacant houses outnumber the nation’s homeless by more than five to one, most of them end up sleeping in public places or out in the street. In cities around the country, the homeless are frequently criminalized as are those who offer them food and other forms of human kindness. Despite the widespread maltreatment of the homeless, judges in San Francisco have been dismissing thousands upon thousands of arrest warrants targeting the homeless because “it was the right thing to do.” Continue reading »
When the city of Los Angeles refused to address an epidemic of homelessness — seen in sprawling and dangerous tent cities — a struggling musician answered the call and built dozens of solar-powered tiny houses to give those down on their luck a place to call home.
Elvis Summers crowdfunded tiny homes in part through his nonprofit, Starting Human, and raised over $100,000 for what he viewed as a decent, if temporary, solution. And with the help of volunteers in the contracting and construction business, built some 40 tiny homes of wood with steel-reinforced, locking doors to provide solid shelter for struggling tent-city residents. Continue reading »
If you want to be a “Good Samaritan” to the homeless in your community, you might want to check and see if it is legal first. All over the country, cities are passing laws that make it illegal to feed and shelter the homeless. For example, in this article you will read about a church in Maryland that was just fined $12,000 for simply allowing homeless people to sleep outside the church at night. This backlash against homeless people comes at a time when homelessness in America is absolutely exploding. In a previous article, I shared with my readers the fact that the number of homeless people in New York City has just set a brand new all-time high, and the homelessness crisis in California has become so severe that the L.A. City Council has formally asked Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency. Sadly, instead of opening up our hearts to the rapidly growing number of Americans without a home, way too many communities are trying to use the law to force them to go somewhere else.
For nearly two thousand years, churches have been at the forefront of helping the poor and disadvantaged, but now many communities are trying to stop this from happening. Earlier today, I was absolutely stunned when I came across an article that talked about how a church in Dundalk, Maryland has been fined $12,000 for allowing the homeless to sleep outside the church at night… Continue reading »
A homeless man ‘froze to death’ on the streets of Birmingham just a day before UK charity Shelter warned more than 250,000 people in England will be homeless this Christmas as high rents, benefit cuts, and a worsening housing crisis create the perfect storm.
The body of the unknown man was found in the West Midlands city at 11.30pm GMT on Wednesday, the coldest night of the year.
It is understood the body, found in John Bright Street, is that of a 30-year-old man with no fixed address.
Figures compiled by Shelter reveal that 255,000 people across the country are forced to live in hostels and other types of temporary accommodation, or to sleep rough on the streets. Continue reading »
Not everything has to be regulated. Not everything has to be codified and signed off on by the red tape gurus. Life CAN happen just fine without such interference. And when the government is stopping a man from feeding the hungry, rest assured something is very wrong with the regulations, the codes, and the local bureaucrats.
(From The NY Daily News)
When 90-year-old Florida resident Arnold Abbott said following his arrest on Sunday that police couldn’t stop him from feeding the homeless, he apparently meant it.
Abbott was charged again on Wednesday night for violating a new city law in Ft. Lauderdale that essentially prevents people from feeding the homeless.
Washington, D.C. – In 2015, the United States spent more on its war machine than the next six countries combined, with a total of $596 billion spent on military expenditures. This week the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), with roughly $602 billion slated to be spent on military programs and armaments in the 2017 budget.
To put this amount in perspective, the U.S. spent more on its military than the next six nations combined, with China coming in second at $215 billion, followed by Saudi Arabia at $87 billion, Russia at $66 billion, with the United Kingdom, India and France spending roughly $50 billion each on defense expenses.
When looking at this spending in context, the U.S. not only spends more than the next six countries combined, but spends almost triple the amount on military expenses than the second biggest defense spender in the world, China, according to data from the Stockholm International Peach Research Institute. Continue reading »
On any given night in the United States, there are an estimated 578,000 people who are sleeping without a roof over their head.
Instead of embracing the spirit of the season and being a little more giving and compassionate than normal, 15 American cities are trying to sweep their homeless members of the community out of public view, NPR reported.Throughout the month of December, Portland, Maine has been rapidly tearing down homeless encampments. Earlier this year, the city cut funding for both shelters and expenses to provide those who couldn’t get into shelters with motel rooms.
In Seattle, Washington, the mayor declared a “war on homelessness,” and has lived up to it. There are two “legal” homeless encampments in the city, which house up to 100 people. All others have been torn down by police. Law enforcement destroyed 80 encampments in 2012, 131 in 2013, 351 in 2014, and 527 as of November 2015, the Seattle Times reported.Continue reading »
In a time of rampant statism, feeding the homeless has become a revolutionary act.
Dallas, TX — When feeding the homeless becomes an act of civil disobedience, Americans have been asleep for far too long.Luckily, however, there are still good people who are willing to defy such arbitrary and ill-conceived laws and ordinances.
The folks over at the aptly named organization Don’t Comply, took to the streets just outside the Austin Street Shelter in Dallas this weekend to perform, what has now become a revolutionary act – feeding the homeless. Continue reading »
Exclusive: Councils are currently moving homeless mothers and children out of their boroughs at a rate of close to 500 families a week
More than 50,000 families have been silently shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years, an investigation by The Independent can reveal.
Leaked documents obtained by this newspaper expose the true scale of the “social cleansing” taking place across the capital as a result of welfare cuts and soaring rents. The figures show an unprecedented number of families who cannot afford to find homes in their local area being uprooted from their neighbourhoods and dumped further and further away from the capital, cut off from their relatives and support networks. Continue reading »
Based on the newsflow in the last few weeks, Americans must increasingly consider themselves lucky just to avoid getting shot in the back or being run over by trigger-happy, heavily armed officers of the law. Unfortunately while we (hope we) mostly jest, the reality is that America has quietly turned into a heavily weaponized police state right under everyone’s noses. A police state in which one doesn’t have to be considered even a remote threat by the authorities to suffer. Consider the completely innocuous act of feeding the homeless, with a permit, which as San Antonio philanthropist Joan Cheever, founder of the nonprofit food truck, the Chow Train, discovered last week was enough to get her ticketed and fined $2000 for feeding the homeless.
I’ve covered the plight of the homeless in America in recent years as another manifestation of the erosion of decency, empathy, morality and kindness throughout much of our culture. As a society, we’ve become increasingly obsessed with youth, materialism, power and short-termism, tossing aside wisdom, real joy, soulfulness and connectivity. One of the symptoms of this unfortunate transformation can been seen in how we treat the least fortunate and most vulnerable around us, particularly the homeless (see: In 33 U.S. Cities, Feeding the Homeless Has Been Criminalized).
Of all the institutions you’d hope to take a different stance toward the weak and struggling, places of worship would be at the top of the list. Not so for Saint Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco, which admittedly sprays sleeping homeless people with water in order to keep them away.
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — KCBS has learned that Saint Mary’s Cathedral, the principal church of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, has installed a watering system to keep the homeless from sleeping in the cathedral’s doorways.Continue reading »
“Drop that plate right now!” – Florida police to 90-year-old WW2 vet Arnold Abbott as he tried to feed homeless people
Last week, I reported on the very disturbing fact that a Boynton Beach, Florida police officer had been accused of raping a 20-year old woman at gunpoint while on duty. A week later, we learn that police just 33 miles south, in Fort Lauderdale, raided a 90-year old World War II veteran and two clergymen and charged them with feeding the homeless. Under a new law, these three humanitarians face penalties of up to a $500 fine and/or 60 days in jail for, well, being humanitarians. No, I’m not making this up.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Fort Lauderdale police charged three men — including two pastors and a 90-year-old man — for feeding the homeless in public on Sunday, the first such cases made by the city after the a new ordinance effectively banning public food sharings took effect Friday.Continue reading »
Welfare cuts and pressures on household budgets is driving people to the brink of homelessness, a leading UK charity has warned.
Shelter, a charity that campaigns against homelessness, says it can no longer keep up demand for its helpline after calls increased by 20% since 2011. As a result, almost a third of phone calls go unanswered.
Last year, the charity received 7,600 calls from renters at risk of eviction, compared to 3,997 over the same period in 2011-12.
It warned that people were living on a ‘knife edge’ as losing a job or falling sick could tip them into homelessness. Continue reading »
The “war on compassion” when it comes to the homeless in America has been one of Liberty Blitzkrieg’s key themes this year. There are many reasons why I find this topic to be of such tremendous importance. First and foremost, I think that if we want to see how the state and crony corporate status quo will treat everyone in the future, all you have to do is look at how the homeless are being “dealt with.” Secondly, random groups feeding the homeless in various venues is a great example of decentralized compassion. Political power hates decentralization and is quite intentionally trying to corral the homeless into the centralized bureaucratic channels over which it has total control. So this isn’t merely a humanitarian issue, it is also a front line battle in the key war of our time: Decentralization vs. Centralization. Continue reading »
It is a well known historical trend that as discontent and dissent spread within a society, the power structure will look to demonize unpopular or weak minorities in order to deflect frustrations away from the true culprit, the power structure itself. Many feared in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 that Muslims would serve as such a scapegoat, and indeed in many ways this occurred, although not to the extent that many feared. In my opinion, it is homeless people that are being increasingly demonized and treated as subhuman. I think that if we want to see how the state and crony corporate status quo will treat everyone in the future, all you have to do is look at the current “war on the homeless.” Continue reading »
A Florida couple who has been feeding homeless folks in a public park for over a year was cited recently for allegedly violating a local ordinance. Daytona Beach police officers says Debbie and Chico Jimenez are not allowed to serve home-cooked meals at Manatee Island Park without the proper permits, and threatened to arrest them on top of giving them each a $373 ticket for serving the homeless without permission.
NBC News reports that the couple’s ministry, known as “Spreading the Word Without Saying a Word,” has been serving healthy meals every Wednesday at the park for over a year. The Jimenezes claim that police officers never told them that they needed a permit, and are often at the park when the meals are being distributed. Only recently, they say, did it become a problem.
“We were given 10 days to either pay the fine or tell them we’re going to court,” stated Debbie to reporters. “We’re going to court. The police don’t like it. But how can we turn our backs on the hungry? We can’t.” Continue reading »
Have you ever given food to a homeless person? Well, if you do it again in the future it might be a criminal act depending on where you live. Right now, there are dozens of major U.S. cities that have already passed laws against feeding the homeless. As you will read about below, in some areas of the country you can actually be fined hundreds of dollars for just trying to give food to a hungry person. I know that sounds absolutely insane, but this is what America is turning into. Communities all over the country are attempting to “clean up the streets” by making it virtually illegal to either be homeless or to help those that are homeless. Instead of spending more money on programs to assist the homeless, local governments are bulldozing tent cities and giving homeless people one way bus tickets out of town. We are treating some of the most vulnerable members of our society like human garbage, and it is a national disgrace. Continue reading »
The number of homeless families seeking shelter in the Washington, DC has risen by 135 percent from the same time last year, surging past earlier official expectations of a 10 percent increase, according to various news sources. The growing rate of homeless families seeking shelter is almost unprecedented, bringing the entire family shelter system to maximum capacity by late January.
Nearly 300 individuals fill DC General, a former hospital-turned-family shelter, with another 125 families filling up the District’s only other family shelter. In fact, the city has had to put an additional 436 families with a combined 849 children in motels in the District and in the neighboring Maryland suburbs. The epidemic has been termed “a crisis” by the District’s director of the Department of Human Services (DHS), David Berns.
If the economy is really “getting better”, then why have millions upon millions of formerly middle class Americans been pushed to the point of utter despair? The stories that you are about to read are absolutely heartbreaking. I don’t know how anyone can read them without getting chills. In America today, if you lose a good job, there is a good chance that you will get back on your feet before too long. But there is also a good chance that you won’t be able to find a decent job and will plunge into the abyss of depression and desperation that so many millions of other Americans have fallen into. As I wrote about earlier this month, the U.S. economy is definitely not getting any better. For example, if you assume that the percentage of Americans that want to work is about at the long term average, then the official unemployment rate in the United States would be above 11 percent. And compared to six years ago, 1,154,000 fewer Americans are working today even though our population has gotten significantly larger since then. Behind all of these numbers are real flesh and blood people, and you are about to hear from some of them.
The following are 10 stories from the cold, hard streets of America that will break your heart: Continue reading »
The greatness of a society and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals.
I would agree with that, as well as the obvious observation that a society’s greatness can also be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable members. This isn’t to romanticize homelessness or to condemn it. It is merely to note that the homeless are fellow human beings going through their own struggles and difficulties. You may not want to provide them food, but some people do, and there should never be an infringement upon such a basic human right as sharing food with someone who needs it.
Civil rights are often lost in societies by politicians scapegoating unpopular minorities. This happened with jews, gypsies, etc in Nazi Germany and we must be very careful the same does not happen here. One human being should be able to voluntarily give food to another in all cases, without exception.The concept of a permit needed that costs $120 per week is fascist, anti-human and downright evil.Continue reading »
“In eight years, Utah has quietly reduced homelessness by 78 percent, and is on track to end homelessness by 2015.
How did Utah accomplish this? Simple. Utah solved homelessness by giving people homes.In 2005, Utah figured out that the annual cost of E.R. visits and jail says for homeless people was about $16,670 per person, compared to $11,000 to provide each homeless person with an apartment and a social worker. So, the state began giving away apartments, with no strings attached. Each participant in Utah’s Housing First program also gets a caseworker to help them become self-sufficient, but the keep the apartment even if they fail. The program has been so successful that other states are hoping to achieve similar results with programs modeled on Utah’s.”
Earlier this month, Hawaii State representative Tom Bower (D) began walking the streets of his Waikiki district with a sledgehammer, and smashing shopping carts used by homeless people. “Disgusted” by the city’s chronic homelessness problem, Bower decided to take matters into his own hands — literally. He also took to rousing homeless people if he saw them sleeping at bus stops during the day. Continue reading »
An evidence photo of beating victim Kelly Thomas in hospital, as it was shown during a preliminary hearing on his death, for Fullerton police officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli at the Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, California May 7, 2012.(Reuters/Joshua Sudock)
The two police officers acquitted of violently killing a homeless man in California still might face federal charges as the FBI prepares to reexamine the case.
Testimony and evidence entered during the trial surrounding the death of a schizophrenic homeless man from California will be examined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, an FBI spokesperson said Monday.
A representative for the FBI field office in Los Angeles told the LA Times on Monday evening that the United States Department of Justice will review the contents of the case before determining if federal charges should be filed against the two former Fullerton, CA police officers acquitted earlier that night of killing the man, Kelly Thomas, in 2011.
What advice would you give to a retired Air Force Colonel that has three graduate degrees and that cannot even find work as a janitor? 59-year-old Robert Freniere once served as a special assistant to General Stanley McChrystal, and he has spent extensive time in both Iraq and Afghanistan. But now this man who once had an office in the heart of the Pentagon cannot find anyone who will hire him. In addition to his story, in this article you will also hear about several other middle-aged professionals that cannot find work in this economy either. Despite what the Obama administration and the mainstream media are telling you, the truth is that there has been no employment recovery in this country. What you are about to read is absolutely heartbreaking, but it represents the reality of what is really going on out there in the streets of America today.
Reuters, Dec. 31, 2013 (Emphasis Added): Today, the most ambitious radiation clean-up ever attempted is being dogged by both a lack of oversight and a shortage of workers. […] Mitsunori Nishimura, a local Inagawa-kai gangster […] housed workers in cramped dorms on the edge of Sendai and skimmed an estimated $10,000 of public funding intended for their wages each month, police say. […] Nishimura is widely known in Sendai. Seiryu Home, a shelter funded by the city, had sent other homeless men to work for him […] “He seemed like such a nice guy,” said Yota Iozawa, a shelter manager.
Forbes, Dec. 30, 2013: More than a year after the earthquake, after the crisis at Fukushima went from bad to worse, the Japanese government commandeered the clean-up effort […] the report published this morning by Reuters suggests that the clean-up effort is still broken. […] Reuters revealed that the Yakuza, the notorious criminal syndicates that control Japan’s underworld, are filling a manpower void […] with homeless men they’ve recruited off the streets. […] This is outrageous.
New York City residents who received rent subsidies are flocking to homeless shelters.
New York City homeless shelters—swelling with record-high populations not seen since the Great Depression—are increasingly being sought out by people who participated in a now-defunct rent-subsidy program designed to reduce homelessness, according to a report to be released Saturday.
There is a war on compassion in America today. You are about to read about a Hawaii lawmaker that has used a sledgehammer to smash up at least 30 shopping carts that homeless people were using. Yes, you read that correctly. He is actually carrying a sledgehammer around so that he can destroy the belongings of homeless people. He claims that it is his intention “to do something practical that will really clean up the streets”. But as crazy as that sounds, the truth is that he is not alone. As you will read about below, there are dozens of major cities all over the country where feeding the homeless has been banned. In many of these instances, public officials are very open about the fact that the goal is to make their cities “cleaner” and “safer” places to live. They simply do not want the homeless around. In fact, there are some cities such as San Diego and San Francisco where social workers are actually giving homeless people one-way bus tickets out of town. If you doubt this, just keep reading. The United States is becoming a very cold, heartless place, and homeless people are increasingly being treated like human garbage in this country. So how bad will the treatment of the homeless become when the economy gets really bad?
When I first heard about a state representative out in Hawaii that was using a sledgehammer to go after homeless people, I could hardly believe it. But it is actually true. The following is a short excerpt from an RT article that was published earlier this week: Continue reading »
Did you know that the number of Americans on welfare is higher than the number of Americans that have full-time jobs? Did you know that 1.2 million public school students in the U.S. are currently homeless? Anyone that uses the term “economic recovery” to describe what is happening in the United States today is being deeply insulting to the nearly 150 million Americans that are considered to be either “poor” or “low income” at this point. Yes, things are great in New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco, but almost everywhere else economic conditions continue to steadily get worse. The gap between the wealthy and the poor is at a level that America has never seen before, and this is beginning to create a “Robin Hood mentality” that could cause a tremendous amount of social chaos in the years ahead. Anger at the “haves” in America continues to rise at a very alarming pace, and the “have nots” are becoming increasingly desperate. At some point all of this anger is going to boil over, and you won’t want to be anywhere around major population centers when that happens. Despite unprecedented borrowing by the federal government in recent years, and despite unprecedented money printing by the Federal Reserve, poverty in the United States keeps getting worse with each passing year.
The following are 29 incredible facts which prove that poverty in America is absolutely exploding:
You should be quite relieved that you never have been, and hopefully never will be, on Hart Island
Roughly 7 million people live in New York City, and, like everywhere else in the world, some of them die. Sometimes, they die with no family and/or no money. In New York, a few thousand such people die each year in the city’s hospitals alone. But these people’s stories do not end with their deaths. What does the city do with the bodies? They’re buried on Hart Island.
Hart Island is located in the western part of Long Island Sound, a few miles offshore from the Bronx and only a bit farther from Queens. This tiny island—131 acres—has been uninhabited for years, at least by the living. Since 1869, the city of New York has used the island as a potter’s field, a burial ground for those who could not afford burial elsewhere. The potter’s field now takes up roughly 101 of the island’s 131 acres and is the largest tax-supported graveyard in the world.
More than 850,000 people have been buried on Hart’s Island, and roughly 2,000 more burials occur each year. Dismembered body parts constitute a small minority of the burials. An estimated one-third of the burials are of very young children. With one exception—“special child baby 1 1985,” the first child to die of AIDS in New York City—the bodies are buried in mass graves.
What would you do if a police officer threatened to arrest you for trying to share a sandwich with a desperately hungry homeless woman that really needed it? Such a notion sounds absolutely bizarre, but this is actually happening in major cities all over the United States. More than 50 large U.S. cities have adopted “anti-camping” or “anti-food sharing” laws in recent years, and in many of these cities the police are strictly enforcing these laws. Sometimes the goal appears to be to get the homeless people to go away. Apparently the heartless politicians that are passing these laws believe that if the homeless can’t get any more free food and if they keep getting thrown into prison for “illegal camping” they will eventually decide to go somewhere else where they won’t be hassled so much. This is yet another example of how heartless our society is becoming. The middle class is being absolutely shredded and poverty is absolutely exploding, but meanwhile the hearts of many Americans are growing very cold. If this continues, what is the future of America going to look like?
An organization called Love Wins Ministries made national headlines recently when police in Raleigh, North Carolina threatened to arrest them if they distributed sausage biscuits and coffee to homeless people living in the heart of the city. Love Wins Ministries had been doing this for years, but now it is apparently illegal. The following is from someone who was actually there: Continue reading »
Did you know that there are thousands upon thousands of homeless people that are living underground beneath the streets of major U.S. cities? It is happening in Las Vegas, it is happening in New York City and it is even happening in Kansas City. As the economy crumbles, poverty in the United States is absolutely exploding and so is homelessness. In addition to the thousands of “tunnel people” living under the streets of America, there are also thousands that are living in tent cities, there are tens of thousands that are living in their vehicles and there are more than a million public school children that do not have a home to go back to at night. The federal government tells us that the recession “is over” and that “things are getting better”, and yet poverty and homelessness in this country continue to rise with no end in sight. So what in the world are things going to look like when the next economic crisis hits?
When I heard that there were homeless people living in a network of underground tunnels beneath the streets of Kansas City, I was absolutely stunned. I have relatives that live in that area. I never thought of Kansas City as one of the more troubled cities in the United States. Continue reading »
A homeless Navy veteran faces up to a $500 fine for dumpster diving in downtown Houston. Veteran James Kelly was cited for “disturbing the contents of a garbage can” on Thursday morning of last week in front of the Hobby Center.
State and local governments nationwide have struggled to accommodate a homeless population that has changed in recent years – now including large numbers of families with young children. As the WSJ reports, more than 21,000 children – an unprecedented 1% of the city’s youth – slept each night in a city shelter in January, an increase of 22% in the past year; as homeless families now spend more than a year in a shelter, on average, for the first time since 1987. New York City has seen one of the steepest increases in homeless families in the past decade, advocates said, growing 73% since 2002, and “is facing a homeless crisis worse than any time since the Great Depression.”
Homeless advocates said the Obama administration has focused on more visible problems, such as those sleeping on the streets, taking resources away from families. The steep rise has reignited questions about whether New York’s economic turnaround of the past two decades has helped the city’s poorest residents as they note (despite today’s Dow record highs), “the economy is nowhere near where it was.”
The blame apparently lies at the cessation of ‘entitlements’ as the DHS adds, since the end – in Spring 2011 – of a state-funded program that subsidized rent for people leaving shelters; homeless families have gone up 35%; but they also added that the city was working to find employment for the homeless, “a long-term solution.” Boston and Washington DC are also seeing homeless numbers surge.