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    Listen to this episode of The Times: Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher Google Podcasts Housing L.A.’s homeless population has unsurprisingly proved to be a herculean task. With tens of thousands of people on the streets, it’s become a top issue for this year’s mayoral election in November. But until now, neither candidate — Congresswoman Karen Bass and real estate developer Rick Caruso — had offered specifics on the type of housing they would create, where it would be or how much it would cost. So we asked. Read the full transcript here. Host: Gustavo Arellano Guests: L.A. Times reporters Ben Oreskes and Doug Smith More reading: Bass and Caruso have talked big on homelessness. Now they’re offering some details Can Bass or Caruso solve the L.A. homeless housing crisis? Here are their divergent plans Bass, Caruso sling mud over USC scholarship, alleged hacks and homelessness fixes About The Times “The Times” is produced by Shannon Lin, Denise Guerra, Kasia Broussalian, David Toledo and Ashlea Brown. Our editorial assistants...
    California is headed toward its worst heat wave of the year, experts say. Temperatures are expected to reach up to 115 degrees in some areas. And while everyone is at risk of suffering heat-related illnesses during heat waves, those who are unhoused are even more vulnerable. Mayer Dahan, founder of the Dream Builders Project, a nonprofit that assembles and distributes care packages to unhoused people, said that now more than ever Angelenos need to “activate” themselves and respond to the needs of the unhoused community. Here are some ideas of what you can do.During a heat wave Mayra Lozano, director of community outreach for WaterDrop LA, a skid row nonprofit, said that above all, people need water. WaterDrop LA recently challenged Angelenos on Twitter to take 20 minutes out of their day to hand out chilled water bottles to their unhoused neighbors. Lozano said this is something anyone can do. It is going to hit 100 degrees this weekend. While those who are housed tend to avoid most of the intensity of the heat, folks experience homelessness cant. Skid...
    First Lady Jill Biden delivered a commencement address Tuesday night to three graduating classes from Los Angeles City College, highlighting the stories of community college students who got their degrees against tough odds.  At the ceremony, the first lady, students and administrators talked about what the school's students went up against including addiction, homelessness, COVID losses and going to school while pregnant or having young children.  'These stories, your stories of perseverance and resiliance are so inspiring,' said the first lady, who continues to teach English at Northern Virginia Community College.  She spoke of three graduating students in her keynote address, including a pregnant woman who recently immigrated to the U.S. named Marie whose water broke during her final exam.  'Now, we all know students who would ask to be excused from a test for a runny nose. But not Marie,' Biden said. 'Through her contractions - praying that her baby would stay put just a little bit longer -she finished her test and then later, delivered a healthy baby boy.' 'That's how much finishing her degree mattered to her,' the...
    Every so often now during COVID-19, I think of the movie “Awakenings.” Based on the memoir by Oliver Sacks, it starred Robin Williams as a doctor treating people living with permanent brain injuries. Thanks to an experimental medication, one of his long-comatose patients (played by Robert De Niro) briefly “wakes up” and leads a normal life. The heartbreaking ending arrives when the drug proves to be only temporary relief. The patients return to their previous debilitated states, and there’s nothing Robin Williams can do about it. In many ways, the federal reaction to the COVID pandemic resembles that plot. For a brief moment in time, funding materialized that cured long-intractable problems like reducing child poverty, funding unemployment at a dignified level and functionally ending homelessness in cities like St. Paul. For the past year, anyone who needed a bed and a roof over their head could get one in Ramsey County. That’s no longer true. The money has run out, and policymakers and shelter providers are facing the grim prospect of going back to the less humane way that our...
    Every member of our community deserves to have a safe, stable and affordable home. Countless studies have shown how ensuring access to affordable housing is not only good for the residents living there, but the overall health of the community. And here in Silicon Valley, it’s a sentiment we hear from people of all backgrounds, age and ideologies. That’s why it’s so troubling when we hear our leaders agree that we need solutions, but “just not here.” We’ve heard this argument time-and-time again, most recently during debates over local Project Homekey proposals, including a rejected Santa Clara proposal that would have moved families with children off the streets in less than a year. And it continues to fuel the scale of homelessness and suffering we’re witnessing today. In order to reverse the crisis in our community we all must begin to embrace “yes” in all neighborhoods and be part of the solution rather than another barrier. The first step is to acknowledge that much of the dangerous rhetoric we hear today is rooted in fear, misinformation and racial bias. So,...
    In 1990, a physician’s assistant who worked in the emergency room at L.A. County-USC Medical Center saw impoverished and homeless patients on a daily basis, and she wanted to do something about conditions in the neighborhoods they came from. So she and other activists established the Community Coalition, a nonprofit service provider whose goal was “to organize the community to turn despair and homelessness into action.” U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, now running for mayor, will need to do a lot of that if she is elected. If you believe the polls, Bass and billionaire businessman Rick Caruso lead the pack at the moment. When I interviewed Caruso recently, by the way, his staff arranged for me to meet him at the Grove, his signature mall. Bass asked me to meet her at 81st Street and Vermont Avenue, home of the Community Coalition. The candidate, years removed from her medical career, wanted to talk about how she intends to heal the city, moving it beyond years of escalating homelessness influenced by poverty, addiction, mental illness and housing shortages. “This is the...
    EL SERENO, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de León believes he's the best candidate for mayor to tackle homelessness because he's already in the thick of it.De León's district has more homeless people than any other council district. Eyewitness News met the mayoral candidate at a former roadside motel in El Sereno, which is now a temporary shelter De León purchased. As part of Project Homekey, three meals a day are provided there and so are supportive services like job development skills, legal services and mental health."Perhaps in the near future, we will convert these temporary units into permanent housing," De León said. "You cannot let the 'perfect' get in the way of the good. Because if you do, you'll just be paralyzed. And then you won't act, you'll just talk about the issues. You'll theorize about the issue."The temporary shelter is called Huntington Villas ,which is run by the provider, Union Station. The 43 residents who live there came from an encampment that was located across the street - on an island in the middle...
    Steven Stroud says when he was released from prison in 2020, where he’d wound up due to becoming addicted to doctor-prescribed opioids and eventually heroin, the Portland, Oregon, streets where he grew up had changed. The pandemic had shut down most of the already sparse jobs he would have potentially been able to pursue, and he ended up without work or a place to live. Stroud spoke in an interview with Greg Bennick posted on SoundCloud in November 2021 about how people living on the streets in Portland now had to contend with a near-constant militarized police presence, which developed in response to the city’s Black Lives Matter protests (Note: the interview also details Stroud’s youth as a skinhead, and how he eventually left this hate-filled existence behind and spent a period of time speaking out and educating people against white supremacist groups). Stroud shares in the interview that he met Bennick when a few people walking past noticed him and handed him a sandwich. These were volunteers with the Portland Mutual Aid Network (PMAN), which was formed in 2020...
    Facing an enormous public outcry to solve homelessness in Los Angeles, nearly all of the leading candidates for mayor in 2022 agree on at least one thing: The problem of thousands of people sleeping in tents and RVs across the city is a crisis deserving of a disaster-level response. In general, they concur with most of the voters in a poll released last week that thousands of new interim housing beds are needed right away. They said the city also needs to continue building permanent housing units, with roughly 40,000 homeless people in L.A., 70% of whom are unsheltered. And they largely agreed that the county’s mental health system needs to work more effectively and be expanded. Where all this new interim housing would go and how it would be funded isn’t exactly clear. The candidates were asked about their plans after the release of the poll, conducted by the Los Angeles Business Council Institute in coordination with The Times. It found that homelessness continues to rank as the dominant issue in the region, with 94% of voters...
    Homelessness in America was already a massive crisis before the COVID-19 pandemic and the past two years have made the situation even worse. With evictions now rising after the end of a federal moratorium and an ongoing lack of affordable housing, more and more individuals and families are facing a desperate and dehumanizing situation. Here are some charities around the country that provide an opportunity to give a helping hand to those facing housing insecurity and homelessness. HUMANIZE HOMELESSNESSPart of the problem is the dehumanization of homeless people, making it easy for passersby to simply turn their heads—out of sight, out of mind. This is where the NGO ‘Humanize Homelessness’ comes in. This all-volunteer organization based in Washington state is dedicated to helping folks who are less fortunate to create a “kinder, more supportive, and more successful society for all of us.” The organization’s self-proclaimed vision is to “humanize the people experiencing homelessness” through programs like employment mentoring and “Know Your Neighbor” visits to family shelters, and its mission is to “make it easier to help the homeless.” MICHIGAN COALITION...
    Over the past weeks, multiple crises have merged: a crisis of democracy with the most significant attack on voting rights since Reconstruction; a climate crisis with lives and livelihoods upended in the Gulf Coast and the Northeast by extreme weather events and in the West by a stunning fire season; and an economic crisis in which millions are being cut off from Pandemic Unemployment Insurance, even as August job gains proved underwhelming. There's also a crisis taking place in state legislatures with an ongoing attack on women's autonomy over our own bodies. The Supreme Court let a law go into effect that makes abortions nearly impossible in Texas and turns its enforcement over to vigilantes. And then, of course, there's the looming eviction crisis that could precipitate the worst housing and homelessness disaster in American history. Indeed, the Supreme Court's ruling on the Texas abortion ban was hardly its only horrific decision this summer. Its willingness to end a moratorium on evictions instantly put hundreds of thousands of people at risk of eviction, with tens of millions more in danger...
    EVERGREEN, Colo. (CBS4)– Sunday morning was a great time to get outside and work up a sweat on a bicycle. That’s what Corbin Clement and his friends AJ Sherer and Dillon Wilson did among many others. (credit: CBS) The only difference- those three started their ride at 8 p.m. Saturday. READ MORE: Growing Wildfires Trigger Air Quality Alert Including Vail, Glenwood Springs, Craig And Meeker “Hey, I’m tired,” Corbin told his girlfriend, who joined him for a while. “Are you?” she asked sarcastically. “It’s not like you’ve been riding,” she jokes. The three men have been riding up and down Whitter Gulch Road and Squaw Pass in Evergreen over and over again. “It’s pretty. It’s steep,” says Corbin. Corbin is “Everesting” for donations. That means he is using all of the daylight on the Summer Solstice to ride 29,029 vertical feet, the same height as the top of Mt. Everest. In all, he will ride over 178 miles in 24 hours. He roped AJ and Dillon into doing it with him. The thing is, Corbin isn’t the most experienced cyclist...
    New York City is funding a controversial pilot program that will give away monthly cash payments of $1,250 to as many as 40 homeless people between 18 and 24 for two years - with no strings attached.  Recipients will be able to request how they want their money, such as in incremental payments or upfront as cash, and have no limits as to how they could spend it. Championed by homeless advocacy group Point Source Youth and researchers from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, the 'Trust Youth Initiative' aims to determine whether giving cash to young homeless people will improve their housing outcomes and employment opportunities. The program will also provide supportive services like financial coaching and housing navigation.  Point Source Youth's website calls it 'the first study of the effectiveness of direct cash assistance to young people, 18-24, with optional supportive services to help advance the goal of ending youth homelessness.' About 30 to 40 participants are set to be enrolled starting late this fall. Organizers have not specified how they will pick the participants or whether...
    After spending weeks reporting on the homelessness crisis in Venice, Times reporters Benjamin Oreskes and Doug Smith sat down with Councilman Mike Bonin, who has represented the area since 2013. In a nearly two-hour interview, he weighed in on how the fights over homelessness have consumed the neighborhood and laid out his vision of how a humane clearing of tents that run along the boardwalk could occur. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. LAT: We’ve been talking to people you know over the past two or three weeks and we’ve been hearing a sense of anticipation that something’s coming. Are you planning something like the cleanup at Echo Park Lake? Mike Bonin: It’s not going to be: Here’s the day, with bells and whistles and pressing buttons. I don’t want to do it this way. But I guess to a certain extent, it’s inevitable to do the contrast with Echo Park Lake, because that’s sort of become part of the frame of this. So let’s start with the ways in which Venice Beach is different than...
    After spending weeks reporting on the homelessness crisis in Venice, Times reporters Benjamin Oreskes and Doug Smith sat down with Councilman Mike Bonin, who has represented the area since 2013. In a nearly two-hour interview, he weighed in on how the fights over homelessness have consumed the neighborhood and laid out his vision of how a humane clearing of tents that run along the boardwalk could occur. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. LAT: We’ve been talking to people you know over the past two or three weeks and we’ve been hearing a sense of anticipation that something’s coming. Are you planning something like the cleanup at Echo Park Lake? Mike Bonin: It’s not going to be: Here’s the day, with bells and whistles and pressing buttons. I don’t want to do it this way. But I guess to a certain extent, it’s inevitable to do the contrast with Echo Park Lake, because that’s sort of become part of the frame of this. So let’s start with the ways in which Venice Beach is different than...
    Is Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti headed to India, and if so, what will be his legacy here at home after eight years as mayor and 20 years in public office? And, by the way, who might run Los Angeles if and when he’s gone? That’s a lot to plow through, and I’ll have to save future leadership for another column, but here we go. If you haven’t heard, it’s been reported that President Biden could tap Garcetti to be U.S. ambassador to India. It’s not uncommon, of course, for victors to toss a bone to a loyal supporter, and Garcetti was a co-chair of Biden’s national campaign. But India? It sounds like an odd choice at first, and one might argue that Garcetti should not be sent to a country with a massive unresolved homelessness crisis. India is also the current global epicenter of the pandemic (Garcetti has some leadership experience in that arena) and is an important U.S. ally. And the inexhaustibly ambitious Garcetti, who has always had an interest in foreign affairs, is a Rhodes scholar...
    ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- The homeless crisis on Southern California streets can be taxing for law enforcement. In one local city, instead of calling police, they call a team of professionals.Respect is key in making those first connections with the unsheltered and social worker Jackie Tapia knows the process of building trust can take time.She's part of the city of Anaheim's latest efforts to address the needs of their homeless neighbors -- a six-month pilot program called Community Care Response Teams, or CCRT. Instead of dispatching police to issues of homelessness, the unarmed CCRT teams respond with nurse practitioners, mental health clinicians, a social worker and plain clothes security."There's just certain neighbors that, based on past experiences or based on their mindsets, the presence of a badge, the presence of a gun creates an additional barrier," said Matt Bates. "It elevates the tension and our staff are trained in de-escalation, trained in crisis management."Before CCRT, the Anaheim Police Department handled those calls. Those officers have been reassigned to community policing teams.Long Beach program helps break vicious cycle of homelessness, substance...
    When it comes to homelessness in America, cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, and even Dallas might want to take a page out of Houston's playbook. The southwest Texas city has managed to cut its homelessness rate in half in the last decade by using a coordinated strategy that includes partnerships between the public and private sectors. Houston is the fourth-largest city in America, with a population of more than 2.3 million residents. In 2020, more than 30,000 people in the Houston area — Harris, Fort Bend, and Montgomery counties — needed some type of homeless assistance. That number jumped to 45,000 if prevention and other services such as food or clothing aid were factored in, according to the Coalition for the Homeless. On any given night in the Houston region, there were 3,974 people living outside, according to the 2020 Homeless Count and Survey. But whereas comparable cities such as Chicago and Phoenix saw their homelessness numbers rise, Houston has seen a 54% decrease in overall homelessness since 2011. The real secret behind Houston's success...
    SACRAMENTO —  To look at the grim sidewalks that stretch under Highway 50 at the south end of midtown Sacramento, it’s hard to understand why anyone — no matter how desperate — would want to call these blocks home. It’s always dark. It’s dirty. It stinks. And there’s an incessant rumble of cars and trucks, punctuated by the occasional blaring of a horn and screeching of brakes. But for Shane, a homeless man I found absent-mindedly drawing on a piece of paper inside his tent on Monday afternoon, the underpass and the nearly 300 people who have lived there with him for months had come to feel familiar. The only reason he agreed to move a few blocks away to a new, city-sanctioned camping site for homeless people, known as a “safe ground,” is that others from the encampment were going, too. “They told me we could come over here,” Shane mumbled, under the protective gaze of two friends. “So here I am.” I can’t help but feel there is a lesson in here for Los Angeles, where city...
    Oakland (CNN)While some people nationwide have successfully booked their vaccine appointments online, many others -- including people who are experiencing homelessness -- are struggling to even get access to the booking sites.That's why in Oakland and Berkeley, California, one clinic is working with local officials to bring Covid-19 vaccines directly to unhoused people."We've really seen Covid infiltrate ... this population that's so marginalized from society," said Dr. Jason Reinking, a street medicine doctor with Oakland's LifeLong Medical Care, which has partnered with Alameda County to provide health care and vaccines to those experiencing homelessness.Hishimu Courtney, who lives in a homeless encampment in Oakland, receives a vaccine dose from a LifeLong Medical Care nurse."We flipped the medical paradigm on its head. We essentially bring care directly to people instead of waiting for people to come to care."LifeLong Medical Care originally administered Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, until Johnson and Johnson ones became available, according to Reinking. The clinic said it is now administering the one-dose J&J vaccine to unsheltered people in the community.Read MoreThe clinic has vans -- essentially health clinics on...
    Here's how Congress can help address the homelessness crisis
    As health officials scrambled last March with shelter-in-place orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, Jason Elliott was tackling another seemingly overwhelming problem: How do we keep the more than 100,000 Californians sleeping on our streets from dying of the virus? As senior counselor to Gov. Gavin Newsom, Elliott serves as the governor’s top housing and homelessness adviser. He spearheaded two programs that together wound up being one of the state’s biggest feats during the unprecedented pandemic. Project Roomkey has sheltered more than 35,000 homeless Californians in hotels and motels throughout the state, giving people over 65 or with medical conditions a safer place to ride out the pandemic. The second program, Homekey, created 6,000 units of long-term homeless housing in less than six months, by giving cities and counties the money to purchase hotels and other buildings, and expediting the permitting process. It’s not enough to put a noticeable dent in the massive crisis of human suffering on our streets. But it’s a start, and more than California has done in a long time. Elliott spoke with this news organization about those...
    Sports Illustrated has revealed the first ever black and Asian transgender model to grace the pages of its annual Swimsuit Issue. Though the iconic magazine doesn't launch until July, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Instagram account has been unveiling one model a day throughout the month of March — and this morning, they made waves with the announcement that Chicago-born model, dancer, actor, and activist Leyna Bloom, 27, is joining the likes of Lais Ribeiro and Josephine Skriver in the 2021 edition. Leyna, who is the second trans model to pose for SI Swim, opened up to Good Morning America about her boundary-breaking accomplishment, gushing: 'I never imagined that I would be born in a time when something like this would happen for someone with my skin tone and for someone with my background.' Boundary breaking! Sports Illustrated has revealed the first ever black and Asian transgender model to grace the pages of its annual Swimsuit Issue Strike a pose! Chicago-born model, dancer, actor, and activist Leyna Bloom, 27, is joining the likes of Lais Ribeiro and Josephine Skriver in the 2021 edition She...
    VICTORVILLE, Calif. (KABC) -- A new program in Victorville is working to provide housing support and case management for community college students who, in many cases, would be considered homeless.Kaitlyn Moore is a freshman at Victor Valley College who until recently wasn't always sure where she would sleep at night."I feel like there's a lot of other people that are too, but they're just scared to come out because they're just feeling like I was," she said.Moore is now part of the program called It Takes a Village, a joint effort led in part by the non-profit Searchlight Society and Next Up, on the community college campus. It only began in January and has already assisted 33 students this semester."If I get a call or a referral that there's a student living in their car or there's a student that doesn't have shelter tonight, we'll rapidly re-house them into a partner hotel and then we'll transition them into either shared living, their own apartment or a different type of housing model," said Daniel Herrera, co-founder of the Searchlight SocietyAmber Allen,...
    Deputy Bennie Gant of the Harris County Constables Office, in Houston, following through on eviction orders at the end of August. Night Owls is a themed open thread appearing at Daily Kos seven days a week. 6 days until JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS TAKE THE OATH OF OFFICE Dale Maharidge at The Nation writes—How the United States Chose to Become a Country of Homelessness. For months, our leaders have known that the Covid-19 crisis could force millions of people from their homes. They decided to let it happen: Advocates have been sounding the alarms for months—issuing reports, penning press releases, warning politicians as an increasing number of Americans made jobless by the pandemic have fallen behind on their rent. Now, the warnings unheeded, the United States is facing an unprecedented homelessness crisis, one that is as predictable as it was avoidable. [...] By August, a group of experts representing some of the leading housing rights organizations in the country—including the Eviction Lab at Princeton University, the National Low Income Housing Coalition, and the Covid-19 Eviction Defense Project—arrived at a dire...
    (CNN)The economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has created widespread housing insecurity for renters, homeowners and the homeless population in the US.According to the US Census Household Pulse Survey, by the end of October, 9.9 million Americans were not up-to-date on their rent or mortgage payments and had little to no confidence that their household could pay next month's rent or mortgage on time."To be able to understand the eviction crisis that we're facing today, we have to recognize where we were before Covid-19 came to our country --and that was in the midst of a severe affordable housing crisis," said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, the US has a shortage of 7 million affordable rental homes available to low-income renters.Coupled with the long-term homeless crisis, many Americans are now scrambling to figure out how to obtain or sustain a place they call home under the economic toll Covid-19 has had on families and individuals across the country.Read More"When people are struggling to afford their rent,...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- "The Road Up" follows four Chicagoans on their journey from struggling with addiction, homelessness and prison to independence with the help of a transformative program called Cara."I've been doing this for going on 18 years now, and I Have truly seen miracles happen, human beings' lives being transformed," said Jesse Teverbaugh, Cara director of student and alumni affairs. "For a long time we thought if we just threw a paycheck at someone, all their problems and everything would be alright, and they would ride off into the sunset and everything would be fine, but that's not the case."Directors Jon Siskel and Greg Jacobs found a film in the program."We're totally blown away by what we saw, people sharing their stories, sharing in this incredibly supportive community," Siskel said. "They've had real difficult roads and to see them persevere and get through that and triumph, it was really powerful to be there with them, to celebrate those with them."It wasn't always easy to make the documentary. There were obstacles."These are people who were living in shelters, these are...
    The coronavirus pandemic is upending the Bay Area’s fight against homelessness — changing everything from who we think of as homeless, to how we shelter them, to how much money we can pour into the problem. Many of the changes — good and bad — will outlast the pandemic, says Dr. Margot Kushel, who studies the intersection of homelessness and health. The good news includes a likely shift away from crowding people into group shelters, and a growing empathy toward the people economic hardship has pushed onto the street. But the bad news is concerning: The health of those who remain outside is worsening, and that could have ripple effects throughout the health care system for years. Kushel, a UCSF professor of medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, and the director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, spoke with this news organization about the ways coronavirus has changed the fight against homelessness, and what comes next. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Q: How has the coronavirus pandemic changed the way the Bay Area views...
    (CNN)World Homeless Day is October 10, and now more than ever, those experiencing homelessness need to be protected from a two-pronged threat -- Covid-19 and cold weather.According to UN-Habitat, 100 million people worldwide are homeless, and at least 1 billion live in inadequate housing or overcrowded informal settlements. These already high numbers are surging due to the pandemic's economic impact, and now having a safe place to call home has become even more challenging for people around the world. Here is how you can help those experiencing housing insecurity this World Homeless Day.Donate goods to your local shelterFind a local shelter in your community and see what they need, such as nonperishable goods, clothing, or basic supplies. Gathering and donating those items which are in high demand can be very helpful to your local shelter.JUST WATCHEDHelp protect the most vulnerable from coronavirusReplayMore Videos ...MUST WATCHHelp protect the most vulnerable from coronavirus 03:05Create your own care packagesRead MoreKeeping care packages in your car to give to the homeless is also a way you can help those who may not be able...
    When Christine Hernandez moved her family into a yellow apartment building on 12th Avenue in Oakland two years ago, she wasn’t planning on paying rent. She knew squatting was risky, but homelessness was worse. What she didn’t know was that her decision would eventually put her at the forefront of a tenant-led fight to create lifelong affordable housing for the five families living in the building’s six units. “I’m shifting from being in a constant state of fear,” said Hernandez, whose family of six hadn’t had a stable home for half a decade. “But it worked out. Now we’re stable, legit, long term.” Hernandez and some of the other 12th Avenue tenants earlier this year got a community land trust to buy the home they’d been living in. Land trusts buy properties, retain ownership of the land, and then build or preserve affordable housing, selling or renting units back to low-income tenants at a discount. OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 1: Jayda Garlipp, left, and neighbor Christine Hernandez, right, and Hernandezs daughter Sofia Lina, 7, pose for a...
    It took 10 years of bouncing among couches, his car, a shelter and the streets before the system steered R.J. Ramsey into what he needed: a permanent place to stay. Ramsey had plenty of contact with San Jose and Santa Clara County government before then, but it was always with law enforcement. Instead of helping him find housing, he said, officers were constantly shooing him out of wherever he’d camped for the night, or stopping him on the street to search him. “Most of them talk down to you,” 53-year-old Ramsey said. “The first thing they ask you is not your name, but automatically assume you’ve been to jail before, so they ask you for your PFN — your personal number that they assign you in jail.” Now, he can’t help but wonder how his life might have been different if just once, years earlier, a social worker had approached him on the street, instead of a police officer. That question is being amplified as cries to “defund the police” sweep the nation — spurred by widespread outrage over recent...
    Rajan Menon July 18, 2020 12:29PM (UTC) This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch. The novel SARS-CoV-2 has roared through the American landscape leaving physical, emotional, and economic devastation in its wake. By early July, known infections in this country exceeded three million, while deaths topped 135,000. Home to just over 4% of the global population, the United States accounts for more than a quarter of all fatalities from Covid-19, the disease produced by the coronavirus. Amid a recent surge of infections, especially across the Sun Belt, which Vice President Mike Pence typically denied was even occurring, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the daily total of infections had reached a record 60,000. Arizona's seven-day average alone approached that of the European Union, which has 60 times as many people. Making matters much worse, the pandemic erupted during the presidency of Donald J. Trump, whose stratospheric self-absorption, ineptitude, denial of science, and callousness have reached heights even his most ferocious critics couldn't have imagined. His nostrums, including disinfectant, sunlight, and hydroxychloroquine, could be dismissed as comical if they weren't downright dangerous, encouraging possibly fatal experimentation,...
    Detroit, MI  (CBS Detroit)  – In the time since Empowerment Plan was founded in 2012, it has evolved from an idea in a college class, into an internationally recognized workforce development organization that focuses on ending the cycle of homelessness. By pairing full time employment with a wide range of supportive services, they have helped dozens of individuals achieve financial stability and independence for the whole family. Their holistic approach addresses everything from housing and childcare to transportation and education. “Empowerment Plan is a non-profit based here in Detroit, that focuses on ending the generational cycle of homelessness through employment,” explains Veronica Scott, CEO of Empowerment Plan. “We focus on hiring individuals that are in shelters that have children, and employing them to produce a coat that turns into a sleeping bag, that we give out globally for those in need.” “Right now our biggest priority for the Empowerment Plan is that we want to get 9,000 coats sponsored this winter, this is our most productive year ever.  Back when I started the organization about 7 years ago, we...
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