Posts tagged Homelessness
Posts tagged Homelessness
About 20 individuals in Saskatoon are known to use more than $100,000 per year in health and other community services, she said. “Sometimes it’s emergency visits, ambulance, other community services or corrections resources … They really need a wraparound service to help them,” Davies said. “Many are homeless.”
Society would do better to redirect that $2 million toward providing those 20 people with housing and other supports, she said.
Do you remember when a couple brought a box of shoes to donate and inside there was some blue slippers? Well there was a client who I was able to help through those slippers.
This person came to me complaining about his feet and I asked them what was wrong. They stated they had blisters and asked if I had a band-aid. I asked to look at his feet because I wanted to see how bad his feet were. They proceeded to undo their shoes and at this point I noticed they had no socks on and was wearing high leather work boots.
As the shoe came off I saw how bad their feet actually were and I knew I did not have the medical experience to help them. What I was able to do was get them some socks, and I grabbed the slippers that were just donated and brought it to them. I was assuming the slippers would be too big as they were wearing a size 7 shoe and the slippers were a 10. But when I brought them over, they fit perfect! The shoes they were wearing were 3X too small!
My next step was to get in contact with our new nurse Donna to see if she would have time to dress their feet at some point. This person has been with us for a few days and has been known to just hang around the dining area. So I knew if I was to find our nurse it wouldn’t be a problem to find them… I was wrong… the nurse came and this person was no where to be found! Turns out the socks and slippers helped out wonders and this person was walking around outside! We finally tracked them down and the nurse was able to dress his feet… by supper time I saw the first smile I have seen on this person… it totally made my day and week!
Woke up this morning to this story in my inbox from a co-worker and just had to share!
When an engaged couple calls off the wedding, it is usually a time of sadness and anger. But one family in Atlanta found a way to turn a terrible situation into a beautiful one. Carol and Willie Fowler’s daughter Tamara was set to get married at the Villa Christina catering hall, when the wedding was called off just 40 days before the event.
I don’t need to explain this to anyone who follows me, but from my work in the homeless shelter I can assure you no one wants to be homeless. In fact most of them felt deep shame. Better living arrangements don’t “increase demand” (demand for…. Being homeless?), it just makes people want to kill themselves less. Praying for anyone who thinks otherwise.
A visual journey examining how the homeless use technology in their daily lives to look for work, pass time, and pursue their interests.
I’m seeing more and more people staying in the emergency shelter who not only have smart phones but laptops or tablets as well. They are treasured possessions. These devices help people find jobs and resources and connect with family and friends. Poverty can be isolating and boring and technology can give people who have limited mobility or trouble socializing access to the outside world.
There was always a room available for anyone who needed it in Anthony Tolbert’s childhood home. “As far back as I can remember, there was always someone staying at our house,” he says. That hospitality gave Tolbert a sense of connection to others regardless of class, race, or income. Now he’s carrying the tradition forward by lending his house to homeless families for year-long stays.
Tolbert, a student advisor and professor at UCLA School of Law, got the idea when he read about an Atlanta family, the Salwens, who sold their mansion, bought a more modest home, and donated half the profit from the sale to charity. That, along with his study of the Buddhist principles of compassion and material detachment, convinced Tolbert to move into the guest bedroom in his parents’ house so a homeless family with young children could live in his comfortable three-bedroom house for the whole of 2012. He lent his house to another family in 2013.
Rethinking “parklets” in San Francisco
Since beginning to allow local businesses and community groups to create “parklets” in 2009, San Francisco has pioneered these streetside public spaces in what the city initially called the ”temporary urbanism program.” SF agencies developed a program that allows businesses, nonprofits and property owners to apply for permits to convert adjacent on-street parking into public spaces that are open and accessible, though also removable.The San Francisco Examiner and Planetizen recently reported on the removal of a parklet that had been criticized as “a haven for homelessness and illegal activity” in the Haight-Ashbury district. Observers have interpreted this episode as reflecting the “growing pains” of this conversion of on-street parking into public spaces. With about 40 parklets now scattered around the city (see photos above), and many more requests all the time, Planning Department officials are said to have learned from this incident and others around the City.Oversight and guidelines now require detailed descriptions of the design and purpose of parklets as part of the application process. A comprehensive packet released late last year by the Planning Department began to codify the city’s policies on this innovative experiment in the creation of small, incremental, locally created public spaces. Other cities around the country have begun to follow suit in efforts to encourage more vibrant public spaces for pedestrians and local businesses.
Formerly Homeless Man Invents Portable Shelters to Help OthersA formerly homeless Utah man has used his insight to create and build “survival pods,” or mini-shelters, to be doled out to people who currently have nowhere to live.“I believe a person needs the dignity of something they can call their own, even if it’s only this,” Gary Pickering, a retired auto-body-shop owner in Pleasant Grove, told TV news station KSL Tuesday.
Pickering, 73, was technically homeless for three years following a divorce in the late 1980s, when he lived in his shop.“I lost my home after I signed everything over to my wife and seven children,” he told Yahoo! Shine. “But I had a roof over my head.” Because his shop was in an industrial area, he got to know many of the homeless men who lived in broken-down cars or in other corners of the area, eventually housing four in his van during a particularly harsh winter. He learned what it was like to not have a place to live, through the men he met, who explained that they didn’t go to shelters because of reasons ranging from “They steal my shoes” to “They won’t let me bring my dog.”
The lessons stuck with Pickering, who in 2009, long after he’d gotten back on his feet, saw a homeless man while driving through the nearby town of Provo. He went home and constructed a 2-foot-wide, 6-foot-long “cocoon,” mainly out of plywood. “But when I went to the find the man to give it to him, I couldn’t find him again,” he recalled.Pickering became passionate about coming up with the perfect temporary shelter. And after years of trial and error, he believes he’s finally perfected the “survival pod”: a 4-foot-wide, 8-foot-long micro house constructed from sheets of pressed wood, a wooden frame and a roof made of soft corrugated plastic called Coroplast.
There’s room enough inside for a sleeping bag, a kerosene lamp (there are vents in the structure), several small items, and even a specially designed portable toilet. Plus, the pods can be hooked up to electricity, like a trailer, if parked on already wired property with the permission of a homeowner.
Pickering has constructed five of the pods, personally funding them at a cost of about $500 apiece, he said.
“I didn’t do this as a business, I don’t want a business. I want to inspire other people,” Pickering toldKSL, explaining to Yahoo! Shine that he’s created how-to DVDs and photos to show folks with the money and the desire to build the structures for people who need them. Then, homeless people could either pay for them slowly, “so they can have some pride in it, and say ‘It’s mine,’” or make a formal lending agreement.The pods are built on wheels, like trailers, to get around zoning codes for buildings, Pickering added, so they could be placed in empty warehouses, hangars or on a piece of ground just outside of a city.
Since the story of his invention aired on KSL, he said he’s already had an inquiry from a man who would like to buy a pod “for emergencies.”
But mainly, they are meant to be temporary shelters for those in immediate, short-term crises. Considering the fact that 63 percent of Utah’s homeless population is without a home only temporarily, according to a 2012 report, the pods could really have an impact on the community.
“People can find jobs, of course they’ll move on and get their nice house back and have their cars and everything,” he said. “But till that time, this will help them.”
This is a good idea but actual HOUSING is better.
A Saskatoon shelter opened 20 new beds today, aimed at providing lodging for people with addictions who might otherwise end up on the street.
"These are dedicated to housing men and women who are experiencing homelessness, and also may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol." said DeeAnn Mercier, who works at The Lighthouse. She said during the winter months, the police drunk tank is often the only other place where homeless people can sober up.
"That’s just not a good use of resources for our city, especially for our police officers who have other things they need to attend to," Mercier said.
She said the stabilization shelter will accept both men and women who are intoxicated, in dormitory style cots. But she said it’s not meant to be a so-called “wet” shelter.
"You cannot drink on the premises," she said. "You cannot use on the premises. This is just a place to sleep it off and be safe."
Right now, most shelters in Saskatoon insist overnight guests sober up, before allowing them to bunk there. The health region has a brief social detox centre, for those who also need medical attention.
"Unfortunately they have few beds," Mercier said. "The need has progressed beyond what their capacity is."
The overnight “stabilization” shelter at the Lighthouse will be open from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. every night. Outside those hours, counsellors will offer intensive support to help homeless people transition into housing.
In its first year, the federally-funded Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) will give the shelter $200,000 to hire staff and operate services. The Lighthouse is also receiving an additional $198,848 from the HPS to renovate a more permanent shelter area. The Saskatoon Health Region is also providing financial support.
The Lighthouse also said it has completed renovations to its kitchen, office and cafeteria. New furnishings, equipment and security system were added as well, thanks to federal funding.
"Right now we’re opening 20 beds, and our plan is to have 30 beds in the future for the project," Mercier said.
“Gentrifying Into the Shelters
Ginia Belafante. July 6, 2013
This past week, The New York Post reported on the sale of a two-bedroom loft in Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn to a couple in exodus from what they regarded as the oppressive trendiness of the Lower East Side. The loft, just under 1,600 square feet, sold for what the paper said was a record-setting $1 million, the highest price, apparently ever, for the sale of an apartment in a neighborhood that two decades ago could claim one of the highest murder rates in the city.
Several months earlier, the brisk sale of properties in the area had reached another high point, when an 1885 Queen Anne townhouse designed by the active turn-of-the-century Brooklyn architects the Parfitt Brothers sold for more than $2 million, making it the most expensive residential real-estate sale in Bedford-Stuyvesant’s history, according to the Web site Brownstoner. Chic bars and restaurants proliferate now, leaving Bedford-Stuyvesant as much a refuge from trendiness as the South is a refuge from college football.”
Photo: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
The cost of homelessness in Canada cost $7 billion dollars annually. That number includes the cost of emergency shelters, social services, health care, and corrections.
Housing people who are experiencing homelessness costs less, even with intensive support services.