Lakers' Kobe Bryant Wants You to Help End Homelessness -

In Los Angeles where so many people are living without a dwelling, the rich, famous and/or wealthy get into the act, but do they do enough?


Lakers' Kobe Bryant Wants You to Help End Homelessness

The basketball player endorses the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority homeless count, which is used to assess need for homeless services in the county.
By Jared Morgan   
January 23, 2013

The campaign to end homelessness in Los Angeles has received a shot in the arm from Lakers' basketball shooting guard Kobe Bryant.

The athlete appeared in a 26-second commercial spot asking for volunteers in the upcoming homeless count, to be conducted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority with a target group of 5,000 volunteers from Jan. 29-31.

As of last week, LAHSA was only halfway to that goal and is stepping up its recruitment efforts. The agency created a website,, where volunteers can sign up for the countywide count.  

"There are many things you can do to end homelessness in Los Angeles County," said Bryant. "Volunteer for the homeless count in January. Become a champion for our homeless neighbors year round. If everyone does their part, we will end homelessness."

Related: Homeless youth helped to count their own on Tuesday

In November 2012, thousands of people joined the shooting guard in a walk to bring attention to homeless issues, according to the Los Angeles Times.

That same month, Bryant launched in partnership with TakePart TV a five-part Web series about homelessness in L.A. called "Mission," the Huffington Post reported.  Bryant's namesake "Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation" has partnered with My Friend’s Place, the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, and Step Up On Second.
Actress and comedian Julia Louis-Dreyfus also endorsed the homeless count on her Twitter page last week.

"Help homeless people - volunteer a few hours for @LA Homeless Count, Jan. 29 – 31. Register now at . Thanks!"  Louis-Dreyfus wrote.

What do you think about Kobe Bryant and Julia Louis-Dreyfus backing the fight to end homelessness in L.A. County? Have you participated in a homeless count? Please share your experience in the comments section below.

Lest we not forget!

15th St. and M St. in DC, "The Houseless" at

Homeless Youth Will Help Count Their Own -

OK, so someone wants to count the "Houseless", but exactly why?

It has all the markings of needing numbers so a new business plan can be written as to get more money to employ more social workers who only bounce about collecting their paychecks.

In the United States of America, with all the hundreds of thousands of religious organizations about, taxpayers should be asking the right questions of why the problem isn't getting handled in a more efficient and better way? Maybe like actually attacking the problem in a more natural way and actually caring, rather than saying the words just to appease the "have nothing" population.

I for one don't need to know how many people are bring forced to live rough when I come across one. OH, that's right, I am one!

If I was in a position to help, I would do so in the righteous manners which my loving parents taught and which I have learned form many years of travels about the earth, as well as, being a devote follower of Scripture.

One very real truth about the United States of America is that it as a whole is very ill and in need of righteous medicine!

Michael Love, IIO


Homeless Youth Will Help Count Their Own

Los Angeles County is one of nine municipalities participating in a nationwide homeless count to help assess the financial needs of homeless services. This is the first time homeless youth are being used to help in the count.

In an effort to more accurately represent the number of homeless people under the age of 25 who live in L.A. County, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has enlisted homeless youth to help count their own.

This is the first time the agency is using homeless youth in its counts, relying on their expertise to help ascertain who is or isn't homeless.

"Otherwise we would really not know where the homeless youth are here locally, which is really important for our planning efforts," said Mark Silverbush, LAHSA policy and planning analyst.
LAHSA, a joint authority comprised of the City and County of Los Angeles, has partnered with several other homeless services organizations to provide the youth volunteers.

Up to 100 homeless youth will be recruited to help in the counting effort being conducted the morning of Jan. 22.

Homeless youth tend to keep later hours and counting them during school hours also helps to prevent duplication during the regular street counts, held Jan. 29-31, said Silverbush.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 29 - San Gabriel Valley, East L.A. County
  • Wednesday, Jan. 30 - West L.A., South Bay
  • Thursday, Jan. 31 - San Fernando Valley/Santa Clarita Valley, Metro L.A., South L.A.
Some 67 cities and 18 communities are participating in the effort and LAHSA hopes to recruit 5,000 volunteers to be deployed from more than 50 sites across Los Angeles County.

In many of the previous counts, homeless youth were largely unaccounted for, but were estimated to make up only a small portion of the nation's overall homeless population.

"The youth count is a very important component of the homeless count," Silverbush said.

In 2011, it was estimated that homeless people between the ages of 18-24 made up 3.7 percent of Los Angeles County's chronically homeless population, according to a LAHSA report (.pdf).

Even though that number may seem insignificant, today's homeless youth will become tomorrow's homeless adults, Silverbush said.

Los Angeles is home to the largest population of chronically homeless people in the country, according to a 2012 report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (.pdf). Los Angeles has also seen its homeless population shrink by 6.8 percent since 2011, the largest such decrease nationwide.

During the street count, volunteers will deploy with clip boards and tally sheets. They will look for obvious signs of homelessness like encampments and tents, in addition to situations where people are living in vans or RV's. During the regular counts, little to no conversation occurs between the counters and the counted, said Silverbush.

The youth count is different.

"The youth are allowed to ask questions of the other youth to ascertain whether the youth is homeless or not," said Silverbush. "Sometimes that can be confusing. Although with their expertise, they're able to know easier than those other [volunteers] would be able to."

Most of the homeless youth in Los Angeles County became homeless here, said Silverbush. In most cases they have their own children. Those that have children tend to be female, otherwise they're alone, he said.

In February, The LAHSA will conduct a demographics survey, where homeless people will be asked a number of questions pertaining to their health and safety. Like with the homeless count, the information collected will be used in advocacy for homeless services.

According to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, a number of factors contribute to a person becoming homeless, including:
  • The inability to find affordable housing
  • A lack of subsidized housing
  • The loss of a job or work that doesn’t pay enough to afford housing
  • Foreclosures on owned or rented property
  • Domestic violence
  • Having children at a young age
  • Not having a social support network
For information on how you can volunteer, visit the 2013 LAHSA homeless count website.

Resources for Homeless Youth:
  • Runaway and Homeless Youth - Through the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program (RHY), the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) supports street outreach, emergency shelters and longer-term transitional living and maternity group home programs to serve and protect these young people.
  • Chafee Foster Care Independence Programs - The John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) offers assistance to help current and former foster care youths achieve self-sufficiency.
  • Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program - When families become homeless, the experience is traumatizing, especially for children. Research compiled by the National Center on ...
  • Job Corps - Job Corps is a free education and training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep a good job.
  • National Runaway Safeline - The National Runaway Safeline provides education and solution-focused interventions, offers non-sectarian, non-judgmental support, respects confidentiality, collaborates with volunteers, and responds to at-risk youth and their families 24 hours a day.
  • Maternity Group Home Program - Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) promotes safety, stability, and well-being for people who have experienced or been exposed to violence, neglect or trauma.
  • Street Outreach Program -The Street Outreach Program enables organizations around the country to help young people get off the streets.
  • Transitional Living Program (TLP) - Transitional Living Programs support projects that provide long-term residential services to homeless youth. The program accepts youth ages 16-21. Exceptions are granted which allow youth to remain in the program until they reach the age of 18, even if that time exceeds the 21-month limitation.
  • YouthBuild - The YouthBuild program provides funds to non-profit organizations to provide an alternative education pathway and teach occupational skills training for low-income youth ages 16-24 who have been adjudicated, are aging out of foster care, or who are high school dropouts.

Lest we not forget!

15th St. and M St. in DC, "The Houseless" at

Jakarta floods leave hundreds of thousands homeless -


Jakarta floods leave hundreds of thousands homeless

Updated Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:12pm AEDT

Photo: Indonesian disaster authorities says flooding in Jakarta may have left hundreds of thousands of people homeless. (ABC: Laban Laisila)

Indonesian disaster authorities have lost count of the number of people who have been left homeless in widespread flooding, but say it could reach the hundreds of thousands.

The centre of Jakarta, including the Presidential Palace, is awash and parts of the Indonesian capital that have never seen flooding before are now underwater.

Yesterday 10,000 people had to flee their homes but hours of heavy downpours overnight and rivers bursting their banks, have added to the problem.

Three people have been killed so far in the seasonal chaos and the National Disaster Management Centre says it could affect as many as 350,000 as it did six years ago.

"My home is destroyed - all of it. It's in chaotic piles of mess," resident Umar Dani said through a translator.

He said the flood reached the roof of his house.

The National Disaster Management Centre spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said a child was among the two victims swept away in the floods overnight.

"Days of heavy downpours caused the rivers to overflow and triggered floods up to three metres," he said through a translator, adding that rivers in Jakarta had a low capacity to contain the monsoonal rain.

In 2007, major floods forced 350,000 people to leave their homes and authorities are preparing for the same impact this year.

However, they say it is hard to predict how bad things will get.

Mr Nugroho says the 2007 floods caused nearly $500 million of damage in Jakarta alone.

"It's serious because this is the capital of Indonesia and flooding can affect the economy locally and nationally," he said.

Indonesia is regularly afflicted by deadly floods and landslides during its wet season, which lasts around half the year, and many in the capital live beside rivers that periodically overflow.

At least 11 people were killed and seven missing in November after flash floods triggered by heavy rain hit a village on Indonesia's Sulawesi island.

There is more than two months of the wet season to go.


First posted Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:00pm AEDT

Lest we not forget!

15th St. and M St. in DC, "The Houseless" at

Homeless battle the brutal cold in Latvia -

The video below is not so well done, but in it you can view a man and woman roughing it.

In reality, on any given night about any part of the world, there can be found humans living rough.


Michael Love, IIO

Homeless battle the brutal cold in Latvia

Jan. 24 - Homeless people feel the chill as cold spell blankets Latvia in snow. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

( Transcript )
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Latvia is hit by a cold spell with frigid temperatures forcing an increasing number of homeless people to search refuge in shelters to avoid frostbites or even death caused by the cold. Social workers from Riga social shelters drive around the city and invite homeless people to spend the nights in shelters. But the social workers also admit that many homeless are resilient to leave their accommodations in abandoned buildings and garages. They go to the shelters only as a very last resort. According to the Latvian weather forecast, temperatures are expected to rise in late January with another cold front due in February.

Lest we not forget!

15th St. and M St. in DC, "The Houseless" at

Homeless claim harassment by Fla. police -

What takes place in the video below is not uncommon, but few cases come to light due to the amount of overwhelming Corruption within a broken system.

First of all, those who fall on hard times are almost immediately looked upon as less than the "Have" population.

While watching the video a few times, I thought of how in the past, rubbing elbows with the well to do was part of my life. Today, I can only wonder which ones and how many are complaining. Another sad part about this is, that many of the "Have" population attend and/or take part in fund raising events for charities. So it may just go to prove that the real reason fund raising is being done is maybe for a good feel feeling for oneself. Not to mention quite possibly for their accountants.

The police whether they like it or not are to "Protect and Serve" all citizens no matter what. Maybe the officers need a refresher course.

If you know of anybody being abused by the establishment, send us the details, so their details can be made public. 

We are human, and you will get more than that you dish out!

Michael Love, IIO


Homeless claim harassment by Fla. police

Sarasota, a Gulf Coast city of 53,000 full time residents, is known for its arts scene and nearby beautiful beaches. But some homeless and the American Civil Liberties Union say authorities are trying to harass the homeless into leaving town. (Jan. 18)

SHOTLIST:ACLU -- COURTESYSarasota, Florida1. Surveillance video of homeless man being attacked by officerAP2. Wide of condos with water in front3. Archway with condos in back4. Water with condos in back.5. SOUNDBITE: Michael Barfield, ACLU6. Homeless woman on sidewalk7. Homeless man lying down8. Police car9. Wide of police chief10. SOUNDBITE: Bernadette DiPino, Sarasota Police ChiefACLU11. Surveillance videoAP12. Man on bicycle13. SOUNDBITE: Steve McAllister, Homeless (partially covered)14. SOUNDBITE: James Franklin, Jr., Homeless15. Close up of feet16. Franklin and friend on bench17. Distant shot of homeless people18. Boat in waterSTORYLINE:SURVEILLANCE VIDEO SHOWS A SARASOTA, FLORIDA POLICE OFFICER KNOCKING DOWN A HOMELESS MAN AND DRAGGING HIM ACROSS THE PAVEMENT. THE FOOTAGE WAS OBTAINED BY THE ACLU HIGHLIGHTS WHAT SOME SAY IS A CLASS STRUGGLE IN THIS CITY OF HIGH-END CONDOS OVERLOOKING SPARKLING WATERS.SOUNDBITE: Michael Barfield, ACLU: the ACLU found that officers were texting each other back and fort about bum hunting, hunting for bums in the city. At night during the day, in city parks. And making jokes about having to beat them up or get into a fight with themTHE ORGANIZATION HAS FILED MULTIPLE LAWSUITS AGAINST THE CITY, CLAIMING THAT AUTHORITIES ARE TRY TO HARASS THE HOMELESS INTO LEAVING TOWN.Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino: we have an active internal affairs investigation and we're going to thoroughly investigate this case and bring It to a conclusion. But I'm not at liberty at this point to discuss it because under state statute, it's a confidentiality clause that's involvedTHE ALLEGED ABUSE DOESN'T SURPRISE SOME OF SARASOTA'S HOMELESS POPULATION. THEY SAY A BURGEONING NUMBER OF WEALTHIER FOLKS DON'T WANT THEM THEM NEAR THEIR HOMES.SOUNDBITE: Steve McAllister, homeless man: "I think for a long time we've had a lot of issues. The fact that we have a lot of wealthy people downtown and they're not quite used to dealing with the lowly and downtrodden. SOUNDBITE: James Franklin Jr., homeless man: "I've been homeless, I've been a vagrant and now I'm a bum that's being hunted by bum hunters. FOR THEIR PART, POLICE SAY OFFER MORE SERVICES TO THE HOMELESS THAN OTHER CITIES. INCLUDING REFERRING THEM TO SOCIAL SERVICE PROGRAMS.MATT FRIEDMAN. ASSOCIATED PRESS.(****END****)

Lest we not forget!

15th St. and M St. in DC, "The Houseless" at

Homeless man found dead on LA's Skid Row during cold snap -


Homeless man found dead on LA's Skid Row during cold snap

AP |

A part of skid row in Los Angeles

The body of a homeless man was found just before dawn Monday on a Los Angeles Skid Row sidewalk, but it was unclear if the death was caused by the record cold.

City News Service said the name of the man, who appeared to be in his late 50s, wasn't released.

In Angeles National Forest, where overnight temperatures have been dropping into the 20s, 28-year-old Danny Kim of Arcadia, was found Sunday night after surviving 26 hours hiking in the frigid West Fork wilderness.

Kim was airlifted to a hospital for treatment of hypothermia.

Sheba, a dog of L.A.'s mean streets

A German shepherd mix, she provided love and comfort to those on skid row.

August 20, 2012|By Jeff Dietrich
People sit on 6th Street in Los Angeles' Skid Row area. (Grant Hindsley / Associated…)


LAPD officer in charge of Skid Row promises to enforce sidewalk laws

By Rina Palta
Published: Tuesday, June 26, 2012, at 02:59PM
Homeless people sleeping on a street on Skid Row

LAPD Officer Deon Joseph is the Senior Lead Officer for Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles, where the city is currently undertaking a massive cleanup. Amidst the street sweeping and powerwashing, there are rumors of a crackdown on the homeless population that congregates on (and essentially lives on) Skid Row's sidewalks. Officer Joseph emailed us with his take on the situation. Here's what he had to say:

As far as Skid Row being a sit/lie/sleep safe zone, they are allowed to sleep on the sidewalk from 9 PM to 6 AM. But after six, they are supposed to pack their items and obey all sidewalk laws. This is an agreement reached by the city and civil liberties groups in 2006.

Prior to the Skid Row Injunction, most of the Skid Row community did just that. After the injunction, the sidewalk hoarders began hoarding items on the sidewalk, as the City tried to abide by and respect the order of the courts (and continues to do so). The hoarding anchored them to the sidewalk and they stopped utilizing area services. The sidewalk became their toilet, living room, and kitchen, as well as a place where many of them could conceal narcotics usage and sales.

The items they were hoarding were broken items, such as couches, car engines, TVs, chairs and other items that were simply discarded junk. Other items were donated clothes that they only used for toilet paper, or bedding. This atmosphere gave way to the thought of many from outside of Skid Row that this was once again a place where you could dump your unwanted items, and simply exacerbated the problem.

The fallout of this was a rise in crimes such as theft and violent crime (some of which surrounded the property on the sidewak), a rise in disease such as Hepatitis C, Staph, Scabies, and lice. Rodents and other vermin were returning as well, thanks to sidewalk feeders who would continue to enable to folks who were anchored down to the sidewalk. A more important factor was the human toll, as we began seeing an increase in sidewalk deaths and responses from the Fire Department for people suffering from overdoses, or disease.

Here are some statistics that support this:

- In 2005, 93 people died in this 50-block radius we call Skid Row. 18 of those individuals died in the streets in conditions similar to what we are experiencing.

 - After the inception of Safer Cities Initiative and its three-pronged approach to dealing with crime and quality of life issues (Enforcement, Outreach, Enhancement) Those stats changed dramatically. We all know about the 40% reduction in crime, but even deaths were reduced.

- In 2009, 63 people died in Skid Row. Only 5 died in the street or sidewalk because the sidewalks were cleared, and there were less places for people to hide and destroy themselves via narcotics, or unhealthy lifestyles that affected everyone. Also many people who truly were in skid row for services were then benefitting from them which was the plan all along.

After the 2011 injunction, I noticed an increase in filth and disease. Especially in my area, where there has never been a BID (Business Improvement District). I also noticed more people dying on the streets. I took the liberty to contact the Coroner’s office, an obtained these statistics for 2011. In 2011, 123 people died in Skid Row, 15 of them died on the street. These stats nearly mirror what was happening before SCI.

Another statistic that may interest you is the response from the Fire Department as a result of Skid Being allowed to return to a decrepit state. In the 1st 3 months of 2011 (the 1st Quarter), the LAFD responded to 754 call for service. This is typical. After the injunction in April, their call load in our Division and Skid Row began to increase. In the 3rd quarter of 2011 (July, August, September post injunction) the LAFD responded to 1,451 calls for service. The majority of those calls were in the Skid Row area.

Now as far as future enforcement of sidewalk ordinances, we have been on an aggressive campaign over the past few months to warn chronic violators of sidewalk ordinances such as 41.18 (D) LAMC - sitting, sleeping, laying on a public sidewalk/56.11 LAMC - storing personal items on the sidewalk/42.00 (B) LAMC - Illegal vending on the sidewalk before taking action.

This was done through passing out fliers, and verbally educating the skid row community, and alerting them that future arrest and or cites were pending. We have provided the aforementioned individuals plenty of time to get their things in order before we take the necessary steps in supporting other city and county agencies in restoring a healthy saner quality of life in Skid Row again.

We will be enforcing these laws, while at the same time respecting the injunction, and the constitutional rights of the individuals we deal with. We have a storage facility nearby (Temple and Alameda) for the large property of those we arrest. For items deemed a health and safety hazard, they will be discarded as such.

With all of the hindrance we have in reducing crime (AB109/Injunction/Jails Revolving Door) we have to restore a sense of order again in Skid Row, via what many would consider the enforcement of "so called" innocuous violations. But this enforcement was key in reducing crime and maintaining order before the injunction, and it will be key in bringing it back. I am proud of what we accomplished for the past 7 years prior to the injunction, because lives were saved and crime was reduced. And that to me is more important than someone being allowed to keep a bucket of urine on the sidewalk.

[Above] is a photo of what I speak. The inhumane part of the photo to me, is allowing the man in the photo to lay in filth.


Major Skid Row Cleaning Launched

City to Scrub Streets for Three Weeks; New Storage Facility Opens

Posted: Monday, June 18, 2012 8:00 pm | Updated: 10:18 am, Wed Jun 20, 2012.
by Ryan Vaillancourt, Staff Writer

Major Skid Row Cleaning to Launch Tuesday

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – City officials are launching a major street and sidewalk cleaning program in Skid Row this morning. The sweeps, a response to ongoing public health concerns in the poverty-stricken neighborhood, are slated to continue daily for up to three weeks.

The plan, spearheaded by the office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, has been in the works since the County Health Department cited the city on March 21 for health code violations tied to human waste, hypodermic needles and other hazardous materials found in the area, said Villaraigosa spokesman Peter Sanders.

Officials with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority canvassed Skid Row today, alerting people living on the streets about the impending cleanup, LAHSA spokesman Peter Griffith said. Along with the planned cleanings, officials have turned a city-owned property at 432 E. Temple St. into a storage facility where crews will take bulky items seized during the sweeps.

“We’re coming out Tuesday morning with the Bureau of Sanitation, Bureau of Street Services and public health experts and we’re going to identify those items which are clearly public health issues as referenced in the county report,” said Patrick Butler, assistant chief with the Los Angeles Fire Department and acting spokesman for what the city has dubbed Operation Healthy Streets.

On Tuesday morning, crews will target Gladys Avenue between Fifth and Seventh streets, and then tackle one-to-two block segments every day until the entire neighborhood has been pressure-washed, treated with disinfectant solutions and ridden of contaminants — from vermin dens to clothing piles that could be harboring disease, Butler said.

The plan is long overdue in the eyes of Skid Row-area social service providers, businesses and property owners who have been complaining about public health concerns long before county officials formally documented them.

“I don’t think any one of us can say we’re satisfied until we see what the results are, but I can say that we’re delighted at the response from the mayor’s office,” said Estela Lopez, executive director of the Central City East Association, which represents area property owners.
Conditions have deteriorated in Skid Row since June 2011, when U.S. District Court Judge Philip Gutierrez issued a temporary injunction barring the city from seizing and destroying apparently abandoned items from area sidewalks. The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of homeless individuals who, after going inside to access social services, returned to find that personal belongings left on the sidewalk had been seized and destroyed by a city cleaning crew.

While the injunction allows the city to remove items posing health or safety risks, authorities have operated carefully in the wake of the injunction. Some critics of the city’s response, including the homeless advocacy group the Los Angeles Community Action Network, which helped orchestrate the lawsuit that prompted the injunction, say authorities have neglected their obligation to maintain public health standards.

City officials had defended their unwillingness to remove bulky items and sidewalk pile-ups partly on grounds that they had nowhere to store the items. The injunction mandates that all seized items (except those that pose health or safety risks) be stored for 90 days.

Now, the city has a storage solution. The warehouse at 432 E. Temple St. will hold all bulky items left on sidewalks during the planned cleanings, Sanders said. Downtown-based nonprofit Chrysalis will operate the facility.

The city also plans to reimburse the Central City East Association for costs associated with doubling the capacity of its voluntary storage warehouse on Seventh Street, Lopez said. Homeless individuals have stored personal belongings there for years, but until now, the facility has operated at capacity, Lopez said. Additional funds, which will come from LAHSA, will help pay for the personnel needed to staff the expanded warehouse, she said.

The Department of Public Works has hired a hazardous materials expert to accompany city crews during the daily cleanings. The consultant will identify items that pose public health concerns so they can be trashed, Butler said. All other belongings will go to the Temple Street warehouse, where they will be held for 90 days.

The LAHSA outreach team is informing people living on the streets about the warehouse and directing them to the CCEA’s facility. Printed notifications about the cleaning plan and the storage options were seen posted on light poles in the area today. The LAHSA team will also attempt to steer people to homeless services.

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has appealed the Gutierrez injunction. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to rule on the matter. A decision is expected this summer.

Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at

Lest we not forget!

15th St. and M St. in DC, "The Houseless" at

Native American Connections helping the homeless survive cold weather -

With the United States of America having available an enormous number of vacant buildings, houses and structures, let alone all of the churches about, why are humans left to reside outside in the wild of urbanism?

Is this the same United States of America that demands from the rest of the world that they treat their citizens better than this?

Why then does the United States of America get away with treating its own citizens as "Last Class Citizens" when other countries can't be as such, without those from the U.S.A. breathing fire down their throats?

Michael Love, IIO


Native American Connections helping the homeless survive cold weather

Posted: 11:15 PM, 11 January 2013
PHOENIX - Arizona’s cold snap is going to be hard on plants, pipes, and pets, but even worse for the homeless.

Many are forced to sleep outside through the cold and possibly rainy nights while taking shelter under bridges. It might not be pretty, but for hundreds of homeless people, it's a way to survive freezing rain.

If it wasn't for groups like Native American Connections, many may have already died. The non-profit organization helps homeless people of all ages and races around Phoenix.

With bad, freezing weather moving into the Valley, two of their community outreach members spent their Thursday evening making sure the homeless were as comfortable as possible.

ABC15 traveled along with Pedro Bravo and Todd Sherman as they handed out thick blankets and hats to anyone who could use some extra warmth.

The homeless on the cold streets aren't just men. You'll find women and even young teenagers, all without a place to go.       

When it comes to Arizona's winter weather, a few homeless remarked that it’s when the sun goes down that their troubles start.

"The cold at night and early in the morning is the only bad part," a homeless man in downtown Phoenix named Crash said.

"Cold weather is devastating for the homeless,” Sherman explained. “As you know, when you are in your home, if you're cold, you want to go find the thermostat switch. If you're on the street, there is no thermostat switch."

The folks at Native American Connection also handed out food and water. They do volunteer work almost every night without asking anything from the people they assist.
There are a number of places that shelter Arizona's homeless, but the problem is that there are thousands of people in need of help, and shelters fill up far too quickly.

Lest we not forget!

15th St. and M St. in DC, "The Houseless" at

Homeless veterans rescue Ohio robbery victim - "The Houseless"

Homeless veterans rescue Ohio robbery victim

The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Jan 3, 2013 7:33:17 EST

CINCINNATI — A homeless man and another who was recently homeless are being hailed as heroes for coming to the aid of a man who was being robbed in downtown Cincinnati.

Gary Wagner was being attacked at an ATM when the two men intervened and wrestled him free, police said. One of them stayed with Wagner while the other ran after the suspect and stood in front of his car until officers arrived.

“I think it was a courageous and unselfish act,” said Cincinnati police Capt. Gary Lee. “It’s a perfect example of what can happen when the citizens and police work in partnership.”

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that both men are military veterans who didn’t know each other before the Monday encounter. David Hale just got off the streets, and Chad McClain — who ran after the suspect — is living at a shelter.

Both men said they hope anyone else would do the same.

“I was compelled to do something,” said McClain, 38. “I just couldn’t stand by and see somebody be victimized. I didn’t really think about myself.”

The 46-year-old Hale said his “instincts kicked in at the right time.” He added that he understands that people get desperate: “There are other ways to reach out and get help (than) turning to crime and hurting another individual.”

Wagner, 54, said he wants to do something to help the two men who helped him.

The 45-year-old suspect, Louis Stevenson, was being held Thursday on $250,000 bond in Hamilton County Jail on charges of robbery and obstruction. A message was left for his attorney.

Lest we not forget!

15th St. and M St. in DC, "The Houseless" at

Being Homeless Shouldn't Be Fatal -


Being Homeless Shouldn't Be Fatal

Posted: 01/08/2013 6:56 pm

This headline immediately filled me with foreboding: "Homeless youth who died included four 17-year-olds." Now what, I thought? What horrible event had stolen away more of the young people we try to save, every day, in our shelters?

But it wasn't an event. It was daily attrition, evidence behind the figure advocates for homeless youth use all the time: 5,000 homeless young people die each year, from assault, illness and suicide. That's more than 13 kids every day.

The headline, of an article in the Spokesman-Review in Washington State, mainly served to clarify earlier statistics from the Community Health Association of Spokane, which had reported six homeless children had died last year in the area including Spokane.

The article, perhaps seeking to calm readers, explained that no, it wasn't six dead children, it was four dead 17-year-olds and two others between 18 and 20. No one knows the origin of the "six homeless children" figure, mentioned in the paper's announcement of a memorial service on the first day of winter for the 30 people who died in the area while homeless.

The death of any young person is -- by definition -- tragic; no matter if he or she was over or under 18. Last week I attended the funeral of a young man I've known most of his life, who died unexpectedly in his sleep at the age of 21 a few days after Christmas, and it just broke my heart. The church was packed with hundreds of family and friends, and I couldn't help but think how different that was from the funerals for homeless youth I have attended over the past 20 years. Those services are usually without any birth family present, and only a sprinkling a friends outside Covenant House.

The death of a homeless youth always leads me to look inward and think of what might have been, how strong and energetic that life could have been given the right circumstances. These deaths in Spokane immediately made me think of the loss of life two years ago this season, when eight young people died after the abandoned warehouse they were squatting in caught fire in New Orleans. All they needed was a warm and safe place to sleep, and they'd be alive, following their dreams, today.

Spokane, with a population of 210,000, is the only 102nd largest city in the nation, yet it lost half a dozen young people on its streets. Think of how many die each year in larger and smaller towns. Think of how many we never know about, because they are never found, or aren't counted.

We know how to stem the tide of youth homelessness. Nothing less than the lives of young people are at stake. Please join us in the fight for fewer funerals.

Lest we not forget!

15th St. and M St. in DC, "The Houseless" at