Tents, campers and dogs, oh my | Cabins, containers, tiny homes and yurts, oh my

A Shared Story from one of our fellow homeless friends:

It has been quite awhile since we last posted. It was a pretty difficult year for us and now we have finally landed in a tiny camper in the desert (southern California). It will be and has been pretty hot for us and we are happy to have our new home. Well, all I can say is I wanted to live in a tiny home and I sure did get my wish. Will write more about living in a camper soon.

Meanwhile you can read more about camping with dogs and more at the link below as well as about a great insulated tent called a Shift Pod. It is waterproof, wind resistant, built for the harsh climate of the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada (hot during the day and cold at night), and easy to set up (in less than five minutes). It is six feet high and can easily fit a queen size bed and a table and chair, and other gear for your camping adventures. Also being utilized as relief/disaster shelter and shelter for people without homes.

http://celiasue.com/2016/03/28/camping-is-for-the-dogs/
https://shiftpods.comhttps://shiftpods.com

Source: Tents, campers and dogs, oh my

Unwanted: Brian and Erica Hunt’s Evictions Put the Elderly at Risk on Vimeo

Unwanted: Brian and Erica Hunt’s Evictions Put the Elderly at Risk from Peter Menchini on Vimeo.

There are lots of ways that we become homeless, this is one of the rather common ones. Someone decides that they want the property that we own or rent, they purchase it without our consent, and now we live and perhaps die, on the streets. ~ gnat

Robert Dodd will die. If Brian and Erica Hunt succeed in evicting him to satisfy their greed, Robert, who has survived cancer and HIV, will not survive without his network of caregivers, doctors and medical services. When we say, “Eviction = Death”, we mean it.

via Unwanted: Brian and Erica Hunt’s Evictions Put the Elderly at Risk on Vimeo.

***Another article submitted to us by one of our fans here at Occupy  Homeless, thank You Peter Menchini, for the work that you’re doing and for sharing this important information with us!

Hiding The Homeless | VICE News

Here’s a 13 minute video, linked below, that addresses some of the major problems of the system to keeps homelessness going. It also offers some realistic solutions.
~ gnat

Hiding The Homeless – November 23, 2015 

A growing number of American cities are ticketing or arresting homeless people for essentially being homeless. The new laws ban behavior commonly associated with homelessness like reclining in public, sharing food or sitting on a sidewalk.

Supporters argue these measures are necessary to push homeless people into the shelter system and maintain public safety. Critics say the laws violate the rights of homeless people and ignore the more complicated drivers of homelessness like mental illness.

We found homeless people camping in the woods to escape police harassment, a homelessness consultant opposed to feeding homeless people and a city that uses solitary confinement to force homeless people into shelters.

VICE News began its investigation in Boise, ID, where a group of homeless people have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of these laws. Their case could change the way homeless people are treated across the country.

via Hiding The Homeless | VICE News.

Homeless Advocates Seeking Home

go-fund-me-you-can-help-graphic

This Go Fund Me request is being made by the two primary admins and founders of this page and related pages.
When we ask for donations to keep this page running, we are asking for a little more than a little help.
Without a lot of help, real soon, things will change, but probably not for the better.
There is a “Donate” button on the right side of this page that is powered by PayPal!  Or follow the link below to contribute to us directly on Go Fund Me! Thank You ❤ ~ gnat

Homeless In America: 5 Things to Say And 5 Things To Not Say

Homeless
USA / San Francisco / May 2004 Christine beg to many on Fulton street of San Francisco. The city spends $200 million a year trying to get homeless people off the streets and into a better way of life – but over 20 years, the problem has only gotten worse. † Fatih Pinar / Anzenberger

When you see a homeless person, what do you do?

Most of us tend to have the same response: We avoid eye contact and walk a little faster. But you might also ponder the situation, thinking to yourself, What’s his story? How did this happen to her? How long have they lived on the streets? Maybe you even wanted to help, but didn’t know how to start a conversation.

Should you decide to talk to one of the more than 600,000 homeless individuals in the United States, what you say is vitally important. Utter the wrong thing, and you make a person in crisis feel less than human. Make the right comment, however, and you just might provide the help that he or she so desperately needs. Here’s what the experts advise saying and what’s better left unsaid. [cont reading] via Homeless In America: 5 Things to Say And 5 Things To Not Say.

~ shared by gnat for Occupy Homeless

A light In The Darkness

Adam-wounded002

IT’S HARD TO SEE the light within us until someone holds up a mirror to help us reflect.

Over the past three decades, I watched my younger brother, Adam, deteriorate from musician and high-functioning bipolar to exhausted alcoholic. In November, he was found dead in a cold New York City subway stairwell.

The coroner just recently called to say my brother had seven times the legal limit of alcohol in his system, which stopped his weak heart.

Adam, who was homeless, often told me that he was “drinking away the darkness.” He was so blinded by others’ light that he failed to see his own.

My brother believed that his light had gone out.

I’ve written before that the homeless are invisible to most people. We don’t want to see them; they make us uncomfortable. By shining a light on them, I hope people will be forced to open their eyes.

Because of the last piece I wrote about my brother, at Thanksgiving, other homeless people and shelter workers who read his story online contacted me to say they’d met him in his final years.

Adam would have been shocked to learn that he was their light. His self-deprecating jokes, guitar playing and sketches on pieces of cardboard, handed out freely at shelters and on the street, brought joy to others.

Hearing that, I resolved to hold up a mirror for others who are walking around in the dark.

A veteran in North Carolina who had been stationed in Hampton Roads and has been homeless off and on since 1981 contacted me through Twitter. Many street people find a kind of safe invisibility online as they spend countless hours in public libraries while waiting for shelters to reopen at night.

On Twitter, this veteran uses the handle “Occupy_Homeless.” “You good folks that are not from our tribe, seldom understand,” he said. “Being invisible can be safer at times, but we need to be visible and you need to keep writing that. Please. It’s hard for us to trust, but I trust you to do that.”

Darkness isn’t reserved for street people, though. Last week during the weekly chess night at a Norfolk community center, I noticed one of the regulars, a young, divorced father, sitting alone in a corner.

He’s always been one of the lights in the room. Seeing him go completely dark shook me up.

He works hard at a blue-collar job and still makes time to bring his son every Wednesday evening, from another city, so they can learn the game side by side.

This man’s quiet presence speaks of hope for fatherhood, community, the mending of broken families and broken dreams.

He told me that his problem that night was a weight familiar to many: Finances. Self-worth. Family issues.

Sometimes sharing your own story can help other people pull themselves together, so I told him mine.

I told him about Adam and my pain over feeling that I had failed him.

Then I told him that seeing him with his son, and all the promise they held, helped me look away from my darkness and into their light.

He needed to know that he was a light.

As soon as it sank in, his eyes told me his spark was still there.

Sometimes we need to take that few moments to recognize when someone’s gone dark and stoke them up.

In addition to being a light, we are all mirrors for each other. We reflect what we see. To be the best reflections we can be, we cannot be blind to the suffering of others.

 

The author, Lisa Suhay of Norfolk, is a children’s book author and founder of the Norfolk Initiative for Chess Excellence, http://www.NiceChess.net.

**This article first appeared in The Virginian Pilot news paper (online) and can be seen here: http://pilotonline.com/opinion/columnist/guest/lisa-suhay-a-light-in-the-darkness/article_a913f84f-2ae0-5809-9045-5f52afd31ac0.html and has been used by permission from the author.

GOODWILL INDUSTRIES — Helping or Harming

Goodwill

Goodwill Industries a great place for low income families; or so it would seem. You can walk in with twenty dollars, and walk out with two bags full of clothes. Just a nice clean thrift store, helping out in the communities; or so it would seem.

Goodwill Industries, a tax-exempt, non profit, generates more than five million dollars in annual revenue. Executives get paid a six to seven digit salary, but pays its employees twenty two cents per hour; which is all legal. I did not say it was right, I said it was legal. Goodwill employs the disabled, the Fair Labor Standard Act of 1938 gives the employer the right to pay people with disabilities sub-minimum wages.

A bill called Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment (TIME), was introduced to Congress in January 2015. This bill would phase out the special wage certificate, the bill reached the floor in April 2015, but the bill is still alive.

In 1938 TIME seemed to be a good idea, but in 2016 it has been way out dated. So the next time you decide to donate think about the men and women making slave wages, to benefit who?

There was a time when we saw a person in need, and handed him/her clothes free of charge. Now in this society we think about giving to Goodwill for a small tax break, not thinking that the man/woman that needed those clothes, will now have to find the money they don’t have, to buy them.

— J.S. / gnat1ette

Ref: http://www.cheatsheet.com/business/how-goodwill-industries-fails-to-show-good-will.html/?a=viewall

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