Homeless news updates

from The Guardian

Posters berating homeless beggars as frauds? I know how far this is from the truth | Poppy Noor

Nottingham city council’s campaign was rightly banned, but it’s part of a system that brands homeless people as undeserving, liars or tricksters

This week Nottingham city council’s poster campaign on homeless begging – suggesting that money to beggars funds booze, drugs, and fraud – was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for being discriminatory. The ruling is good news, but the fact that these posters existed at all is indicative of the way in which it has become increasingly acceptable to berate the less well-off. From TV shows like Benefits Street showcasing Britain’s poor as if they were a circus act to the use by politicians of language like “shirkers and strivers”, such prejudice is increasing.

I learned at 16, and homeless while still at school, that in order to keep the good opinion of others I needed to show just the right amount of piety so they wouldn’t accuse me of pissing their money down the drain – while not appearing as though I’d got above my station.

Related: The government needs to urgently rethink its supported housing policy | Dawn Foster

What if I had been among the 74% of people turned away from a service because my needs level was too high?

Related: Anti-begging posters banned over ‘negative stereotypes’

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Las Vegas faces wave of squatters as thousands of homes sit abandoned

Authorities are upping their game with new laws and more aggressive enforcement after a 25% leap in the last three years in calls regarding squatters

From the start, officer Scott Vaughn sensed there was something peculiar about the people living in the house on Ocotillo Mesa Drive.

He figured one thing was for sure: they shouldn’t be there.

Related: Homeless below the Las Vegas Strip: where city’s vices exist in the shadows

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Property firm invites activists to set up art space in squatted office

Camelot, which provides security for empty buildings, makes offer to squatters occupying its former HQ in London

A company which protects empty buildings from being squatted has invited the group of activists who occupied its former headquarters to stay and establish an art and culture space in the empty building.

The surprising offer was made by Mike Goldsmith, chief operating officer of Camelot Europe, on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after squatters clashed with security personnel at the site.

Related: Why the occupation of this empty building highlights the housing crisis | Frank Freeman

Related: The high price of cheap living: how the property guardianship dream soured

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Record numbers left homeless after eviction by private landlords in England

End of an assured shorthold tenancy cited by nearly a third of newly homeless households, figures show

Record numbers of families are becoming homeless after being evicted by private landlords and finding themselves unable to afford a suitable alternative place to live, government figures show.

The end of an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) was cited by nearly a third of the 15,170 households in England who were classed as homeless in the three months to June – a number that was up 10% on the same period last year.

Related: Why the occupation of this empty building highlights the housing crisis | Frank Freeman

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

New Jersey homeless man who gave bomb backpack to police: 'I’m grateful'

Lee Parker and his friend Ian White found the abandoned backpack allegedly planted by Ahmad Khan Rahami near the Elizabeth, New Jersey train station

The homeless man who found a backpack of bombs in Elizabeth, New Jersey, on Sunday night spoke publicly about his shock at finding the explosive devices allegedly planted by Ahmad Khan Rahami, who remains in a New Jersey hospital after being captured in a police shootout on Monday.

“Under the so-called hero’s cape, I’m just a regular dude,” said Lee Parker, 50. “I still have my nine lives, I guess, and I’m going to keep trying to live them well.”

Related: New York and New Jersey bombings: who is suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami?

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

The government needs to urgently rethink its supported housing policy | Dawn Foster

Although a last-minute U-turn prevented a cap on benefits for people in supported housing, women’s refuges and homeless shelters are still under threat.

Last Thursday, a government climbdown was met with mass relief by thousands of people in disparate parts of the housing sector, including tenants. After months of criticism, campaigning and publicising the dangers, the decision to introduce a cap on housing benefit to supported housing, such as hostels and homeless shelters, was deferred. The local housing allowance (LHA) cap was designed to impose a standard rate for housing benefit claims, preventing high rents being covered, and standardising housing benefit rates in order to trim the welfare bill.

Related: Government announces housing benefit cap exemptions to housing benefit cap after criticism

‘It’s a hallmark of the Tories’ approach to housing: act first and leave every other agency to pick up the pieces’

Related: Even in housing, the Tories stoop to divide and rule | Owen Jones

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Australia does not have a welfare problem. We have a poverty problem | John Falzon

While he talks of ‘revolutionary’ vision in the welfare sector, Christian Porter ignores the fact that unemployment is a failure of the market, not the person

You don’t build communities up by putting people down. Structural changes to the economy have resulted in entire communities being left without work and often without adequate social and economic infrastructure.

We see manufacturing jobs disappearing, the loss of jobs in some sectors due to privatisation, and the global quest for ever greater profits by using ever cheaper labour. We have seen a worrying trend towards casualisation and insecure employment and, on the latest ABS labour force figures, a decline in the total number of monthly hours worked in all jobs. Trends change rapidly and, as the prime minister is fond of reminding us, it is useful to be agile and innovative in a period of everlasting uncertainty and flux.

Related: Coalition to reveal plan to tackle welfare dependence across generations

Related: Labor should not support Newstart cuts. It would be a moral and electoral mistake | Van Badham

Related: Why unemployment is no longer the best indicator of the economy’s health | Greg Jericho

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Homeless below the Las Vegas Strip: where city's vices exist in the shadows

There’s an even darker side to the gambling mecca – a homeless community in underground tunnels that struggles with addiction

Broken glass crunched under shoes, alerting tunnel dwellers that outsiders had arrived. Deeper in the dark, squat-ceilinged space, 25ft below the Las Vegas strip, Kregg Nattrour rested on a pile of gutted mattress foam.

“I wanted to make this my last month down here,” he said. “I can’t handle another month of this.”

Related: Life on the American river: Mark Twain romance, or false hope for the homeless?

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness