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[Commentary] © 2002 Philip Hyde, The Timesizing Wire™, Box 622 Cambridge MA 02143 USA (617) 623-8080

Homelessness Stories, Jun-Sep/2002


9/27/2002  homelessness in the news -

9/26/2002  homelessness in the news - 9/21/2002  homelessness in the news - 9/20/2002  homelessness in the news - 9/16/2002  homelessness in the news - 8/31/2002  homelessness in the news - 8/29/2002  homelessness in the news - 8/28/2002  homelessness in the news - 8/23/2002  homelessness in the news - 8/18/2002  homelessness in the news - 8/16/2002  homelessness in the news - 8/14/2002  homelessness in the news - 8/13/2002  homelessness in the news - 8/11-12/2002  2 homelessness stories -
  1. 8/12 Desperate for family shelters, New York uses a former jail, by Michael Cooper, NYT, A15.
    With more homeless families applying for shelter than the city has been able to find space for each night, the Bloomberg administration reopened an old jail in the Bronx yesterday...the Bronx House of Detention for Men..\..as a temporary shelter for homeless people and their children.... A record 8,400 homeless families are now in the city's shelter system, and the number of families applying for shelter rose by 25% in the year ending June 30 over the previous year. So many families have sought shelter at the Bronx intake center..\..the city's only homeless intake center, the Emergency Assistance Unit..., that...against a court order and city rules, the center, which is supposed to find shelter for families, instead became a shelter of last resort, and hundreds of families spent the night on its floors....
    [Gittin' harder fer us good ol' boys to keep the faith that this is the best country there is.]

  2. 8/11 Ending homelessness, letter to editor by Chairman Rev. Michael Kendall of Commission of Religious Lenders of NYC, 4-12.
    The shameful and violent condition of the Emergency Assistance Unit in the Bronx that contributed to the death of Jason Wilson ("Mentally ill boy kills himself in shelter hotel," news article, Aug. 8), and the pain of so many other homeless people, must end. Homelessness is a human tragedy, not an occasion for punishment. Surely, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg has promised, we can find a better way. Our homeless brothers and sisters, and especially children, need real homes.
    [Our solution? Bring down the 62-year-old workweek and make it A LOT easier for people to feed, clothe and house themselves. There is no functional reason for a 40-hour-or-more human workweek during the Robotics Age, let alone the longer hours many people are working out of sheer layoff-inspired job anxiety. Waves of miraculous technology mean we should ALL be living in a heaven of shorter workweeks and higher pay - without exception! That we're not is due to our own brains being stuck in the sands of the past, when "work hard to get ahead" made sense. It doesn't any more. Now we must centrifuge our vanishing human employment and dynamize our spending power instead of immoblizing it in unspendably massive "black holes" in the top income brackets. It's time to spread and activate the spending power to match the enormous productive capacity technology has given us.]

8/09/2002  1 homelessness story - 7/13/2002  1 homelessness story - 6/22/2002  1 homelessness story - 6/19/2002  1 homelessness story - 6/18/2002  2 homelessness stories -
  1. Housing in New York, letter to editor by Chairwmn Naomi Bayer of Housing First! of NY, NYT, A24.
    Among our most persistent public policy myths is that housing is to homelessness as highways are to traffic. The more you build, the more there is.
    [Assuming she has misused the word "myth" to mean "falsehood," there's nothing false about this generalization unless specific programs are in place either to provide training and jobs to traansform the homeless into 'homeful' or stop more homeless from moving in from out of town or both. New York had liberal welfare policies in the 60s and 70s and people poured in to take advantage of them.]
    The Blueprint to End Homelessness provides an action plan grounded in what all the research on homelessness tells us: Access to affordable housing, with services as needed, is the only thing that actually makes a difference.
    [We find this near-sighted approach incomprehensible. As if people can do anything without decently paying jobs. And as if government needs to do anything except establish a self-regulating workweek adjustment system so that every citizen can easily make a living out of the gradually diminishing pool of urgently demanded (and therefore well-paying) private-sector employment (which could be done on a city-scale basis). Do-gooders so frequently make the mistake of dealing with the low-level highly specific symptoms instead of the underlying general problem. But then, that guarantees that the particular approacher's own job. Ah, the pervasiveness of job desperation in human society prior to automatic adjustment of the workweek against broadly defined unemployment. Here comes Naomi's pitch for how much we need her job -]
    The Housing First! coalition calls for a long-term plan to create and preserve more than 185,000 units of affordable housing, a major step toward ending homelessness....
    [oh yeah? - how she gonna stop more than 185,000 homeless from coming to New York once word gets out?]
    ...and tackling the serious housing crisis facing virtually all New Yorkers.
    [Whoah, there's a stretch! Some of the richest people in the world have pieds-à-terre in New York City.]

  2. [oops, Naomi may be getting her wish anyway -]
    Mayor seeks shift in policy on homeless in New York - Easier entry to shelters, with a push for independence, by Jennifer Steinhauer, NYT, A22.
    With homeless at record levels in New York City, the Bloomberg administration plans to significantly increase the number of government subsidies for apartments, the first such increase since 1995.
    [But then -]
    City Hall also wants to evict those few residents of the shelter system who do not aggressively seek permanent housing, while at the same time making the shelter system more accessible to those in need....
    [Oh, like the unaggressive aren't in need?]
    The combo of increased housing and pressure on shelter residents to become independent is part of a significant shift in priorities and goals of the Dept. of Homeless Services.
    The number of homeless families increased 22% during the current budget year, which end June 30, leading to 33,840 people in the shelter system as of yesterday, the highest recorded level since...the city began tracking homeless figures [in the 1980's]. The administration is finalizing an ambitious agenda this week that officials say will place greater [emphasis] on the causes of homelessness and on its prevention....
    [- well, the cause of homelessness is our failure to share the vanishing work, and it would be lovely if the Bloomberg administration suddenly saw the light and started implementing city-level worksharing as many Japanese cities are currently doing, but solving the causes and preventing homelessness are -]
    - goals that have bedevilled the last three mayoral administrations.
    [- and are likely to bedevil the next thirty-three without Timesizing (or a 'nice' big war), because we get ¾ of the way thru this article before we see a mention of jobs, and even then -]
    ...The administration will not link the closing of welfare cases or the failure to participate in work programs to shelter rights....
    [Another tidbit we glean from this article -]
    There is a restraining order against the city forbidding it to bar disruptive clients from shelters....
    [thus making it less onerous for many to stay overnite on the streets - real practical!]

6/15/2002  1 homelessness story - 6/14/2002  1 homelessness story - 6/13/2002  1 homelessness story - 6/10/2002  1 homelessness story - 6/03/2002  1 homelessness story - For earlier homelessness stories, click on the desired date -
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