Posts Tagged 'homelessness'

Tommy Wells on homelessness

Pete’s testimony before City Council October 2008, concerning the shut down of Franklin Shelter. Tommy Wells was chair of the Human Services committee.

Mayor Vincent Gray leadership FAIL

Don’t give D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray the power to turn away the homeless

Gray (D) is proposing that D.C.’s right-to-shelter law — which requires the city to give shelter to anyone who needs it during the cold winter months — be modified so that social workers can try to get a homeless family to shack up with someone else when they want in from the cold. …

… Before they launched this brilliant idea, city officials held a couple “listening sessions” with families last week. Patty Mullahy Fugere, executive director of the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, said the family members who came in told officials: “We would love not to be here” and “I don’t have family who can help me out” and “We don’t have alternatives.”

Then, Fugere said, “a staff member from [the Department of Human Services] told them: ‘We hear you loud and clear. If we had 15 days, if we had 30 days to help you find alternatives, we couldn’t. It’s about affordable housing.”

Yes, it’s about affordable, available housing. Not a mythical grandma’s house or stopgaps that might be good for reducing the numbers on paper but won’t go toward solving the real crisis in the gilded capital.

Edit –
Aunt Suzy Is No Answer to DC Homeless Family Crisis

Escrow, the new subsidy for banksters

Welcome readers from Jesse’s Cafe Americain and DCBlogs.

FY2014 Budget Includes Changes to Homeless Law

Individuals and families staying in some District shelters will be required to start placing money in an escrow account under a new city plan intended to move homeless people toward self-sufficiency.

I don’t believe that this is about moving homeless families to self sufficiency. I think this is about bumping up the deposits at the bank DC patronizes.

Given the continuing recession, deposits must be way down. What better way to bump them up than buy dipping into the public purse. It seems that the $400 million surplus is not enough to keep banksters happy, so they are dipping into the pockets of homeless families.

Why does DC have so many homeless people?

Colbert King

Is it a question of funding or underfunding, management or mismanagement, commitment or lack of concern? Does part of the problem also rest with those without roofs over their heads? Is the answer some or all of the above?

The homeless, the most powerless part of our population, bear zero responsibility for their situation. No, I am not being a bleeding heart. I am just being realistic.

Like Colbert King, I am old enough to remember when there were so few homeless people in American, not just DC, but anywhere in America, that you never saw them. What changed? Did people suddenly become more foolish? Hardly. We had plenty of foolishness in the 1960’s and 70’s. We had drugs, we had domestic violence, we had mental illness, we had unemployment. But we had very few homeless. So what changed?

Ronald Reagan. The current wave of homelessness dates precisely to the Reagan administration. Cuts to mental health services (not just deinstiturtionalization, but also cuts to federal mental health programs) had the effect of dumping millions of mental patients on the streets with perfectly predictable results. In addition to that Reagan cut funds for public housing and closed many projects, that resulted in a dramatic loss of low cost housing, with perfectly predictable results.

Washington used to have places like Hartnett Hall, where you could get rent a room for $4 a night, and for $5.50, breakfast was included. An alcholoic could do the occassional odd job and have enough money to live indoors. It was a grim life, but at least it was indoors.

Back in Reagan’s time we began a series of policies that transferred wealth from ordinary people to wealthy, with perfectly predictable results.

And it is about to get far worse. Under Obamacare, all full time employees must be covered by health insurance, or the employer will pay a fine. A few employers will get health insurance, many will simply pay the fine as a cost of doing business, but the fast food and retail sector is most likely to respond by cutting every employee’s hours so that they are part time employees. Therefore, retail workers who currently lack health insurance, but at least have enough money for housing, will become homeless. We will see massive overcrowdiding as some employees sleep on the couches of family members, but many will wind up in homeless shelters.

So that is why people like Muriel Bowswer and Yvette Alexander are so misguided in their enthusiasm for Walmart. Walmart jobs are not sustaining. They don’t even pay poverty wages. Their workers will swamp our social service system. Meanwhile they threaten good paying jobs at union shops like Safeway and Giant, jobs that pay their way and make our social service system possible.

The Story of CCNV (Community for Creative Non-Violence)

How the homeless shelter at Second and D Street, NW was established.

Mayor Gray, Tommy Wells, and Muriel Bowser want to turn the Second Street shelter into a winter only shelter, background here and here.

I assume that Mary Cheh is OK with turning out 2,000 people onto the streets of Washington, DC.

Shame on them and shame on the rest of us for putting these heartless hacks into office.

DC homeless problem about to get worse

Homelessness prevention programs lack funds

Yet, no hallelujahs are warranted either. Recovery Act funds have now dried up, while the demand for affordable housing remains high and the economy hasn’t fully recovered. Many homeless service providers are scrambling to piece together stopgap measures as a result. Meanwhile, to balance the budget, Mayor Gray is cutting social programs, increasing revenue, and tapping the Housing Production Trust Fund to cover gaps elsewhere.

I hope that Mayor Gray is real proud of himself. And I hope that Kwame Brown enjoys his taxpayer supplied SUV while he refuses to raise taxes on our wealthiest citizens so that he can throw our poorest families out on the street.

Protesting Mayor Gray’s proposed cuts to housing programs