Taghomelessness

Subterranean Suburb Uncovered In Kansas City

KMBC reports:

Kansas City police uncovered an underground suburb used by the homeless on the city’s northeast side.

“This one kind of goes back, and that’s deep,” Kansas City police Officer Jason Cooley said.

KMBC’s Haley Harrison reported that a homeless outreach group said it was unlike anything they’ve ever seen. The subterranean refuge has caves and tunnels.

Full Story: KMBC: KCPD uncovers subterranean suburb on northeast side

(via David Forbes)

As Joshua Ellis notes, this sounds quite a bit like the underground squats in Las Vegas he covered for Las Vegas City Life in 2002.

There Is No Miami Zombie Apocalypse, Just Mentally Ill People With No Safety Net

Lindy West writes for Jezebel about all the gruesome stories ricocheting around social media lately, and how they marginalize the real issue: lack resources for the mentally ill.

I don’t mean that the people who latched on to this particular meme are bad people (though I would say they’re a bit thoughtless), or that it’s never appropriate to respond to unthinkable tragedy with macabre humor. But I’m not feeling particularly charitable toward wacky zombie jokes today. There’s no such thing as undead people, only dead people. And sad people. No one deserves to be publicly ridiculed for their identity — gay people, fat people, black people, poor people — but when we ridicule and marginalize mentally ill people, actual innocent people get killed.

Jezebel: There Is No Miami Zombie Apocalypse, Just Mentally Ill People With No Safety Net

See also: It’s Bigger Than “Bath Salts” and “Zombie Apocalypses” by Subhash Kateel, who writes:

-Florida is the second to worst state in the country when it comes to funding mental health services. Of the 325,000 people with persistent and severe mental illness, only 42 percent receive treatment.
-In 2010, the State Legislature cut adult community mental health funding, children’s mental health funding and adult substance abuse services by more than $18 million. This year, the state legislature tried to make Florida the worst state in the nation at funding mental health, and almost succeeded.
-Prescription drug overdoses and the prescription drug death rate are up in Florida by 61 percent and 84 percent respectively. That didn’t stop state politicians from trying to cut funding for drug treatment by 20 percent, which would have kicked 37,000 people out of services while they were trying to kick a habit.
- First responders across the state say that they are seeing mental health cases that they have never seen before, such as a Palm Beach man that was held in custody 50 times in one year under the state’s Baker Act because he was a threat to himself and others.

It’s much easier to place the blame on some weird new designer drugs (that the perpetrators might not have even been using) than it is to talk seriously about complex issues like lack of funding and access to social programs and deep rooted problems with mental health institutions.

(via Lupa)

Update: Rob Arthur notes that both mental illness and drug abuse are lower predictors for violence many other factors.

In Japan capsule hotels become home

japanese capsule hotel

For Atsushi Nakanishi, jobless since Christmas, home is a cubicle barely bigger than a coffin — one of dozens of berths stacked two units high in one of central Tokyo’s decrepit “capsule” hotels. [...]

Now, Hotel Shinjuku 510’s capsules, no larger than 6 1/2 feet long by 5 feet wide, and not tall enough to stand up in, have become an affordable option for some people with nowhere else to go as Japan endures its worst recession since World War II.

Once-booming exporters laid off workers en masse in 2009 as the global economic crisis pushed down demand. Many of the newly unemployed, forced from their company-sponsored housing or unable to make rent, have become homeless.

New York Times: For Some in Japan, Home Is a Tiny Plastic Bunk

(via Mister X)

Buckminster Fuller and the Homeless of New York

If Buckminster Fuller is known for any effort, it is the effort to provide shelter. But who did Fuller actually provide shelter for? The Lightful House and 4D House existed only on paper. The Dymaxion House existed only as a small scale model. The Dymaxion (Wichita) House existed as two full-scale models (one internal, one external, neither able to be connected to the other). The Dymaxion Deployment Unit did house US armed forces personnel – but the DDU was the invention of Victor C. Norquist, not Buckminster Fuller. The geodesic dome was invented by Walter Bauersfeld who made a number of dome shelters. Fuller never built a dome for sale as a shelter. Of the dozens of books by and about Fuller, of the thousands of articles on his life and work, most of them fail to give a single instance of when Fuller actually provided shelter to anyone. The Buckminster Fuller Bibliography by Trevor Blake is the first book to document that Fuller provided shelter for others with his own direct effort.

The New York Times for 10 September 1932 includes an uncredited article titled “Single Jobless Men to Get Lodging House / Social Worker and Engineer Obtain Use of Tenement for Those Ineligible for City Aid.” The buiding in question was a then-deserted seven-story building located at 145 Ridge Street in New York City, New York. The social worker was Ben Howe and the engineer was Buckminster Fuller. Fuller is described as “editor of the magazine Shelter and head of Structural Study Associates, an engineering firm.” According to the article, the men who were renovating the building were hoping to live in it afterward. They were otherwise ineligible for benefits because they were not the head of a family. The building was to house two hundred and fifty men at a time and serve several thousand during Winter. Lieutenant R. E. Johnson was also involved in this project. He is described as a “former army construction engineer and commander of the United States Ex-Service Men’s Association.” At the time of the article, the shelter was under construction. The building described in this article no longer exists.

Synchronofile: Buckminster Fuller and the Homeless of New York

Homelessness advocacy graffiti in Toronto

homeless advocacy graffiti in toronto

The project is called the Unaddressed and it focuses on the under-housed, giving voice to their personal opinions. Over the course of 3 months I met with 18 individuals who are currently or have recently been homeless. Through meeting, talking about their lives and discussing issues that were important to them, they developed their announcements and created a cardboard sign to reveal them. By photographing homeless and formerly homeless individuals holding cardboard signs that announce their concerns, the hope is challenge preconceived notions of homelessness and make the passers-by realize how serious the situation is and that everybody deserves the same basic necessities of life and to be treated the same way. Basically do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Wooster Collective: Catchin’ Up With Dan Bergeron

Tent cities continue to boom, ranks of desperate grow

Tent cities and shelters from California to Massachusetts report growing demand from the newly homeless. The National Alliance to End Homelessness predicted in January that the recession would force 1.5 million more people into homelessness over the next two years. Already, “tens of thousands” have lost their homes, Alliance President Nan Roman says.

The $1.5 billion in new federal stimulus funds for homelessness prevention will help people pay rent, utility bills, moving costs or security deposits, she says, but it won’t be enough.

“We’re hearing from shelter providers that the shelters are overflowing, filled to capacity,” says Ellen Bassuk, president of the National Center on Family Homelessness. “The number of families on the streets has dramatically increased.”

USA Today: Economic casualties pile into tent cities

(Via Breaking Time)

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