In comparison with most other places in the world ,Australia included, New Zealand does not seem to have as pressing a problem with homelessness. Granted, there ARE some homeless. I will have to talk directly with some advocates and groups there to get more of a complete picture. Here are some links that John recommended: http://www.tenancyservices.govt.nz/situation.html and http://www.wellington.govt.nz/plans/policies/homelessness/index.html
6,000 Families Face Eviction DEMOLITION IN MARIKINA 6,000 families face eviction Updated 10:45pm (Mla time) Sept 20, 2004 By Luige del Puerto Inquirer News Service Editor's Note: Published on page A15 of the September 21, 2004 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer RESETTLEMENT-a monumental task in Metro Manila-has been largely achieved in the city of Marikina. It is a major reason why this former Rizal town is today a bustling and vibrant city. Recent developments, however, threaten this achievement. About 6,000 to 10,000 families in the Tumana District, one of the city's largest resettlement sites, face eviction after the courts ruled with finality in favor of the land's original owners, documents obtained by the Inquirer show. The demolition order by Judge Liwliwa Hidalgo-Bucu dated Aug. 12, 2004, concluded a long legal battle between the city and Edgewater Realty Development Inc. City officials and experts, however, say a demolition is unlikely. They said the court ruling might force the city to settle with Edgewater, which may agree to seek a compromise since, in theory, it could not afford to "fight City Hall." 'No demolition' Marci Teodoro, acting chief of the Marikina Settlement Office, Print this story Send this story Write the editor View other stories said, "I don't think it (demolition) would happen at all." Teodoro said that negotiations for a settlement were in the works long before the handing down of the court decision. Edgewater accused the city of breaching the memorandum of agreement (MOA) it entered with the realty firm in 1994, and consequently sued the city. Under the agreement, the city would resettle its squatter population in Tumana, which is around 38 hectares. In return, the city acts as the originator-tasked to identify the residents, develop the area and facilitate the payment of the land. The project was supposed to be entered into the Community Mortgage Program. In 1997, Judge Justo M. Sultan said the city had not kept its end of the bargain. The names and number of families relocated in the area were not properly documented. No list or inventory of the sites or location of each family was made, according to the judge. "More importantly," Sultan said, "the plaintiff's right to the property was grossly violated in the process, for the defendant has in effect appropriated said property without due compensation." Now squatters The judge then rescinded the MOA, which turned residents in Tumana into squatters. He then ordered the removal of the structures in district. Appeals by the city in higher courts were dismissed one after the other. In 1998, the Supreme Court affirmed a Court of Appeals decision, and denied the city's motion for reconsideration with finality. (continued next post)
On Aug. 27, 2004, Judge Alice Gutierrez of Marikina issued a writ of execution of the court's earlier decision. She reaffirms the order for the city to pay Edgewater a monthly rental of around P1.5 million since April 1994. The city was also directed to compensate the realty firm with P65 million for the use of Farmers 1, the area's main road. If the city cannot pay the judgment amount, then the Court Sheriff is tasked to levy the goods and properties of the city. ============================ Fair Use Notice This message may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not specifically been authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific, religious, spiritual, and social justice issues. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for nonprofit educational and research purposes, and in the hope that more people will awaken and begin to think for themselves, as is so sorely needed in these times. For more information on fair use, please go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes of your own which go beyond "fair use," we suggest that you obtain permission from the copyright owner." ========================
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3679726.stm Homelessness among ethnic minorities in England is growing at more than double the overall rate, a report has revealed. The report by the charity Shelter found black people were the most over-represented group. Black homelessness has grown by 89% since 1977 compared with a general increase of 34%. Shelter is calling on the government to prioritise tackling ethnic minority homelessness. Its director Adam Sampson said the situation was having an immensely damaging effect on ethnic minority communities. "For children who are already at serious risk of disadvantage, bad housing can have a devastating effect on their education, health and future prospects. "More affordable housing is desperately needed, particularly family sized homes. This would help reduce the large numbers of ethnic minority households living in unfit, emergency and overcrowded conditions," he said. 'Hidden homelessness' In total 30,500 ethnic minority households were officially registered as homeless with English local authorities during 2003/04. They accounted for 20% of the total number of homeless people in England compared to an ethnic minority presence of 7% in the UK's population. More than 7,000 of homeless households in 2003/04 were Asian, and those of Bangladeshi descent were particularly likely to suffer 'hidden' homelessness due to over-crowding, the report said. The authors suggests there are a number of factors which make black and Asian people more susceptible to become homeless than white people. They include larger family sizes, unemployment, discrimination, racial harassment and lower than average incomes. An increase in asylum applications and a recent change in homelessness legislation may also have contributed to the sharp increase, the study concluded. ===================== Fair Use Notice This message may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not specifically been authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific, religious, spiritual, and social justice issues. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for nonprofit educational and research purposes, and in the hope that more people will awaken and begin to think for themselves, as is so sorely needed in these times. For more information on fair use, please go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes of your own which go beyond "fair use," we suggest that you obtain permission from the copyright owner." ==============================
wow. so much info..would you consider putting all of this into a book.. I have never read such comphrensive studies of homelessness around the world.
It opens my 'minds eye' as well as regular ones.
I can visualize the world homeless problem much much easier just reading all you posted above.
Like I mentioned in the other group, if we make close studies of why the countries without as much problem are like that, making it simple for all to learn from, changes would come.
It's offering the 'whole picture' of; (using for example )higher taxes such as in the country you reside in.
If long range costs (since most people are extremely left brained and want rational money answers) of a population with extreme, or even moderate homless problems were put next to the countries that have less homeless persons, it would help others see that health, crime, and all the effects of intense poverty are much more expensive than paying extra taxes to prevent the problems in the first place.
And it would empower people like myself who think humanitarian terms with arguments when I am trying to convince the 'money people'!
So Harmony write a book tonite and let me have it in my hands next week!!!!!
I see things in the 'whole' and thus you breaking down the problem by country is like drinking a fine wine!!!
the more we learn from others that are doing well, the faster people will choose leaders to implement the steps needed to change the situation in their country..
Am I making any sense..?
yes, i will be the first to buy a book by you Harmony on this subject and it is also be my first ever attempt to study poverty and its effects in detail....
we are moving quickly to other planets and certainly we want to colonize them in more sane, humane and comfortable ways then we are presently doing in most countries on this planet!!
lets get the books out and learn learn learn!
you wrote:"wow. so much info..would you consider putting all of this into a book.. I have never read such comphrensive studies of homelessness around the world." Well, perhaps an online book! On a website! Downloadable, of course- and I'm glad that a global portrait is slowly beginning to emerge. Sometimes I feel as if I am only hacking away at it a bit at a time, because there are so many, many places on earth. As far as that goes, any one living in a particular country or place is welcome to contribute articles and links to articles on its homeless problem here in this forum. you wrote: "the more we learn from others that are doing well, the faster people will choose leaders to implement the steps needed to change the situation in their country.. Am I making any sense..?" Yes, that's certainly the goal! I also wish that Care2 would put a "clickto" page for the homeless problem. There are so many homes that need to be built, and how is it to be done? In harmony with nature and natural resources, or exploiting them (as is the usual trend). At any rate, I do appreciate the feedback and really feel encouraged! Harmony
http://makeashorterlink.com/?B2E633C59 By Gerardo Young and Lucas Guagnini published first in Clarin, with added content in World Press Review December, 2002 The poor, as everyone knows, are invisible when you speed past their homes on the highway. But when things are the other way around, and the poor get out on the road and set up roadblocks, people say, �Piqueteros, damn it!� They set fire to tires, stop traffic, and everything changes. Bety, Angel, Silvina, and Luis are piqueteros. Women and men with worn-out shoes. Homeless. Sometimes they use sticks or throw stones; sometimes they know why, and sometimes they have no idea. They go out and block the road. There, they might be shot and killed. Or not. They might return home, to a house with a tin roof and mud walls; or a new day might come. What do the piqueteros do when they are not demonstrating? What do Bety, Angel, Silvina, and Luis do after the smoke has cleared? For almost a month, Clarmn followed the three major piquetero organizations. We visited their neighborhoods, homes, gardens, and community soup kitchens. We listened at meetings, talked to their leaders, and traveled with them by train, bus, and, mostly, on foot. What we found was an organization that covers all of Greater Buenos Aires, is based on neighborhood social work, and has its own, sometimes strange rules. One which, despite its contradictions, is creating a new social network for the homeless, and a political strategy that does not rule out violence. Its strict internal organization is based on obligatory community work financed by the governments welfare plans and monthly payments that the piqueteros contribute to the organization. Tuesday, Aug. 13: A typical discussion in the piquetero movement on the dirt-floor patio of Bety Ruiz Dmaz, in Monte Chingolo. She is talking to Nicolas Lista, coordinator of the Anibal Versn organization. �The day that you get involved in politics, I leave,� threatens the woman, who has just given glasses of milk to 50 children. �But you are already in politics,� says Lista, trying to convince her. �Maybe, but the politics I like is this,� she says, looking at the floor. Like Bety, the great majority [of piqueteros] have no experience as activists and joined the movement out of hunger. She lost her house three years ago, has been without work for six, and her two children walk barefoot to the soup kitchen with its tin roof, two pots, clay stove, and table. Such �collective� experience dominates day-to-day life among the piqueteros. Most important for the organizations are the community kitchens, where children and parents are fed. But in addition there are libraries, gardens, help with school, nursing apprentices who provide vaccinations, and even clinical labs. (continued on next post)
Those who work in these places are the same people who, wearing masks or not, set up roadblocks or set bonfires to block access to the capital. The only money the piqueteros receive is the welfare payments they fight to get from the government. They are supposed to live off this 150 pesos (US$41) a month. And pay their monthly 3 peso quota to finance their organizations expenses including the leaders cell phones and buy food for the kitchens. They have to pledge to be at the action centers four hours per day, Monday to Friday. Here roll is called, and those who do not show up have their names taken off the welfare lists. The drill is always the same: A road is blocked, plans are made, poverty is shared. It does not matter which neighborhood is involved, or if the organization is the Corriente Clasista y Combativa (the biggest), or the Bloque Piquetero, or Anibal Versn, whose members included Darmo Santillan and Maximiliano Kosteki, murdered by the police on June 26 [on that day, police outside Buenos Aires clashed with rioting demonstrators demanding jobs and food, killing two people and injuring and arresting dozens more�WPR]. All the organizations are similar, unlike their leaders, who often argue. They have the same base: poor people who have nothing to lose. And all sprang from the same source: the events of June 20-26, 1996, in the small town of Cutral-Cs, when workers laid off by Yacimientos Petrolmferos Fiscales [the state oil entity] and their neighbors blocked National Route 22, a key road linking Neuquin province with Patagonia. Those days left their mark: The piqueteros were born. The roadblocks reached Greater Buenos Aires in two neighborhoods, Florencio Varela and La Matanza, which became known as �the capital of the piqueteros.� Their activities expanded, with more or less violence, as the economic crisis did: According to the state census agency, there are now 19 million poor Argentines. A study by the New Majority Studies Center says that in Buenos Aires province, there were 23 roadblocks in 1997. In 2002 so far, there have been 1,107 in the same area. The growth is throughout the country. In the first half of 1997, there were 77 roadblocks in the nation, and in the first half of this year, 1,609. In La Elvira, an ingenious oven made out of a 200-liter drum is used every morning to bake 80 kilograms of bread, which is sold for 1.20 pesos a kilo, versus 1.80 in the bakeries. With this money, the piqueteros buy flour from a wholesaler and feed 160 children from the 50 poorest families in the area. Angel Carrizo is in charge, his face blackened from the oven. He used to run errands for a mechanic, but his car hasn�t run for years for lack of spare parts. He is not just any activist: He has installed a stove kitchen in his patio. The stove is made of two old washing machines cut in half, with an opening for wood fuel. There is also a clothing bank and two sewing machines. (continued next post)
�The sewing machine was donated by a woman who made clothes at home. She did not have any work,� explains Msnica Bodeman, Carrizos wife. With the sewing machines they have created a clothing bank. Women sort clothing donated by neighbors, recycle it, and provide it to the needy for little or nothing: 50 cents for a sweater, 2 pesos for pants, etc. They turn rags into pillowcases and napkins. Piquetero reality: The garbage can is always empty. The houses �donated� by neighbors are action centers for all the movements. They are organized by neighborhood, with each center having a delegate and two sub-delegates. They make up the leadership for each organization. But not all are alike. The piqueteros in the Argentine Workers Center [an opposition labor organization] are the most top-down, with strong leaders such as Luis DElma and Juan Carlos Alderete. The most egalitarian is Anibal Versn, which has 15,000 piqueteros and a coordinating committee with rotating membership, but never fewer than 12-15 people. In the middle is the Bloque Piquetero, which is egalitarian but where the Partido Obrero (Workers Party) plays a major role. Division of labor is crucial for the functioning of each group. Members take care of security during roadblocks, man the soup kitchens and libraries, raise funds, ask local merchants to donate food. Committees are formed in the meetings. They gather to discuss things like pressure from the police and late welfare payments. Silvina is 19 and wanted to be an anthropologist. She enrolled at the University of La Plata but did not have enough money for the bus or for photocopies. She is one of the many would-be university students who end up with the piqueteros. Now Silvina works in Villa Argentina, in southern Greater Buenos Aires, in a community kitchen run by the Movimiento Teresa Rodrmguez (MTR), in the ruins of a factorybare brick walls, no roof, no windows. It is on a big lot, with an abandoned swimming pool. The place was used before by a gang of youths who hung out, robbed people, did drugs, and drank. One day the movement took over the place and planted its flag. When the gang came back, its members were told that the factory belonged to the MTR. If they wanted, they could join. The piqueteros tore down the unstable walls, cleaned up the lot, and pulled the weeds. The neighbors, who had been the gangs victims, started coming when the movement set up a soup kitchen. The piqueteros are considering reconditioning the pool and letting kids swim there next summer. They have set up a chicken house with a rooster and four or five hens. Piquetero reality: All the chickens are skinny. Silvina works in the literacy campaign, one of the hardest jobs in the piquetero movement. �It is harder to teach how to read than to study, its more responsibility,� she says. She still has a bullet in her leg from the repression on June 26. The doctors say they cant take it out. But it hurts. (continued next post)
La Fe, a neighborhood in Lanzs, does not exist. Or at least you can�t find it in the Filcar Guide. It used to be a giant vacant lot, but has been squatted by its neighbors, piece by piece, over the last seven years. One of them is Luis Salazar, 35, a robust man who spreads his arms wide as he explains: �In this neighborhood, eight out of every 10 people never eat breakfast.� What you see are houses made of scraps, some with brick walls, two or three with satellite TV dishes. Lots of barking dogs. The streets are not paved and the drains don�t work, so the standing water attracts dirt, rats, and disease. In La Fe, the Unemployed Workers Movement, part of Coordinadora Versn, has set up a brickyard. The yard makes up to 120 concrete blocks per day, but only if it has cement. The man who used to be in charge of the brickyard was Santillan, who was just 21 [when he was killed by police]. The piqueteros mourn his death, for there are few dedicated workers like him. �The movement is important because of the struggle. Look, Santillan was 21, and he could have given in to any of the vices of the young. But he did this,� says Luis. He does admit that 14- and 15-year-olds still do not join. They hang out on the corners, sitting on the scrap-metal pile that was once a car, drinking the worlds worst wine. This is the reality of the piqueteros: living with poverty on the streets and inside their homes. The struggle for bread, for health, for warmth. Faced with these struggles, they bring their bodies and sticks. With their roadblocks, they block highways and city streets. Behavior that is criticized as violent. But that Bety, Angel, Silvina, and Luis will defend to the death. =========== Fair Use Notice This message may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not specifically been authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific, religious, spiritual, and social justice issues. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for nonprofit educational and research purposes, and in the hope that more people will awaken and begin to think for themselves, as is so sorely needed in these times. For more information on fair use, please go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes of your own which go beyond "fair use," we suggest that you obtain permission from the copyright owner." ===========================
yeah maybe care2 would do a click to ...
the more information regarding poverty the better of any and all kinds.
as long as we have a voice and keep reminding others of what they dont want to see we are doing our part.
today while walking was approached four times in a few blocks to buy food for people
one is in wheelchair, one mentally challenged..neither drunk
nor seemingly on drugs..hungry...just hungry.
even while jogging on the track homeless people are digging thru the garbage cans..not for bottles and cans for money,
for food..well bottles and cans also but more and more who act like they are starving.
harmony im gonna keep putting it out there..people are hungry.
I haven't looked in for a couple of days - I agree with Joy! You are doing a wonderful job....now back to reading messages and going to the links...you've provided.
You are a real
..a real star
cute subject line ~ huh!!
Harmony does need to seek book writing, but is has to be a more like a periodical, newsprint... !
Definately some form of current information that can be distributed..lin Austin Texas there is the weekly rag of music festivities "keep austin weird" guide ... austinchronicle.com is liken unto a such paper that would accept articles of homeless.The homeless seem to congregate more in the central parts of most towns or cities (homeless-ness)...near where there are soup kitchens (gawd I want to write about those too...some are filthy some are very blessed).
HARMONY WE LOVE YOU GIRL
How cheerful and smiling your posts are! Thank you! (grinning over here) (((((huuuuuuuuuuuug))))) ================ (((JOY))) I had a thought- the next time you meet a homeless person, maybe you could tell them about our group and ask them if there's anything they want to say to us? That is, if you let them know there's a group of people online who would hear their message- who care- who would like to know their story and their situation. Just a thought. We could put their stories and/or messages in a folder. And if they wanted, I could start a website for them (for free, of course) with a page for each of them. only an idea- let me know how you feel; I know there's a lot on your plate and also that you are quite sensitive to suffering (I don't want you to burn out; I have to watch that with myself!!) ================ ((((JOHN))))) Thank you so much! It's a good feeling to know you're here And hopefully you know that your insight and perspective are needed and valued! ====================================== (((DIXIE))) "Harmony Does Homeless"- rotflmao!!! good one!! and, um, erm, reminds me of a certain notorious adult flick with "Debby" in the title and a certain Texas town And, hey! I think your idea of reviewing soup kitchens is a GREAT ONE. We could review soup kitchens and shelters and day centers- maybe even libraries (some of which are nicer to homeless folk than others)... offhand, nutritionally (as of 1998) I'd recommend the meals in San Luis Obispo, while DISSING the meals in Santa Cruz shelter (again, based on 1998), which were basically ALL STARCH- I'd recommend the public library in Aptos and completely DISS the San Luis Obispo public library- the librarian there had me in tears over simply wanting to see a monitor screen of a helpful link which my husband was looking at. RE newspapers and periodicals as a way of disseminating info and articles, good point. In fact, there are a number of StreetPapers and URL's that we oughtta post up here (for starters!) (((((hugs back)))))) you're a peach, Dixie!
Legal service for homeless a victory-now to win their trust (Sydney Morning Herald) (sorry, no workable URL- Harmony) "By Michael Pelly September 27, 2004 The law can be a homeless person's worst enemy. But the big end of town is helping to at least make it a fair fight. At five shelters across Sydney, blue-chip firms are giving advice on everything from housing to bankruptcy law and getting lessons in how the system can punish poverty. Launched in May, the Homeless Person's Legal Service has seen more than 150 people and acquired more than 50 ongoing clients. Bringing lawyers to the streets has reached those who will not go to community legal centres, says the service's co-ordinator, Emma Golledge. "Many of our clients have not seen a lawyer in years," she said. But she said it had been a two-way culture shock. "There is a lot of difference between the Martin Place end of town and the environment here. This has an element of real law - human law." A good part of the work has involved obtaining documents, lodging applications and navigating the bureaucratic maze. There have been small victories - keeping people in accommodation, righting unfair dismissals, locating family - 70 per cent of homeless men have children under 17 - and sorting out fines that have got out of control. "The way the system operates, it penalises poverty," Ms Golledge said. "They continually get fined, then there's offensive language, trespassing, false information to transit officers. With court and enforcement costs, it mounts up." Keeping in touch with the clients can be a problem. When the Herald visited the Wesley Mission's Edward Eager Lodge in Darlinghurst, two property lawyers from Allens Arthur Robinson were hoping to see a client with housing and employment-related issues. Harshane Kahagalle, 32, and Priya Sivakumaran, 27, had done their "homework" but accepted they might have to wait another week to deliver the news. The service operates for two hours a day at five rotating locations - four in the city and one at Parramatta. Ms Golledge tells the lawyers their hardest task will be winning trust. "They [the homeless] feel socially excluded all the time and the law often works against them." ====================== "Fair Usage" for purposes of Education on social issues, etc.
thats a great idea..giving a voice to the homeless
a real voice
ill definately give it some thought and figure out a way to do it if possible and time permits.
and knowing that their input might well be their last due to the inherent dangers of living on the streets (very very real) makes this a sacred project.
Sacred..that word sums up the homeless life. very very sacred. Frightened people accuse, blame, fear and shy from those most in need. But if they were to change their thinking into that of viewing their lives as divine, sacred and worthy of dignity and respect..perhaps one less homeless soul would die on a street.
Giving a voice is one of those ways to show the people eating out of garbage cans, dying before our eyes as human just like ourselves.
Yes, I'll definately try it.
Also I am would like to start a project with the names of the homeless that have died. A quilt (like the aids quilt), a traveling art shrine that could go from country to country, city to city, where each would add their dead and perhaps those that new them could add their rememberances.
we are given life to do great things i feel and one of the greatest in time is finding a way to share the lives of the silent 'saints in the making' (they have to remain silent right, or the police put them in jail, so they are taught to be far far far less than even a dog on the street who is allowed to bark) who have died alone, suffering, homeless and hungry.
I realize I am coming from the spiritual/feeling aspect of the homeless plight and maybe I dont really fit in this group, yet i am extremely aware that laws needed is the first step in changing their lives..
It all works together this is true. Spirituality to me is seeing each living being, thing, all of life as a sacred divine gift. I do.
Anyways I dont have much knowledge in the legalities of all this but I hope we can combine the two aspects, legal, spiritual and plant seeds that will grow long after we are gone.
Dear wonderful Joy, you may wonder if you fit in with this group, and I do hear you, but I just want to say that your viewpoint of the spiritual aspect is every bit as needed as all the others! We need the compassion and love coming from the spiritual plane, otherwise works on the practical plane will be "off balance". We need work on the physical plane to carry out our spiritual impulses to serve our fellow humans, hence "Faith without works is dead".
http://makeashorterlink.com/?T22242B79 Emil Danielyan Despite nearly a decade of economic growth, including a double-digit rate last year, living standards have not improved in Armenia. Instead, a highly uneven distribution of wealth has widened the gap between the rich and poor. Poverty still affects about half of the country's population. Its most extreme manifestation, homelessness, was virtually nonexistent in the past but can now be seen on the streets of Yerevan. Yerevan, 7 October 2004 (RFE/RL) -- For a man who has been homeless for almost 15 years, Vartan is remarkably health-conscious. Every morning he jogs in a park and eats two raw eggs afterward. That, says the 41-year-old university graduate, is American movie icon Arnold Schwarzenegger's recipe for fitness and good health: "I haven't taken any medicine for 15 years. No drugs at all." This statement seems more of a rebuke to Armenia's government than bravado. Vartan's sole contact with the government is periodical encounters with police officers who he says don't like to see him and his friends living on the street: "I sold my apartment, divorced my wife, and now live on the street. But they must somehow take care of me. Instead they come and beat me up. We are not their slaves, are we?" Long-term homelessness has dimmed the sense of time for Vartan's Ukrainian-born girlfriend, Tatyana. She is not sure how old she is. "I must be at least 46," Tatyana says, smiling. The couple had accommodation only last winter when they rented a room with proceeds from the collection of empty bottles and scrap metal. Their usual "workplace" is the area around a small agricultural market in Yerevan's northern Arabkir District. Traders there give them fruit, vegetables, and even meat. Homeless people like Vartan and Tatyana form the most underprivileged class of Armenians still reeling from the collapse of the Soviet command economy. Their number may not be large given the scale of poverty in the country. But it seems to have increased in recent years despite higher economic growth, which has seemingly done more to increase income disparities than to reduce poverty. Eleonora Manandian is the chairwoman of New Armenia. The youth organization engages in social work mainly by helping to get children begging in the streets back to school. She warns that prolonged poverty is eroding Armenians' traditionally strong family bonds -- ties that have helped cushion post-Soviet hardship: "You may not see many homeless people on the streets. But the number of marginalized people keeps growing because social bonds are increasingly weakening. That is, people stop feeling [like] citizens -- full-fledged members of the society. And there will come a moment when they find themselves outside that society." (continued next post)
The social polarization is particularly eye-catching in Yerevan. Its glitzy center filled with restaurants and luxury cars increasingly contrasts with its rundown suburbs. Real estate prices downtown have skyrocketed since 2001, fueling a housing construction boom -- another indication of increased wealth. Yet enormous contrasts can be found even here. Alla, a 47-year-old single woman, has lived in the dry fountain at a public park flanked by apartment blocks for the past four years. She broke a hip joint last winter and can hardly walk: "How do you think I manage to get by? It's neighbors that support me. They bring me water and food. They are nice to me." Alla lost most of her relatives in a catastrophic 1988 earthquake in northern Armenian. She says not a single government official has ever visited or offered her any assistance. In fact, neither Armenia's Ministry of Social Affairs nor any other government agency has programs specifically for the country's homeless. According to government statistics, the proportion of the population living below the official poverty line declined from almost 50 percent to 43 percent last year due to an almost 14 percent surge in Armenia's Gross Domestic Product. The government says the robust growth continued into the first half of this year. However, little suggests that it has improved the lot of the 13 percent of Armenians officially considered to be living in "extreme poverty." It is still not clear how they might benefit from a government poverty-reduction program launched a year ago with the blessing of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The program seeks to bring the poverty rate to 19 percent by 2015 through job creation and increased public spending. The government plans to spend $6 million in 2006 to provide families lacking adequate housing with new homes. Sources in the Western donor community say the modest scheme has been recently narrowed to only Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan. This is bad news for thousands of people huddling in former factory hostels that lack basic amenities, such as running water and toilets. Many of them fit into the Western definition of homelessness. This is particularly true for the dozens of poor families squatting in a ramshackle buildings in the southern outskirts of Yerevan. Once dotted with big factories, the area is now an industrial graveyard. Last year, people started moving into the three-story building, which once housed a factory school. (continued next post)
Armenuhi Boyajian, a single mother, moved in with her four children this summer. The oldest of her kids, a 15-year-old boy, dropped out of school three years ago and is now the family's main bread-winner due to his mother's poor health. Nor are his three sisters attending school due to their failure to submit official health certificates. Lying in bed and grimacing in pain, Boyajian says she can't afford to pay for the certificates: "They want 3,000 drams ($6) for that. When I tell them that I'm a single mother they say that it mattered only in Communist times." Susanna Boyakhchian, a hefty middle-aged woman, is slowly repairing the building's former toilet and is preparing to move in with her disabled son and his wife. They had owned a decent apartment that was confiscated in the late 1990s when he was imprisoned for a minor crime that his mother says he never committed. The family currently rents a room in a kindergarten. Boyakhchian, who sells second-hand clothing in a market, seethes with anger when asked what her government can do for them: "I don't expect anything from this state because this state has ruined my life. I have been left on the street because of this state." =========== FAIR USE for educational purposes; to understand issues revolving around civil rights, liberties, social and economic justice, etc.
THOSE WHO CANNOT RETURN Homeless and hopeless in Sudan The Beni Amir nomads used to live in an area straddling the border between Ethiopia and Sudan. They fled the war in Ethiopia and took refuge in Sudan. But now they find themselves in no man’s land, no longer entitled to aid because they have lost their refugee status and unwelcome at home because they backed the wrong side in the war of independence. By Fabienne Rose Emilie Le Houérou "THEY can go - they’re no longer refugees," said an aid worker dismissively of Ethiopians and Eritreans in Sudan, one of the world’s poorest countries and currently host to 904,000 refugees (1). The combined effects of drought and civil war, which resumed in 1983 (2), have sapped Sudan’s fragile economy. The recent boom in oil prices has only partly benefited a country that is exhausted by crises and full of migrants, with foreign refugees as well as people displaced within Sudan. They are a huge problem for Sudan, and for international aid organisations. Two thirds of the refugees are concentrated in the east, in Kassala province, on the frontier between Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea: 120,000 refugees live in camps (3) and 560,000 outside, freely dispersed in and around urban areas. Eight out of 10 are Habash (Abyssinians), an old word for the inhabitants of the high plateaux of Ethiopia. But there are other forced migrants from Chad and Congo. The displaced persons come from the west (Darfur and Kordofan) and south of Sudan, which has been at war since 1983 (4). The 1.8 million victims of the civil war (5), have flocked to the outskirts of Khartoum, Khartoum North and Omdurman. Displaced persons account for almost half of the population of Khartoum and suburbs. They are the new beneficiaries of the development programmes set up by NGOs. Yet for the past two years the Sudanese authorities have been pressing the Habash from Ethiopia and Eritrea to leave. International protection for refugees is governed by regulations. The Geneva Convention stipulates persons will lose their refugee status if the conditions that caused their initial flight disappear. The profound political change in Ethiopia in 1991 (with the downfall of the dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam) justified the application of this provision, as did Eritrea’s independence (unofficially in 1991, officially in 1994). As far as the United Nations is concerned, the Habash are no longer refugees. (continued next post)
After the overthrow of Mengistu, Sudan, Ethiopia and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) agreed to schedule the return of refugees. Toyota pickup trucks with loudspeakers drove round districts with a large Ethiopian population promoting the benefits of repatriation. But the terrified refugees refused to sign up. In March 2001 the clumsy pressure exerted by UNHCR provoked a hunger strike in Khartoum. "Funding the journey home costs much less than feeding refugees for years. Refugees cost $130m in 10 years," explains a World Food Programme official. "But we’re not forcing anyone to leave. We’re just stopping aid, that’s all." That means ending weekly deliveries of flour, sugar, milk, grain and cutting off the water supply. It is a clean up or clear out policy to force those that have stayed behind to leave. The authorities shut down the camps and then they disinfect the area. In practice the clean-up part of the policy has not been implemented, but international organisations have been quick to cut off the water supply. A disenchanted NGO head in Khartoum says: "They are closing refugee camps and opening others for displaced persons. But sometimes they are side by side. Sometimes they actually occupy the same refurbished land. In Kassala the UNHCR cut the water supply to a camp, but there were still several hundred people there who had refused repatriation and were determined to stay. A UNHCR official even asked to have the camp cleaned. I replied that it wasn’t our role and that we were a humanitarian organisation." There is no legal framework for the abandoned camps and their statusless occupants in the dusty desert of northeast Sudan. The old camp at Um Gulsa, near the Eritrean border is typical. In December 2001 the UNHCR decided to close it, along with two others, Laffa and New Shagarab. The Sudanese say 8,000 people are slowly dying in the camps. The hospital staff has gone, the water pump has been dismantled and the school closed. There is an air of abandon, the camp is a collection of shacks of scrap material. Several thousand Eritreans are holding out despite the lack of water. Most belong to the Beni Amir nomadic group that used to occupy the area on either side of the border between Sudan and Eritrea. The founders of the Muslim League, the first party in Eritrea to demand independence, were Beni Amir. No reliable record has been kept of the number who have died since the camps closed in 2001. Asked why they do not want to move the survivors reply: "Because we are Beni Amir we do not want to leave." But the aid organisations refuse to make allowance for their origins. "If we start enforcing ethnic criteria, we’ll never finish," they say. Their approach covers political situations associated with refugee status but disregards the Beni Amir’s unusual position. (continued next post)
Yet 80% of the Kassala refugees are from Eritrea and two thirds of those are Beni Amir, which means their situation has a political side too. The tribe is largely supported by the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) (6). That is confirmed by interviews in the camps: all the men say they belong to the ELF, which was defeated by a rival group, the Eritrean Popular Liberation Front, currently in power in Asmara. As so often, defeat has turned the members of an ethnic group into refugees and it is not clear how they will be able to rejoin Eritrean society. The people of Um Gulsa are not refugees, but they are social outcasts. A UNHCR official in Asmara says: "Refugees are free to choose where they settle. They are not interned in Eritrea." He maintains that the real problems concern the cultural reintegration of people who have picked up Sudanese attitudes and habits. The refugees in the camps see things differently. It is hard for the Beni Amir to settle again, because their land has been confiscated and they are victims of segregation. Their successful reintegration is the most important political and social challenge facing President Isaias Afwerki’s government in Eritrea. Afwerki is worried about the influence of Sudan and of Islamist groups on Beni Amir communities in the camps, where Islamist NGOs hostile to his government are supposedly at work. This complicates the prospects of the Beni Amir returning to Eritrea. But most of the people in the Um Gulsa camp are nomads, or women and children, with little interest in politics. They are not a traditional target for Islamists, who recruit mainly among the middle classes (shopkeepers and traders); it is only in comfortable camps, where there is plenty to eat, that attitudes are favourable to Islamists. At Wadi Sherifa, a vast, well organised camp, the market offers a range and quality of produce that rivals Khartoum. (Kassala province, well known for its market gardens, produces the best fruit in Sudan.) Some of the shacks in Wadi Sherifa have parabolic TV antennas and the refugees tune in to al-Jazeera. Many have well paid jobs. These two camps - one opulent and the other impoverished - offer a striking contrast on the same semi-desert at the foot of the Kassala mountains. UNHCR has a $24m budget for the Eritrean refugee repatriation programme; its overall budget for Eritrea is only $28m. The repatriation policy is a priority, and with reason. By the end of 2004 it aims to bring 160,000 people home. The UN gives each repatriate a five-acre plot of land and $200 to build a hut. UNHCR and the Eritrean Relief and Refugee Commission have convinced most of the Tigrinya Christians from the high plateaux to leave Sudan. But support for the ELF by Muslim Beni Amir from the lowlands makes it harder to justify across the board repatriation, even if community leaders have agreed to return to Eritrea. (continued next post)
In Cairo in November 2001, a Beni Amir leader, who was one of the ELF’s founding members, explained that he supported the repat riation policy. Exile in Sudan had deprived the tribe of its roots and status in Eritrean society. It was time for the Beni Amir to regain their former position in Eritrea, physically and politically. But this disregards the situation in the field and the concerns of people in the camps. To make matters worse the information campaign by aid organisations has been clumsy. The idea that they might soon be returning home has rekindled memories of the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea and of famines. The older generation is reluctant to leave Sudan, though young people have flocked to sign up for the programme. UN repatriation experts have never taken such psychological factors into account. UNHCR argues the case for withdrawal of refugee status on rational grounds based on the political changes: the end of the dictatorship in Ethiopia and independence for Eritrea. But the populations at risk cannot forget their past, which stands in the way of plans for return. Many of the refugees we interviewed (7) explained that they did not believe in the political changes that had supposedly occurred in their country. The information campaign to convince refugees to return home should have made allowance for their fears, however irrational. This would have overcome the stubborn refusal of the most defenceless refugees. Stripped of their refugee status they watch powerless as the NGOs leave, crouching behind scraps of tarpaulin, often too thirsty to move. They repeat that the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea is not over, even though there has been a semblance of peace for two years. They are terrified to see UN Land Rovers invading their patch of desert. In March 2002, when a Japanese delegation came to assess the extent of the disaster before the dry season, the population of Um Gulsa did not react. The delegation organised a meeting of the elders on the site of the former hospital to hear their complaints. But the people in the camp could barely speak, numbed as they were by hunger, thirst and sickness. Now they are leaving it up to officials to settle their fate and decide who is entitled to humanitarian aid. The aid on offer is subject to strict conditions in line with defined priorities, legal rules and administrative routine. In the name of law and order, theory is getting in the way of practical help. Beni Amir who are Sudanese nationals qualify for aid and, as displaced persons, they may receive gifts. But the thousands of Beni Amir from what was once Ethiopia no longer count as refugees, despite their numbers. So, with a perfectly clear conscience, the aid organisations are shutting them out. Le Monde Diplomatique http://mondediplo.com/ =================== FAIR USE for educational and humanitarian purposes =======================
http://makeashorterlink.com/?Z6F425299 Homelessness in Norway Osman is not alone in his plight by Ana Swierstra Bie A report on increasing homelessness in Norway, causes and attempts to stem the tide against entrenched social/political indifference. Oslo, Norway Norway�s population is 4.4 million and there are 1.4 homeless people per 1,000 inhabitants. Research in 1997 suggests that 6,200 people are registered as homeless, and although this figure has remained fairly constant in recent years it is a minimum calculation since it only includes people who have been in contact with organizations. Seventy-six per cent of the homeless are men, 24 per cent women. There are about 400 children living with homeless parents. Most homeless people (58 per cent) are to be found in Norway�s three largest cities; many have moved from towns and villages, many have arrived in the country as immigrants. Oslo has a population of 500,000 inhabitants of whom 2,500 are homeless. Few actually live on the streets: many stay temporarily with friends or family, or live in institutions, prisons, hostels or shelters. Legally, the social services are obliged to provide temporary lodging for all who are unable to manage for themselves. Public rental homes are scarce and are only granted on very strict socio-medical-economic criteria. Waiting-time can be up to 1-2 years. The results can be devastating: families with children, for instance, can be placed in rooms in hostels which also accommodate drug addicts. The housing policy in Norway after 1945 aimed to ensure that everyone could own his or her own home - this to be made possible by subsidized loans, municipal economic support and site-provision, price-regulation, and co-operative organizations building new housing. Today about 80 per cent of all households own their own homes. The rental sector accounts for less than 4 per cent of housing in Norway, as compared with Sweden, Denmark and Holland where 20-40 per cent of housing is public rental. Since the late 1970s a gradual adaptation to the market-economy has led to an almost completely deregulated housing market with no significant social goals. The cost of renting or buying has exploded to exorbitant levels in areas under pressure, resulting in increasing numbers being marginalized simply because they cannot afford to live there. In Oslo there is a housing crisis with people moving into the city while no new housing is being built. Who is most at risk? The elderly, living on minimum pensions, single parents, the unemployed, the disabled, students, young people, immigrants and refugees (who face an extra struggle against racial discrimination) and others in the low-income bracket. If the situation does not change Norway can only expect an increase in the numbers who cannot find affordable accommodation - as has already happened in many other European countries. (continued in next post)
An interesting fact of homelessness in Norway is that about 9 per cent do not abuse drugs or alcohol, have no mental illness and have never lived in institutions. Who are they, and how is it that they have fallen into the homeless trap? Osman is now 22; he came to Norway as a 6-year-old orphan from Somalia. At first he received help, support and education and now holds down a full-time job. For a number of years, until recently, he lived in an official housing scheme for young people, where one can stay for a maximum of three years. Osman does contract work, which automatically excludes him from the �credit-worthy class�; he is therefore unable to take a loan to buy his own flat. What are his options? Private renting, because social services can offer him nothing more than a room in a hostel. What�s wrong with that? Osman does not want to live in a room in a hostel. Why not? Apart from being expensive (a good market for speculators), they are nothing but drug- and violence-ridden �hell-holes�. His alternatives? In spite of numerous attempts to find a home, he has had to sleep on sofas at the homes of various friends for the last four months. He finds this situation of always being �a guest� very stressful and difficult. Unfortunately, Osman is not alone in this plight. On the other side of the coin, about 61 per cent of the homeless are drug or alcohol addicts while 21 per cent have a mental illness which needs treatment. Like the trend in many other countries, psychiatric services have seen their capacity to cope greatly reduced in the last 10-15 years. Again, as in many countries, the voluntary sector and charities are picking up the pieces that governmental welfare services cannot deal with. Organizations like the Salvation Army and other voluntary groups do much to help the most needy homeless people and also co-operate with the official network. Many rehabilitation centres are privately owned but receive some state subsidies. Workers in the field, however, express frustration because their clients are given a low priority in society and there is a general lack of appropriate alternatives. Many people are forced to remain in institutions longer than necessary because it is difficult to find a place to live. Safety net Although the overall picture is fairly grim there is, nevertheless, an economic safety net for all inhabitants in Norway. Most of the homeless receive social support; some get a pension. But at the same time fewer people than before are linked into the labour market; more people become homeless earlier in life and public support is minimal and decreasing. Another problem is that the bureaucracy involved for a homeless person claiming benefits can be daunting and requires knowledge and resources to orient oneself within the system and ascertain one�s rights. Those unable to find their way through the bureaucratic maze can easily give up, faced with the complexity and inaccessibility of the official organizations. (cont'd)
During the very cold winter (even by Scandinavian standards) of 1996/1997 the Salvation Army established emergency shelters in Oslo for homeless people. This caught the media�s attention, who have since become more involved, putting pressure on politicians. The media have also focused on the fact that government housing �olicy� seems to be reactive - crisis intervention and �fire extinction� - rather than long-term and pro-active. Now the Ministry of Municipal Affairs is currently developing a social housing programme for people in "straitened circumstances". "The poor house" Human resourcefulness and the recognition of a simple need lies behind a self-help organization - The Poor House - run by and for people who are in an "involuntary relationship of dependency on the government". Their aim is to increase the quality of life and living conditions of those whom society rejects and strengthen the individual�s ability for self-help and care. All those involved work as volunteers. Members can get assistance with tackling bureaucratic red-tape, and are offered courses and information on social rights and duties. An important aim is to create a place where people can meet. A member says: "The moment I walked in here the first time, the stigma of being on social security immediately dropped away. Here I was looked on as a resource." Poor House members actively co-operate with other organizations to oppose injustice, and influence political decisions which will directly affect people of limited means. Says Trond Olsen, one of the initiators of The Poor House: "Norway ratified the UN Convention of Children�s Rights. And still there are children in Norway whose parents are homeless. Norway is a very rich country, we cannot blame it on the economy. Besides, if we are not able to implement it here where there is a good economy, where else will they be able to do so? Then one might as well give up the whole convention. Really, the true issue is a lack of will to do something about the situation." It would appear that politicians tend to trust �market mechanisms� to solve the problem. The issue and the need are taking on a political dimension. In Oslo, unlike some other Norwegian cities where there has been a real effort to improve conditions, local politicians have been reluctant to accept responsibility for the difficult housing situation and little has been done to alleviate the problem and associated negative effects. To local politicians homelessness is a moral issue; the larger picture of structural conditions and how and why people are marginalized in society is ignored. Having a home thus becomes a matter of fitting oneself to �deserve� - having a home is a sort of prize for being a model citizen, rather than a simple, legitimate human need. From the October 1998 issue of Share International ================ FAIR USE
23. Mai 2002 Nine of ten homeless families in Oslo are immigrants Ninety per cent of homeless families with children in Oslo are refugees or immigrants. The rental market is so expensive that they are forced to live in hospices. The Somalis are the worst off, since this group has been in Norway for a relatively short time and has a poor contact network. Arne Holm at the Norwegian Building Research Institute said, �Today there are no general housing measures targeted specifically at homeless refugees and immigrants. The government must address this problem when it devises refugee policy, among other things through better coordination with housing policy.�
This is kind of overwhelming so much informations wow. Good work.
That is amazing. i wonder in the western european countries how it compares and how much percentage is from mental illness and how many from economical situation.
It seems that more and more (for example where i live) people need 2 jobs to make it and often a single parent with one job cannot make ends meet any more and the wages are lower than they used to be for the same job.
I've been on the job market for myself and some jobs that used to pay between $9-11/h now pays $7.05/hour. Real hard and lame.
Hugs to everyo ne.
Peace and harmony to all.
WHEN THE ROOF BLOWS OFF THE HOUSE INSURANCE COMPANIES PAY ~ WHEN WE BECOME HOMELESS WE ARE DISCRIMINATED AGANIST, STEREO TYPED, RAPED, ABUSED, HUNGARY, WAIT HUNGRY FOR FOOD - INFORMATION -HELP.
Volunteer for the 2005 Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE)
Join Thousands of Concerned New Yorkers in Estimating the Size of the Street Homeless Population --
The NYC Department of Homeless Services conducts the Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE) annually to obtain an estimate of the number of unsheltered homeless individuals living in streets, subways, or other public spaces. The results of the survey are then used to strengthen outreach strategies, as well as track success and challenges in efforts to reduce the number of individuals living on the streets. In 2003, the first HOPE survey was conducted in Manhattan. In 2004, HOPE expanded to include Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island.
On February 28, 2005, HOPE will include all five boroughs producing the first citywide estimate of unsheltered individuals. We need thousands of volunteers to make it a success!
33 matches for volunteers in the Indiana area, for 2005
Volunteers needed … Osaka, Japan gathering produce for homeless
Washing D.C.: “District agencies and a network of partners have budgeted $1.6 million to operate emergency shelters during the winter with a total of 1,703 beds for homeless men, women, and families during hypothermia weather alerts in 2004-2005. The 1,703 beds represent an increase of 448 beds above last winter.
"While the DC Department of Human Services (DH is the lead District government agency providing emergency shelter for the homeless during the winter, the Department of Mental Health, Metropolitan Police Department, Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Health, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Metropolitan Police Department, the Office of Veterans Affairs and the Office of Aging will play major roles in bringing homeless people into emergency shelters and providing services," said Deputy Mayor Neil Albert.
The United Planning Organization, which manages the Hypothermia Hotline (1-800-535-7252), will partner with the Department of Parks and Recreation to provide vans to pick up homeless people who are outdoors and take them to emergency shelters.
The DC Housing Authority, Department of Parks and Recreation and Office of Property Management worked to renovate and increase emergency shelter space capacity and create space for social services delivery at the shelters.
DHS has established partnerships with several local churches to provide emergency shelter. The agency has also partnered with 12 nonprofit agencies to provide street outreach, crisis intervention, and provision of blankets, food, clothing, referrals and transportation.”
Washington State Pierce County needing over 100 volunteers to ‘count’ homeless… “A major goal of the 2005 count is to include homeless families and individuals who are not currently accessing the emergency and transitional shelter system.”
“Denver Colorado 2005 criteria, meetings…. Denver has taken the bold step of engaging our entire community in addressing homelessness in Denver. Through the Mayor’s Office, the Denver Commission on Homelessness was created with the goal of ending homelessness in Denver within 10 years.
The Commission on Homelessness includes individuals who are homeless, homeless service providers, and representatives from the business community and neighborhood organizations. Below is a list of upcoming public meetings regarding a draft, 10-year plan to end homelessness. All meetings are 5 p.m. -7 p.m. If you plan to attend, please confirm the date and time through the Commission’s web site at www.denvergov.org/homelessness”
Homelessness in small town USA, poor resources…
Austin to San Marcos… story of “Nash” … “homeless then hopeless” … a lot of very dismal information on this site…
Had to add this one… I have seen homeless street people with animals…I have seen animals lost, beaten, homeless animals in a concrete man’s world is sad …in a country setting they could forage better…
Michigan: Center for the Homeless: “Miracle Auction
the 2005 March Miracle Auction will be held on March 5, 2005, in South Bend, Indiana. Last year's event featured a 1960 Studebaker Lark Convertible and a 2005 Hummer H2 SUT. In all, the event raised more than $200,000 for the Center.”
San Jose, CA.: Real job opportunities ~ working with or for homeless
“…….officials insisted they could not know the seriousness of the threat because no tsunami warning system exists for the Indian Ocean.”
“Tsunamis as large as Sunday's happen only a few times a century. A tsunami is a series of traveling ocean waves generated by geological disturbances near the ocean floor. With nothing to stop them, the waves can race across the ocean like the crack of a bullwhip, gaining momentum over thousands of miles.”
wooo-hoooo it worked
yeee-haaaa to Harmony!!!
....now I will just do a little figuring on all the 'air' space left...
it wasn't I just did what Harmony said to do
this particular reply is me celebrating (with self and pc) !!!
I am outta here