Homeless news updates

from The Guardian

As rain batters California, floods leave homeless with even fewer places to go

Wet conditions statewide present a mortal risk to the homeless people living along the state’s waterways, who are displaced with wearying regularity

Shortie Mendoza has lived along a creek in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose for six years. Early on Wednesday, he was returning to his camp from a night of dumpster-diving and errands.

“I hear yelling and I’m like, ‘my God’,” he said. During the hours of darkness, the creek had overflowed, washing out the tent he shared with his girlfriend and tearing apart the community of perhaps 40 to 50 people. His girlfriend waded out in chest-high water with her two pitbulls. “I feel like I failed because I should’ve been here earlier” to help, Mendoza said.

Related: Five homeless people rescued from flooding as rain inundates California

They’re probably not going to drown, but they’ll freeze to death or get sick and pass away from that

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

The GP practice sharing data to transform care for homeless people

Pooling information from across the public sector – dentist, hospital, psychiatric services – is improving lives in Bristol

Steve Benson* is happy. He’s just come out of a a 10-minute consultation with a GP he has never met, yet she was able to instantly pinpoint the help he needed. Thanks to the data sharing system being pioneered at BrisDoc, Bristol’s homeless health service, he didn’t have to go over his story yet again.

For this 45-year-old, whose home is a tiny tent in Bristol’s city centre, this successful session is a big deal. Benson lost his house, job and children when the traumas of his army past sent him careering into alcohol and drug addiction. He needs urgent help for a range of complex conditions but, like many rough sleepers, rehashing his story could be enough to trigger further self-destruction.

A marker of a civilised society is how we deal with those down on their luck

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Statistics watchdog warns government over homelessness figures

UK Statistics Authority tells Department for Communities and Local Government to stop using potentially misleading data

The government’s official statistics body has told the Department for Communities and Local Government to stop using potentially misleading figures for homelessness, and said it would monitor its future statements on the issue.

The intervention by the UK Statistics Authority came after the DCLG claimed in a series of press briefings late last year that homelessness was at less than half its 2003 peak.

Related: Number of rough sleepers in England rises for sixth successive year

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Five homeless people rescued from flooding as rain inundates California

People rescued in boats from San Jose encampment dozens of people were living, as winter storms continue to create danger in state

Five homeless people were rescued by emergency workers on Tuesday after their encampment in a San Jose golf course was flooded amid major winter storms that have left California reservoirs and waterways dangerously overflowing.

The homeless people were rescued in boats from an encampment where as many as 50 or more people have been living.

The increase in flows on the Tuolumne River due to spillway opening at #DonPedro has the water flowing high and dirty over La Grange Dam! pic.twitter.com/EFiWsSYbck

Powerful storm expected to douse the Bay Area, Anderson Reservoir likely to continue to spill. https://t.co/K6YI9AgLzH pic.twitter.com/GHbRooXw43

#LakeBerryessa spillway hole is intimidating #castorm #BayAreaStorm pic.twitter.com/jCaK1GHk5J

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

The global waiting room: displaced migrants headed to US in limbo in Tijuana

Families fleeing violence in Latin America and migrants from outside of it make up an unprecedented crisis of homeless people stranded just outside the US

They came from different corners of the world, a fashion designer from Ghana, a school teacher from Haiti, a brick layer from El Salvador, believing this city was their doorway to America.

They envisaged a few days, maybe a few weeks, while figuring a way to cross, then poof, they would be gone. Sayonara Tijuana.

Related: How America counts its homeless – and why so many are overlooked

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Benefit claimants face poverty at hands of erratic sanctions system

MPs call for review as PAC report finds sanctions are being unevenly applied and are forcing some people into homelessness

Benefit claimants are subjected to an unacceptable “postcode lottery” that can determine whether or not they are driven into poverty by sanctions, MPs have said.

A report by the public accounts committee found that some Work Programme providers and jobcentres withhold payments to twice as many people as others in the same area.

Related: Is Finland’s basic universal income a solution to automation, fewer jobs and lower wages?

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

White Night Melbourne: spontaneous moments stand out on night of unsettling ironies

Dazzling light art and music collided with uncomfortable truths as issue of homelessness came to the fore

A protest here, a scuffle there, a bottleneck on Flinders Street, a cheeky alleyway spew. Save for the occasional flare of controversy, Melbourne’s fifth White Night – which opened up the city’s main roads and gardens for light, music, art and half a million pedestrians – largely went off without a hitch.

The 12-hour event ran from dusk until dawn on the unseasonably cold weekend but the peak hours were between 9pm and 1am, when enormous crowds pushed shoulder-to-shoulder up and down Swanston Street.

Related: White Night Melbourne: activists hijack projection to protest against rough sleeping laws

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

White Night Melbourne: activists hijack projection to protest against rough sleeping laws

Across the State Library of Victoria, ‘No Homeless Ban’ and ‘sleeping rough is not a crime’ broadcast by protesters

Activists hijacked a major projection at Melbourne’s White Night festival on Saturday, at a protest against the city’s proposed rough sleeping laws on Saturday night.

Across the top of the State Library of Victoria, “#NoHomelessBan” and “sleeping rough is not a crime” were broadcast by the protesters from a small projector powered by a generator. The all-night festival, an annual light and art event, shuts down most of the CBD and draws some 500,000 people each year.

Related: Axing housing agreement would be ‘unmitigated disaster’ for homeless

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness