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Homeless man dies in building fire
13 years ago By Josh Kleinbaum, Staff Writer LA city firefighters battle an early morning fire at a single story structure in Van Nuys. (Gene Blevins / Special to The Daily News) VAN NUYS -- A disabled homeless man spending the night in a vacant building in Van Nuys died early today in a fire that probably began when a candle fell over, officials said. The unidentified man, who had braces on his legs, crawled to a window of the building in the 7000 block of Hayvenhurst Avenue, attempting to get away from the flames, but security bars blocked his escape, Battalion Chief Dick Markota said. ``We could not get in there to do a rapid search" when we arrived on the scene, Markota said. "We had to fight our way into the building. When we finally knocked the fire down, we realized we had a body there. He was already expired. It's terrible." The building has been vacant for months, said Mike Brown, the building's owner. Brown planned to raze the structure for a new commercial project at the site. "The ironic thing is that we're expecting to get our final permits today," Brown said. Firefighters believe transients have been using the vacant building for shelter during cold nights. At least two others were likely in the building when the fire started just after 7 a.m., Markota said, but they scattered before firefighters arrived. More than 90 firefighters fought the blaze, extinguishing the flames in about 30 minutes, Fire Department spokesman Ron Myers said. A preliminary investigation shows that the fire likely started with a candle, which could have been knocked over by a person or the wind, Markota said. "This time of year, we have a lot of candle fires," Markota said. The building sustained more than $100,000 in damage, but officials are considering the damage minor because the building was slated for demolition anyway, Markota said. --- Josh Kleinbaum, (818) 546-3669 For More Info • Photo Gallery: 1/19: Fatal Fire in Van Nuys *fair use*
More Homeless May Seek Shelter At Cleveland Hopkins Airport
13 years ago More Homeless May Seek Shelter At Cleveland Hopkins Airport Law Prevents Homeless From Sleeping In Some Downtown Locations POSTED: 5:44 pm EST January 17, 2006 CLEVELAND -- Cleveland's homeless population is up for the 20th consecutive year, and now many of them are looking for a new place to sleep on cold winter nights after city leaders started strictly enforcing a law that keeps the homeless from sleeping in certain spots downtown. The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless says more homeless people will look to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport for shelter, after being told they can't sleep on the malls of downtown, reported the Ohio News Network's Brian McIntyre. The decision came after some homeless people started a fire behind the convention center, presumably to keep warm, and ended up causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage. So, now 20 or 25 people are looking for another safe place to sleep, and because public transportation comes straight to the airport, and it's open all the time, the it makes sense that they seek shelter there. "They blend in with people who have missed their flight and are there overnight waiting for the next flight to come in the morning. So for many homeless individuals, it's a place that other people sleep and that they can blend into the population," said NEOCH director Brian Davis. Copyright 2006 by NewsNet5. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. *fair use*
Homeless Shelters Over Crowded Because of the Cold
13 years ago Tonight's chill puts an even greater burden on those who try to care for East Tennessee's often forgotten or uncounted. "We began to see a little of it last night, but we expect to see even more of it tonight with temperatures dropping into the twenties," said David Bryant, the director at the Knox Rescue Ministries. By daylight, the dormitories stand virtually empty. But there's no such thing as a quiet night on Broadway for the Knox Area Rescue Ministries. "On a warm night, we're still seeing 175 men and 40 to 50 women, so its busy every night," said Bryant. Tonight, those number's could swell by 50. "We have rollaway cots, we put pallets on the floor on the floor, blankets out, we've ended up having people sleep on the pews in our chapel." "Single women continue to be one of the fastest growing segments of the homeless population, so I think we're continuing to see that reality play itself out," said Bryant. Beyond food baskets for the holiday, Knox Area Rescue Ministries offers long-term help, including treatment for alcohol and drug addiction. If you'd like to help, call 865-673-6540 *fair use*
Photo Gallery- Fires, Lady Slipper, South Africa
13 years ago
Johannesburg, S.A.-140 homeless after fire
13 years ago,,2-7-1442_1861885,00.html 140 homeless after fire 12/01/2006 12:20 - (SA) Related Articles # Blaze destroys 300 shacks # Jhb fire kills 1, destroys shacks # New Cape fire razes 100 shacks # Fire ravages Cape Flats # More than 100 shacks razed # Fire rips through shacks # 'No more shacks' to stop fires Johannesburg - More than 140 people were left homeless on Wednesday morning after a fire destroyed 30 shacks at Barcelona informal settlement in Gugulethu, said a report. The report said fire-fighters managed to put out the blaze. Five fire engines were on the scene. Police spokesperson Randall Stoffels said the disaster management team was seeking alternative accommodation for the victims. "At about 3:30 this morning, 25 shacks were destroyed. A candle which fell in one of the homes caused the blaze," Stoffels said. There were no injuries. *fair use for understanding causes of homelessness on an international basis, etc.*
Yonkers, NY-Apartment fire leaves 8 families homeless
13 years ago Apartment fire leaves 8 families homeless January 11, 2006, 11:27 AM EST YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) _ Eight families were left homeless by a stove fire that heavily damaged two buildings early Wednesday. The fire began around 3:30 a.m. on a stove where pine tree shavings and pine cones had been left, officials said. No tenants were injured, but a fire captain was treated at a hospital for a severe cut on his hand. The fire started in a third-floor apartment on Morningside Avenue, spread through that building and then jumped across a narrow alley to the multiple-family house next door. *fair use*
Grass fire leaves Georgia family homeless
13 years ago A Central Georgia family is homeless Monday night after a fire in Houston County destroyed nearly all their possessions. Fire investigators say they believe it was preventable. Investigator Bill Smith believes someone was burning brush, when the wind carried the flames across 4 or 5 acres of land. The homeowners lost the house, boats and car. The motor home was destroyed after its propane tank exploded. One neighbor says everything was charred in a matter of minutes. "The wind was gusty, it had to be gusting 15-20, and like I say the fire just ran across this short grass, so fast you can't run ahead of it when the wind was blowing and when the wind quit it gave us a lot of help, says Myrel Harner." Investigator Smith says the most important thing to learn is that you need a permit for outdoor burning and every community has different rules about when, what and where you can burn. WMAZ Jeff Webb , Webmaster Last updated: 1/10/2006 10:11:07 AM *fair use*
Michigan-Troopers released on bond in assault of homeless man
13 years ago Monday, January 09, 2006 Troopers released on bond in the assault of homeless man Magistrate enters not -guilty pleas for the two State Police officers David Shepardson / The Detroit News DETROIT— Two Michigan State Troopers were released Monday on $10,000 personal bond following an appearance in 36th District Court on felony charges in the assault of a homeless man. Magistrate Judge Charles W. Anderson III entered not-guilty pleas on behalf of Troopers Gabriel Seibt, 29, and Todd Parsons, 30. Each is charged with misconduct in office, a five-year-felony, in the alleged assault of Roosevelt Dean Jr., a 50-year-old homeless man. Seibt is also charged with felonious assault under the case brought by the Michigan Attorney General’s office. The troopers face a Jan. 20 preliminary exam. The State Police placed the two troopers on administrative leave without pay Monday pending the outcome of the case. “The Michigan State Police is committed to protecting the dignity and rights of all persons,” said Col. Tadarial J. Sturdivant, director of the Michigan State Police. “The department has worked diligently to earn a reputation for professional and fair conduct and we will not allow the alleged inappropriate actions of two troopers to sully our relationship with the citizens we serve.” Sturdivant said all allegations of misconduct by state police are aggressively investigated. Attorneys for both Seibt and Parsons said the troopers have impeccable service records. Parsons has been a trooper for more than seven years, attorney Carolyn Henry said. Seibt is a Detroit homeowner and has been a trooper for more than six years, said attorney Richard Convertino. The charges stem from the second recent high-profile incident involving allegations of improper use of force by State Police against homeless people in Detroit in and around Greektown. State Police said the incident took place at about 8:45 p.m. June 24. Detectives from the department’s district headquarters opened an investigating on June 25 following a complaint from Dean, said Capt. Robert Clark, the commander of the state police’s Second Division Headquarters in Northville, which oversees the Detroit post where Seibt and Parsons are assigned. The pair had been assigned to desk duty since soon after the incident. The state police and Dean allegedly were involved in a verbal confrontation witnessed by Dean’s girlfriend near Greektown Casino. Prosecutors say the troopers, who were on patrol and near the end of their shift, took Dean to an alley near State Fair and Andover and then Seibt sprayed him in the face with a state-issued chemical spray. The troopers allegedly left Dean by the side of the road and failed to follow several department policies, including one that requires reporting the use of chemical spray. They also denied a confrontation with Dean -- although Law Enforcement Information Network records later showed they had run a check on Dean’s name earlier in the evening. Dean required medical attention at a hospital and filed a complaint on June 25. Clark said state police do not have a policy of transporting misbehaving homeless people from Greektown to the city borders. State police referred the investigation to the attorney general, which is standard procedure. You can reach David Shepardson at (313) 222-2028 or *fair use*
Sentence reduced in killing of homeless man in 1999
13 years ago Sentence reduced in killing of homeless man in 1999 By Christine Clarridge Seattle Times staff reporter Saturday, January 7, 2006 - 12:00 AM It was the third time in six years that Shelton Musgrave had stood before a King County Superior Court judge to be sentenced for killing a homeless man near Seattle's Green Lake. But on Friday, Musgrave had his 24-year sentence reduced by as much as 14 years as a result of a plea deal that ended a long and convoluted legal case that was twice appealed. Musgrave's new sentence of 10 years in prison could mean he will be released as early as 2008. "I find it ironic that we are basically back here looking at a sentence I thought was appropriate all those years ago," said Judge Charles Mertel. Musgrave, his former best friend Michael "Vito" Caffee and Jay Stewart were accused of slaying David Ballenger in August 1999. Prosecutors, who initially charged all three teens with second-degree murder, alleged that the three friends had been drinking with Ballenger, 46, when Stewart got into a fight with the older man. The three then tracked Ballenger to his camp under a freeway overpass near Green Lake Park and killed him. Prosecutors said that Caffee gave the knife used in the slaying to Stewart, who was the acknowledged ringleader in the attack, and that Musgrave kicked Ballenger while he was down and stabbed him at least once. Caffee testified against his former friends, saying he watched as Stewart and Musgrave killed Ballenger. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to more than six years in prison. He is now out on work-release. Stewart pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is serving a 17-year sentence. But Musgrave, who had claimed that it was Caffee and Stewart who killed Ballenger, went to trial and was convicted of first-degree murder. At Musgrave's first sentencing in 2000, Judge Mertel defied the state's sentencing recommendations and gave him a 16-year prison term instead of the state's 22-year minimum mandatory sentence for first-degree murder. Mertel said it was unfair for Musgrave to get a longer prison sentence than Stewart, who did more harm to Ballenger, simply because Musgrave went to trial rather than plead guilty. But prosecutors appealed the sentence, saying that a plea bargain is different from a jury conviction and that Musgrave's sentence should be compared to others who have been convicted of first-degree murder with a deadly weapon. King County Deputy Prosecutor Roger Davidheiser said after the court hearing Friday that that there is a difference between accepting responsibility for a crime and forcing the state to take a case to trial. "The public has an interest and a right to encourage someone to take responsibility," he said. Prosecutors claimed during the appeals process that Musgrave's sentence should be compared not with Stewart's, but with those of other people convicted of the same crime. Mertel then re-sentenced Musgrave in 2003 to the mandatory minimum sentence of 22 years. Last year, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly ruled that Musgrave's constitutional right to present exculpatory evidence was violated when photographs taken by a defense investigator were improperly excluded from the jury trial. Musgrave's attorney, Jeff Ellis, said the photographs showed Caffee, who claimed to have watched the slaying from a distance, could not have seen details of the murder from where he claimed to be standing. Musgrave entered an Alford plea to second-degree murder Friday, meaning he did not admit guilt but acknowledged a jury would likely convict him. He said he was "haunted" by Ballenger's death and told the judge that he has taken every educational opportunity that's come his way while in prison. "That's great," said Mertel. "That's one way you can apologize to Mr. Ballenger and his family. You can't bring him back, but you can devote your life to good things." Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company *fair use*
Van Kills Homeless Man in a Hit-and-Run in East Harlem
13 years ago By COLIN MOYNIHAN Published: December 31, 2005 A homeless man who was an East Harlem fixture was killed in a hit-and-run accident early yesterday afternoon as he made his way across the street after buying a padlock to secure his shopping cart, the police and witnesses said. The man was crossing Lexington Avenue near East 124th Street at 12:30 p.m. when he was struck by a red Chevrolet van, which then fled, the police said. He was taken to North General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His name was not released by the police, but friends identified him as Mario Mendoza, 36, a native of Mexico. Witnesses said that the van was traveling south on Lexington Avenue at a high speed when the driver ran over Mr. Mendoza, who was walking east after leaving Dollar Magic, a 99-cent store, on Lexington Avenue. They said that the driver backed over Mr. Mendoza as he lay near the curb, then sped south. Some men tried to halt the van, but said that the driver ran red lights, causing pedestrians to dart out of his path. "The van hit him, then reversed over him," said Eddie Pacheco, 36, who exited the store just after Mr. Mendoza. "The driver squealed off and everybody down the street had to run out of his way." Mr. Pacheco said that the driver was a white man wearing a goatee and a dark Yankees hat. He said that Mr. Mendoza lay face down in the street. His arms were outstretched. "It was horrifying to see a human being hit by a piece of metal," Mr. Pacheco said. "The impact was incredible." Friends said Mr. Mendoza was a native of Guerrero, in southern Mexico, and lived in New York for at least seven years. He frequented the area around East 125th Street, they said, where he earned money by redeeming can and bottle deposits. They said he had been inside the store buying a padlock so that he could secure a shopping cart that he used to gather bottles and cans. Yesterday afternoon, some of his friends built a memorial across the street from the accident site. It included green and red candles, representing the colors of the Mexican flag, several cans of King Cobra malt liquor and some ginger lozenges of the sort Mr. Mendoza was said to savor. "It hurts me," said said Gladys Perez, a friend. "He was here every day. Everyone loved him. Everyone will miss him." *fair use* Outrageous. I hope they find the driver of the red van. Even though I never knew Mario Mendoza, I shall miss him. He never deserved this. "I will always be on the side of those who have nothing and are not even allowed to enjoy the nothing they have in peace." --Frederico Garcia Lorca
South Boston teen arraigned in homeless man's death
13 years ago South Boston teen arraigned in homeless man's death December 30, 2005 BOSTON --A South Boston teenager was arraigned Friday on manslaughter charges in connection with the August death of a homeless man. Police arrested Ryan Leonard, 15, at his home Friday morning, a day after he was indicted by a grand jury. Mario Acosta was found badly beaten at a South Boston intersection August 26. Leonard punched Acosta in the face after an argument, authorities said. Acosta fell, hit his head and died several days later, police said. Leonard's friend, Thomas Grealish, 17, was charged with assault and is being held on $125,000 cash bail. Leonard was indicted as a youthful offender, which means that he faces the same punishment as an adult. Manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. Leonard is being held on $250,000 cash bail and is scheduled to appear in Suffolk Superior Court again Jan. 17. © Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. *FAIR USE FOR HUMANITARIAN PURPOSES- HUMAN RIGHTS, CIVIL RIGHTS, HATE CRIME REPORTING, ETC.
Homeless Man Dies In Police Custody
13 years ago (New York - WABC, December 30, 2005) - A homeless man died after being arrested by a police officer during a scuffle in a subway station in the Weeksville section of Brooklyn, officials said. Authorities say the transit officer saw the suspect bleeding on the platform of the 'A' line at the Utica Avenue station just after 12:30 a.m. The officer approached the man, believed to be homeless, and a struggle ensued. During the struggle, the transit officer sustained a broken right wrist. The unidentified man was handcuffed and put into an ambulance, which took him to Interfaith Medical Center. He was pronounced dead shortly after. The officer was treated for the broken wrist. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the man's cause of death. (Copyright 2005 WABC-TV) *fair use* Harmony- the circumstances seem really suspicious to me!
Homeless search for holiday lodging
13 years ago 2,100 beds available for an estimated 4,400 people By Ronald W. Powell UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER December 25, 2005 Linda Jane Priestley stood with tears in her eyes outside the gates of San Diego's winter shelter for homeless adults yesterday, begging for a bed. She had inquired the two previous days, but the shelter had been full. About a mile away, Betty Stewart was thankful to have found lodging for herself and her 11-year-old son, Eric, in a shelter for homeless families. While it's a major change from the middle-class life she has known, she is using the shelter to stabilize her family before pursuing a job in the new year. Today, as gifts are exchanged and Christians celebrate the birth of their savior, thousands of people in the county are looking for the same thing Mary and Joseph sought – a place to stay. In San Diego, an estimated 4,400 people are homeless, some of them occupying 2,100 permanent, transitional and emergency shelter beds provided by social service organizations. Across the county, about 9,600 people are without homes, according to the Regional Task Force on the Homeless. While the city's winter shelter program provides emergency lodging for about 500 adults and children nightly, many people remain on the streets because they either choose to live outdoors or can't find a place to come in from the cold. Priestley, 48, had an apartment in Normal Heights through the San Diego Housing Commission's Section 8 program for the poor. But she said she lost it about a year ago because she was living with her boyfriend, whose name was not on the lease. Shortly after her eviction, Priestley said her boyfriend was deported to Mexico. She has since lived alone on the streets, "here, there and everywhere." Priestley said she is an Army veteran and worked as a clerk-typist from 1975 to 1979, serving at Fort Benning, Ga., Jackson, S.C., Germany and other posts. Since then, the Parma, Ohio, native has worked intermittently as a home caregiver, a baby sitter and a housekeeper. But she has also been troubled by mental health problems that required medication. She stopped taking the medication about a year ago because she said she didn't like the way it made her feel. She said she is estranged from her parents, who live in Florida. Divorced, she has two grown children, but does not know where they are. Each day, she wheels her blankets, clothes and other possessions along city sidewalks in a shopping cart. "I just want a place to stay. It can be a studio apartment – anything with four walls," Priestley said. Outside the shelter gate, at 16th Street and Newton Avenue, Danny McCray, offered Priestley a glimmer of hope yesterday. McCray, a security guard at the facility, told her she would get a bed that had become vacant, giving her a place to stay on the night before Christmas. She smiled. "As long as you can wake up and see the skies and smell the air," she said, inhaling deeply, "it's a good day." Meanwhile, at the city's family shelter downtown, Betty Stewart, a 42-year-old single mother, pondered how she and her middle-school son found themselves living in a shelter. Stewart earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in education from National University in the 1990s. But her life took a tragic turn in 1991 when her husband, an insurance executive, was gunned down in a drive-by shooting at a San Diego restaurant. The two were living in San Carlos at the time of the shooting. But Stewart said the suddenness and senselessness of her husband's death threw her life off course. She moved back and forth several times between San Diego and Hastings, N.Y., where she grew up. From 1999 to 2004, she worked for a New York e-commerce company, a job that ended when the business folded. She lived off her savings for about a year before deciding to move back to San Diego in September. But with her son suffering from abdominal and back pain, much of her time since returning here has been spent shuttling him to school and doctors. When her funds began running low, she sought help from the city, where an employee helped her find lodging in the family shelter in early October. Her son was recently diagnosed with gallstones, and underwent surgery last week. He is mending, and participated last Wednesday and yesterday in a Christmas gift-giving celebration at the shelter. Stewart said it is tough on her pride to live in a shelter, but she is optimistic that she and her son will survive, and gather strength, from the tough times. The shelter stay, she said, is her family's Christmas gift. "Not having to get up every morning (at a hotel) and pay $60 dollars is a major relief," she said. Ronald W. Powell: (619) 718-5070; *fair use*
Body of homeless man found behind library
13 years ago Body of homeless man found behind library By Times Staff Writer Published December 22, 2005 TAMPA - Tampa police are investigating the death of a homeless man found behind the downtown library Wednesday. Police spokesman Joe Durkin said the deceased, a white man in his 50s, appears to have been living behind the library off Ashley Drive east of Interstate 275. A library employee discovered the body at about 9 a.m. and called police. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner had not yet determined the cause of death, but Durkin said investigators believe he died of natural causes, and they do not think the cold weather was a factor. "There was absolutely no sign of foul play," Durkin said. Authorities did not release the man's name because they have not yet notified next of kin. [Last modified December 22, 2005, 00:58:15] *fair use*
Homeless man critical after drink prank
13 years ago STOCKBRIDGE, Ga., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- A homeless Georgia man was on life support Sunday after accepting a $5 dare to drink a "milkshake" containing industrial cleaning solvent. Linda Leo told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution her 50-year-old brother Rex is breathing through a tube in his throat and is being kept heavily sedated at Henry Medical Center in Stockbridge. "The acid burned out his throat," she said. Quinton Wilson, a 19-year-old former cook at a Waffle House where Leo often spent the night was charged with felony aggravated battery for allegedly offering Leo $5 to drink the mixture. He was fired after the incident, and Henry County police said he would be charged with voluntary manslaughter if Leo dies of his injuries. © Copyright 2005 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved *fair use*
Cook faces charges after alleged soap dare
13 years ago Friday, December 16, 2005 · Last updated 4:40 p.m. PT Cook faces charges after alleged soap dare THE ASSOCIATED PRESS STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. -- A Waffle House cook is facing charges after authorities say he dared a homeless man to drink industrial-strength dishwashing liquid. The drink sent Rex Leo to the hospital. "We're not sure whether he will live or die now," his sister, Linda Leo, said Thursday. "He is in critical condition, not responsive, unconscious and heavily sedated. He is on a ventilator." The incident began early Wednesday when Rex Leo went to a Waffle House after helping his sister decorate her house for Christmas. Quinton Wilson, a cook, was drinking a bottle of apple juice and bickering with Rex Leo, Linda Leo said other customers told her. After finishing the juice, Wilson allegedly filled it with liquid cleaner and dared Rex Leo to drink it. When Rex Leo wouldn't, witnesses told Linda Leo, Wilson offered him $5. Already intoxicated, Rex Leo took the dare, his sister said. "He slammed it about two-thirds down and collapsed, hit the floor," Linda Leo said. "We were told if help had arrived five minutes later, he'd be dead." Wilson, 19, was immediately fired, Norcross-based Waffle House spokesman Pat Warner said. A waitress was also fired because she did not stop Wilson. Henry County police have charged Wilson with misdemeanor reckless conduct and released him on $550 bond. Lt. Jason Bolton said the charge will be upgraded to voluntary manslaughter if Rex Leo dies. *fair use* Harmony- comment- Outrageous and despicable!!!!!!!!!! The charge should definitely be upgraded to premeditated murder. This is one of these times when I will have to cut my comment short before I say something I regret.
Hospitals dumping homeless patients
13 years ago Hospitals dumping homeless patients LOS ANGELES — Three hospitals have admitted that they routinely put discharged patients with nowhere to go into taxicabs or ambulances bound for skid row. According to the Los Angeles Times, officials at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles and Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center claim that "dumping" indigent people in the heart of downtown Los Angeles is necessary since it is the only place with enough social services, including homeless shelters and drug and alcohol programs. Although L.A. Police Department officials agree that the hospitals’ options are limited, they dispute the argument that the patients are always ready for release. The hospitals acknowledged the practice only after a report issued by the LAPD accused them and several suburban law enforcement agencies of leaving homeless people and criminals in downtown. County supervisors have launched an investigation. LAPD Capt. Andy Smith, who oversees the central division, said he routinely sees "individuals with not one but sometimes two different hospital bracelets, and people with bandages on, people who are barely ambulatory, and we'll end up calling an ambulance. Sometimes they are in such bad shape they are incoherent." Workers at skid row social service agencies told the newspaper that several other hospitals also discharge patients in the area. "One of the challenges is that there are very few places that will take patients coming out of the hospital, even when they are medically cleared," said Mehera Christian, director of public affairs for Kaiser Permanente Metro Los Angeles, eight miles west of downtown. About half of the patients say where they want to go, she claimed, but sometimes that may not be where services are available. "We don't force them," she said. "We have to respect that patient's wishes." Joseph Epps, an attorney representing Hollywood Presbyterian, said the hospital's written transportation policy calls for homeless and indigent patients to be transported by hospital van to the Los Angeles Mission or be given vouchers to take taxis wherever they wish. "The patient certainly has the right to go wherever they want," and staff members can't control that decision, he said. Service providers on skid row said they sympathize with the hospitals but believe they need to do more. Jim Howat, the Volunteers of America's group director for homeless services in L.A., said he is troubled by the stream of ill patients arriving in taxis and ambulances, but doesn’t expect much change until other communities allow services for the homeless and poor into their neighborhood. Universal insurance would cut paperwork cost BETHESDA, MD — Billing and insurance paperwork consumes at least one-fifth of California's privately insured health spending. But if the state adopted a universal single-payer insurance system, $18 billion to $21 billion per year could be saved by eliminating this flood of paper, according to a new study published in Health Affairs, a peer-reviewed journal that looks at health policy issues. Projected nationally, the figures cited in the study indicate that approximately $230 billion of health spending was devoted to insurance administration in 2005. Reduced billing, marketing and insurance paperwork tasks could save between $161 billion and $184 billion, the authors claim. The study validates a controversial 2003 New England Journal of Medicine study by Harvard researchers David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, which found that health care bureaucracy accounted for 31 percent of U.S. health spending — about $400 billion — in contrast to 16.7 percent in Canada. The Harvard group's figures included several categories of administrative overhead costs that were not assessed in the California study, including administrative spending by nursing homes, private employers, and home health agencies. The Harvard researchers estimated that national health insurance could streamline the health payment system, saving $286 billion in 2003. Polls consistently show that more than two-thirds of the U.S. public wants universal tax-supported health insurance. Gallup found that 78 percent are dissatisfied with the present system, 79 percent want coverage for all, and 67 percent don't mind if taxes are raised to pay for it. posted December 1, 2005 *fair use*
13 years ago

He said many of those lived in the very public housing that was destroyed in the storm and will not be rebuilt for another year or two.

"We have people who had rents of $600. Those same units are now going for $1,500. For them, this place is no longer affordable," he said referring to large real estate price increases in the area. "We are wrestling with this issue and doing everything we can to address this."

Which, in some cases, includes financing a move out of town. In one case, Herbert's office used private grants to give one family _ parents, four children and another on the way _ about $6,000 to move to Georgia, where the father had found work.

At the back of the FEMA village park, Gerald Sawyer worries about his future. A father of three, Sawyer is disabled and unable to work. His wife just started working at Dunkin' Donuts in town _ it's hardly enough to pay the bills, much less save up the money to move. "I can't afford to rent anything here anymore. I have gone through pages and pages of ads, and the prices are crazy," he says. "Worst-case scenario, we will be living in the car."

In Davie, Todd and Jennifer Farrington have spent the last three weeks scouring through the mess Wilma made of their mobile home. They had lived there 18 years _ 16 of them with their dog, Rex, born in the back of the trailer. Little remains. The walls are gone. So are chunks of the floor and the furniture.

For now, the Farringtons are staying apart _ Jennifer with friends at the park, Todd with buddies 10 miles away.

"This is really depressing. We are going to need help to get by," says Jennifer Farrington, 57. "I can't even think about this."

They paid off the $15,000 trailer years ago, but had no insurance. Just after the storm, FEMA gave them a disaster aid check for $805. They are grateful, but it isn't enough.

"We spent the first $400 on the basic stuff like food and gas and insurance for the truck," says Todd Farrington. "What kind of place am I going to get for the $400 left over?

"I had never thought about being homeless, and then something like this happens," says Farrington, 45, a painter. "But if we don't get on our feet, that is exactly what will happen."


(Knight Ridder correspondent Natalie P. McNeal and researcher Monika Leal contributed to this report.)


Hurricanes create new generation of homeless in Florida
13 years ago

By Audra D.S. Burch  The Miami Herald (Florida)
November 20, 2005

MIAMI _ The catastrophic collection of hurricanes that bullied the South over the last two seasons and rang up nearly $28 billion in damage threatens to create a new class of homeless _ a diaspora of already-struggling people who were displaced by the storm, then displaced in the effort to rebuild.

These are people made homeless by the madness of seven hurricanes in 15 months, people who had houses and apartments and condos before the first storm made landfall last August.

Faced with a punishing real estate market, the bulldozing of already limited affordable housing and a complicated disaster aid network that is overwhelmed by the massive scope of the storms, they may never return to a home. And nearly a month into rebuilding after Hurricane Wilma, South Florida becomes the newest region faced with the uncertainty of losing some of its poorest residents to homelessness.

"By the winter, we expect to see a new population of homeless. These are low-wage workers, the people who are suffering the most that somehow slip though the cracks," said Sheila Crowley, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. "We are worried the numbers will grow."

In Punta Gorda, which took a direct hit from Hurricane Charley last August, officials are preparing to deal with about 1,000 who are likely to be homeless when they must leave Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers in February. In extreme cases, they are even helping people move _ up north.

Some of the most vulnerable storm victims are still settled in the trailers, parked and packed in dense lots across the region and facing looming move-out deadlines. Some are in apartments subsidized by the federal government. Others have moved in with family or friends. And still others _ mostly Hurricane Katrina victims from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast _ are facing eviction in their adopted cities because rents have gone unpaid. Either the FEMA checks never made it or the people were lost, unsure of how to ask for help.

And national homeless experts point to another group: the worst cases and least documented, those living quietly under the radar who have slipped through the disaster relief web. They may be on the streets already or perilously close.

"The thing that is so worrisome is we can't track the numbers right now. It's all anecdotal, but we know this is going to be a problem," Crowley said.

Added Martha Burt, of the Urban Institute: "These storms have put a lot of people in a bad way. Once they are out of temporary government housing, you are going to see them coming out on the other end of the line. They will not be able to rebuild or recover."

Just last month, Juanita Bielik signed a lease on a large Fort Lauderdale apartment _ enough space for her husband, three children and mother, who just moved from Connecticut.

Now, Bielik lives at a middle school in Hollywood, Fla., with about 550 other Wilma victims. She is struggling to put her life back together after Wilma peeled the roof off the complex.

"It's hard. When you think about it, where am I going to come up with another two months' rent, first month and last month's security? We got a loan to get in that apartment and I can't work right now, because I can't leave my mother alone at the shelter."

Like others, she has made the call to FEMA. She hopes to move back to the apartment, if it can be salvaged. She refuses to think of the alternative. "I am very spiritual. I believe that somehow I will be taken care of. But I can see how people can become homeless," she said.

The clock is ticking _ disaster housing assistance typically lasts up to 18 months, which means those receiving aid from last year's crop of storms are scheduled to rotate out in the next 90 days or so.

More than 6,400 FEMA travel trailers and mobile homes are still occupied by those left homeless by hurricanes Charley, Frances, Jeanne and Ivan across the state. That's down from a peak number of 16,993. For Katrina and Rita, FEMA has leased out 4,531 trailers and mobile homes.

Charley, which destroyed 31,000 homes last August, pushed some 1,500 people into a remote, treeless FEMA trailer village in Charlotte County last year; the 1,000 or so who remain must move out by February. Where remains a big question.

FEMA officials say they are working aggressively with local and state officials to meet the deadline.

"We are not going to put anybody on the streets," says Jim Homstad, who works in FEMA's long-term recovery office in Orlando. "Our manufactured homes are never considered a long-term solution. We are working with the local governments to identify housing needs."

The village, carved out of a former cow pasture, sits in the shadows of a jail on one side and Interstate 75 on the other.

"We have a huge problem here. We anticipate that when the trailer park shuts down, we will have 300 or so units _ up to 1,000 people _ who are essentially homeless," says Bob Herbert, who directs hurricane recovery for Charlotte County. "We are talking about a hard-core group of people who are low-income, in some cases lack job skills, and simply cannot recover."


Homeless Shelter to Occupy Social Security Building
13 years ago Homeless Shelter to Occupy Social Security Building Posted 11/17/2005 08:47 AM Northwood Health Systems has announced that it will place a homeless shelter in the former Social Security buiding. Story by Jennifer Shoulders Email An old Wheeling building will soon become a refuge for the city's homeless. Northwood Health Systems has announced that it will be putting a homeless shelter in the former Social Security building. The plan was originally developed a while ago, but plans changed when Northwood decided to sell the building to the Ohio County Public Library. The government denied Northwood the option of selling, so the plans for the shelter were revamped. Northwood faces a deadline of this April to open its doors to the homeless. The company expects the shelter to be fully operational by March. Copyright 2005 West Virginia Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. *fair use*
Maysville minister, Braselton named to state boards
13 years ago   Posted Thursday, November 10 at 4:20 PM

from staff reports

ATLANTA - Governor Perdue has named a Maysville minister and a Braselton businesswoman to separate state boards.

State Housing Trust Fund for the Homeless Commission

Jeffery L. Appling, 42, Commerce, Georgia, Member - Appling is senior pastor at Grove Level Baptist Church in Maysville, where he has been for fifteen years. Under his guidance the congregation has grown from 30 to over 2,000. Appling received his bachelor’s degree in Bible theology from Bob Jones University. He and his wife, Lecia, have three children.

Commercial Transportation Advisory Committee

Martha Martin, 65, Braselton, Georgia, Industry Representative - Martin is president and owner of Martha Martin Trucking and PHIL-MART Transportation, which she has been operating for more than thirty years. She is president of the Braselton Rotary Club, member of the board of directors of the Georgia Motor Trucking Association and past president of the Jackson County Industrial Development Authority. Martin attended Marsh Business School. Her and her husband, Max, have two children and one grandchild.


Satirical flier sparks anger
13 years ago Dallas: Creator calls it downtown 'reality;' others say it's hateful 12:00 AM CST on Saturday, November 5, 2005 By KIM HORNER and DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News A satirical brochure opposing Dallas' $23.8 million ballot proposition for a homeless assistance center has surfaced days before the election – and not everybody is laughing. The 16-page booklet, created by the owner of a printing business near the proposed project, includes: • A membership application for a "Homeless District Neighborhood Alliance" to be dropped off "at any street corner. Our clean-up crews will collect all applications from gutters, fences, garbage cans and Dumpsters." • A "Homeless Walking Guide to Downtown Dallas." • Advice on respecting wildlife: "While neighborhood cats, dogs and squirrels might make a tempting meal, please refrain from catching them, killing and cooking them. "Certainly, being homeless earns a certain amount of sympathy, but that pales in comparison to those folks who support animal rights." • And tips on disposing of human waste: Dumpsters offer "a certain amount of privacy when you need to do your business. But by removing your solid waste with a plastic bag, you can keep the area nice for the next visitor." Dallas City Council member Angela Hunt, who represents more than half of downtown, decried the newsletter's contents. "They are simply creating a hateful, insensitive atmosphere instead of helping," said Ms. Hunt, who supports Proposition 14 on Tuesday's ballot. "I understand that there's a real concern that a homeless assistance center could negatively impact economic development. But I don't see how those kinds of inappropriate comments further the debate or discussion." Dallas homeless czar Mike Rawlings called the brochure "just awful." "This bomb-throwing doesn't help anybody out," he said. Mr. Rawlings also noted the brochure was illegal because it did not list a political action committee that paid for the publication. The brochure does feature an ad from the Heart of Dallas Partnership, which opposes the bond measure. The political action committee said it had nothing to do with the pamphlet. The material was printed by Dan Millet, the owner of Millet the Printer downtown who also has contributed to the Heart of Dallas Partnership. He said he acted independently. Mr. Millet said he's not anti-homeless and that the pamphlet was not intended to poke fun at homeless people. Instead, he said, it merely depicts the problems that he and other business owners face with homeless people urinating and defecating nearby. "I thought my little magazine was funny," he said. "I used a great deal of restraint in that article because I have 50 photographs in my files of human waste on the sidewalk, in flower beds. My wife and several people said it would be in poor taste to use my ... collection. There's nothing in that publication that's not absolutely reality." Mr. Millet, who believes the new homeless center would ruin downtown revitalization plans, said he does not have a political action committee but that he has a "constitutional right" to print the brochure. He said he printed about 11,000 and distributed about half of them. According to Title 15 of the state ethics code, any person producing literature costing more than $100 "has to file a report as if they were the treasurer of a political committee," says Tim Sorrells, deputy general counsel for the Texas Ethics Commission. If not, the individual could face a civil fine of up to $5,000 if someone were to lodge a complaint with the state, he said. "It would need to be reported somehow because it's taking a position on a ballot issue," Dallas Elections Manager Brooks Love said. To that end, Mr. Millet could, for example, report the newsletter as an in-kind contribution to the Heart of Dallas Partnership or register his own political action committee with Dallas' city secretary, Mr. Love said. E-mail and *fair use*
Fairbanks homeless shelter director resigns
13 years ago,1413,163~34723~3115026,00.html Article Last Updated: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 - 12:52:23 PM AKST Fairbanks homeless shelter director resigns According to the Associated Press, the director of one of the few shelters where homeless people in Fairbanks can find a warm bed has resigned. Directors of the Fairbanks Rescue Mission say Charles Swanson resigned under pressure. Board members says Swanson's strict rules were keeping homeless people away from the shelter. The mission remains open and is being run by employees and board members. The mission provides food, shelter, clothing, spiritual guidance, job training and other services. The four-year-old facility has a capacity for 160 residents but the regular population recently has been about a dozen. Homeless people have been turning to other institutions, such as a women's shelter for victims of sexual assault or domestic violence. Board member Tom Wickwire says one rule that was too stringent was the practice of excluding anyone from dinner who arrived late to a mandatory evening chapel meeting. He says one woman was barred from eating dinner because she arrived two minutes after the chapel session began. *fair use*
13 years ago

Coalition Forces Land Component Command sent a shipment of heavy construction equipment from Kuwait Oct. 27. The shipment included cranes, fuel tankers, road graders, dump trucks and other heavy equipment from theater sustainment stocks available for use in Pakistan.

CFLCC also shipped four containers of medical supplies. The new equipment is in addition to the 200 pallets flown to Pakistan from Kuwait City International Airport. The palletized tents, cots, blankets and packaged meals sent to date are valued at approximately $4 million.

Troops diverted from OEF

Combined Joint Task Force-76 operating in Afghanistan sent eight helicopters, five CH-47 Chinooks and three UH-60 Black Hawks, to Islamabad to assist with relief and rescue efforts there. The task force has sent medical personnel as well as a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital capable of treating 30 patients at a time.

Aircraft crews are delivering relief supplies, dropping some by parachute to remote areas that are inaccessible as a result of the quake’s destruction. The relief efforts are being coordinated with Pakistani authorities so the military can best support the country’s needs, said Lt. Col. Edwin Hernandez, Combined Joint Task Force, Logistics.

About 200 Army Reserve Soldiers from the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment deployed with 12 CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters. The unit will conduct rescue operations, work to rebuild infrastructure elements, and transport personnel and cargo.

The unit was recently mobilized from Olathe, Kan., and had reported to Fort Sill, Okla., to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Their orders were changed so they could support relief operations, but the Soldiers will proceed to Afghanistan upon completion of duty in Pakistan.

Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment and the 2nd Battalion, 6th Cavalry Regiment already serving in Afghanistan were sent with five CH-47 Chinook and three UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and supplies Oct. 10 to assist relief operations. They are assisting in evacuation of the injured and delivering relief supplies.

Five U. S. service members from Office of Security Cooperation Afghanistan Air Division and four OSCA interpreters accompanied relief teams sent by the Afghan National Army to assist with medical treatment and delivering supplies. Afghanistan also sent 34 doctors, including three women, for medical treatment.

Relief operations in full swing

U. S. Army Europe sent about 200 Soldiers from the 212th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, the 160th Forward Surgical Team, and the 123rd Main Support Battalion, 1st Armored Division to Muzaffarrabad, Pakistan to assist in medical relief efforts and set up a water purification site. The 66th Military Intelligence Group is providing translators.

Fifty Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 227th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade deployed with five Chinook helicopters Oct. 14 to 18. This is the unit’s third deployment in three months, after supporting both hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Engineers assessing damage

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Afghanistan Engineer District has been assessing damage in the Muzaffarabad region from aircraft to evaluate roads and bridges leading to some of the areas most in need of relief. Landslides and tremors have covered many roads with rocks, dirt and uprooted trees, complicating efforts to reach these areas.

Engineers are also assessing the extent of damage to housing, and the structural stability of public buildings like schools and hospitals. Twenty six hospitals and more nearly 600 health clinics in Pakistan were destroyed or have sustained too much damage to reopen, according to the World Health Organization.

Engineers from the Combined Joint Task Force-76 in Afghanistan are also conducting aerial reconnaissance of damage to major roadways and other infrastructure to assess rebuilding needs.


More troops, supplies arrive in Pakistan
13 years ago

U.S. Army Sgt. Kornelia Rachwal gives a young Pakistani girl a drink of water as they are airlifted from Muzaffarabad to Islamabad, Pakistan, aboard a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter on Oct. 19. U.S. Army Sgt. Kornelia Rachwal gives a young Pakistani girl a drink of water as they are airlifted from Muzaffarabad to Islamabad, Pakistan, aboard a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter on Oct. 19.
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Mike Buytas

By Annette Fournier

October 28, 2005

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 28, 2005) Additional U.S. Army medical, aviation and engineer units from Europe, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Kansas and Texas are now helping with relief efforts in Pakistan following the earthquake earlier this month.

The Army is focusing efforts in Pakistan-administered Kashmir where rain, hail, high winds and more than 700 quake aftershocks have complicated relief efforts. More than 54,000 were killed, 75,000 injured and up to 3 million have been left homeless as a result of the earthquake.

Pryor calls for government improvements
13 years ago

Posted 10/22/2005 11:06 AM     Updated 10/22/2005 12:01 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Calling upon lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas said Saturday the federal government can do a better job of caring for its citizens.

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., said Congress and the Bush administration must return to an era of "responsible budgeting." Mike Wintroath, AP

Consumers need protection from price gouging in times of gasoline shortages and supply delays and low-income families need help paying home-heating fuel bills, projected to rise by as much as 50% this winter, Pryor said in the weekly Democratic radio address.

High energy costs also are hurting small and large businesses alike, he said.

Pryor said Congress and the Bush administration must return to an era of "responsible budgeting" and be less inclined to advocate tax cuts for special interests as a remedy for economic ills.

"We simply must do a better job of putting the needs of all Americans over the wants of a privileged few," the senator said.

He also stressed the importance of energy independence and said the country should waste no time in developing alternative fuels

Pryor reminded listeners that much work in health care, housing and economic opportunities remained to rebuild communities damaged by Gulf Coast hurricanes, and pledged Democratic resolve to fix problems that caused the failed government response to Hurricane Katrina.


Daytona approves permit for homeless shelter
13 years ago By CINDY F. CRAWFORD STAFF WRITER Last update: October 20, 2005 DAYTONA BEACH -- Homeless families could soon have beds in a shelter together, and homeless people with medical needs could have a place to sleep after treatment now that a local advocacy group received permission to build a shelter on North Street. "The homeless situation is bad and getting worse as we have more hurricanes displacing people," said Lindsay Roberts, executive director of the Volusia/Flagler County Coalition for the Homeless. "We could live with things as they are now or give people an opportunity to turn their lives around." The coalition passed its last hurdle toward building the multimillion dollar shelter Wednesday night when the Daytona Beach City Commission unanimously approved a permit to use the property for public use. The facility, with 94 beds in 25 rooms adjoining the Homeless Assistance Center, needs to be built by the end of June, when a $750,000 grant runs out, so work should begin soon, Roberts said. "I'm just relieved" the permit was approved, she said. More than 100 people stood up in Commission Chambers to show support for the shelter that the group has raised money for and planned for years. Several residents and business owners near the center spoke against it, saying homeless people pass out in their yards and doorways near the assistance center and that will only get worse when the new facility is built. "We have panhandlers, drug dealers and prostitutes all around here and this will bring more," said Doug Lenz, owner of Auto Electric on North Street. Lenz said the city should focus on cleaning up the area and police officers should stop crime there first. The coalition has offered to allow police to use an office within the facility as a substation and plan to install cameras with full-time staff to monitor activity occurring outside, Roberts said. She also agreed to compile a team of workers to clean up litter around the area. *fair use*
Homeless Summit Takes Place Today
13 years ago October 5th, 2005 @ 8:04am Video: Sammy Linebaugh reporting The second annual homeless summit in Utah is happening all day today at the South Towne Expo Center. It's open to the public, and both the Governor and Lt. Governor are speaking, as well as one of President Bush's top advisors on homelessness across America. One of the strategies we expect to hear today is "housing first and the rest will follow." Organizers of today's summit tell me last year alone in the state of Utah, $82 million in federal assistance dollars went unused because those qualified to receive the money, had no permanent address to which the benefits could be sent. Among the speakers today, a New York housing expert who found that by making permanent housing a first priority in the list of social services a homeless person or family needs, long-term overall stability more often followed. Access to employment, healthcare, and other government assistance all improved when an individual could list an address. Without that stabilizing force, Lt. Governor Gary Herbert who spoke on KSL's Doug Wright Show yesterday says, it's tough to break poverty's vicious cycle. Lt. Governor Gary Herbert/"KSL's Doug Wright Show": "We have a chronic homeless problem throughout this country. In Utah, for example, We have about 14-thousand people that will be homeless this year, of which about three-thousand are chronic. They are always homeless." And still, in the state of Utah, there are another 11-thousand people, the vast majority of homeless, who had a home, a job, but temporarily ran into financial and other problems and found themselves, or their families, on the street. (fair use)
Bush told U.S. needs national plan to coordinate response efforts
13 years ago

BATON ROUGE, La. --Military officials told President Bush on Sunday that the U.S. needs a national plan to coordinate search and rescue efforts following natural disasters or terrorist attacks.

Bush said he is interested in whether the Defense Department should take charge in massive national disasters.

"Clearly, in the case of a terrorist attack, that would be the case, but is there a natural disaster -- of a certain size -- that would then enable the Defense Department to become the lead agency in coordinating and leading the response effort?" Bush asked. "That's going to be a very important consideration for Congress to think about."

Bush got an update about the federal hurricane response from military leaders at Randolph Air Force Base. He heard from Lt. Gen. Robert Clark, joint military task force commander for Hurricane Rita, and Maj. Gen. John White, a task force member, who described search and rescue operations after Hurricane Katrina as a "train wreck."

With Katrina, "we knew the coordination piece was a problem," White said. He said better coordination is needed to prevent five helicopters, for example, from showing up to rescue the same individual. "With Rita, we had the benefit of time. We may not have that time in an earthquake scenario or similar incident," White said.

"With a national plan, we'll have a quick jump-start and an opportunity to save more people," White said.

Speaking of the helicopter example, White said, "That's the sort of simplistic thing we'd like to avoid." He added, "We're not maximizing the use of forces to the best efficiency. Certainly that was a train wreck that we saw in New Orleans."

Bush thanked White for his recommendations.

"This is precisely the kind of information I'll take back to Washington to help all of us understand how to do a better job," the president said.

Later, Bush spent a little more than an hour getting a private briefing in a FEMA joint field operations office that was set up in an empty department store building.

He urged people not to be too eager to return to their homes.

"It's important that there be an orderly process," Bush said. "It's important that there be an assessment of infrastructure."

Bush's briefings came as residents along the Texas and Louisiana coasts began clearing up debris and power crews worked to restore power to more than 1 million customers in four states.

Rita, which hit the Gulf Coast early Saturday, toppled trees, sparked fires and swamped Louisiana shoreline towns with a 15-foot storm surge that required daring boat and helicopter rescues of hundreds of people.

Still, the devastation was less severe than that caused by Hurricane Katrina when it made landfall on Aug. 29.

Sen. Susan Collins said Sunday that the response to Rita represented an "enormous" improvement over that of Katrina. "But it still suggests there are major gaps in our emergency preparedness and that's why we need to find out what went wrong and rectify those problems," the Maine Republican told CNN.

Collins, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee, has said that post-9/11 changes to improve the government response to catastrophic disasters failed their first major test in Katrina's wake.

The initial focus of hearings by the committee is on how to help the hundreds of thousands of families left homeless by Katrina, Collins said.

"Then we're going to turn to an investigation of what went wrong. We're going to look at leadership, we're going to look at resources, we're going to look at planning, we're going to look at response," Collins told CNN.

After his FEMA briefing, Bush attended a worship service at a chapel on the base.

Bush's appearance was clearly a surprise to the base congregation. The chaplain, Col. David Schroeder, said, "We usually make new people stand up and introduce themselves." Everyone laughed at that, and then he announced the president. Bush stood along with the entire, clapping congregation.

Before returning to Washington, Bush was visiting Baton Rogue, La. The White House has not released details of his scheduled.

On Saturday, he made a stop in Austin, Texas, and at the U.S. Northern Command in Colorado.

"Part of the reason I've come down here, and part of the reason I went to Northcom, was to better understand how the federal government can plan and surge equipment, to mitigate natural disasters," Bush said Sunday.

"It's precisely the kind of information that I'll take back to Washington to help all of us understand how we can do a better job in coordinating federal, state and local response."

Under the existing relationship, a state's governor is chiefly responsible for disaster preparedness and response. Governors can request assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. If federal armed forces are brought in to help, they do so in support of FEMA, through Northern Command, set up as part of a military reorganization after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.


Evacuees ready to leave Austin behind
13 years ago

Annoyed and tired, a few thousand remain in town


Monday, September 26, 2005

Norma Moss chose her words carefully, not wanting to seem ungrateful.

She sat on a folding chair in the Fulmore Middle School gymnasium, a makeshift home for her and hundreds of others who escaped Hurricane Rita. A blanket was draped over shoulders as she tried to keep warm in the chilly gym.

"People have been as nice as they possibly can," she said. "It could be worse than what it is."

Inside the gym, people were stretched out on air mattresses and mats, sleeping, talking, waiting. Kids did watercolor paintings in the cafeteria while adults finished eating lunch.

Like Moss, many people were just trying to make sense of it all.

They were among the few thousands left in the Austin area. At the peak, 48 shelters were open. The figure was less than half that by Sunday evening, according to city emergency officials.

Though grateful for the help, many people in the gymnasium were frustrated after spending the weekend being bounced from shelter to shelter and not knowing when or how they would get back home.

In a hallway off the gymnasium, Pasadena resident Roni Carranza played catch with his children.

After his truck stalled in Houston, he said, he was taken to shelters in Kyle, San Marcos and Georgetown before Austin.

Moss left Houston late last week with her daughter, son-in-law and four grandchildren, headed to Nacogdoches. Their car ran out of gas in Cleveland, on U.S. 59 north of Houston. They were taken by bus to a shelter in Kyle before arriving at Fulmore over the weekend.

By Sunday, Moss was ready — "really, really ready" — to go home.

"We're getting bits and pieces of info," she said. "We don't know how true it is. I'm just going along with the program. I'm trying to keep my composure."

Her daughter, Tameka Buggs shook her head in frustration.

"At least tell us something," she said. "If you don't know, tell us you don't know."

Many people at the Fulmore shelter arrived by bus after running out of gas in Cleveland. The lucky ones were picked up in Austin by relatives and friends. Others rented cars or bought Greyhound bus tickets.

Those unable to leave were told initially that they might have to stay until Tuesday, but by Sunday evening, they were on a bus headed for Cleveland to retrieve their vehicles.

The trip that brought Linda Carr and her family from Galveston and La Marque to Austin was marked by stalled cars, road rage and no restaurants, gas stations, hotels or rest rooms. They left their van in a Wal-Mart parking lot and raced to board a bus out of Cleveland.

"We grabbed what we could out of the vehicle and got on the bus," Carr said.

They spent the previous night at a shelter in Kyle. It was orderly, with volunteers who were eager to assist, she said.

She wrote a list on the back of a shelter check-in form of everyone she wanted to thank. There were almost 20 names and organizations listed, mostly from Hays County: Buda Lions Club, American Red Cross, the Kyle and Hays school districts, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, churches, the Kyle police and fire departments.

"Just give them a very big thank-you from all of us," Carr said. "The victims of Rita."; 445-3620


American Red Cross volunteers Jeanette Authement of Manchester, Mich., and George Reid of Manor unloaded donations at the Delco Center in Austin on Sunday.


Evacuees from hurricanes Katrina and Rita were moved to the Delco Center in Northeast Austin on Sunday after nearby Manor closed its shelter. Austin-area shelters, which housed 17,300 at their peak, were down to 3,900 by


Faith-based and Community organizations
13 years ago

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services (HH today announced awards totaling $49 million through the
Compassion Capital Fund (CCF). The awards are designed to help grass roots,
faith-based and community organizations enhance their ability to provide a
wide range of social services to those in need including the homeless, at-risk
youth, rural communities, the elderly and families transitioning from welfare
to work.
    "President Bush recognizes the effectiveness of faith and community-based
organizations in mobilizing communities to serve those in greatest need," HHS
Secretary Mike Leavitt said. "These funds help strengthen organizations that
perform acts of mercy in their neighborhoods."
    Today's announcement consists of three sets of grants.  The first involves
the CCF Demonstration Program and totals $17,695,299 for 20 organizations.
These groups will serve as intermediaries to help build the capacity of
smaller faith-based and community organizations.  These awards include $1.1
million to the OneStar Foundation of Austin, Texas; $1.4 million to the Black
Ministerial Alliance in Roxbury, Mass.; $708,334 to the Latino Pastoral Action
Center in Bronx, N.Y., and $750,000 to World Vision in Federal Way, Wash.
    The second set totals $15,192,810 for 310 faith-based and community
organizations under the CCF Targeted Capacity-building Program. The target
program areas include at-risk youth, the homeless, rural communities and
strengthening marriage.
    In addition, awards totaling $15,740,265 were given to continue currently
funded CCF programs.  The list of continuation awards is available at
    "Faith-based and community groups know how to help people in their
neighborhoods," said HHS' Director of the Office of Community Services,
Josephine B. Robinson. "The grants we are awarding from the Compassion Capital
Fund continue President Bush's goal to improve the capacity of organizations
to deliver social services around the nation."

    The Compassion Capital Fund, a key component of President Bush's faith-
based and community initiative, is designed to help community organizations
partner with the federal government to strengthen social services. Since the
program began in 2002, $148 million has been given to more than 3,000
organizations including sub-awards from intermediary grantees.
    The list of today's CCF demonstration and targeted capacity building
awards is available at


3 Plead to Defrauding Agency of Funds to Help Homeless
13 years ago September 28, 2005 - Three New Jersey residents admit they defrauded a government fund for people about to become homeless of almost 34-thousand dollars. Thirty-one-year-old Carletta Smith of Somerset; 28-year-old Monica Smith of Spotswood and 34-year-old Lisa Smith Foster of Howell pleaded guilty today to theft by deception. Four companies reportedly owned by Carletta Smith -- C-and-C Financial Group L-L-C, C-C-B Investments L-L-C, Jonah Investment Group L-L-C and 96 Eaton Place L-L-C -- also pleaded guilty to charges of official misconduct. Prosecutors say the women and the companies submitted at least 14 fraudulent claims to the Homelessness Prevention Program. The program is run through the state Community Affairs Department and is designed to help people at risk of becoming homeless. (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) =========== FAIR USE for covering homelessness-related issues,etc. ===========
For Woman in Black
13 years ago
Picture of Women in Black holding vigil for Odell Lark, Jr.
13 years ago


The group Women in Black stands outside Bellevue City Hall yesterday to honor Odell Lark Jr., a homeless man who died Sept. 19 in Bellevue.

Women hold vigil for homeless man killed last week
13 years ago Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 12:00 AM By Ashley Bach Seattle Times Eastside bureau A group of advocates for the homeless, dressed in black, lined the entrance to Bellevue City Hall in silence yesterday to honor a homeless man killed last week in an early-morning accident. The 12 women, joined by three volunteers handing out pamphlets, said they hoped the noon-hour vigil would spread the word about what they see as Bellevue city officials' lack of awareness of the homeless. The group was part of Women in Black, a joint effort by the advocacy group known as WHEEL (the Women's Housing, Equality and Enhancement League) and the Church of Mary Magdalene in Seattle. "I know there are poor neighborhoods over here," Anitra Freeman said. "Bellevue has to face reality sooner or later." The women were remembering Odell Lark Jr., a 53-year-old homeless man from Missouri who was killed in Bellevue on Sept. 19. According to police, Lark was inside a garbage bin, possibly sleeping or looking for food, at a motel along 114th Avenue Southeast. The bin was picked up by a garbage truck and its contents were dumped into the truck, and then the truck hit Lark as the driver was pulling away, police said. Women in Black holds a vigil for every homeless person in King County who dies outdoors or by violence. Lark was the 37th person honored this year, and the number of homeless dying has gone up in recent years, organizers said. The women also criticized the strict regulations that Bellevue city officials approved in July for temporary homeless camps. The City Council approved a 60-day limit for the camps, instead of the 90-day limit in some other cities, and rules on the number of sinks and toilets and other health and sanitation measures. Bellevue city spokesman Tim Waters said the regulations were a "good attempt to strike a balance between the needs and rights of the homeless and also the needs and rights of Bellevue residents." The city has helped the homeless for decades, Waters said, with such measures as donating land, supporting social-service groups and providing transitional housing. "We haven't turned our backs on the problem," he said. Temple B'nai Torah, a Bellevue synagogue, is scheduled to host Tent City 4 beginning Nov. 16. The move would be the first time the city has hosted the camp, which has stayed at various Eastside sites since early 2004. The temple has requested several exemptions from the city regulations, including a 90-day limit. City planning and community-development director Matt Terry is likely to decide on the application in the next several weeks. The city is holding a public meeting on the application at 6:30 p.m. next Thursday at the temple, 15727 N.E. Fourth St. Ashley Bach: 206-464-2567 or Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company ============ FAIR USE for understanding homelessness-related issues,etc. ============
Fire rips through homeless encampment
13 years ago Article Launched: 09/27/2005 11:23:21 PM Fire rips through homeless encampment Chico Enterprise-Record Flames reaching heights of 50 feet burned through a south Chico homeless encampment off Rio Chico Road just after noon Tuesday. Three engine companies from the Chico Fire Department were able to surround the blaze and bring it under control in about 10 minutes. Despite quick action, the fire burned an area approximately 50 by 200 feet and completely destroyed a raised wooden deck. Officials said the deck was tinder dry and appeared to be made out of driftwood pulled from local waterways. Flames were stopped before they reached nearby railroad tracks or a boiler-chiller plant on land owned by Chico State University. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call 895-4911. Officials seek information on Sunday fire Investigators for Butte County Fire/CDF are seeking information about a fire Sunday which destroyed a large barn and horse corral on Richardson Springs Road. The blaze was reported at 5:10 p.m. and the battle to put it out included aerial tankers and helicopters. According to officials, the blaze started inside the 7,800-square-foot barn and burned rapidly, touching off a one-acre brush fire. A vehicle and some personal property in the barn were destroyed. CDF spokeswoman Janet Upton said high winds could have pushed flames in the direction of main buildings at Richardson Springs, a former resort now used by the religious group Youth With a Mission. Structural damage from the fire was estimated at $40,000. The cause is still under investigation and isn't necessarily suspicious. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the CDF Fire Prevention Bureau at 538-7888. ========== FAIR USE ==========
Flamenco update gets down to street level
13 years ago clip: " Through dance and music, "Enramblao" (On La Rambla) presents an intimate portrait of the ebullient Catalonian metropolis and its denizens. On stage, as in life, prostitutes and transvestites cross paths with poets, musicians and dancers, while well-heeled travelers rub shoulders with the homeless. Visuals by Spanish filmmaker Juan Estelrich, projected onto a screen, add another dimension to the experience. Since its premiere last year at Madrid's Teatro Alcazar, "Enramblao" has been seen by nearly 150,000 people in Spain and South America. Standing ovations are a regular occurrence. When the show made its way to Barcelona, Amargo did not forget the people who inspired him. On the first night, he invited some of La Rambla's homeless to attend the performance, VIP-style. They were outfitted with new clothes and seated next to the city's mayor. " rest of article online ============ FAIR USE ============
Dealing with downtown homeless
13 years ago

WednesdaySeptember212005  11/4/2004 9:10 PM
By: News 8 Austin Staff
People wait in line for services from ARCH.  The Austin City Council is considering proposals to ban panhandling in downtown Austin.

The council is also mulling over tightening "public order laws" such as sleeping on sidewalks and roadside soliciting.

The Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, or ARCH, recently opened downtown. Critics say the ARCH is the reason for the surge of that type of activity.

On Thursday, members of House the Homeless put on a silent protest during the council meeting. They say fines associated with the proposed rule changes would be impossible for the homeless to pay.

"What their approach is, is to address a symptom and not address the core issue. And the core issue facing homeless people are affordable housing, health care and livable incomes, which specifically in terms of our people, equates to a living wage, paying a fair wage for a fair day's work," Richard Troxell of House the Homeless said.

Some say it's not the legitimate homeless causing the problems.

"The panhandlers generally come to downtown as predators to prey on tourists and residents and people who are there, but also the homeless who are legitimately there for services. The panhandlers generally are hot homeless and the homeless are generally not panhandlers. And that's something that's very difficult for people to understand," city activist and downtown resident Sid Galindo said.

Downtown business owners said they support they changes but did not want to offend the homeless population.

The city council will work for several more months on the issue.

Housing for Homeless advocates were not allowed to speak at the meeting because it was a city staff presentation to get recommendations and direction from the council on how to proceed.


Garbage truck hits, kills homeless man
13 years ago Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 12:00 AM Permission to reprint or copy this article or photo must be obtained from The Seattle Times. Call 206-464-3113 or e-mail with your request. Garbage truck hits, kills homeless man By Peyton Whitely Seattle Times Eastside bureau A homeless man, believed to be in his early 50s and from Missouri, died yesterday morning when he was hit by a garbage truck in Bellevue. The accident took place about 5:05 a.m. in a parking lot of the Red Lion Bellevue Inn, said Officer Michael Chiu, Bellevue Police Department public-information officer. The death occurred just after the garbage truck, driven by a 49-year-old man, had arrived at the motel on the west side of Interstate 405 to pick up garbage, said Chiu. The driver pulled up to garbage bins outside the building, opened some screening gates, drove his truck forward to attach the garbage container, and then hoisted the container over the truck cab into a disposal area at the rear of the truck. The driver then replaced the container, closed the gates, backed up the truck and began driving out of the parking lot. He stopped when he felt the truck hit something. Police were trying to determine the circumstances of the death, said Chiu, but the man may have been walking or may have been sleeping or scavenging in the container when it was picked up by the garbage truck. If he had been in the container, the man may have had about a minute to try to climb out as a hydraulic compacting ram was operated to compress the garbage as the truck was moving, said Chiu. A ladder on the side of the truck leads from the garbage-container area, and a person most likely would have tried to use the ladder to get off the truck, said Chiu. A tentative identification of the victim was made by police, but his name was being withheld pending a formal identification by the King County Medical Examiner's Office. Peyton Whitely: 206-464-2259 or Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company ============ FAIR USE for understanding, and keeping abreast of, homelessness-related issues.etc. ============
Dick Van Dyke honored for helping homeless in LA
13 years ago Posted 9/9/2005 3:43 PM BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Dick Van Dyke regularly dishes up meals and laughs during Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter at The Midnight Mission shelter on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. The organization gave back to the actor-comedian Thursday night, honoring him with its Golden Heart Award during a dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel. "I had a little tussle with the demon rum," Van Dyke said, alluding to his own problem with alcohol abuse years ago. "I thought, 'I'll go down and do a little payback.' I was amazed — young people, mothers and a lot of kids. The place got under my skin and it's been a part of my life ever since." Van Dyke, 79, volunteers for the major holiday meals, often bringing celebrity helpers like Carrie Fisher and Ed Begley Jr. He recently served as chairman of a fundraising campaign for a new Midnight Mission building. "They take people and put them back on their feet and send them out as proud citizens," Van Dyke said. "It's the most rewarding thing I've ever done." Among those cheering for Van Dyke on Thursday were Fisher, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, actor Mike Conners, Angie Dickinson, Barbara Sinatra and Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. =========== FAIR USE for studying homelessness related issues, etc. ===========
Back Bay shantytowns dismantled
13 years ago Assaults prompt sweep, official says By Suzanne Smalley, Globe Staff | September 9, 2005 State Police and Department of Conservation and Recreation crews, accompanied by officials from homeless shelters, swept through the Back Bay yesterday to dismantle shantytowns homeless people had built under bridges. State officials launched the joint operation after several assaults in the last few weeks and repeated complaints from area residents and businesses about safety, noise, and public drinking. During their four hours under the Massachusetts Avenue bridge, underneath the Bowker overpass and at Charlesgate East, crews removed four garbage trucks full of debris that included scrap metal, mattresses, blankets, boxes, and assorted personal belongings. ''It's state property," said Lieutenant Sharon Costine, a State Police spokeswoman. ''It's gotten a little out of hand down there." But after Hurricane Katrina displaced hundreds of thousands along the Gulf Coast, yesterday's sweep also brought new attention to the plight of Boston's homeless, estimated to number about 6,000 people. A shelter official estimates that about half that number spend at least some time under bridges to escape the elements, while the rest spend most of their time in shelters. The number of homeless living in encampments is believed to be far smaller. Of the three dozen or more homeless people whose encampments were torn down yesterday, only a handful were present when work crews arrived. All those evicted were offered space in shelters, but only one accepted, said Shepley Metcalf, spokeswoman for the Pine Street Inn, a homeless shelter in the South End. She said workers from the shelter planned to return last night to explain to people what happened. ''Their things won't be there," Metcalf said. ''That will be difficult for them." State Police officers who patrol the area were ordered to make sure the displaced don't return and try to reconstruct the shantytown. ''The goal is to displace the homeless from DCR properties," said a Boston police e-mail about the operation. State Police said they plan a similar effort next week at several other encampments on state property. They would not identify the areas and declined to be more specific about their plans. Complaints from Back Bay residents and businesses about the shantytowns go back at least two years, but have grown louder recently. City Councilor Michael Ross said he encouraged state agencies to do the sweep after his office was flooded with calls expressing concern over what he called ''extremely dangerous" conditions. Ross said someone was sexually assaulted in one of the shantytowns last weekend. ''We could no longer turn a blind eye to the drug and alcohol use going on there," Ross said. ''Students at [Boston University], residents, and businesses in the surrounding neighborhood were calling to say they were afraid to cross under the Bowker [overpass]. . . . I was concerned there would be more sexual assaults Costine said police are aware of the sexual assault and added that there have also been armed assaults in the shantytowns in the last several weeks. Noel Diaz, a 58-year-old homeless man who lives under the Massachusetts Avenue bridge, said he lost everything in yesterday's operation. ''All my stuff -- coats, beds," said Diaz, who returned to his makeshift living quarters after the sweep. ''I'll bring in new ones." But police say people bringing in new material will be forcibly removed. And, in some cases, rebuilding won't be easy. Many homeless people lost more than a few possessions. Metcalf said many lost ''highly constructed [shanties] with living areas and many layers for shelter from the rain. . . . It's not like it's just a tarp and a blanket." Ross said he is troubled by the suffering of the homeless, but said he also has a duty to protect his constituents. He blamed funding cuts for the squalor under the bridges of Boston, just out of the public eye. 'It's tragic that there aren't, primarily, state and federal resources to do what needs to be done. You're talking about the shutting down of methadone clinics and shelters," Ross said. ''This is a problem that comes right down to health and human services . . . especially for substance-abuse treatment." Residents near the Massachusetts Avenue bridge and Charlesgate East encampments also expressed sympathy for the homeless. Cathal Hickey, a bartender at the Crossroads Irish Pub on the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Beacon Street, said that many of the area's homeless drink at the bar on occasion. ''They were gentlemen," Hickey said. Chelsea Camp, a BU freshman living near the encampments, said she isn't bothered by the homeless living near student housing. 'They haven't been out in the street," she said. ''They stay with their stuff." Rebecca Marston, who works at Capitol Realty Group Inc. on Charles Street in Beacon Hill, said that recently the homeless problem has intensified to the point that she installed a security system to feel safe in the office during the day. Still, she said, she doesn't believe that the police should force people to leave the only home they know. ''Just to go and rattle them out of their homes is really cruel," Marston said. ''I'd like to know what they're doing for them." But State Police said their effort was well-intentioned and agreed with Ross that the situation had become hazardous. They also said they work with advocates for the homeless and medical advisers to ensure the population is given options. ''This is a proactive approach," Costine said. ''This wasn't just kicking people out. . . . We had a place for them to go." Suzanne Smalley can be reached at © Copyright 2005 Globe Newspaper Company. === FAIR USE ===
Reno considers special court for homeless
13 years ago August 31, 2005 Reno considers special court for homeless ASSOCIATED PRESS RENO, Nev. (AP) - The city of Reno is considering a new court program specifically for homeless people who have outstanding nonviolent arrest warrants. Officials say many homeless people who have outstanding misdemeanor warrants against them shun treatment or other social services programs because they fear arrest. The homeless court would give them an option to receive treatment for the afflictions that contribute to their homelessness under the supervision of the court. A judge could then dismiss their warrants upon successful completion of the program. Only nonviolent misdemeanor offenders would be eligible. Police officers and homeless services providers would steer people to it. "It just seems to me another way that we can serve the community and get some matters taken care of for people that sometimes we have a very difficult time in serving and handling their matters, for a lot of different reasons," Chief Municipal Judge James Van Winkle said. "Unresolved legal issues can ultimately preclude homeless people from accessing desperately needed services such as employment, housing, public assistance and treatment programs," the judge wrote in a report to the City Council. People who enter the voluntary program would not be arrested while complying with the mandates of the court. They also must participate in a treatment program for 30 days before they're admitted to the program to prove they're serious about getting help. The homeless court, based on a model created in San Diego, would be the first of its kind in Nevada. Anne Cory, president of the United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra, said the proposal follows the lead of Washoe County's drug and mental health courts in becoming vehicles of change instead of punishment. "It's really designed to go beyond the justice component and add the human element and make sure the person's needs are being met," she said. --- Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, -- ============ FAIR USE for keeping abreast of homelessness-related news,etc. ============
Homeless man falls into river, drowns
13 years ago Homeless man falls into river, drowns By Michael Hasch TRIBUNE-REVIEW Tuesday, August 23, 2005 Martin Boehm had hold of a friend's fingers Monday, but they slipped out of his hand and disappeared beneath the surface of the Allegheny River. When Edward Federoff saw what happened, he dove into the darkened waters near the Andy Warhol Bridge and grabbed John Scherrah but couldn't hold him long enough to bring him back to the surface and save his life. It took city River Rescue divers about 90 minutes to locate the body of the homeless man who was drinking vodka with Boehm and Federoff when he lost his balance on the walkway along Fort Duquesne Boulevard, Downtown, and fell backward into the water about 5:20 p.m. "I had hold of him. I'm losing my breath. I couldn't get him up. I couldn't get him up," said Federoff, crying as he watched the divers go about their work. "I tried! I tried! I had to let him go." Boehm, 40, fought back tears as he described his efforts to save Scherrah. "I grabbed one hand onto the pier and grabbed his fingers. He tried to grab my hand but he went under," Boehm said. "That's when my buddy Ed dove in." Boehm said he met Scherrah about two years ago in the Light of Life shelter on the North Side. Federoff said he and Scherrah met about a year ago when they both were doing odd jobs for a temporary job service on the North Side. "John was a super human being. He would give you the shirt off his back. He didn't have anything, but he would do anything to help anybody," Boehm said. Federoff, 41, described Scherrah as "a good friend. We were going to celebrate his 42nd birthday in a few days. Oh, my God. I can't believe this." Michael Hasch can be reached at or (412) 320-7820. ============== FAIR USE for studying homelessness-related events,etc. ==============
Numbers add up to provide picture of local homeless
13 years ago,0,1044151.story?coll=dp-news-local-wbg

Men, then children make up the largest group in the population, according to the count.


Published August 20, 2005

WILLIAMSBURG -- From January to May, 85 homeless people asked Williamsburg-area organizations for help finding a place to stay, according to a census released Friday by the Salvation Army's Williamsburg chapter.

That doesn't include women and children who may have stayed at the battered women's shelter Avalon, said Salvation Army Capt. Greg Shannon. He is working with United Way of Greater Williamsburg and Avalon to compare records of people requesting help, which may raise the total number of homeless people, he said.
Of the 85 people already counted, more than a third - 34 - were single males. Children age 18 and younger accounted for the next-highest number, 32. There were 19 adults with children and 17 single women who requested help, according to the census.

Other findings include:

Some people asked for help more than once; the 85 people made 108 requests.

The cause of homelessness for 50 of the 85 people was listed as "unknown" or "other;" However, 36 people said they were homeless due to financial problems, and only two people said they were homeless because they had lost their jobs.

Thirty-five people had last lived in James City County; 22 people had last lived in Williamsburg; four gave York County as the most recent area of residence; 26 were unknown.

Around half of the people were unemployed; 19 had jobs; The rest were children or their employment status was not known.

Twenty-four were age 19-30, which was the largest age group besides children.

53 were black; 37 were white; two were Hispanic; 16 were listed as having an unknown ethnicity.

Twenty-eight spent the previous night in a motel or hotel; 21 had stayed with family the previous night; eight had slept in the woods or on the street.

The census included numbers from the Salvation Army, United Way and other local agencies and organizations. Shannon said information is still being collected on homeless people in the area, and he saw a jump in the numbers of homeless people in June and July.

After finishing the count, the next step is to work with Williamsburg and James City County governments to make available more opportunities for permanent low-income housing, Shannon said.

When people come to the Salvation Army for help, the organization pays for them to stay at a hotel until they can find permanent housing. But some people who work in the area and don't have savings end up staying at the hotels for weeks - at a cost of $160-$240 a week, Shannon said.

"They spend all of their income on their hotel," he said. "And then they come back to us for services ... food, school clothes, supplies, medical issues. We've got to get them out of that scenario."

And with rent and housing prices climbing in the area, "We don't know what else to do to help them out. There's nothing else left that's available in our area that they can afford," Shannon said.

The median price of a home sold in the Williamsburg area in June was $319,721, according to the Virginia Association of Realtors.

Jodi Mincemoyer of the Williamsburg-area branch of the grass-roots Virginia Organizing Project says her group is starting a campaign for affordable housing in the area next month and will ask James City and Williamsburg to pay for a study of the area's need for affordable housing.

13 years ago

"This retreat does not mean the end of our battle, but it is the beginning," said a spokesman for the Hamas military wing, who identified himself only by his nom-de-geurre, Abu Obaideh.

"Our battle with the (Israeli) enemy is long and will continue," Abu Obaideh said, addressing a group of some 40 armed and masked Hamas members who had gathered in a square outside the Palestinian Parliament building.

Abbas: Gaza pullout is the result of Palestinian 'sacrifices'
On Friday, Abbas said Friday that Israel's pullout from Gaza resulted from Palestinian "sacrifices" and "patience," and he promised his people jobs, freedom of movement and new homes after the withdrawal was complete.

Speaking to a cheering crowd at the closed Gaza International Airport, Abbas said Palestinians were experiencing "historic days of joy" as they watched Israeli settlers being taken out of Gaza. His speech was frequently interrupted by cheers from about 700 supporters waving Palestinian flags and flying kites in their red, green, white and black colors.

Some carried pictures of relatives killed in the fighting with Israel.

Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem denied Abbas' remarks and claimed that Palestinian terror had nothing to do with Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

Abbas and the militant Hamas movement have been engaged in fierce competition over who will be credited with the Gaza pullout. Hamas said its attacks have driven Israel out, while Abbas hopes to gain political capital from eventual improvement in the daily life of Gazans as a result of the withdrawal.

Abbas was surrounded by security guards and the enthusiastic crowd surged toward the stage repeatedly.

On Friday, Abbas promised that the airport, whose runways were destroyed by Israel at the outbreak of fighting in 2000, would soon resume operation -- even though he has not yet reached agreement with Israel on security procedures and the airport cannot reopen without Israel's blessing.

Abbas also said the Palestinian Authority would rebuild all the homes demolished by Israel during the past five years of conflict. The airport is near the Rafah refugee camp, where thousands have been made homeless by such demolitions.

The Palestinian leader also promised that 5 percent of government jobs would go to the disabled, many of whom were wounded in fighting with Israel.

He also vowed to give the younger generation a say, addressing a widespread complaint that veterans in his ruling Fatah movement are refusing to step aside.

"The young people are the future of his country, and this is the time for young people to play a role in life and in the Palestinian Authority," he said.


Abbas calls on Israel to halt construction in West Bank settlements
13 years ago

  PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas attending Friday prayers outside his office in Gaza City. (AP)

Last update - 20:19 20/08/2005Abbas calls on Israel to halt construction in West Bank settlementsBy The Associated Press

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called Saturday for Israel to halt all construction in West Bank settlements. He also urged Israel to remove all military forces from areas seized since the outbreak of violence in 2000.

Earlier Saturday, Abbas signed a decree that would give his government control over all lands and assets left behind by Israeli troops and settlers.

The decree said no one can make personal use the real estate until ownership has been sorted out. Earlier in the day, Abbas announced that Palestinian parliamentary elections will be held on January 25th.

Also on Saturday, dozens of masked Hamas gunmen took over Gaza City's central square in a challenge to Abbas and announced they would not stop attacks on Israel, despite Israel's ongoing withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

The elections were to have been held in July, but were postponed indefinitely because of Israel's Gaza pullout. In setting a firm date, Abbas was making a conciliatory gesture to his political rival, Hamas, which is expected to make a strong showing in the vote.

"The parliamentary election will take place in all of the homeland districts on Wednesday, January 25, 2006," Abbas told a "model parliament" of high school students in Gaza City on Saturday.

The chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, had said last week that elections would be held January 21, based on a decision by the PLO Executive Committee. At the time, Erekat said the announcement was to be made a few days later in a presidential decree.

However, officials went back to the calendar and changed the date, in part because of a major Muslim holiday and the pilgrimage to Mecca during that period, Erekat said.

On Saturday, several dozen Hamas gunmen took over Gaza's central square and closed all entrances to it. Police cruisers approached, but did not interfere as the gunmen announced they would not lay down their arms.

"This retreat does not mean the end of our battle, but it is the beginning," said a spokesman for the Hamas military wing, who identi

13 years ago
Help from HUD

A dozen programs nationwide received federal grants this week to help the chronically homeless. Four of them are in Northern California.

Contra Costa County

Program: Project Coming Home

Grant: nearly $1 million

San Francisco

Program: Direct Access to Housing

Grant: $988,458

San Jose

Program: Off the Streets

Grant: $998,831

Santa Cruz

Program: Meaningful Answers to Chronic Homelessness

Grant: $706,773

E-mail Jim Zamora at

U.S. grants to help homeless
13 years ago

4 local organizations receive U.S. grants to help homeless

Jim Herron Zamora, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, August 20, 2005


Ron Sutherland was sleeping under a bridge in San Pablo last year when he met an outreach worker who offered him a new start.

"I'd been homeless for about eight years and drinking pretty steady the whole time -- and all the sudden I got a chance to change," the 52-year-old said. "They helped me get sober. They helped me get treatment, and then they got me an apartment."

Sutherland is among the 51 people in Project Coming Home of Contra Costa County, a program designed to get homeless alcoholics off the streets by offering a permanent home and services to foster independence. The goal is to take the "hardest to house, hardest to serve" among the homeless and put them in a situation where they will succeed, said Contra Costa Housing Services Homeless Coordinator Cynthia Belon.

The program got a big boost Thursday when the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded it a grant of nearly $1 million to serve 40 more people. Project Coming Home, which serves clients from across the county, is one of 12 programs nationwide to receive the grant.

"One by one, we will offer a new life for those whose only life has been a life on the streets," Belon said.

Participants must have been homeless for at least a year and suffering from alcoholism at least that long. There are an estimated 4,600 homeless people in Contra Costa County, and about 80 percent are believed to be alcoholics.

The reason for the HUD program is the belief such grants save money in the long run because of the costs that long-term homeless alcoholics incur as they land in jail and hospital emergency rooms.

"This investment will help prevent chronically homeless individuals from experiencing the continuous cycle of incarceration, emergency room visits and short-term shelter habitation," said Richard Rainey, HUD's regional director for Northern California.

Other grants awarded in Northern California include San Francisco's Direct Access to Housing program, which will receive $988,458; Off the Streets in San Jose, which will receive $998,831; and $706,773 given to Meaningful Answers to Chronic Homelessness in Santa Cruz.

Belon and the others noted that Project Coming Home represents an evolution in homeless care. In the 1980s and 1990s, most agencies focused on providing food and emergency shelter, not long-term counseling and housing.

"We were managing homelessness, but we weren't ending it," Belon said.

Belon said the change, similar to those in San Francisco and elsewhere, came from "listening to our clients."

"The idea is for all of us experts to put aside what we think is best and just listen to the clients we serve," Belon said. "They always tell us their No. 1 concern is permanent housing. Once we provide that, we can work on their other problems."

Sutherland had been trying for years to sober up, but it didn't come until he entered this program. The defining moment came when he graduated from a rehabilitation program and got the keys to an apartment in Martinez.

"I walked around the apartment and held the keys, and I just couldn't believe this was for me," he said. "I learned the meaning of joy again. I'm still on a honeymoon with my apartment even though it's been a year."


City finds Goodwill a bad idea, denies permit
13 years ago

Stefanie Frith  The Desert Sun   August 20, 2005

They are married, hold jobs, are often tourists seeking treasures or attorneys driving Mercedes who just happen to want a good deal.

But Palm Springs officials weren't so sure.

Despite research that shows people who shop at Goodwill stores aren't necessarily on the street, allowing a thrift store next to fine-foods market Jensen's and across the street from a park that attracts the homeless wasn't the fit they were looking for, they said.

After several months of discussions between Goodwill and city planners, last week the Palm Springs Planning Commission denied a permit that would have allowed for an 11,000-square-foot Goodwill retail store at 150 S. Sunrise Way.

"There are homeless around there, and there was some discussion that there could be a new shopping center across the street, and they (the city) didn't want to lower any standards in that particular area," said Norm Canchola, interim director of planning services.

He said commission members also didn't see enough space behind the store where such donated items as couches and refrigerators could be dropped off.

Zoning issues

Technically, a thrift store or charitable business is not allowed in that zone to begin with, said Canchola. When Goodwill first proposed the idea, it was approved by the Planning Commission and sent to the City Council.

Council members then found the location's zoning codes do not allow for a store like Goodwill, and the proposal was sent back to the Planning Commission, where it was denied Aug. 10.

But because anyone can apply to put a business or residential dwelling anywhere in the city, Goodwill took its chances that the city would approve the location anyway, Canchola said.

Goodwill Industries of Southern California president and chief executive officer Doug Barr said Friday that the city does not understand the nonprofit's clientele and operated under the pretense that Goodwill stores attract the homeless.

More than 50 percent of customers have attended or graduated from college, 51 percent are employed full time and 74 percent are Caucasian, he said.

"We chose Palm Springs because it is an area that matched our demographics," said Barr, adding Palm Springs used to have a Goodwill store on Palm Canyon Drive. That location is in a zone that allows thrift stores.

Public perception

People still think Goodwill stores are cramped, dirty and smell of old, musty clothing, said Barr.

"Stores are higher-end now," he said. "They look and feel more like a Ross or Marshall's."

For example, at the Goodwill store in Cathedral City, shoppers find organized racks full of suits, dresses, hats and household items, and customers often are in business attire.

"I was heartbroken when I found out about Palm Springs (not getting a Goodwill)," said store manager Melinda Reub. "Customers had kept asking me when it was going to open."

Reub said she has never had a problem with homeless people in her store, and many customers are tourists looking for unique items.

"People think we have a soup kitchen in the back," said Reub. "But even if we get a homeless person in here asking for a job or shoes, we turn them away."

In June, the city received a letter from Jensen's stating its opposition to having Goodwill as a neighbor. David Yerks, owner of David Andrew Salon, said he was glad Goodwill wouldn't be making an appearance.

"It's not that I am against Goodwill," said Yerks. "Across the street would have been fine."


13 years ago


Mysore, Aug. 20 (DN)- The philanthropic initiative taken up by the Mysore Citizens Forum (MCF) to construct houses for the people who were rendered homeless after the deadly tsunami waves lashed Mudaliarkuppam village in Villupuram district, Tamil Nadu in December last, got underway yesterday when Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji performed Bhoomi puja for 97 houses to be built in the proposed Mysore Model Colony in the village.

In a simple function held at the village yesterday between 9 am and 10.30 am, Suttur Seer placed bricks on a sand pit and poured water on them as is the tradition there, thus giving a go-ahead for the ambitious rehabilitation project. The proposed 97 houses to be built within six months would cost Rs. 1.70 lakh each.

P.V. Giri, proprietor of Siddharta Group of Hotels, Rajendra, proprietor of Viceroy Hotel, R. Vasudevamurthy, President, Mahajana Education Society, five Rotarians from Moolki in Dakshina Kannada and five members from Bharath-Ikon were present on the occasion. About 300 villagers were also present.

Later, Suttur Seer participated in the Annual Day celebrations of the village school and distributed prizes to the children. Speaking on the occasion, he promised that the children of tsunami victims would be provided free education till PU-level in JSS Institutions.

'Once the Government earmarks the sites and provides water, power, roads and other infrastructure, the construction of houses would begin and the Forum has appointed a co-ordinator for the purpose,' Giri said.

Giri told Star of Mysore over phone yesterday that one Nataraj, a jeweller from Pondicherry, has promised to provide free water and electricity during construction and would also donate a fan to each house.

Kadiravan, who has been appointed as the Special Deputy Collector to oversee tsunami rehabilitation works, was also present on the occasion.

Giri claimed that the boats donated by the MCF had brought a considerable change in the lives of the fishermen in the village.

"The change is evident all over. The villagers are happy. They wear good clothes," he added.

Bus Stops Here cont
13 years ago
Federal law mandates educational rights for children and youths experiencing homelessness, which is defined as the lack of fixed, regular and adequate housing. The protections extend to children who live in cars, parks, shelters, motels or who are awaiting foster care placement, according to the state Department of Education.
The number of homeless students reflect the area's low-cost housing shortage, the local economy and the presence of several shelters in the city, officials said.
The population includes individuals from infants to age 22, and not all of them are attending a city school, Ms. Larkin said.
"We're trying to provide them with the same opportunities as a child who does have a home," said Karen Regan, supervisor of school nurses. "Until the economic picture changes, we're going to have homeless issues, and we need to deal with them."
One challenge educating homeless children poses is their transient situation.
"They're going from school to school, town to town, and it's difficult to develop relationships and work with parents and the students," Mrs. Regan said.
The School Department provides transportation and makes sure homeless students get to participate in all programs, including after-school activities and tutoring, she said.
Transportation includes sending students out of town to avoid disrupting their education, as in the case of Ms. Hauter's children.
The children agree it was easier to finish the year in Rockland.
"You have more time to get used to the kids," Lori said.
When you show up in the middle of the year, Scott said, "you're the newbie."
The long ride to Rockland was not easy, though.
"We had to get up real early -- at five," Scott said.
Since she left her husband, Ms. Hauter said she has been bouncing from one place to another.
"I've been fighting for about seven years with homelessness."
The family does not fit the stereotype of homelessness.
Currently unemployed, Ms. Hauter said she is looking forward to working again. She used to run her own housekeeping business.
Her children have their own interests. Lori enjoys painting and drawing horses and other animals, and she likes to read, especially books about horses. Scott enjoys cartooning, playing the keyboard and sports.
Ms. Hauter and her children may soon have an apartment in the city to call home, thanks to Catholic Social Services.
"We're just looking to get somewhere and stay there," Ms. Hauter said. "I want a permanent and stable home. We have been waiting a long time."
She said she wants her children to be happy, to which Lori added: "That's only if we have a cat."
Students have the option to attend their "school of origin" under the law, and the two school districts involved split the cost. The school of origin could be in the town a family had their last permanent address, rather than the location of the previous shelter.
"The kids are going through enough without having their education disrupted, plus the friendships that are so key," said Dr. Lawrence Finnerty, assistant superintendent for special services in the city's schools.
The city receives grant money, but it does not cover all of the $150,000 in annual transportation costs, Dr. Finnerty said.
School counselors monitor homeless students to make sure they are not running into social or academic problems, he said.
The city's schools also distribute school supplies and clothing donated by charities. When school bus drivers see children going without jackets and hats in the winter, they contact Mrs. Regan so she can supply the clothing, she said.
Sometimes a student can become homeless overnight, for example, if a family is evicted or burned out of its house.
"Our main goal is to make sure those kid
The Bus stops here
13 years ago

SouthCoast schools reach out to homeless children
By BRIAN BOYD, Standard-Times staff writer

Lori draws in a sketchpad while her mother, Anne Hauter, looks on.

hen Anne Hauter moved to a New Bedford family shelter in May, she did not want to pull her children out of Rockland's schools so close to the end of the school year.
Ms. Hauter, who left an abusive husband and has been without a stable address, said she did not want her children, Lori, 13, and Scott, 12, to start at a New Bedford school with only weeks left in the academic year.
"It was a major thing to me," said Ms. Hauter, 38, who is living with her children at Harbour House on North Front Street. "I wanted them to at least finish school where they were at."
However, thanks to services available to homeless children, Lori and Scott spent two hours and 20 minutes riding to and from Rockland each day in a van, the cost split between Rockland and New Bedford.
Starting in the fall, they will be attending the city's Normandin Middle School.
Approximately 600 homeless children and teenagers were served by the city's public schools during the past school year, said Heather Larkin, director of guidance, health and pupil personal services.
The statistic is still rough, but shows an increase over the 542 homeless students served during the 2003-04 year. Changes in eligibility partially explain the increase, school officials said.


Rewards doubled in homeless slayings
13 years ago Story last updated at 11:12 PM on Aug. 19, 2005 Rewards doubled in homeless slayings Rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the recent killings of two homeless people in Athens have been doubled. On Friday, Athens-Clarke police announced Gov. Sonny Perdue authorized a reward of $1,000 in each case, in addition to the $1,000 reward already offered in each case. The bodies of both victims were found Aug. 8, about a half mile from each other. Andy Lee Lyles, 49, was found bludgeoned to death in his dwelling in Tent City, a homeless encampment north of Lexington Road and between Winterville Road and the Athens Perimeter. The body of Betty Anne Collins, 54, was found in an abandoned house at 702 Branch St. Anyone with information on Lyles' killing is asked to contact Athens-Clarke police Detective Jerry Saulters at (706) 613-3337, extension 296, and information on Collins' killing can be given to Detective Chuck Ivey at (706) 613-3337, extension 337. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the Crime Stoppers confidential tip line at (706) 613-3342. Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Saturday, August 20, 2005 ============== FAIR USE for learning about hate crimes to homeless people,etc. ==============
Comment on article "Homeless Campers Spark Outrage"
13 years ago
Email your questions, comments, or suggestions to:
Homeless Campers Spark Outrage
13 years ago Homeless Campers Spark Outrage 8/18/2005 By Troy Kinsey/WCJB TV 20 News Residents of Northeast Gainesville's Duckpond neighborhood are inflamed over what they say has become a public nuisance: scores of homeless people camping nightly on the Alachua County Housing Authority's front porch. The office's headquarters is located in the D'Acosta House at 703 Northeast First Street, in the center of a historical community. Residents have complained of excessive noise and litter. "They're supposed to help the homeless and get them in homes and everything, but porches aren't homes, they're not safe places, they're not safe places for the neighborhood," said Michelle Reeves, president of the Duckpond Neighborhood Association. "They're coming into our porches, where we live, in the middle of the night, at 1 a.m., they're stealing things off our porches." No one at the Housing Authority could comment on the issue Thursday. The complaints were brought to a head earlier this week when two neighbors e-mailed the city commission with their complaints. The e-mails were forwarded to the Gainesville Police Department. "(Officers) have patrolled primarily from the city hall area up to the Northeast Eighth Avenue area, and they have come across some people who are sleeping and trespassing on private property, and they've dealt with those situations as they've come up," said Gainesville Police Lt. T.D. Welch. Neighbors are still calling for the Housing Authority to give police permission to arrest the homeless campers for trespassing, something directors haven't yet done. ================ Harmony- some questions- I notice that the reporter didn't even bother to ask the homeless campers WHY they were camping where they were- he didn't even try to get their side or point of view- why they felt they needed to camp there, for example... it's all expressed from the pissed-off neighbords point of view... not very fair, in my opinion... ================ FAIR USE for understanding the obstacles to people experiencing homelessness,etc. ================
Truck Runs Over Sleeping Homeless Man
13 years ago Truck Runs Over Sleeping Homeless Man Officer Surprised Man Didn't Wake Up After Truck Started POSTED: 2:55 pm CDT August 9, 2005 UPDATED: 5:38 pm CDT August 9, 2005 A man was found dead Tuesday after being run over by a gravel truck he was sleeping under, police said. The body of a black male about 40 years old was found in a truck lot around 7:30 a.m. Police are investigating why the man didn't wake up when the truck started. "You would think he'd wake up,'" said one officer. "Right now, we don't know if he was already dead or if the truck crushed him to death." The man had no identification and is believed to be homeless. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death. Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. ============ FAIR USE for learning about homelessness-related news and issues,etc. ============
Bias crimes on immigs fuels debate
13 years ago

A Long Island community has become a flash point in the national debate over illegal immigration, with Hispanics beaten, harassed and evicted in recent weeks.

For more than a decade, immigrants from Mexico or Central America have been drawn to Farmingville, in Suffolk County, by the prospect of jobs. Many stand on street corners in the area, waiting for contractors, landscapers and others to offer them a day's work at about $10 an hour. Then, at night, they go back to their illegally overcrowded single-family homes.

The immigrants, many of whom are believed to have crossed the border illegally, have been a source of tension among longtime residents since at least the late 1990s, but things have gotten worse this summer - so bad that the head of the Mexican Consulate in New York City said Farmingville was "clearly a red zone after the Arizona border" in the abuse of immigrants.

In late June, two men were charged with a hate crime for allegedly berating a Mexican woman and her husband as the couple backed their van out of a parking lot. Within weeks, two more suspects were arrested and accused of yelling racial epithets and throwing a beer bottle at a Hispanic day laborer.

The same day, four people demonstrating at a 7-Eleven in support of day laborers were arrested when they surrounded an anti-immigration protester's car and refused to let him out.

Police also are investigating an attack in nearby Patchogue on a 61-year-old Ecuadoran man. He was beaten by three men who supposedly asked if he had a green card.

The tension was ratcheted up in mid-June, when officials in the town of Brookhaven, which includes Farmingville, and Suffolk County police began evicting men from overcrowded houses, citing health and safety violations.

So far, at least six houses have been shut by authorities - leaving more than 100 men homeless, advocates said.

One immigrant advocate called it "ethnic cleansing."

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy responded, "Many local officials have punted, saying this is a federal issue and we can't do anything about it. Well, there are some things you can do: Crack down on those contractors, crack down on illegal housing and create a better relationship with immigration officials."

Arturo Sarukhan, head of the Mexican Consulate in Manhattan, agreed that Mexico needs to solve its economic problems so that its citizens do not leave for a better life in America. But he said officials on Long Island must realize that the day laborers are here to stay.

"At the end of the day, they may or may not like it, but it is the reality," he said.

Originally published on August 7, 2005


Aid group to bury princess who never was
13 years ago

Fri Aug 5,10:40 AM ET

KARACHI (Reuters) - After years of lying in cold storage, the mummified body of a young woman once thought to be an ancient Persian princess will be buried later this month by a Pakistani welfare group.

Found in Pakistan's southwestern city of Quetta in 2000, the body was at the center of an archaeological and diplomatic dispute for two years before scientists at Pakistan's Atomic Research Council pronounced it just 20 years old.

Iran swiftly withdrew claims on the mummy that some people believed had been stolen by grave robbers from burial grounds of the Sasani dynasty, which ruled ancient Persia between the Fourth and Eighth Centuries.

Touted as a major archaeological find until it was debunked, Pakistan's provincial governments of Baluchistan and Sindh had also squabbled over whose museum had first rights.

But when nobody wanted it, the Karachi-based Edhi Foundation, Pakistan's largest private social welfare organization took in the homeless corpse.

"It has been lying in our cold storage mortuary for the last three years," Rizwan Edhi, the trust's administrator, said Friday, adding that preserving the body had cost $8,000. "We will bury it later this month as no one is willing to claim it now."


Driver Hits and Kills a Homeless Woman
13 years ago Driver Hits and Kills a Homeless Woman Aug. 4, 2005 The driver of a truck hit and killed a homeless woman in a crosswalk this afternoon. Police say the woman was crossing the street near the 13th South off-ramp from I-15, when the truck slammed into her. The driver then hit two other vehicles stopped at a light. No one in those other cars was seriously hurt. Police say the driver was speeding. ================== FAIR USE for learning about homelessness-related news,etc. ==================
Building where massive blaze started was to be homeless shelter
13 years ago By WAYNE PARRY Associated Press Writer August 4, 2005, 3:08 PM EDT JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Investigators were trying to determine Thursday whether a fire that destroyed two buildings and damaged seven others was deliberately set in a structure slated to become a homeless shelter. Wednesday's blaze left 42 people homeless and injured 10 firefighters, one of whom remained hospitalized Thursday. Fire Director Armando Roman said a church group was building what was to become a homeless shelter in the residential neighborhood just north of the New Jersey Turnpike's Newark Bay extension. He said investigators were searching for any traces of accelerants such as gasoline or other petrochemical products that could have been used to ignite or spread the blaze, which quickly spread to neighboring buildings and also destroyed nine vehicles. He would not label the blaze suspicious, but added, "We always look at fires suspiciously until we determine the cause." Roman said there was no electric or gas service connected to the building that could have caused the blaze. But he said workmen might have been using welding torches there; several witnesses said they saw two men run from the building as the fire broke out. The blaze burned out of control for 2{ hours and sickened 10 firefighters, nine of whom suffered heat exhaustion on a day when temperatures were in the upper 90s. One suffered chest pains and was admitted for tests to a hospital, where he remained Thursday. Several of the firefighters also suffered ankle and leg injuries, Roman said. The blaze reached temperatures approaching 1500 degrees _ hot enough to spontaneously ignite structures across the street from where the fire began, Roman said. Two of the buildings were a total loss; seven others suffered lesser degrees of damage. Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc. ============== FAIR USE for learning about homelessness-related news,etc. ==============
Homeless News III
13 years ago
More allegations of wrongdoing against Springfield official By Adam Gorlick, Associated Press Writer | August 4, 2005 SPRINGFIELD, Mass. --New allegations of no-show jobs at a city homeless shelter surfaced Thursday as prosecutors moved to revoke the bail of a former city councilor who ran the shelter and is charged with extortion and witness tampering. Prosecutors want Francis Keough III taken into custody, charging that he recently contacted witnesses who are testifying against him before a grand jury. U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth Neiman allowed a request by Keough's lawyer, Jack St. Clair, to put the issue off until next Thursday. St. Clair said he just learned of the new allegations, and needed more time to prepare an argument. Meanwhile, Keough was ordered held at the Franklin County House of Correction. An affidavit revealing new accusations in the no-show job scheme was made public earlier in the day. In the filing, FBI agent Clifford Hedges says Keough told two employees of Friends of the Homeless -- identified as Witness D and Witness E -- to submit time sheets showing they worked more shifts than they actually did between January and March 2000. "Witness D stated that he did not show up for work at all for approximately one month during that time frame, yet still received a paycheck for four shifts per week," the affidavit says. "Witness D stated that Keough did this because he and Witness E were suffering financial problems at the time." Keough is charged with extortion, witness tampering, lying to investigators and obstructing justice, but he has not been formally charged with giving out no-show jobs. "He denies all the allegations," St. Clair said. The affidavit also says Keough's wife contacted witnesses earlier this week who were called to testify against her husband before a grand jury, asking them to come to the couple's home. While the witnesses were at the house, Keough talked to them about his case, according to the affidavit. Those allegations violate the terms of Keough's release that were set late last month after he pleaded innocent to witness tampering charges. On July 29, Keough was charged with trying to pressure some witnesses to lie to the grand jury. According to an indictment, Keough wanted them to tell the panel that they were homeless at the time they began receiving apartment rental vouchers from a federal- and state-funded program. Prosecutors say those people handed their vouchers to Keough. In January, Keough pleaded innocent to a single count of extortion. In that case, officials allege he received about $30,000 worth of free labor and materials at his Charlestown, R.I., vacation home from the Ware Group, a construction company that was also building a shelter for homeless women that he oversaw as director of the Worthington House Homeless Shelter. And in an offshoot of the federal probe, Keough has also been accused -- but not criminally charged -- of abusing an agreement he had with Hampden Sheriff Michael Ashe that allowed inmates to do maintenance work for Friends of the Homeless, the organization that runs Worthington House. Ashe has said Keough used the inmates to do work on his own properties. Keough was hired to run the homeless shelter in 1994, a year after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor tax evasion charge while in his fifth and final term on the city council. He was fired in June. © Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company ============== FAIR USE for learning about homelessness-related news,etc. ==============

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