Archive for August 11th, 2009

11th August
written by naehblog

It’s not yet time for a weekly news wrap-up, but some friends of ours at the Homeless Coordination Office in Arizona put a couple of noteworthy newsbits under my nose.

The first is an article in the New York Times about hate crimes legislation. You know as well as I do that Maryland recently enacted a law making an offense against a homeless people a hate crime. This article suggests that other states are considering the same ordinance, as the number of crimes against homeless people rise.

According to the article, our friends at the National Coalition for the Homeless are publishing a report stating that crimes against the homeless are rising as of late. Causes are varied, but the writer points out that the recession, rising unemployment, and foreclosure are pushing more people into poverty and at the same time, law enforcement is cracking down on encampments and other places homeless people might be.

In related news – and another New York Times article – Barbara Ehrenreich writes that it’s now practically a crime to be homeless. The op-ed contributor and author writes that there has been a signficant uptick in states, localities, and law enforcement criminalizing the poor. In heavy-handed language (in my opinion), Ehrenreich points to different ordinances and law that prohibit begging, sleeping in public, truancy, and littering – all, she suggests, discreetly targeting those most vulnerable.

The article is the third in a series chronicling the lives and challenges of poverty in America, by a woman who once went undercover to find out exactly what it was like.

Take a breather, click the link, and let me know what you think!

11th August
written by naehblog

Afternoon, everyone! Apologies for the break in info – had some family in town and they required by strict attention (and tourist-guiding techniques).

No worries, though, we’re back on the horse now!

A few pieces of business to wrap up:

  • Pictures from the Conference (172 of them!) are up on our Flickr account. Check it out and see if we snapped you up!

  • We didn’t have a Friday news roundup, but I did notice this morning that there are a LOT of stories about the recession, a decline in services just as there’s increased demand, and – as always – trickling stories about HPRP funds. Keep an eye on those daily clips to stay on top of the news.

  • We’d love to hear from you! Tell us what you want more information about – shoot us a comment, follow us on Twitter (@naehomelessness) or shoot me an email with an idea, request, whatever. This is all about you – really! (For me, it’s just an exercise in writing concisely.)

Last week, I got an email from a woman at The Documentary Channel. They’ve created a piece on homelessness in Chicago, specifically looking at the role of addiction in homelessness. A spokesperson wrote to us, “Chicago filmmaker Brian Schodorf takes a raw and real look at the men behind the statistics with poignant testimonies from the streets and expert interviews inside elite university offices.”

It’s a long one – trust me, you’ll have to put aside a solid chunk of time. But it’s a poignant and interesting look into homelessness in one of the country’s biggest cities. Check out Poverty In Chicago and let me know what you think!

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