Homeless news updates

from The Guardian

The glitz and the grit: Las Vegas homeless stake claim on the Strip

As the city works hard to position itself as the ultimate luxury destination, its most impoverished residents complain of growing tensions with police

Behind some shrubs at the Wynn, Jackson can overhear drunken banter as high-heeled shoes go clapping past, and see the Strip’s glow reflected on clouds overhead. He expects to be shooed off the grounds before dawn. Tourists pay as much as $500 to golf at the resort, though some of their extravagance filters down.

“When I’m here,” said Jackson, his face scabbed and his long blonde hair chunky with dirt, “me and whoever I’m around eat better than I’ve ever eaten in my life. People give leftovers from really expensive restaurants.”

Related: ‘It’s a perfect storm’: homeless spike in rural California linked to Silicon Valley

Cops got nothing better to do than to come make us move … It’s just a way to keep tabs on us

Related: Outside in America: learn more about our ongoing homelessness project

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Chronicling homelessness: programs face budget cuts amid Trump trips

Trump wants to eliminate the federal agency that shepherds US homelessness policy as his critics are furious about the expense of his trips to Mar-a-Lago

Palm Beach County is home to what Donald Trump calls the Southern White House, aka the Mar-a-Lago estate. The county also had 1,600 homeless people during a recent one-day tally – and there is a connection. Paulette Burdick, the mayor of the county, told me over the phone recently that the expense of providing police protection for presidential visits – $60,000 a day – had made her contemplate cutting homelessness funding, among other measures. “It’s gotta come from somewhere,” she said.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Who better to help vulnerable young people than old ducks? | Fay Wertheimer

As volunteer Fay Wertheimer discovered when she helped out at a homeless hostel for young women, age has its advantages

How would vulnerable 16- to 25-year-old young women react to an ancient do-gooder in their homeless hostel? I was wary. My last girls-only stint was attempting to teach in a 1970s lock-up approved school. To minimise chances of girls “bunking it”, all staff hobbled round with classroom keys hidden in their shoes. Sighting anything male transformed our pupils into obscenity-screeching harridans. Tension was rife. Our focus was containment, not compassion, so mentoring was off-limits. They, however, taught me about self-harming and hot-matchstick tattooing, proudly flaunting pairs of individually named boobs and young bellies to be forever disfigured by arrows pointing to more intimate bodily regions below.

So, 40 years on, any all-girls environment, even this one – a safe haven opposite my old family house – seemed a no-no.

Whatever dire circumstances prised them from their families, each week for 90 minutes they welcome and accept me

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Roy Foster obituary

My husband, Roy Foster, who has died aged 86, had already retired twice when he embarked on building a three-manual pipe organ for Holy Rood Catholic church in Oxford.

From 2002, with fellow organ-builder Derrick Carrington, Roy combed Britain in pursuit of redundant organs, 22 in all, for parts. They found the right console in the living room of a house in Newcastle, previously the home of a retired GP. Throughout, Roy worked for love, with Derrick also putting in many voluntary hours. The organ parts were bartered, with remaining costs met from legacies to the church. Redundant mahogany pews in the gallery went to make the casing and the result is an organ with a 21st-century action, but which looks contemporary with the 1960 Grade II-listed octagonal building. Clive Driskill-Smith, then sub-organist at Christ Church, Oxford, gave the inaugural recital in April 2012.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Oregon city's dog ban condemned as crackdown on homeless people

Eugene official criticizes effort that ‘targets a class of people’ as ordinance bars many dogs from central area, raising fears among homeless people with deep attachments to their animal companions: ‘They’ve run me out of town’

John Tarry and Adam Chili Hansman are homeless men who busk for a living in downtown Eugene, Oregon. They each make about $30 a week – enough to buy cigarettes and food for their dogs, Seven, a black lab, and Eema, a husky-pit bull mix.

But soon the two men plan to leave Eugene altogether, and it is on account of their pets.

Related: Outside in America: learn more about our ongoing homelessness project

Related: ‘It’s a perfect storm’: homeless spike in rural California linked to Silicon Valley

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

London councils trying to force homeless families out of capital

Some councils are making ‘take it or leave it’ offers to families to be housed as far away as Birmingham, despite disruption to jobs and school

A handful of London councils are making aggressive use of legal powers to make “take or leave it” offers of housing in locations far away from the capital in an attempt to permanently resettle hundreds of homeless families.

Officials are giving households 24 hours to accept private rented homes in the West Midlands, Essex and the south-east, warning that if they refuse the council will consider them to have become “intentionally homeless” and withdraw support.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Young and homeless: have you stayed with a stranger?

Online adverts are being targeted at young and vulnerable people, offering a place to stay in exchange for sex. How widespread is this?

Vulnerable young people are being targeted with adverts online that offer a free place to stay in exchange for sex, according to a report which focuses on London and the southeast.

It is not illegal for people to put up these notices, which have been found on sites such as Craigslist. But charities told the BBC these adverts are exploitative. Furthermore, Hove MP Peter Kyle has called for them to be outlawed.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

'It's a perfect storm': homeless spike in rural California linked to Silicon Valley

The heartland best known for supplying nearly 25% of America’s food is experiencing a rise in homelessness that can be traced in part to the tech boom

At first glance, the rusted metal pens in the central California town of Patterson look like an open-air prison block. But for Devani Riggs, “the cages”, abandoned since the days they were used to store the bounty of the self-proclaimed apricot capital of the world, play a very different role.

“This one was mine. That one was Patty and Pete,” said Riggs, a 3o-year-old homeless woman, adding that dozens of people had slept in the cramped enclosures.

Related: Outside in America: learn more about our ongoing homelessness project

Related: ‘It’s a catastrophe’: low-income workers get priced out of California beach city

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness