Homeless news updates

from The Guardian

Canada's 'us and them cities': data shows most homes are too small – or too big

A new report explores the dichotomy between the millions of empty bedrooms across the country and the many families struggling to live in cramped spaces

In their bid to temper Canada’s overheated housing markets – some of which rank among the world’s least affordable – authorities in the country have slapped taxes on some foreign buyers and taken aim at vacant homes.

Now one group of analysts is recasting the crisis in a new light; exploring the dichotomy between the millions of empty bedrooms across the country and the many families struggling to live in cramped accommodation.

Related: Vancouver mayor on housing crisis: ‘I never dreamed it would get this intense’

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Ben Carson, tasked with helping the poor, believes poverty is 'a state of mind'

Experts decry comments as latest example he is unfit to lead department of housing and urban development, targeted for $6.2bn in cuts in Trump’s budget

Poverty is largely “a state of mind”, housing secretary Ben Carson has claimed, dismaying observers who had modest hopes for his tenure.

Carson, the neurosurgeon who heads the agency charged with helping low-income Americans gain access to affordable housing, told Sirius XM radio: “You take somebody who has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there.”

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

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Old habits are leading us astray on homelessness | Beth Watts

Old ways of working and the appeal of new and ‘exciting’ responses to homelessness are no replacement for solid evidence

Street homelessness has increased dramatically since 2010. More than 8,000 people slept on the streets of London last year, more than double the number in 2009–10.

Local council counts and estimates indicate an even bigger increase (132%) across England. News of horrifyingly frequent deaths on the streets in London, Glasgow, Belfast and other UK cities is the starkest evidence possible that reversing these trends is essential to safeguard the lives of an extremely vulnerable group of people.

Related: Homelessness at crisis point in all EU countries – except Finland

Related: How Finland solved homelessness | Interview: Juha Kaakinen

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Homeless teachers: ‘I wouldn’t talk about it, I was so ashamed’

Three teachers reveal their terror at facing a hostel – or the streets – as the housing crisis hits professionals

Secondary English teacher Tara Diamond discovered she was going to be made homeless a week before Christmas. Without warning, her landlord decided to sell the three-bed house in Bath she’d been renting for £1,000 a month for the past three years. Diamond, a single mother of a teenage daughter and son, quickly found that on her salary of £28,000, she could not afford to rent another home locally.

“My pay has been frozen while rents have rocketed in Bath. I was already spending all my spare time working as a tutor and marking exams just to pay for groceries and avoid getting into debt. Another three-bed place would have cost me £1,300 a month – 80% of my take home pay – leaving my children and me with just £320 a month to live on. Even landlords of two-bed properties were turning me down because I didn’t earn enough.” She needed £4,000 to move home, including the deposit. “I just didn’t have the money.”

Related: Teachers priced out of house market as property prices soar to 11 times earnings

Related: Britain’s housing crisis is a human disaster. Here are 10 ways to solve it

Related: Nearly half of England’s teachers plan to leave in next five years

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Massimo Bottura and his global movement to feed the hungry

The Italian is one of the finest chefs in the world. But his greatest achievement is Food for Soul, his project to feed the poor and cut food waste, now about to open in London

Massimo Bottura is running late. You imagine this is probably a perennial condition. In the previous week, as I know from various emails, the man who was in 2016 voted the number one chef in the world, has been in Tokyo, Melbourne and London, returning between each trip to cook at Osteria Francescana, his three Michelin-starred restaurant in the northern Italian city of Modena.

Today, we are due to meet at the site of another of his other culinary projects: Refettorio Ambrosiano, in Milan, but texts and phone calls inform me that the chef is held up in traffic on the autostrada through Emilia-Romagna. He will be here in an hour or so. The delay gives me the chance to mooch around the site of Refettorio, which is in Greco, one of the poorest quarters of the city.

Related: Massimo Bottura: The mercurial chef who reinvented Italian food

The role of the chef is much more than the sum of his recipes

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Confessions of a sex trafficker: how Alaska's homeless youth are exploited

Alaska has a disproportionate rate of young homeless people being trafficked for sex. For Heidi Ross, it began with running away from home

Heidi Ross was a senior in high school when she hitchhiked from the Anchorage suburb of Eagle River into the city, leaving a dark childhood behind.

“I didn’t have anywhere to go,” she said of that day, around 20 years ago. “I had the clothes on my back.”

There is a demand for sex and there are sexually vulnerable people who can be swooped up

If you’ve never had somebody take notice of you, say you’re beautiful, you’re smart, you’ll do a lot to hold on to that

Related: ‘A tableau of suffering’: seaside city of San Diego faces a dark homelessness crisis

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Chronicling homelessness: Amazon primes itself to work with shelter

One of the company’s buildings will host Mary’s Place, a Seattle homeless shelter – but not everyone in the US is happy at the prospect of one next door to them

Until last week, the most famous building at the Amazon headquarters in Seattle was probably its giant glass-covered domes, which will house a botanical garden when complete. That may change with the company’s announcement that in three years one of its buildings will host a homeless shelter, Mary’s Place. “Amazon employees and Mary’s Place residents will move in together in early 2020,” CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

'A tableau of suffering': seaside city of San Diego faces a dark homelessness crisis

The southern California city has a reputation for beaches and beer. But amid a dramatic spike in homelessness, people are coming to terms with a new reality

A “tableau of squalor and suffering” isn’t what comes to mind when people think of San Diego, a town with the motto “America’s finest city” and a reputation for its craft-beer culture and miles of beaches. But the pejorative is how Dan McSwain, a columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, described the city’s homelessness crisis in a piece last year, the first in a series pillorying city leaders for not doing more to address the issue.

Since then the situation has, if anything, worsened.

Related: Living under a tarp next to Facebook HQ: ‘I don’t want people to see me’

Related: In Hollywood, superheroes and villains delight crowds – and sleep on the streets

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness