Homeless People in the National News

In Utah, a pilot program is seeking to clear the homeless of petty crimes. These crimes often prevent homeless, and formerly homeless from fully integrating into society. This program provides homeless people a chance to do what many places will not: re-enter society fully.

A public defender in Florida is calling for the end of low-value arrests of homeless. These types of arrests in the long run only cost the city more money than they are gaining from arresting these people for overdue fines and petty crimes.  It is a similar expression of the Justice Department in Bell vs. the City of Boise. 

The old Walter Reed VA hospital which was the site of a scandal over deplorable conditions is set to be repurposed as a place for homeless veterans to stay in D.C. This old hospital will become a Permanent Supportive Housing complex with on-site staff to help these people with special needs.

Three Michigan cities have the potential to end veteran and chronic homelessness by the end of 2016. Though many say it’s a radical goal, they are making real change and claim to be close to ending veteran and chronic homelessness.

A homeless man in Anaheim is left paralyzed after being attacked. Yet, the man is not as mad at the attackers as he is at the city officials, who have shown consistent indifference toward the homeless in the city. He was attacked by a group of young people tagging various buildings.

Homeless people rack up a lot of fines and warrants for petty crimes that they are unable to pay off or are unable to show up to their court date. A judge in Boston is doing the right thing and is holding special “Homeless Court” sessions, where she hears the cases of homeless people with misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. In many cases, if a person shows they are committed to improvement, she will dismiss the charge.

Some cities do not provide a lot opportunities for the homeless to receive free meals. In Mendocino, California, one man has to forage for food, because there is so few places to receive meals in the city.

Even something as small as a haircut can make a big difference in the life of a homeless person.  It allows them to connect with their former selves from before homelessness, and also allows them to be more presentable at job interviews. This goes to show that the littlest of things can make a big difference.

People often think of winter as the hardest time for homeless people, but for homeless college students the hardest part is the summer. During the school year, college students can live in the dorms, but when breaks come, like summer break, these students are left with nowhere to go.

by Dan the Intern