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Homelessness

Homelessness includes everything from rough sleeping, rural and urban, through semi-permanent and emergency shelters to couch-surfing and living with no fixed address.

Can Floods Of Lawsuits Prevent Homeless Camp Bulldozing?

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Casual notice of commentary on legal matters leads most Canadians to believe that the slightest American disagreements inevitably result in lawsuits, compared to our more occasional, sober and civilized(?)...

Protocol Breach Undermines Support To Families Experiencing Homelessness

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Imagine leaving all your local contacts behind and not having any idea of how to find help in your new community. In England, local councils have a duty to assist...

Everyone In? Not Really.

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England's Everyone In program drew a lot of attention. On Mar 27, 2020, the national government gave local Councils 48 hours to find housing for everyone who was sleeping...

Survivors Of Domestic Violence Win The First Battle In Their Fight To Stay Local

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A group of mothers fleeing domestic violence took the council in Lambeth, England, to court. The issue? The moms’ right to be on a waiting list for social housing...

Einstein’s Definition of Insanity: ‘Sweeping Away’ Homeless Again And Again

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Ontario Provincial Premier Doug Ford says, "You just can't pitch a tent in a public park." Of course you can.For more: Doug Ford Says Homeless People Should Stop Pitching...

A COVID-19 Recovery Plan To End Homelessness

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The mission of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness is pretty self evident. These days, it’s making the case that ending homelessness should be part of Canada’s COVID-19 recovery...

Supports To Students Experiencing Homelessness: A Tale Of Uneven Access

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In 1987, thanks to the McKinney-Vento Act, US high school students who experienced homelessness began to receive supports to continue with their schooling. Over time, the definition of homelessness...

Making The Prevention Of Homelessness A Priority: The Role Of Social Innovation

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Homelessness is not something to wish on anyone. This is especially true for young people. Instead, we should put a priority on preventing young people from experiencing homelessness in...

Canada’s National Inquiry Of Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women

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The reports linked at the end of this post document the work of the national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada. They are based...

Preventing Homelessness Takes More Than Imagination

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In the article linked below, researchers in Wales report about how strategies to prevent homelessness can be undermined, rendering them imaginary. Iolo Madoc-Jones and colleagues wanted to investigate the effects...

Women Set Up Tent Community For Evicted Neighbours

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A recent article reports on the actions of one woman in Oakland California who decided she had a moral duty to both her community and her neighbours who had...

Oh, No! Not Another California Homeless Story. . . But It Is A Great One!

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Great? We wish we could mean 'great' in some kind of 'light at the end of the tunnel' way. But we can't. Instead we're talking about a comprehensive article...

U. S. Housing’s Ben Carson, Maestro Of Medical Metaphor, Attacks California

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Thanks to a FOXBusiness report, the world is aware that Secretary Ben Carson of HUDHUD — the US Department of Housing and Urban Development has recently 'called out' the...

Why Individual Woes Can Muddy Affordable Housing Imperatives

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On one hand: CBS's Anderson Cooper does a so-called 'progressive' take on Seattle's homelessness crisis. "Rent Is Obscene Here": The Issues Forcing People In Seattle Onto The Street And on...

Housing: Asset Or Necessity? Disobedience May Define It, Along With The Future of Capitalism

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Two homeless mothers together with children have occupied an empty house in Oakland, California. Currently, there is more housing held empty by investors speculating in Oakland than there are...

Greensboro NC Describes The Real Roots Of Homelessness — Yet Again

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Einstein gets the nod for a popular definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results. On the other hand, some aboriginal traditions suggest that...

Is An April Fool’s Joke A Warning Of Micro-House Reality?

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A Ketchum, Idaho April Fool's Joke this past April 1, 2019 saw a number of local dumpsters dressed up overnight as tiny homes, making a pointed statement about the...

Kudos To Chicago’s Striking Teachers. They Broke The Law To Kick Social Ass

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Chicago teachers settled their recent strike in part by ignoring their legal requirement to bargain only for wages and hours and other strictly technical issues related to their employment...

Persistence, Not Perfection, Plucks Homeless From Atlanta Streets

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For Atlanta, Georgia's homeless population, persistence has paid off. The city lays no claim to a magic formula for getting people out of the streets and into homes. Other...

Survey: Parking Your Shelter Overnight On The U.S. West Coast

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When a car is your shelter, parking is critical. It has become a particular problem on the US west coast, where the high cost of housing is forcing more...

Three Takes On California’s Housing Crisis: Part 2

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Part two of a three part series on California's housing crisis published in the California Globe moves to Los Angeles to take a personal look at those most affected by the housing crisis — the homeless.

Permanently Temporary: Sure Sign That Homelessness Solutions Are Becoming Part Of The Problem

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Cities in more advanced countries have made do for decades with handfuls of emergency shelters for the homeless, their number expanding in the winters of harsher climates. In many...

Researchers Issue A Challenge To Make ‘Housing First’ Work Better

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Have you wondered how people who are homeless leave the streets and move to housing? How does Housing First, a program proven to help people who are homeless move...

Chicago Unaffordable But Union Must Talk Only Wages & Benefits. Teachers Disagree

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Only a month or so away from the 100th anniversary of the journal edition pictured above, it's worth scanning the column of articles featured within it. The final one?...

Indigenous Housing Providers: A Source Of Strength For Affordable Housing

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The Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) has just released a report about non-profit affordable housing that is provided and operated by indigenous organizations. The housing is spread across...

Lindsay, Ontario’s ‘Housing First’ Building Of Doom

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Housing First is a program that supports people who are homeless to move into housing.For more on Housing First, see What Is Housing First? Why Is It So Popular?...

In Vancouver B.C. Affordable Housing Can Be A Doggone Shame In Every Sense

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A lot of people find emotional security from 'their special baby'. We're talking about the furry kind here, cats and dogs mostly, but not exclusively. They are important enough that...

Kids Desperately Need A Housing Insecurity Blanket

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The most vulnerable citizens are those who receive no pay through lack of available work, or unable to work at all. Only slightly more secure are those who support...

Homeless While Working: A Growing Urban Tragedy In Advanced Societies

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A widespread misconception about the nature of homelessness needs urgent correction. It is an understandable, and unfortunately highly convenient, misconception. It puts the focus on a small handful of...

Winnipeg Improves On ‘Housing First’

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Researchers at the University of Winnipeg's Institute for Urban Studies (IUS) have just completed a report about providing Housing First services to indigenous people experiencing homelessness. The report firmly supports...

Homes Can’t Fix Homelessness. Maybe Not . . . On Some Other Planet

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An articulate, well reasoned, polite letter to the editor of Oregon Live neatly sums up the depths of wrong-headed, misinformed thinking about why the homeless need affordable housing. The reasoning is...

NIMBYite Baby Boomers Go Out With A Bang, Not A Whimper

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"Affordable Housing? How quaint. Of course. Only take it somewhere else. Otherwise I personally guarantee to shove your XXXX up your YYYY until you bleed buckets and scream for...

California Homelessness: ‘Housing First’ Masks A Greater Problem

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Housing First is a much respected world wide housing program. It has been so successful in helping individuals who are chronically homeless to leave the streets that its approach...

Nevada Homeless: Sin Tax Money Buys Housing, Not Necessarily Homes

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The annual report of the NLIHC (National Low Income Housing Coalition) places Nevada in the thick of America's housing crisis for low income workers and families. In 99% of...

UK Supreme Court Rules On ‘Intentional Homelessness’

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In 2011, Terryann Samuels, a mother of four in England, was faced with a difficult decision. She could 'top up' her public rent assistance with £150 of her basic...

Just In Time For Canada Day

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Very happy to report that Canadians now do enjoy a human right to adequate housing. The campaign, which affordablehousingaction.org has been faithfully covering, ended when the National Housing Strategy Act received Royal assent.

Housing First, Helsinki Style

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The Guardian has just published a story about Finland’s remarkable success in lowering the number of people who are homeless in the capital Helsinki. We’ve covered stories about Finland’s success...

Footsteps Towards Canadians’ Right To Adequate Housing

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Canadians do not currently enjoy a human right to adequate housing, but there’s been a concerted effort over the last year to change that.See these earlier posts on the...

Hospitals Still Spending Millions Treating People Who Are Homeless

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In 2006, Malcolm Gladwell penned the story of Million Dollar Murray, a veteran who found home in the streets of Reno, Nevada. He also spent a good deal of...

Finding The Path To End Indigenous Homelessness

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How can we support people who are homeless to leave the streets and move to permanent housing? The link below leads to a Canadian research study that tackled this...

Many Youth Who Leave Foster Care Become Homeless. What To Do?

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Young people approaching the age of majority are in a time of transition: finishing high school, starting post-secondary education, or employment, leaving home. Young people aging out of foster care...

‘Housing First’ Programs To End Homelessness Are Challenged By Boom Economies

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Rapid housing and client choice are two of the hallmarks of Housing First programs. For an introduction to Housing First, try: What Is Housing First? Why Is It So...

New California Candidate For State Song: Home, Home On The Streets . . .

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What happens when a country binds itself with an aspirational constitution and many of the founding fathers are land and housing speculators? One might expect that basic individual freedoms and...

Canada Squeezes Human Right To Housing Into Omnibus Budget Bill

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Canada would seem to share an enthusiasm with its more populous neighbour to the south: cramming all kinds of goodies and baddies into omnibus bills. You might think that acknowledging...

Homeless And School Association: Wisconsin’s New Normal?

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Faced with low wages and unaffordable housing, people become homeless. Some have children. School districts find themselves struggling to accommodate students who are homeless. It's a predictable problem, and...

Ending Homelessness: Is There Something We’re Missing?

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In Seattle, a project that began with such hope is winding down. Tiny homes were assembled on a site and made available to people who were homeless. The lucky...

Lack Of Affordable Housing Constrains Housing First Programs

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In our media scans, we see calls for more affordable housing daily. As new groups of people with affordability issues come to light (firefighters, health workers and teachers, for...

Housing Strategies That Assist Young People To Exit Homelessness

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Students at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia teamed up to prepare a report that should help young people to leave homelessness. The students identify six different sets of experiences...

UK Rough Sleepers: Does the Government Have A Clue How Many?

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A great many people believe that homelessness is characterized by the 'street people' and 'rough sleepers' who are encountered on occasional downtown trips. This is not the full scope...

Compassion Vs. Institutionalization: Janesville Considers The ‘When A Car Is Your Home’ Issue

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Signs of the times: No overnight parking. Violators will be Towed. (Or more likely, harassed by security guards or police and forced to move on.) Lawyers argue that parking lots need...

Homelessness: Not Only A Bigger Problem Than You Think, But Bigger Than Homeless Themselves Think

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A reasonably well dressed person walks purposefully past you on the street. Are they homeless? Why on earth would you think so? They aren't huddled in a doorway under a...

What’s In A Name? Solutions To Housing Crisis Turn On Use, And Misuse, Of Words

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Words can be misused cynically, or simply by ignorance. During a local, regional or even national housing crisis, misuse of words can lead to both public and political confusion....

Down And Out In Delaware: Some Hard Facts

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Like the meaning of 'affordable' housing, the meaning of 'homelessness' is frequently parsed or twisted by special interests (or by the ignorant) who wish to push one agenda or...

Homelessness: Ireland Tries ‘Health First’ When ‘Housing First’ Is Not An Option

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Housing First, a widely promoted approach to ending homelessness, is based on the idea that people who are homeless cannot properly focus on sorting out their often complex lives...

L.A. Explores ‘Boarding School’ For Entire Homeless Families

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The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is considering a profoundly generous and undoubtedly controversial way of fulfilling its mandate to provide education for all children and youth, regardless...

From Vancouver, BC: Housing Unaffordablity From A Human Rights Perspective

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In North America, the bragging rights for "Most Disgustingly Expensive Big City to Live in" are hotly contested. A perennial frontrunner in the competition is Canada's Vancouver, long a...

Canadian Campaign To Make Housing A Human Right

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Canada's national government issued a National Housing Strategy in 2017. The strategy is founded on a commitment to housing as a human right and Canada's obligations as a signatory...

Los Angeles Leans On Trustworthy Non-Profits To House The Homeless

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So why would a landlord ever want to rent a market rate apartment to a homeless person? It's exactly what you thought. They don't. Small and large studies in America show...

Homeless In the UK? Join 170 Year-Long Wait List For Social Housing

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Two UK articles in the Guardian neatly bookend the depths of an affordable crisis that is far more than the national concern of a single country. First, the Guardian quotes Shelter,...

Finding Ho-Hum: Good News Stories And Affordable Progress Vs. NIMBY Nastiness

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NIMBY almost inevitably marred a recent heart-warming Toronto tale of a single family's selfless gift to homeless women. A family purchased a mansion-sized house on a five lane commuter corridor...

Blue Mountain City Council, NSW, Invests To Kick-Start A Garden Flats Experiment

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What do you call a small residence squirrelled away on the grounds of a principal residence? They may be known as accessory dwelling units (ADU's), garden flats, second suites,...

Quick Fix? Housing First. For The Longer Term, Fort Collins Pinpoints Homelessness Causes.

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How do you get from, "Hey, there's too many folks sleeping on our streets!" all the way to "Wow! We've got all our homeless stabilized in housing?" A current Fort...

Kamloops Can Dodge NIMBY With Temporarily Permanent Transitional Housing For The Homeless

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In an age of increasing homelessness, the alarm is sounding in civic councils. They are struggling to find constructive, supportive ways to tackle the problem of people with nowhere...

Can Intersectionality Pave A Pathway To Affordable Housing In Minneapolis?

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Intersectionality. Affordability. Big words to do battle with homelessness. But from the bottom of the deepest trenches in that battle, the individuals involved are aware of the very real...

Right to Adequate Housing: What Is it? Who Is Promoting It? Why Will The US Likely Be Last...

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All humans have the Right to Adequate Housing. Housing is not somebody's magnanimous gift, or a privilege, or a right that somehow must be earned. If you are human,...

Portland’s Local ‘Right To Shelter’ Couldn’t Drain A National Ocean Of Homelessness

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If you build it, they will come. And they did come, more than anyone expected. In a visionary, gutsy move, Portland declared in 2015 that nobody would be turned...

Head-In-The-Sand Cincinnati Ostrich Gets Affordable Housing Stuck To Its Eyeball

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Out of sight, out of mind? By banning homelessness camps in public places, Cincinnati hopes to solve their affordable housing crisis. If you can't see it, the crisis must...

Keeping People in Affordable Houses: Non-Profit Makes House Into Home

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Whoever you are, the first time you climb onto a housing ladder of any kind, whether rental or ownership, you most probably face an immediate crisis. Sure, there are exceptions....

Car Living Skyrockets In Seattle. Is It Affordable Housing Or Homelessness?

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What significance might be attached to a January 2018 discovery that there was a huge increase in the number of Seattle's homeless found living in vehicles? Thanks to a...

Homelessness Crisis? Orange County Grand Jury To Local Governments: Pull Your Fingers Out and Cooperate!

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A recent U. S. District court decision caused government consternation and dismay at several levels in Orange County California as officials scrambled frantically for weeks to mitigate a crisis...

Is San Diego On A Slippery Slope To Institutionalizing Homelessness?

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"Consider the advantages of outdoor life. Settle down for a while in the fresh sea air of San Diego, California. Or stay for a lifetime. Your belongings can be...

ADU’s+Tiny Homes+Mentors For Ex-Offenders? It Beats A Suicide Watch!

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Beginning on a sobering note, A recent British study outlined the dismally low percentage of success in finding housing for those newly released from the prison system. The most...

High School? College? Can You Get There From Here, If Your ‘Here’ is Homelessness?

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America! That mythical land of equal opportunity. When opportunity is equal, if you aren't succeeding then you just aren't trying, or so some would have the rest of us...

Small Town: Tens. Big City: Thousands. USA: Millions: 4 Million Young People Homeless

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Toronto is the fourth largest metropolitan area on the North American Continent. With something of a social conscience, it has developed a Housing First program (known locally as Streets...

The Affordable Community: When An Affordable Home Is Not Enough

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Humans are by and large sociable animals. Or, if you prefer, sociable God's creatures. Indeed, religions are both powered and empowered by the social magnet of their communities. They...

Death On The Streets

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How many homeless people spend cold nights on the streets of your community? How many have no shelter to go to? How many sleep rough because they cannot cope...

Youth Homelessness: High Tech Squats For Those Who Blend In

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Youth homelessness is on the rise everywhere (as is virtually every kind of homelessness). But when it comes to appearances, young people can take advantage of the low expectations...

Squat To Own: Impossible? Not So, Call The Expert Who’s Been There.

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Squatter's rights: hard to believe they have any. But they do, along with a host of wrongs, such as trespass. Ask Steven DeCaprio. He's been there. A squatter living in the...

Is There a Difference Between Hostile Architecture and Torture?

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If you are homeless, and cannot sleep over a heat vent, will you die? The odds are against it unless you are in a country with a frigid winter...

Small And Self-Sufficient: An Affordable Housing Solution For First Nations Homeless Men

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Where the road meets the water at the end of a long British Columbia fijord, the magnificent scenery of Bella Coola is little comfort for indigenous men from the...

Do Homeless In America Go Where Affordable Housing Is? Or Isn’t?

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Check it out, state by state. By and large, there is a consistent relationship between the states with the most homelessness and the states with the most affordable housing....

Wisconsin Activists: ‘Housing First’ Needs Vital Followup To End Homelessness

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Wisconsin Coalition Against Homelessness  has published a paper they hope will receive active consideration from the State Legislature. They point to the current interest in the respected Housing First concept as...

The View From Hobart: Booming Economies Swell Jobs, Shrink Homes

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In the United States, the current Republican-dominated congress, the president, big businesses and wealthy cronies have dined out on a 1.5 trillion dollar tax break which will supposedly more...

The Many Colors Of NIMBY: Bigly-Bad And Just Too In-Tents — A NIMBY Twofer

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NIMBY: Not in My Back Yard. Part of an ongoing collection of articles exploring some of the many ways that a worldwide affordable housing crisis is opposed.

Ottawa Homelessness: Bailing An Ocean, One Small, Futile Policy Step At A Time

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Everyone knows you can't bail out a sea. And yet, when it comes to homelessness, city councils behave like children on a beach staring at the water with a...

Finland Ended Homelessness, Thanks To Housing First. But Not JUST Housing First!

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In a world plagued by a lack of affordable housing, and rising homelessness, the Finnish have seemingly achieved a miracle by eradicating homelessness in their nation. The 'saint' responsible...

Legalizing Homelessness: A Step In The Right Direction? Or Institutionalizing A Disgrace.

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On one side of the argument those who are forced to live a homeless way of life, and feel they have human rights, too. On the other side, disgusted communities...

In The Affordable Housing Mines, The Panhandler Is The Canary

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Emergency Alert! Deep underground, a miner's canary is suffering. The miners are at risk along with the canary! What to do? The answer is obvious. Shoot the canary. Say what? When...

Worried You Can’t Get Student Housing? You’re Just One More Whiner With A Bad Attitude

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What do you say to a Howard University student who feels she is facing a choice between homelessness or heading elsewhere to school? If you're speaking from the lofty heights...

Tent City Of Tomorrow? Strong, Cheap, Beehive Life In Sewer Pipes.

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Does the idea of life in a stack of sewer pipes sound like a nightmare? Do you shudder when you imagine a creepy high rise of tubular sleeping coffins?...

Homeless Bubbles. Moveable . . . Sure. Drainable? The Jury’s Out.

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Authorities have discovered that growing tent cities of homeless people can be torn down. But without taking steps to address the actual problem, a homeless encampment, just like a...

Tiny Homes Brings Affordable Privacy And Dignity To First Nations People

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Homelessness is a disease in Canadian indigenous communities that afflicts many. It brings with it a host of mental and physical complications, such as alcoholism and severe depression. Many northern...

Youth Plan A: Homelessness. Bristol Counters With Plan B: Affordable Housing (Stay Home)

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Young and impatient. Fed up with childhood. At risk of abuse and assault. All are contributing to a youth homelessness crisis in Bristol, UK, a thriving city with an...

Tiny Houses As Personalized Homeless Shelters— A Stepping Stone To Permanent Housing?

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Can a temporary homeless shelter provide dignity and privacy? These are underlying principles of a San Jose, California initiative to create little villages of tiny, lock-upable homes instead of...

Women Die Young In The Country Of Homelessness

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No country in the world has a lower average life expectancy for women than can be found in Monroe County, upstate New York. A shocking study released by a...

Aboriginal And Homeless? 12 Reasons Why Affordable Housing Alone Is Not Enough.

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A Canadian definition of homelessness neither mirrored nor explained the aboriginal experiences of Jesse Thistle. He decided that a definition that reflected the aboriginal experience was an essential foundation...

Housing As A Child Health Care Investment

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"Affordable and stable housing plays a critical role in supporting the health and wellbeing of children." This is the conclusion reached by a recent report by the American National Housing...
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