Archive for June, 2009

I read quite a number of news articles about homelessness each day.

Taking that into consideration, one would think that I’ve developed the proverbial "thick skin" and am able to deal with it on a purely intellectual level. That’s not always the case however. There are times when I read an article and it causes me a bit of emotional distress.

Such was the case yesterday.   (more…)

So far, there are roughly 300+ cities and counties which have decided to use a "housing first" approach as a method of reducing homelessness in their communities.

The basic idea behind the housing first model, is to help the homeless acquire stable and permanent housing first, then direct them to whatever other assistance they may require in order to remain housed and rebuild their lives.   (more…)

Earlier this month, the Miami Herald ran an article regarding claims made by a homeless "advocacy group" asserting that Miami-Dade County residents shelled out some $40 million dollars to panhandlers.

I have to admit, when I read the claims made by the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust (the so-called advocacy group) I snorted in disbelief. In fact, I pretty much dismissed it as "government propaganda."   (more…)

Despite evidence to the contrary, many folks still believe that the majority of homeless are drunkards; drug addicts; derelicts; psychologically disturbed; or just too lazy to work.

Those are the typical stereotypes.

The truth is those homeless who fit that description represent a minority of the overall homeless population.

In reality, the typical face of homelessness is comprised of vast diversity of people from all walks of life.   (more…)

Excerpted from: Criminalizing Homelessness Is Not A Solution – Part I

Nashua, New Hampshire; Gainesville, Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; St. Petersburg, Florida; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

What do these cities have in common?

… the practice of penalizing the homeless – or those who offer the homeless assistance – and, in essence, criminalize homelessness.

In the previous three posts, I’ve given examples of what I personally consider to be the criminalization of homelessness in our nation.

Some cities have adopted ordinances aimed specifically at the homeless; prohibiting them from performing life-sustaining activities in public without providing the homeless with reasonable alternatives. In other instances, local government have used legislative methods to prevent private individuals and charitable groups from feeding the homeless in public areas, using the threats of fines – and in some cases, even arrest.   (more…)