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|Hypocritical Harmsworth's Daily Rat exposes USA homelessness while backing UK's vile tory policies
FULL ARTICLE HERE
Daily Rat tries to suggest some sort of compassion for America's homeless when Harmsworth promotes Britain's vile
tory mafia whose policies are making thousands homeless in the UK while turning a blind eye to vast tax dodging by their
rich backers. America's dream is in fact a nightmare for millions who don't matter to their political elite.
Meantime their military industrial complex and NASA get $trillions to warmonger and manufacture vast space junk.
The other side of Tinseltown: Moving pictures show how 'riverside living' has a different meaning in America's homeless capital
There are an estimated 44,000 homeless people living in Los Angeles according to a recent survey into the problem
Hundreds risk their lives by living on the bed of the Los Angeles River or in an equally-dangerous storm drain
City officials want to eliminate homelessness within the next decade according to an ambitious new plan
Los Angeles, the City of Angels, is now known by a more sombre sobriquet - the homeless capital of America.
Living in the shadow of the world famous Hollywood sign, some 44,000 people survive without a proper home, many sleeping in cars, tents or in makeshift shacks.
According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the down-and-out population has increased by as much as 20 per cent. Authorities have declared a state of emergency and are seeking $100million to deal with the crisis.
Many of the homeless live along the banks of the Los Angeles River, which flows from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach, over a distance of almost 48 miles.
A major cluster of homeless live in Downtown LA, hiding under bridges or sleeping along railway lines.
An estimated 800 people live in LA's riverbeds and storm drains, who are at risk when the river floods.
The concrete-lined river is often used as a set for Hollywood blockbusters.
Earlier this year, the City announced a 10-year plan adopted by with the ambitious goal of ending LA's growing homelessness, includes hiring social workers, offering quality housing and building permanent housing.
In addition, Los Angeles County supervisors also agreed to release $100 million over several years ($42 million in the first 12 months) toward housing the homeless.
Homelessness is 'the most serious humanitarian crisis confronting our county today,' said county CEO Sachi Hamai.
Plans for funding the initiatives still must be adopted, with the city of Los Angeles scheduled to vote on its budget in April.
City Councilman Jose Huizar, who co-chairs the Homelessness and Poverty Committee, acknowledged that a series of past plans to reduce homelessness had failed.
Between 2013 and 2015, the number of homeless in Los Angeles County soared by 12.4 per cent, with the percent of those living in the street or in their car -- without access to emergency shelter -- soaring by 85 per cent.
Of the 44,000 homeless people living in the county, some 29,000 or two-thirds, sleep in the streets, tents or their cars, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
The 2008-2009 economic crisis took a hefty toll on Californians, while housing inflation has drastically limited affordable options.
In addition, many homeless opt to live in Los Angeles due to its mild weather and social services, notably near Skid Row, where some 5,000 homeless live.
By comparison, the homeless population in New York, America's largest metropolis, is larger at 57,000 people, but 95 percent of them live in shelters or temporary housing funded by local authorities and the state.
Los Angeles County spends around $1 billion a year on medical, psychiatric and social welfare care for its homeless, not including police expenditures.
'A real bed is much less expensive than a jail bed or a hospital bed,' Phil Ansell, director of the county's Homeless Initiative, told the Los Angeles City Council.
Ferne Park where Daily Rat boss Jonathan Harmsworth resides when he is not cruising the globe with his fathers
inherited wealth while his press lackeys smear the peasants as scroungers for and on behalf of the tory mafia.
|Homeless in California’s redwoods - the 'land of the lost'
Amid the towering redwoods north of San Francisco, there is a forest trail littered with clothing – T-shirts,
bras, shoes. It leads to a clearing where a primitive fence made of branches encloses a tent and a jumble of dirty
belongings. Toni Lynn Evans, barefoot and with the traces of purple varnish on her toenails, emerges.
“I call it the plateau, the land of the lost,” she said of the backcountry she calls home.
FULL ARTICLE HERE
Dozens more tents, hidden among the trees and clinging to muddy hillsides, dot the landscape in and around
the bucolic resort town of Guerneville. Some 240 people are thought to be homeless in a region with a
population of about 12,000, according to the county, meaning that the per capita rate is more than 10
times the US average. They have built semi-permanent communities, clearing paths and carving steps into
the slopes. They use batteries for power, propane tanks for heat and cooking.
Would they prefer to be elsewhere? “I won’t live in a city,” Evans said. “People age faster there. If you
ever look at the people down in San Francisco, a 19-year-old looks 35. Up here, you’ll see a 35-year-old look 19.”
Her term for it: “the shitty city”.
Homelessness is commonly regarded as an urban ill, but less than half of the US homeless population lives in
the country’s biggest cities. In tiny communities such as Guerneville and its rural surrounds, the scale of the
problem can be overwhelming.
Evans, 54, has pale skin, bright blue eyes, sipping primly from a bottle of whiskey mixed with beer, she gave a tour, first of her former, rat-infested campsite near the river. “A couple little tiny ones would curl up behind me under my blankets, under my butt, to sleep,” she said. “Over there we don’t have no rats.”
After taking a few drags on a cigarette, she tapped it into an ashtray that she carried around and balanced on logs. Vanishing into the trees for a while, she reappeared with a blind dog on a leash; it did its business in the ivy, which Evans left there. She explained the lack of shoes or socks: “My feet get too hot.”
Born in San Francisco, Evans used to work as a housekeeper and in restaurants and has been homeless since
about 2012, after her mother died and the home they shared went into foreclosure. One day, she says, she found
herself standing in the driveway surrounded by all the furnishings. Much of it was stolen: computer, stereo, a
box containing her mother’s ashes.
She has had a mini-stroke and experiences memory loss. “I’m really tired. I’m more tired than I should be for my age,”
she said. “I will not survive another winter, that’s for sure.”
Once a logging town, Guerneville draws visitors seeking a dose of small-town Americana. Its main street has ice cream
shops and galleries. The river is perfect for swimming
and inner-tubing. But soaring property prices and a tight market mean that those on the bottom income rungs, as
well as the unstable, are in a precarious position. Most of the homeless are said to have previously been housed
in the area, their numbers relatively unchanged since the beginning of the recession.
Although some locals are angry about the state of affairs, many are generous with food and other necessities. In the winter months, the homeless can take shelter in the town veterans hall where they can make a bed for themselves on the hardwood floor. And there are plans to build a facility combining a year-round, 30-bed shelter, a medical center and services including, among other things, substance-abuse counselling and computer access – astonishing for a place that seems so out-of-the-way. But with only limited space, the project, while much-needed, is not an immediate fix.
Mark Emmett, who founded the Guerneville Community Alliance,
which has a focus on local homelessness, first visited some of the encampments last year. “You take a 20ft by 20ft area that’s full of bicycles, car batteries – it’s almost complete sensory overload, and you have people basically living in squalor,” he said. “It’s just something that you don’t see in America.”
However confounding the situation, residents’ concerns are often practical and focused on the byproducts of lives lived in the open: plastic bags, food packaging, human waste. In 2014, a man named Chris Brokate, who runs a janitorial business, began leading cleanups. This year alone he says he has helped carry out more than 60,000 pounds of trash.
Brokate recently drove to a spot known as Cosy Cove, a steep, thin strip of hillside between the road and the river. The scattered tents are all but invisible to passing cars, deep in the shade of redwoods so lofty that their crowns cannot be discerned. A man missing many teeth named Nicolai Lisiukoff popped up, asked for some trash bags, and led Brokate back along the precarious path.
“This is our winter home,” Lisiukoff said, gesturing to some tents that were halfway down, out of the way of floods. He stopped at another perched high above the river, a few feet from the edge. Despite the netting that had been installed, one false step would mean a tumble into the current. His girlfriend, Barbara Tribett, sat on a camper chair. There was a stove, pans that they cleaned with river water, a mug rack leaning in the dirt. Mold, rats and ticks were a nuisance, they said.
“Where and what you guys do with your bathroom,” Brokate began, delicately, “let’s start talking about how we can make that situation better.”
Tribett said she used double-bags. “Kenny’s hole was right there,” she added, referring to another resident and pointing to an indentation a few feet from their encampment.
“That’s too close to the river,” Brokate said. Not least because sunbathers on the other bank could be glimpsed through the leaves.
Lisiukoff said he was indifferent as to whether he remained living in the understory. Evans, meanwhile, hopes to escape. Sitting inside her tent, she carefully cleaned her face with wet wipes and smiled. A large butterfly flashed through the sunshine and above her tumbledown habitation. “You should come back when I got a good a day,” she said. “A hair and makeup day.”
| Walt homeless on the streets of San Jose VIDEO
|Hawaii politician gets beaten by homeless people years after destroying their belongings with sledgehammer
FULL ARTICLE HERE
This politician's hard-hitting homelessness plan seems to have hit him back.
Hawaii state Rep. Tom Brower (D.-Ala Moana, Waikiki), is infamous for smashing homeless peoples’ possessions with a sledgehammer in 2013, allegedly was assaulted by a homeless horde as he filmed them outside a children's museum Monday afternoon.
“They ganged up on one man and he was taken to the hospital,” Department of Public Safety Toni Schwartz told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, not directly naming Brower.
Brower was filming a homeless encampment near the Children’s Discovery Center museum, and the people there asked him to stop, the paper reported. They then allegedly stole his camera and assaulted him, punching him repeatedly and leaving him with a concussion and two swollen eyes.
The pummeled pol was treated and released from a trauma hospital, Hawaii News Now reported. His beatdown is being investigated as a felony assault.
Brower made mainland headlines in 2013 when he started literally taking a sledgehammer to Hawaii’s homelessness problem.
With the tool in hand, he roamed the streets of the Aloha State, which has one of the U.S.'s highest homelessness rates, and smashed the shopping carts and debris left behind by the less fortunate.
Brower, who has represented his district since 2006, told local media he considered that crusade a more “practical” approach to clean streets than attempting to pass laws.
Several weeks and dozens of destroyed carts later, he let the hammer fall.
“The point that I was trying to make has been made,” he told the Star-Advertiser at the time. “It’s time to put down the sledgehammer.”
Daily News calls and emails to Brower were not immediately returned.
| My Homelessness: The misery of life on the streets of London VIDEO
| Hollywood actress helps the homeless VIDEO
|Private landlords get £9billion a year to house people with housing benefits
Landlords are exploiting legal loopholes to make millions off housing benefits while providing sub-standard and dangerous accommodation, an investigation has revealed.
FULL ARTICLE HERE
More than 200 individual landlords across the country have collected more than £1million each in housing benefits over the last three years, Monday’s Dispatches will show.
The programme, airing on Channel 4, investigates how private landlords are now the fastest growing provider of accommodation for housing benefit tenants, receiving £9billion a year from public funds.
Although many landlords provide good homes, the investigation finds that some are still collecting money from the taxpayer while placing people in dangerous accommodation.
One scheme exploited by landlords in London sees them convert hundreds of houses into properties containing multiple tiny units, each with a small shower room and basic cooking facilities.
This means that they can claim a higher rate of housing benefit than if they were renting out a fully shared property.
Housing Benefit Millionaires, which airs at 8pm, examines two properties in Brent, North London, and discovers that one letting agent is collecting nearly £70,000 per year and another nearly £80,000 per year in housing benefit.
One of these agents is believed to have almost 100 of these properties across the capital, earning them upwards of £2million from the taxpayer over the last three years.
In an attempt to combat the housing crisis, some councils are also offering private landlords financial incentives to rent their properties to people on housing benefits.
The Dispatches team secretly filmed one letting agent revealing that they receive between £800 and £1000 from local authorities to find rooms for housing benefit tenants.
Dr Victoria Cooper, lecturer in Social Policy at the Open University, tells the programme: ‘Approximately 40 per cent of the housing benefit budget is spent on the private rented sector.
‘What we’re seeing is a redistribution of wealth and while public funds were previously spent within social housing and then used to reinvest to expand that social housing, this is no longer the case.
‘With the private rented sector the money isn’t redistributed and it simply goes into the pockets of private landlords.’
A group of London councils including Greenwich, Hackney, Haringey, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark have become increasingly concerned about the loophole and have received funds from central government to investigate further.
The consortium plan to inspect 1,500 letting units that attract more than £15m a year in housing benefit.
Lawyers acting for the agents told Dispatches: ‘Our companies manage a number of properties in London and across the UK.
‘Each one is subject to the regulation of the appropriate local council, is inspected by them and subjected to independent certification generally. We have an excellent working relationship with each council.’
They said they reject all the allegations and would ‘continue to work with local authorities to provide much needed accommodation’.
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| Homeless protest in Nottingham over Christmas VIDEO
The usual lies spouted by councils
|Three homeless people SUE New York City claiming cops threw out birth certificates
Three homeless people have filed papers to sue New York City, saying police wrongly tossed a birth certificate, Social Security cards and priceless family photos into a dump truck.
FULL ARTICLE HERE
Jesus Morales and two others say they were sleeping in outside a school in Manhattan at about 5am on October 2 when police arrived, woke them, told them to move and tossed their stuff.
Some said they were kicked and shoved by the officers.
'They grabbed my clothes and threw it all in the garbage truck,' Morales, 42, said in Spanish on Monday at a news conference, attended by about a dozen homeless New Yorkers, to announce notice of the claim.
Morales said he's been homeless nearly 16 years.
'I can't even afford a room,' he said. 'We are many, and we don't have money to live here.'
The notice of claim, the first step in filing a lawsuit against the city, was prepared by the New York Civil Liberties Union after they obtained security footage of the night through a Freedom of Information Law request.
Attorney Alexis Karteron said their belongings weren't worth much, 'but the emotional cost is priceless'.
A spokeswoman for the mayor said the encounter between the homeless and police involved illegal trespassing on school grounds.
'That said, we will review our protocols concerning the seizure and disposition of personal property to ensure that it can be reclaimed by its rightful owners,' spokeswoman Karen Hinton said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday that the city has had success in persuading some who live in the camps to accept city services.
'Think about the encampments - settlements of people living out in the open or living under a railroad tunnel. Sleeping in the exposed air, often drug dens. This was not an acceptable way of life for those people,' he said.
'We're not going to tolerate it - for them, let alone for the communities around them. What a horrible message it sends about quality of life.'
But homeless New Yorkers and advocates said they were concerned the mayor's approach is too aggressive. Linda Lewis of Picture the Homeless questioned what would happen if all 55,000 homeless citizens were sheltered.
'Then what? There isn't enough housing for them - where do they go after shelter?' she asked.
Some homeless said they preferred the streets to shelters, where they felt unsafe. An audit by the comptroller's office found too few employees oversee the nonprofit organizations that operate shelters.
Meanwhile, about 50 outreach workers from three nonprofit groups canvassed Monday as part of the city's Home Stat outreach program.
Allison McCullough of the Goddard Riverside Community Center interacted with about 10 people by midday, and one conversation was cut short when police arrested a man on an assault charge. She said connecting on the street is a challenge.
'People aren't always forthcoming,' she said. 'It can take months. It can take years.'
She spoke with 30-year-old William Hardnet, who has been homeless since he was laid off from a cooking job at an Atlantic City casino six years ago.
'I like their program so much more because they actually come out and interact with the homeless,' he said. 'It shows that it's coming from the heart.'
He said he prefers to sleep in a convenience store doorway than to go to a shelter. Still, he said, he plans to work with McCullough.
'I would like for someone to come with me to see how it's set up,' he said. 'I'm definitely trying to get inside this winter.'
| Filipino children driven to the streets by crushing poverty VIDEO
|The homeless are a sign of a society that doesn’t care
FULL ARTICLE HERE
As the crowds poured out of the spell-binding Benjamin Clementine gig at St John’s Church in Hackney on Monday night, I noticed something in the corner of the churchyard. Or rather, I noticed someone, wrapped in a sleeping bag, lying on a few strips of cardboard, turning their body away from the cold. Churches may be struggling for congregations but they’re still in demand as music venues and crisis shelters, it seems.
London has always drawn people in for music, money and warmth — but you’re rarely far from a reminder of how it can spit them out too. This particular rough sleeper was especially poignant in the light of Clementine’s performance.
His songs tell of an unloved boy from Edmonton who threw his mobile phone in a bin because he couldn’t imagine anyone caring and ran away to Paris where he found his voice singing out in the Metro. After he won the Mercury Music Prize last month, that story has gained an air of inevitability, as stories often do when they’re written.
But it makes me wonder how many voices go unheard through sheer bad luck. How many others might have, or could have, or could still, if we only listened out for them.
What is certain is that the numbers of people sleeping rough keeps rising. The homelessness charity Crisis points to a 16 per cent increase in London this year, while according to Government data, there has been a 55 per cent increase nationwide since 2010. Some charities are so short of beds that they are giving out bus tickets and recommending night bus routes.
In London, we’re becoming inured to sights that we would have recently found shocking. Not since the grim days of Cardboard City — the notorious Thatcher-era shanty town underneath the Waterloo roundabout — has the problem been so visible. (If Labour can’t be trusted with the economy, the obvious counter is that the Conservatives can’t be trusted with society.)
And this is without factoring the more insidious problem of hidden homelessness: the estimated 400,000 people who are currently in hostels, B&Bs, squats and friend’s homes, conveniently ushered away from the official statistics. As Crisis warns, it’s rarely one problem that pushes people out onto the streets — there have usually been a series of problems.
I got a sense of this when I finally got talking to one of the guys who sleeps on my street. I came home to find him on my doorstep having a beer. I was a little irritated at first, since I’m often kicking away half-empty cans in the morning. “Have you ever noticed any litter around where we sit?” Someone gave him the can, he said, and if he drank it on the main street, he’d just get abuse. As it was, he had to contend with enough idiots kicking him, or pissing on his sleeping bag, or stealing his few belongings.
His story was litany of bad luck. His partner had been sectioned, leaving him to bring up their children alone. He was a skilled tradesman but he’d suffered health issues of his own. He had spent the past two years trying to gain employment but couldn’t without an address. “I’m sorry to keep going on, we don’t speak to a lot of people, so when we do it all comes out,” he said.
These cases aren’t inevitable. They’re an indictment of a society. And for what it’s worth, when I came out the next morning, the street was immaculate.
| UK's housing crisis reaches epic proportions VIDEO
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|What's Wrong (with Homeless Services) and How Do We Fix It! VIDEO
|Youth homelessness figure eight times higher than tory filth government admits
136,000 young people aged between 16 and 24 in England and Wales sought emergency housing in the past year
FULL ARTICLE HERE
The full extent of youth homelessness is more than eight times higher than the Government admits, according to a new report.
Some 136,000 young people aged between 16 and 24 in England and Wales sought emergency housing in the past year. The figure is based on an analysis by the Centrepoint charity of 275 Freedom of Information responses from local authorities. In stark contrast, only 16,000 young people were officially classed as “statutory homeless” – which would mean councils had a legal duty to house them – according to the report.
Worryingly, some 30,000 of those seeking help were turned away with little if any support. And as many as 90,000 were only offered support such as family mediation, to help them stay at home, or debt advice. This means the vast majority of those going for help are not getting the full assistance they’d be entitled to if they were officially accepted as being homeless.
“The most alarming aspect to these findings is that it is very likely they are a significant underestimate – many of the local authorities where youth homelessness is most prevalent did not respond to our Freedom of Information requests,” said Gaia Marcus, who runs Centrepoint’s youth homelessness databank.
Failures to assess the majority of young people in need of help mean some of the most vulnerable could miss out on the help to which they could be legally entitled, leaving them at risk, campaigners warn.
Only 40 per cent of young people in England were given an assessment to determine their eligibility for emergency housing in 2014, while in Wales fewer than two-thirds (60 per cent) were assessed.
The most alarming aspect to these findings is that it is very likely they are a significant underestimate
Gaia Marcus, Centrepoint
“A timely intervention in the lives of homeless young people enables them to achieve their potential in education, training or work. Unfortunately, too many young people are being failed at the first opportunity. It’s critical that central government provides sufficient funding to meet the true level of need,” said Ms Marcus.
“Each young person facing homelessness deserves to be given a thorough assessment to determine the help they need.
“No young person should be abandoned to dangerous situations at home or on the street.”
The Government needs to change the way it reports homelessness figures; all young people going for help should be assessed for their needs; and more funding is needed to enable councils to deal with the problem, says the report.
This comes amid warnings of a growing housing crisis. It emerged last month that homelessness has risen 40 per cent in five years, with more than 55,000 households accepted as homeless by their local council last year, according to the latest official statistics. The number of homeless families living in temporary accommodation in England stands at 50,750, the highest since 2008. Greg Clark, the Communities Secretary, warned in July that young people are being “exiled” from their local areas to “find a home that they can afford”.
In a statement, a government spokesman dismissed the report’s findings: “Centrepoint’s analysis is misleading and based on anecdotal evidence.” However, Matt Downie, director of policy at the Crisis homelessness charity, commented: “Our own research shows that when homeless people go to their council for help, all too often they are turned away to sleep on the streets.”
Peter Box, the Local Government Association’s housing spokesman, warned: “A chronic shortage of affordable housing and 40 per cent cuts to council budgets over the past five years means councils are facing real difficulties in finding emergency care for all homeless people.”
And Roger Harding, director of policy at Shelter, added: “It’s utterly shocking that any young person with nowhere to go would be turned away when they ask for help. But, sadly, our deepening housing crisis means this is becoming all too common.”