Tiny Houses | Perspectives | Perspectives | KQED

tiny house


Something about tiny houses makes intelligent people go weak in the knees. But what issue does the miniaturization of housing actually solve?

I like tiny houses same way I once liked the Betty Crocker Easy-Bake Oven. But one 264 square foot micro-unit hit the San Francisco market this past December for the “affordable” price of $425,000. Developers who capitalize on the housing crisis are no more likely to be motivated by community needs than the college students who compete for annual prizes with tiny house designs in which they have no plans to actually live.

The suggestions that tiny houses are part of a solution to homelessness seem especially bizarre since the issue isn’t the size of the house or tent; it’s the unwillingness of your public official to allow them to exist at all in public spaces. Tiny house misconceptions are passed around like cookies, especially the misconception that there is not enough land or money to address the housing crisis. This is nonsense. We are a wealthy nation capable of housing the poor. One should never confuse an absence of resources with an absence of political will.

But the misconception that poor people (and apparently nobody else) should start living their lives in miniature is not just nonsense, it is offensive. Do poor people somehow need less room to cook or have friends over for a meal? Do people who have survived grinding poverty need less light, less space, less access to computers, art supplies, pianos, or room for their children? I would argue the opposite.

Live in a teacup if you like, I would say to tiny house proponents, those who aren’t frankly capitalizing on the housing crisis or jousting for some academic design prize. But think before requesting the miniaturization of someone else’s life. It’s cynical to arrange companionship-free living for others while the developers, happily living in large houses, periodically dust the environmental prize hanging by the mantel.

With a Perspective, this is Carol Denney.

Carol Denney is a freelance writer and human rights editor for Street Spirit newspaper.

via Tiny Houses | Perspectives | Perspectives | KQED.


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.

D.O.J. Orders Stop to Criminalizing Homelessness and Poverty

It’s been our long time understanding that, if people understood what life like this is really like, they’d be moved to help in huge and profound ways.

While we are grateful to see the DOJ *finally* step in and say something, we think that little will actually change any time soon. ~ gnat

a quote from the article:

“No-one in their right mind wants to be poor or homeless, so it is always curious why many Americans are cruel and inhumane toward the very least fortunate among us. It is a safe bet that if there were enough living-wage jobs, the number of Americans stuck in poverty and without a place to live would be far less. Whatever the reason a person is in economic despair and lacks a safe place to live, there is no reason whatsoever to criminalize them or their families for being poor or homeless.”

via D.O.J. Orders Stop to Criminalizing Homelessness and Poverty

Occupy Homeless

Earlier this week we shared a comic to our FaceBook Page addressing the need to do a little more than just seeing and acknowledging the problems with poverty and homelessness. Because it got little attention in the Facebook-normal sense of the word, i suppose the basic message got across, but the whole idea behind the message kept bothering me… it tried to write about it, and couldn’t find the words… i tried to ignore it, the comic kept getting in my face… So i decided that i’d remake the whole thing, using an actual person to bring this awareness a small step forward.


Somewhere between the insult and the irony expressed in this graphic, stands a small truth that we should really consider. That is, IF we are serious about seeing a change to this all too common, story.

It really does start with each of us choosing to do one small thing for someone else. It means, purchasing a bag of socks, and giving those socks to a few people. It means, buying an extra sandwich and giving it to the man or woman standing on the corner. It means, donating our time to a shelter, mission, or some other outreach program. It means, giving a dollar to this project and also sharing our content. It means, helping us to develop stories that you yourself would like to see on our pages. Basically, we’re asking each of us, to help each other.

Or we can keep waiting on the same groups to do things that supposedly help, but got us right where we are. ~ gnat

a few short Homeless Documentaries

The Scoops are Coming – Peter Menchini

The Super Bowl means more money for the rich, but the homeless are in the way. #Pay2Play I don’t own the rights to any of this, except the OccupySF sequence. This is not for profit and for educational purposes only.

1st They Came for the Homeless Sit-Lie Protest 27 Nov 2015
– Peter Menchini

Criminalizing the homeless only makes the problem less visible to aid people who prefer not to know. Now, Mayor Ron Conway, I mean Ed Lee, says he will shove all the homeless out of the city for the Super Bowl. Of course, he’s the reason many of these people are homeless.


March On Greed: Housing is a Human Right! 26 Feb 2014
– Peter Menchini

On 26 February 2014, Eviction Free San Francisco and the San Francisco housing justice movement marched to the offices of serial evictor Kaushik Dattani, where they picketed his real estate business. Named one of the notorious “Dirty Dozen”, Mr. Dattani is a serial evictor of long-time Mission residents, seniors, families and the disabled.
Now Dattani is evicting Patricia Kerman, a disabled senior and 27-year tenant, and her roommate Tom Rapp, who has been here 15 years.
Join us, and stand in solidarity with those who have been evicted or live in fear of being evicted, and say NO MORE EVICTIONS in the name of greed. Let’s bring the eviction crisis to the doors of the landlords, and let them see that we won’t let Tom, Patricia, or any of our neighbors loose their homes without a fight.


Pride 2014: Eviction = Homelessness
from Peter Menchini

During the parade, some activists staged some street theater about evictions and homelessness. I’d also interviewed a man who’d suffered greatly from his eviction.

Bridge of Hope


(this got very long and i hate when people do such thing on my page or others…So, forgive me or don’t, read it or skip it) (the reason that i’m speaking is, this post addresses the one big annoyance that i hear and see from the poorest of ‘us’)

hmmm, how about letting this homeless bum attempt to bring some light to this, ‘why JC said to give up riches and find him in the streets’ – – it ain’t about ‘they’ the poor, it’s about YOUR HEART! The Fast track to changing of the heart would be to give up your riches, by giving it all away to the poor. Walking in *my* shoes, you’d quickly see that few have anything at all for you. Within days you smell bad, you’re greasy and your hair’s a mess. In weeks, your clothes are dirty rags and you’ve not shaved. In your *need* for food, you loose enough pride to ask for anything, the reply is, “Get a F***ing job You Lazy Bum!” – in your mind you ask, who would ever hire a smelly, dirty, desperate person like me?? – – never mind that i’ve several degrees?

And then a drunken man comes along and feeds you and tells you that he understands. Even in his abject and seemingly eternal poverty, he gives you more love and compassion than anyone that you’ve ever met. And he gives away half of his food, offers to share his bottle and has some good advice about people and survival in your new world. If you are wise, you learn this lesson fast, otherwise, you’ll learn the hard way and it comes Very Fast and it’s a Very Harsh Lesson that you’ll Never Forget it, or you will die. (my homeless wife nods her head as i read this to her)

Soon enough, it’s easy to see that things have not been the way that you’ve been lead to believe they are. ‘Services are withheld, food stamps are impossible, application to prove your poverty, endless. Churches reject you out of turn. No reason really. It’s simply they are leery of the ‘new comer’, the visitor, the stranger already judged… and i used a mud puddle to attempt to brush my teeth and clean up a little, before walking into the very clean sanctuary… (wear your Sunday Best, takes on new meaning) (you’re probably a drunk/drug addict/wife beater/convict/rapist/morally corrupt – a SINNER That Is Being Punished By GOD for some evil or 50 – “Let’s Let God Work Out Those Sins In YOU, I Would Not Stand In The Way Of What God is Doing IN YOUR LIFE!) (wife nods again and giggles a little)

Walk away, dust your sandals, try to forgive them… they are only doing what they’ve been told/taught/seen others do and say…it takes years to grow through the bitterness and rejection… it takes more compassion from the poorest, least able to teach, least equipt to even know what compassion is, yet *they*, as some of you refer to “the homeless”, do it all day, every day.

If you had any faith, it’s broken. It comes quickly back twice what it was, and is crushed in seconds. Starvation in the land of plenty..you sneak ‘lunch’ from a trash can and are seen doing so..you turn away in shame..faith and god have left the building….later ‘he’ whispers, i will never abandon you, you swallow back tears and die inside and out. Depression sets in and is everything and eternal. And then a miracle happens and GOD smiles when you witness it. – – you must die to self, so that you *might* be reborn, as recall from scripture and it is a bitter lesson.

You attempt to speak these things to some ‘religious person’, they laugh at your silliness and say, “GOD Doesn’t Do That Any More. He Did Those Things in the time of the disciples, but this is a New Time and He Doesn’t Do That NOW! *I* am a Doctor of Theology, my father and his father, all Preachers. I attended the best University, I Know The Bible, son, just sit down and I Will Teach YOU what’s what!” — a thousand lines of scripture fly through your mind/heart — you gently smile and thank the Good Rev. Dr. Christian® and you sit through a weak sermon, bright lights, armature musicians ‘worship’ a God they seem to want to know and your heart breaks and love leaks out…you hope some of that love gets mixed in with the mess that you see around you.. you gratefully eat a meal offered, walk back across town to that little place that’s almost clean and dry, and sleep, your backpack is pillow, your coat, the blanket, the concrete a mattress, HIS comforting arms protect you and soften the harshness…. the words, ‘God’s Grace’ take on new meaning, you smile thinking/praying – thank You Father that i’m not like them – and faith crumbles again.

But still you know that ‘papa’ has not abandoned you, the lessons continue, life is going to be long, the field is huge and the workers are very few. No one but the poorest see what God is doing in your heart or the work that you’re now doing… *they* call you pastor now, and you tell them to stop! But you know that’s what is happening…you remind God of things that he’s heard from others, i’m homeless, i’m dirty, i can’t speak from stage, i stutter, who would ever listen to someone like me, i’ve this and i’ve that… he snickers and calls you Moses… — Soon, Dr.Rev.Christian® mocks you by saying, “So this one thinks he’s Moses now!” You fire back with, DumbA**, Not Even Moses thought that he was Moses, Are there any that have been called willing to step into these shoes… you tune him out as he explains ‘proper school and training… you wonder where scripture says, and i will send the ones that i call to the proper schools in that time…HINT: it isn’t in Isiah.

This has gotten way longer than any comment that i’d willingly want to post – especially on someone else’s wall – on my page, the page that i’m posting from, No one thinks of me as pastor because of words that i say there, unless they are very wise..no one uses that title to address me and that’s just the way that it’s supposed to be, for now. My job is to attempt to heal the wounded on both sides of this mess, to build bridges for those without homes and those with homes.. my work is one of conversion, taught from a place of understanding the world that i once lived in and the one that i now live in now.. my new name is gnat, or so says jesus, my friend and teacher.

… servitude and abject poverty…

the taker

“Sure, sign me up for a life of servitude and abject poverty, where all of my labor enriches ‘the ruler’, so that he can live a life of leisure and plenty. I’ll strip the land that i live upon bare for years without end, so that the ‘Land Lord’ can have a nice house and things created from the resources that once gave my people enough. Let me work away my life and health, only to be discarded once my use to the Master is gone. Then once i have nothing, I’ll beg for a little food and safe shelter, and live a painful while longer with the name that the Owner of my worth calls me – “the taker”.” ~ tom garner

[the photo was taken from an article on the following page. The photographer of the original image is stated there. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/21/us/50-years-into-the-war-on-poverty-hardship-hits-back.html — text added to image by OccupyHomeless staff]