Oakland artist turns trash into homes for the homeless
1/8/14 By Matthew Artz – san jose mercury news
OAKLAND — Gregory Kloehn can turn just about anything into a home.
The Oakland artist spends his summers in Brooklyn living in a dumpster he outfitted with granite countertops, hardwood floors, a rooftop deck, plumbing and a barbecue grill.
But his proudest creations are even cozier structures that he gives to homeless people in his neighborhood.
Kloehn’s “little homeless homes” are about the size of a sofa, but they come with a pitched roof to keep out the rain and wheels so recipients can roll them around town.
So far Kloehn has built 10 of the tiny houses using mostly illegally dumped trash that piles up on the streets in a semi-industrial section of West Oakland. The foundation is usually discarded wood pallets to which Kloehn will add accouterments such as windows, a mirror and a cup holder. Several homes are insulated with discarded pizza delivery bags.
Wonder, a homeless woman Kloehn has known for several years, parked her new house on the sidewalk next to her old home, which consisted primarily of a tarp draped over a couch.
“This is the best home I’ve had in five years,” Wonder said as she opened the front door — made from a discarded picnic table — to reveal the pizza bag insulation. “It gets real hot in here,” she said.
All the homes have gotten rave reviews. “They say this is just night and day, especially when it rains,” Kloehn said. “Once your mattress gets wet, it’s just terrible.”
Kloehn, a 43-year-old transplant from Denver, is a sculptor who “got on a housing kick” after building his five-unit live-work condominium complex from scratch.
Activists Work to End Homelessness One Tiny House at a Time
February 27, 2015 11:41 AM Noah Phillips – VOA
MADISON, WIS.— In what looks like an ordinary woodshop in Madison, Wisconsin, filled with table saws, screwdrivers and more screws and nails than you could count, transformative work is underway.
This space, operated and owned by a nonprofit called Occupy Madison Incorporated, is part of a village of small houses built to order for – and by – homeless individuals in Wisconsin’s capital city.
Luca Clemente has been involved with the group almost since it began in 2011, when residents organized Occupy Madison in solidarity with other activists protesting societal inequality. That winter, 60 to 80 people were sleeping in tents each night at the group’s encampment in an abandoned car lot.
Clemente remembers that it didn’t take long before they began to shift their focus from political activism to the much more grounded issue of homelessness.
“We realized that we had made a lot of real connections with people who were going to have nowhere to go,” he said. “We began to notice, as we had meetings each week, that there were more and more homeless people, and over time the whole flavor changed from a place that was occupied by political activists to a city of people who had no place else to go.”
Tiny houses give homeless a foothold
Looking for Homeless Assistance?
If you are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless, or know someone that is homeless, help is available. HUD, along with many other Federal agencies, funds programs to help persons who are homeless. Local homeless assistance agencies provide a range of services and assistance, including emergency shelter, food, housing counseling, and job training and placement assistance. For general information on available resources, please visit the Resources for Homeless Persons page on the HRE.
Purpose of Programs
As amended by the HEARTH Act, Subpart C of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act establishes the Continuum of Care program. The purpose of the program is to promote communitywide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, and State and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families, and communities by homelessness; promote access to and effective utilization of mainstream programs by homeless individuals and families; and optimize self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
For the entire article: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/comm_planning/homeless
Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program
The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program will provide financial assistance and services to prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless and help those who are experiencing homelessness to be quickly re-housed and stabilized. The funds under this program are intended to target individuals and families who would be homeless but for this assistance. The funds will provide for a variety of assistance, including: short-term or medium-term rental assistance and housing relocation and stabilization services, including such activities as mediation, credit counseling, security or utility deposits, utility payments, moving cost assistance, and case management.
At least 60 percent of funds must be spent within two years; all funds must be spent within three years. Reporting requirements will be presented in the forthcoming notice.
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FILES BRIEF TO ADDRESS THE CRIMINALIZATION OF HOMELESSNESS
Thursday, August 6, 2015 doj.gov
The Department of Justice filed a statement of interest today arguing that making it a crime for people who are homeless to sleep in public places, when there is insufficient shelter space in a city, unconstitutionally punishes them for being homeless. The statement of interest was filed in federal district court in Idaho in Bell v. City of Boise et al., a case brought by homeless plaintiffs who were convicted under Boise ordinances that criminalize sleeping or camping in public.
As stated by the Justice Department in its filing, “[i]t should be uncontroversial that punishing conduct that is a universal and unavoidable consequence of being human violates the Eighth Amendment. . . Sleeping is a life-sustaining activity—i.e., it must occur at some time in some place. If a person literally has nowhere else to go, then enforcement of the anti-camping ordinance against that person criminalizes her for being homeless.”
“Many homeless individuals are unable to secure shelter space because city shelters are over capacity or inaccessible to people with disabilities,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division. “Criminally prosecuting those individuals for something as innocent as sleeping, when they have no safe, legal place to go, violates their constitutional rights. Moreover, enforcing these ordinances is poor public policy. Needlessly pushing homeless individuals into the criminal justice system does nothing to break the cycle of poverty or prevent homelessness in the future. Instead, it imposes further burdens on scarce judicial and correctional resources, and it can have long-lasting and devastating effects on individuals’ lives.”
“No one wants people to sleep on sidewalks or in parks, particularly not our veterans, or young people, or people with mental illness,” said Director Lisa Foster of the Office for Access to Justice. “But the answer is not to criminalize homelessness. Instead, we need to work with our local government partners to provide the services people need, including legal services, to obtain permanent and stable housing.”
* * * HOMELESS DOES NOT MEAN VOTELESS * * *
Homeless People’s Voting Rights – http://www.nationalhomeless.org/projects/vote/court.html
On any given night, approximately 107,000 Veterans across the country go to sleep on benches, in back alleys and under bridges. Roughly twice that number will experience homelessness at some point this year. Drastic action must be taken not only to drive down the amount of homeless Vets, but keep a new generation off the streets. And the action we took on a cold night last week was just one of the many programs we’ve undertaken at VA.
In the U.S. today, homelessness is a serious issue for Veterans and non-Veterans alike. But all too often, the homeless are invisible—or a nuisance associated with city living. It’s especially troubling to me when I consider each was once an ammo bearer, a radio operator, a team leader, or a rifleman—and that each one potentially once wore the same patch I did. For this reason, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki pledged over a year ago to end Veteran homelessness within five years—and he did it as part of a government-wide effort to find solutions to the problem once and for all.
- Veterans Administration/Homeless
- My HelathVet
- Veteran Services
- VA Locations
- Prevention Suicide
- Open Advanced Search
- Other Resources
- Veterans Affairs Mobile app
- PTSD Coach app
- National Resource Directory– Veteran Job Search
- National Resource Directory app