Thursday Open Thread ~ "What are you listening to?" edition ~ Making Contact


Most of us have a home to shelter in place during COVID -19. But what about the homeless?

U.S. homelessness statistics are at alarming rates. The national homelessness crisis has reached unprecedented levels and local jails play a direct role in the problem. 15% of all people detained or incarcerated report having been homeless. And roughly 48,000 people enter shelters every year nearly directly from prisons or jails.

In California, so-called “quality of life” laws target panhandling, living in cars or blocking sidewalks essentially making homelessness a crime.

70 Million episode reporter Sarah McClure chronicles the impact on men and women caught up in this system, and two ambitious programs trying to change these practices.

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Next we go from Cape Town, South Africa to Los Angeles and Oakland, California— three cities grappling with evictions, displacement, and homelessness.

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When the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. many of us were told to “shelter in place” in order to minimize the spread of disease. But, for a lot of people who are forced to live on the street, its not possible to just close the door and retreat into safety. Today’s show is about homelessness. We start by following two women as they undergo several evictions, even thought they’re already living in encampments. And we talk about the impact these ongoing displacements have on their mental and physical health. Then, we take a look at how homeless communities are dealing with COVID-19 and finally, we talk about market forces in the housing crisis and how to fight for “the right to housing.”

On the Brink: Homelessness before and during COVID-19

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QMS's picture

like other human rights have been thrown under the bus in the "richest country on earth" tm.
It is not an expense the federal, states and local municipalities seem to be able to justify. My understanding is there are enough empty houses in the US to house the homeless. Jobs to afford them? Sorry, minimum wage won't cover it. The poor are being culled in favor of wealthy landlords and property owners, imo. More of the traditional 'middle class' and elderly are sliding into this suction of wealth extraction. Shameful.

Thanks for the OT philly!

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Lookout's picture

...about how out of touch our pols are, and how those in ivory towers are clueless about the plight of the working poor.

Krystal Ball: Elitist NY Mayoral Candidates Have NO CLUE How Expensive Housing Is In Brooklyn

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

It doesn't matter to me too much, after all these years there is too much corruption and I am out of my mind. But maybe someone here still cares enough to call and write and donate and all that other busy work that maintains the inadequate, incremental, twisty maze of endless public/private partnership programs.

A judge finally ordered Los Angeles to clean up Skid Row, or else forfeit that billion dollars the politicians keep blabbing about flushing spending for housing down there since years. It was in the EB I think. Anyone else remember the c99 member SkidRow? And then there is RantingRooster, I think he is still in Tejas, which is better in my mind. Because it's not California. Who's next?

Demystifying California’s Affordable Homes Shortfall

The large and persistent shortage of affordable and available homes for low-income renter households has been well documented by the California Housing Partnership as well as by our fellow housing researchers and policy practitioners throughout the years (see the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s report “The Gap” and Urban Institute’s report “The Housing Affordability Gap”). While the Partnership’s 2020 California Affordable Housing Needs Report shows that some progress has been made in increasing funding and housing production in recent years, we are still far from creating a California with stable and affordable housing for households of all incomes.


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Politico: Marcia Fudge has ambitious plans for HUD — even though she didn't want the job.

Congressional Black Caucus chair Joyce Beatty, whose relationship with Fudge dates back to her tenure as mayor of Warrensville Heights, sees her as a key figure in the caucus’ goal to pass sweeping housing legislation targeting Black and Latino communities, even as she faces an agency decimated by budget cuts and staffing attrition.

“As I listened to her confirmation hearing, it actually sealed the deal for us,” Beatty said, mentioning the caucus’ plan to provide mortgage relief to homeowners of color and expand eviction moratoriums. “We are all on board to work with others.”

“She knows that market, she will look to those communities where there have been food deserts and children have gone to bed hungry and without a roof over their head,” she added. “She knows those communities. ... So she'll bring diversity. She'll bring different ideas to the table.”

WaPo: How Biden stimulus bill will target homelessness

The grants, which must be spent by 2030, can be used to provide temporary or permanent housing, including buying and converting hotels and motels so people who are homeless could have a more private and safe place to live than in congregate shelters, Fudge said. The grants can also pay for housing for people fleeing domestic violence. The money will be allocated through a Housing and Urban Development program designed to create affordable housing for low-income families.

GRANTS! "which must be spent by 2030 if so granted" WTF?! omg I'd rather apply for a bullet in the head, how about that? Oh wait, gun control. Yeah ooey-gooey on the SMART tracks is how transients incrementally apply for federal grants around here, Golden Gate Bridge too far. Thanks a lot.
citizensnottransients.jpg
What year is it? Nobody is building cheap housing for poor people and their shitty wages. Nobody. Learn to code!
https://www.grants.ca.gov/faq/
...
LEADERSHIP
https://www.hud.gov/about/leadership/marcia_fudge

Secretary Fudge believes our housing issues do not fit into a one-size-fits-all approach. We need policies and programs that can adapt to meet a community’s unique housing challenges. She is committed to making the dream of homeownership - and the security and wealth creation that comes with it - a reality for more Americans.

Under Secretary Fudge’s leadership, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will work to eradicate the growing homelessness issue, put an end to discriminatory practices in the housing market, and ensure that our fair housing rules are doing what they are supposed to do: opening the door for families who have been systematically locked out for generations to buy homes and have a fair shot at achieving the American dream.

Secretary Fudge’s career in public service began in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, rising to the rank of Director of Budget and Finance. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business from The Ohio State University and law degree from the Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall School of Law. She is a Past National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and a member of its Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter.

Moar mortgages is how that reads, because that's her main job now I guess. Ensuring banksters profit because Grampy Joe was not lying when he said "nothing will fundamentally change." Vote D! sry

Peace and Love
Good Luck

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enhydra lutris's picture

and those "quality of life" laws, which have their distant origins in "vagrancy" laws are definitely a part of the problem. A car may not be much of a home, but it is still shelter. Many can more or less scrape up enough revenues or income to obtain food and other necessities but not shelter too, and it is such laws, depriving people of the right to use shelter that they already possess or own that creates some, but only some of the "houselessness" problem. I don't know how broadly they can be interpreted, but there are decisions on the record holding that laws prohibiting people from sleeping in parks and on benches are unenforceable because they deprive people of essential rights. Unfortunately, those decisions don't seem to have had any impact on the existence and enforcement of those laws.

Santa Clara or San Jose had an experiment going for a while to try to address some of the situation there, and Oakland has now an ad hoc experiment which is not, afaik, officially permitted and ergo at risk known as "cob on board".

The thing is, that capitalism as we know it is largely rentierism and rent seeking. Culturally it is coupled to and supported by antiquated and often religion based concepts that one must labor to earn one's daily bread. The fact is that everybody could live comfortably with a modest fraction of the population working only a very few hours per week performing those tasks necessary to cooperatively provide goods and services for all. That, however, would require the entire system to be scrapped and all of the parasitical "jobs" to be eliminated, and that ain't gonna happen any time soon, especially under the duopoly.

The most we can hope for, imo, is small enclaves building and spreading outward, and the creation thereof within the existing system is very problematic. It will require a lot of people just figuring out how to do it and then starting to do it and, to the extent necessary, preventing "the state" from stopping it.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

PriceRip's picture

          including this one have adopted "Clean-up (clear-out) the public spaces" ordinances. These edicts have designated the police as enforcers to follow the ill-equipped / ill-funded social services people. We all know how this will go ...

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enhydra lutris's picture

@PriceRip

the police ARE the social services people

These edicts have designated the police as enforcers to follow the ill-equipped / ill-funded social services people.

be well and have a good oen

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

PriceRip's picture

@enhydra lutris , my very good (burnt-out) cop friends. I thought not. It’s not a story the Jedi would tell you.

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And day in, day out, I listen to indigent criminally accused talk about the hopelessness of their lives, so why not sell meth? Why not rob a house?
Sometimes prison is a step above homelessness.
I wish I had time for the wonderful, informative videos you often show, but that will not happen until I retire. One day...
Thanks for the OT.

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