15 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2015
    1. Preventing Homelessness: An Examination of the Transition Resource Action Center This article is focused on determining the success of a transitional residential program in supporting adolescents who age out of the foster care system. The researchers found that the TRAC residential program reduced the likelihood that an adolescent would become homeless, and there was an increase in acquiring temporary housing. The researchers focused on factors contributing to homelessness that were societal and not individual in nature, such as lack of affordable housing and financial stability. Even in discussing personal characteristics of the adolescents the researchers focused on things beyond the individual's control such as physical/mental health problems, depression, and suicide attempts by peers. The participants included in this study were all involved in the TRAC housing assistance program, a majority of which had a history of housing instability and social assistance. The researchers compiled information about the respondents at two time periods, at year 1 and then at year 2. The researchers interviewed each of the participants (n=24) to test them with the Self Sufficiency Matrix which is meant to determine the current stability of the person along with discussing their current habits and describe possible future trends or areas that need to be addressed.

      Analysis: The researchers attempted to be unbiased in their position towards adolescents by their definition of homelessness, though there was a clear focus on moving adolescents into housing instead of other approaches. Though this study does offer insight into a program being successful, we do not fully understand why the program is successful. The researchers cite that education was an important quality to the sufficiency, though this is based on their literature review and not based on the participants in the current study. The authors did note that future research needed to be done on the TRAC program along with youth homelessness because their research stated there may be a possible overarching solution, but that other researchers need to figure out why certain things worked and why others lacked.

  2. Nov 2015
    1. Homelessness in Europe and the United States: A Comparison of Prevalence and Public Opinion I am incredibly glad that this article came up because this article is a comparative study about peoples attitudes, knowledge and opinions concerning homelessness. The authors had telephone interviews with a random sample of adults in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the UK, and the United States. The study does attempt to differentiate between the different locations, I will focus mainly on the results concerning the United States (because our group's topic is related to status in the United States). Definition of Homelessness in the US: "literal" homeless, who reside in shelters, abandoned buildings, or other public spaces, and those who are homeless but live off of family and friends. Because the interviews were done over the phone its believed that these are accurate descriptions of the public opinion on homeless. Results: Lifetime prevalence of literal homelessness in the United States, meaning the highest levels of homelessness found in the United States and the UK. The adults from the United States might have been less likely to note they were homeless or sympathize with homeless due to the questions relating to homelessness asked if there was a time when they were homeless, instead of other countries being asked if they had ever fallen on hard times. This may have created some differences in attitudes because this was the first question and it could lead to a certain frame of mind. In other countries it was noted that income inequality was a factor in determining homelessness, while in the United States capitalism or high rates of inequality were not listed as a major factor. Apparently there were wide disparities in descriptions and feelings towards homelessness between those who have been homeless and those that have not been homeless, therefore previously homeless were not included in the results. There were lower levels of public support for homeless individuals in the United States, Italy, and the UK. In the United States homelessness was categorized by having a high rate of criminals or perceived criminal intent. In the United States personal failings were an important cause of homelessness. Homeless in the United States are also more likely to be described as drunks or alcoholics. the seriousness of homelessness as a problem was consistent between all of the countries.Estimates of the homeless in the United States (from respondents) placed homeless to be more likely to have children, less likely to be male, and more likely to have regular contact with relatives. Homeless families are actually statistically on the rise, based on recent point in time statistics. (This could be skewed because families are more likely to seek out services).

    1. Parental Incarceration, child homelessness, and the invisible consequences of mass imprisonment

      Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study, the author “investigates average and race-specific effects of paternal and maternal incarceration on the risk of child homeless (p.74).” Authors of this study use the “analytic sample,” of children who had “at least one parent complete both the 30- and 60 month interview (p.79).” Although number of observations was large (N=3,774) it only represented about 75% of the children identified in the sample. Missing data is a noteworthy limitation. The main argument author makes is that the effects of paternal and maternal incarceration have different effects on children. Families with incarcerated fathers tend to lose family finances. Due to this consequence, families lose access to institutional and informal supports. Mothers left to take care of families often suffer from depression (due to losing their partner) and their ability to take care their child(ren) suffers. Maternal incarceration, author theorizes, results in foster care or other forms of housing, but it reduces chance of child homelessness. Therefore, increase in paternal imprisonment increases child homelessness, while female imprisonment increases foster care placements (p.75). The results in the study “support the hypothesis that paternal but not maternal incarceration increases the risk of child homelessness, and show that nearly all these effects are concentrated among African American children (p.75).” According to National Center on Family Homelessness 2009, “two percent of children are now homeless annually, with rates higher in cities (p.76).” According to the research, “shifts in social policies, deindustrialization, increases in single parenthood, and the housing squeeze played a role in increasing the risk of homelessness for black children (p.76).” This article attempts to shed light on the parental incarceration and child homelessness but more research needs to be developed. Its three limitations are (1) little discussion of potential mechanisms, (2) “data used preclude controls for confounders such as prior homelessness, eviction and incarceration, (3) it doesn’t test for disparate effects by race nor takes account for whether paternal and maternal incarceration increase the risk of child homelessness. Authors offer that further research should focus on “disproportionately detrimental effects of paternal incarceration on black children (p.92).”<br> The study concludes that “results from logistic regression and propensity score models consistently indicate that recent paternal incarceration increases the risk of child homelessness; maternal incarceration, on the other hand, was never associated with a significant change in risk (p.92).” The results provide three implications in regards to the effects of mass imprisonment on social inequality; 1) paternal and maternal incarceration lead to parallel paths of marginalization; this study is the first to show paternal incarceration increases risk of child homelessness. Second, these small effects have large implications; when combined with “increases and disparity in the risk of paternal imprisonment, they imply the prison boom accounted for 65% increase in black-white inequality of child homelessness (p.92).” Finally, as children of prison boom come of age, an expectation of increasing black-white gaps in civil preparedness and political participation. Children homelessness is once again in the light, because as mentioned previously, Social Construction Framework suggests that children are low on political power and higher on deserving scale. As innocent, or unable to fend for themselves it is easy to request social attention to their needs, especially when they are exposed to homelessness without any reason of their own but because they’re born to parents who are incarcerated. The challenge lies with incarcerated parents however, since social construction and power typology chart shows criminals on low power, underserving part of the scale which in effect reflects poorly on their children. By creating a reputation for incarcerated parents; limit their employment once they’re out, access to public assistance, heavy fines to pay back, the children are exposed to a limited amount of help and therefore more exposed to homelessness.

    1. Brief Report: The Aging of the Homeless Population: Fourteen-Year Trends in San Francisco This article is a longitudinal study of the characteristics of homelessness over a 14 year period. The point of the study was to examine the age, housing, health status, health service utilization, and drug use of the homeless population. The start of the paper discusses the characteristics associated with homelessness which are substance- and alcohol-related problems, mental illness, poor health, decreased access to ambulatory care, high rates of acute care, and high mortality. The sample population were taken from single residency occupancy hotels, meal-service programs, and shelters. The researchers found there was a significant increase in median age, on average there was an increase in the average age by .66 years per calendar year. The median total time being homeless increased on average 2.7 months per calendar year.

      The takeaway from this study for our research project would be that homelessness is defined as persons who spend any night outdoors, in an emergency shelter, or in any other place not meant for habitation.

      The status of homelessness is varied but would include mostly African American (51.7%), few women (22.9%), and very few 65 years or older (1.2%). While drug and alcohol use were questioned there is no clear statistic on the percentage they included, though the trends would suggest that drug and alcohol use is on a downward trend, 40.3% in 1990-1994 down to 28.8% in wave 4 in 2003.

      Note: The author notes that during this time period there were many instances of mandatory drug sentencing for young offenders, this might have reduced the number of younger individuals who are homeless.

    1. Are economically poor information poor? Does the digital divide affect the homeless and access to information?

      To begin, digital divide refers to the gap between those who have access to information (“information haves”) and those who do not (information have nots). Digital divide causes great concerns regarding individual’s and family’s access to information. Much focus from the Government has been placed on providing internet to public school and libraries to limit the digital divide and provide access to digital information for all. According to the author, the literature on digital divide focuses on who has and who doesn’t have access to the Internet, as well as what libraries can do to lessen the divide. However, further research, such as addressing lack of Internet access at home, is needed to focus on digital divide specifically.<br> By gathering information through interviews and participant observation from six family shelters in Indianapolis, five in Seattle, and one family shelter in Greensboro the research focuses on how valuable and useful of an information seeking tool the Internet would be in everyday lives of homeless families This qualitative approach was “undertaken to gather data to answer research questions concerning everyday life information needs,” and “information poverty (p.242).” Twenty-five in depth interviews of homeless parents living in shelters were also conducted to answer the posed research questions. Majority of residents interviewed did not find internet as a major source of information. In fact, most reported that the most useful way to communicate was face to face and then get the information in writing. Overall the information gathered was from social service agencies and clergy, or friends and family. Even though majority of respondents lacked basic computer skills they did not think they were information poor. Most information about resources was shared informally between shelter residents, especially if person sharing did not need that resource for themselves. According to the article, because resources are limited and non-profits fear being overrun with those in need, they keep a lot of their information off the web. Even social service agents found some resource information from other staff members as opposed to online. The study explains six propositions introduced by Chatman’s (1996) research on information insiders and outsiders. Information insiders are those who have been homeless before and understand how to navigate the system, information outsiders are those who are first time homeless. Based on the research, six propositions were suggested as to why people fail to gather information. Proposition 1: Lack of resources rather than lack of information was the issue. Proposition 2: information poverty is partially associated with class distinction and outsiders withhold privileged access to information. Proposition 3: Self-protective behavior affects the information shared. Not everyone wants to share their personal info with resource staff or with other residents. Proposition 4: Secrecy and deception as part of self-protecting can affect information sharing especially with those providing resources. Deception was common when trying to gain access to resources for which informant may not be eligible.

      Proposition 5: At times, individuals are more likely to share personal information such as substance abuse or domestic with resource providers because the need for resource assistance outweighed the concern over possible negative consequences (p.246).

      Proposition 6: New knowledge will be selectively introduced into the information world of poor people. Shelter residents were more likely to say they are suffering from information overload than lack of information. The study explains that these findings are limited and not generalizable but can be transferable. Further research is needed to determine if shelters provide information access and if they do not, why not. The homeless lack sufficient economic resources such as stable housing but they do not feel that they lack information or access to information. In fact, most feel that they receive more information than necessary and are “tired of people thinking just because we’re poor we ain’t got nothing (p.247).” It will be interesting to see how digital divide and information access changes as new generations, such as children of parents interviewed emerge into more Internet dependent society. For now, the lack of access to digital information does not seem to negatively affect the everyday life of homeless parents. Surprisingly this paper was written in 2013 so a lot more emphasis on Internet would’ve been expected. As the information states, Government has already attempted to address the digital divide by providing Internet access as publicly as possible. The other issue is that some information is withheld from the web due to large need that agencies cannot fulfill. Social Construction Theory indicates that homeless are considered deserving part of the population so these services are provided to them, especially families seeking basic needs such as housing, employment and health resources. There are Government agencies in place that address these needs but not nearly at capacities at which the need exists. Clearly we see the complexity of Social Construction Theory; since homeless are low on power scale, and borderline between deserving and undeserving it’ difficult to provide for them but also as difficult not to provide for them.

    1. The Article is a study found on Google Scholar. The point of the study was to look at the causes of homelessness from the lens of newly homeless individuals in the United States, England, and Australia. Their method was to conduct interviews with individuals that have become homeless during the last two years. The results showed that two-thirds of the subjects had never been homeless before, not chronically homeless. Many of the factors for why individuals were homeless were physical and mental health problems, alcohol abuse, and gambling problems. These problems were across the spectrum throughout each of the countries.<br> The characterization of homelessness is as an individual problem, the reason for their homelessness is a personal issue or something that they caused such as gambling and drug use. Health problems and disabilities were included to a small extent but not touched upon in great detail. The study did detail that in Boston (where the study was conducted) had a large portion of women. The percentage of Blacks that were homeless were much larger percentages in Boston than England or Australia, 47% in Boston while 89% in England were white British. While about 1/5th of respondents said they were ousted from their home, meaning it wasnt characterized as their fault.

      Link: http://psychsocgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/60/3/S152.long Title: The Causes of Homelessness in Later Life: Findings From a 3-Nation Study

    1. Promoting Positive Parenting in the Context of Homelessness

      National reports indicate that number of families with children experiencing homelessness is rising across urban, rural and suburban area. These families, study suggests, are “disporportionatly more likely to have exierpence economic, health and social risk factors. These influences, and those impacted by being in homeless environment influence the parent-child relationship which affects the development of children in these situations. This article review the literature on determinants and contextual issues of parent in shelter, describes specific programs that are focused on positive parenting and provides recommendations for supporting positive parenting among families living without their own homes. The study argues that the parent child relations is affected by stressful events in parent’s life or overall family environment. The shelter environment and staff that intervenes in these parent’s parenting also impacts child parent relationship and parent’s confidence. Based on research parents in shelters and transitional housing state that they felt like they were parenting in public and this affected their parenting enormously. In return, children who lack child parent relationship are more likely to experience behavioral, developmental, educational challenges. Overall, parents (families) who enter shelters more than likely have already experience chronic neighborhood violence and domestic violence, among other stressors which impede their ability to focus on parenting. According to the article, parenting difficulties can intensify for parents in homelessness to the point of abuse and neglect, which in turn, exposes kids to foster care system. Programs such as Family Care Curriculum, Parenting Through Change and Psychological First Aid, are all parenting programs designed for families experiencing homelessness. Parenting Through Changes offers “14-week, 90 minute per session group format emphasizing active learning and role play to acquire positive parenting (p.405).” Family Care Curriculum is a “6 week program that meets one per week for 60 minutes and aims to change parenting beliefs and attitudes through the development of reflective capacities (p.406).” Psychological First Aid (PFA) is “a brief evidence-informed intervention that was original developed to offer psychological support and stabilization to individuals and families following natural disasters and trauma (p.406).” The PFA has been proved successful, use nationally and internationally and has been translated into several languages. All three of these programs focus on helping families cope with homelessness and help parents build positive parenting. The article calls for acknowledgement among service providers and shelters for addressing differences among families and their needs. That different approaches must take place and services utilizing which will nourish parent child relationships. Organizations need to collaborate more, especially because funding is a huge concern. Policies such as Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH 2011) needs to focus on families. Overall, we need to remove the “assumption that homelessness is simply a matter of housing,” and understand that “…many families experiencing homelessness are facing a complex array of risk factors that go beyond housing alone (p.409)” The article, just like the Social Construction Theory suggests that “children have fundamental right to thrive in health, safe families and communities… (p.410)” There is an emphasis on what is deserved and factors affecting child-parent relationships are geared more towards the external reasons than simply blaming the parent or child. It is important that the tone of article addresses limitations in research and progress, identifies what has been done and the fact that there is much more needed. In this situation families, especially children, are high on deserving scale and requiring services and focus on them, is not only easy but most appropriate.

  3. Oct 2015
    1. “Homelessness has continues to be a major social problem in the United States, especially among people with psychiatric and substance use disorders,” state authors of the study (p.412). During the 1990’s, public health and policy focused on providing emergency shelter to individuals, now the emphasis has turned towards providing more permanent, supportive housing as a means of solving homelessness. Most recently, attention has focused on highlighting “social reintegration and primary prevention of homelessness” before it occurs (p.412). The special concern about homelessness among military veterans is due in part because they’re “deserving of special protection because of their national service (p.412).” The study focuses on a national sample of Veterans that are homeless and non-homeless and are currently receiving mental health services through Veteran Affairs (VA). Authors used VA administrative data from fiscal year 2009 to conducted case-control study of all veterans who used VA mental health specialty services in 2009. Homeless veterans were designed as those who a) used specialized VA homeless program services and/or lacked housing during 2009. Control population included 1,011,368 veterans who utilized specialty mental health services during FY2009 but did not received VA homeless services. Demographic characteristics included gender, age, ethnicity, race, geographic location, and income. The study concluded that “substances use disorders (particularly illicit drugs use disorders) were the single strongest predictor of homelessness in this national sample of FY2009 VA mental health users (p.415).” The study suggested that VA homelessness prevention efforts should focus on treatment of veterans with substance use disorders as well as on their housing risk. In the past Veterans did not utilize substance treatment services but we see that has changed by 2009. The study proposes that “[a]ccess to effective substance use treatment may facilitate a reduction in homelessness among veterans and should remain a focus of prevention efforts in the future (p.416).” The results also suggest that service connected disability benefits reduce the risk of becoming homeless. This is why, the study recommends that offering social service programs, such as HUD VA Support Housing may provide most effective approach to homeless prevention because it ties the individual to Veteran Affairs and housing. I continue to tie Social Construction Theory to the homelessness and housing issues, I suggest the same in this case. In fact, the article itself states that, veterans are deserving of special protection because of their national service. We see this population, returning from the recent wars in the Middle East as deserving due to their service and their health conditions. According to the social construction and power typology chart, military is viewed as positive and deserving with higher power. This group deserves the benefits and respect due to their selfless contributions to safety and protection of our entire country. Providing benefits to such advantaged group generates political capital among policy makers and it’s almost a no brainer when it comes to making the decision to pass a policy or address the issue of homeless among this highly deserving population.

    1. Peter H. Rossi, 84, SOcialogist Who Studied Homelessness, Dies

      So in my article from 2006 from the New York Times I did not get the article I expected. Our group goal was to study the views towards homelessness and I dont think the article highlights that. This article details the life of Peter H. Rossi and focuses on his books on homelessness. The way he characterized homelessness was a shift from the older white male denizens to a "younger, larger group that included many more women, children and minorities". His research suggested a smaller homeless population than official studies might have suggested, 300,000 to 500,000 instead of two to three million. His work was used in policy making on both sides of the aisle to either highlight the failure of certain programs or to strengthen those same programs.

      Analysis: So in this article I found a mostly positive view of homelessness, meaning their was a characterization of homeless individuals as women and children which have a positive social construction. The article did not have a definition of homelessness. I think the intent of the article was to highlight the death of a man who was very involved in homelessness research and the examination of social programs directed at homeless individuals.

    1. 'Without a Net': Mobile Home

      This article is a book review of an essay written by Michelle Kennedy about her life as a waitress raising three children while being homeless. The article details how she came to push beyond the stereotypes of being poor or homeless by being a middle-class housewife (deserving), who was also a mother (protected class), and her hard middle-class work ethic. Her refusal to be classified as poor is seen as a view into the stigmatization of the homeless and poor in 2005. Also the articles focus on individual work ethic and productivity reflects an atmosphere of people are poor or homeless because they dont work hard or are not doing enough really comes through. I think the intent of the article is to give focus to the individualistic view of America in that the choices an individual makes is what produces what they have in the present. The article does not point directly to a negative view of homelessness, by stating homeless individuals or poor individuals are those who just dont work hard enough, but indirectly by saying this person is not poor because they work incredibly hard and have a bad situation. Its a very indirect negative view of homelessness based on my groups defined view of negative and positive definitions of homelessness.

    1. Ellen Bassuk writes this article with intention to bring more focus on homelessness among families, specifically children, and discusses the consequences and side effects homeless children face. The article states that a lot of previous studies investigated impact of homelessness by comparing homeless children with those of their low income counterparts, however this does not create responsive solutions. Through research we are aware that homeless children are faced with greater challenges than those with housing. Overall, children in homelessness experience health and well-being insufficiency; their parent(s) (usually single mothers) are unable to care for them, the trauma of homelessness disables them to be caretaker the child needs and creates limitations in child’s development. Mobility, which is inevitable among homeless who are constantly seeking place to live, affects children’s performance in school, social interactions and psyche. Article states that, “poverty and traumatic stress can results in poor mental health, behavioral problems, developmental milestones, emotional dysregulation, attachment disorders, anxiety and depression.”

      According to the data collected by 12,550 Local Education Agencies, approximately 1.5 million children experience homelessness in American each year, yet, most federal policy has focused on chronically homeless individuals and introduced the Housing First model to address homelessness among individuals.

      The Interagency Council on Homelessness issued “Opening Doors – the first ever comprehensive strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness in America” in 2009. By the interagency collaboration the “key focus and goal is to prevent and end homeless for families, youth and children within 10 years.” More focus is faced on rapid rehousing to assist individuals rather than continue support of shelters. Article explains that programs and policies need to provide services for the whole family – including children. BSAFE, for example, is a program developed to identify family member’s needs and provide referrals to community support and services.

      In order for the Campaign to End Child Homelessness to be successful however, mobilization of political will at the national, state and local levels will be required along with the implementation of effective interventions. So far the campaign has been gaining momentum; collation of providers, consumers, advocates, and policy makers is forming to identify needs and solutions for ending family homelessness.

      “The failure to house one child for even one night in our nation represents an unacceptable societal failing,” concludes the article, than adds; “[A]ll that is required is the public will to end this national tragedy.”

      The article acknowledges the shortcomings in addressing family homelessness and explains certain federal policies that have attempted to address these concerns. The conclusion of the article places a heavy responsibility on public will to solve and eradicate homelessness which indicates that The Social Construction Theory is challenged. As article states, over a decade has been dedicated to Housing First model, which provides housing for chronically homeless, yet homeless families have been excluded from this model. Per Social Construction Theory, homeless children especially, were considered the most deserving, this article is attempting to bring that notion back. It acknowledges that there was a shift in social construction and it’s affecting homeless children and families greatly.

    1. First things first: 'Housing first,' a redical new approach to ending chronic homelessness, is gaining around in Boston

      This article came about in the early years of the Housing First program, which is meant to give housing to homeless individuals (specifically focused on chronically homeless and the hard to house homeless) regardless of their past or current problems such as addiction, disability, etc. The program began near the end of the Bush administration and was a direction by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to begin devoting a third of their funds towards the idea of housing homeless individuals in permanent housing. The article moreso points to a man named Philip Mangano who was appointed to head the homelessness efforts for the Bush administration. The article portrays him as the person who began the discussion and movement towards housing first. The article does a great job of bringing in information from multiple studies and discussing the way cost-benefit analysis was used to further advance the cause of housing first because it showed that the housing first program actually reduced the total costs of homeless individuals because of their reduced dependence on emergency services.

      My goal in looking at this article was to examine it using the social constructionist theory, specifically focusing on who is defined as "needy" or "deserving" and if that matches what we find in the social construction and power typology in the Sabatier and Weible book on page 111. My secondary goal that I found part way through the article was who is the "hero", who is the "victim", and who is the "villain".

      In going through the article it does bring together homeless individuals but it also takes those who are considered to be more deserving of public funds such as children mothers, families, and mentally handicapped. The only negative they seemed to include was drug addicts, which are not listed on the figure in Sabatier and Weible but I infer that they would be considered underserving. So because of this we can see the narrative moving away from these people just being "homeless" in their social construction but they are also mothers, children, and other deserving statuses.

      I didnt expect to see a classification of who is the hero, villain, or victim. Looking towards the end of the article it discusses how the current system (villian) is preventing those who are chronically homeless (victims) from getting help because of their status or current lifestyle choices. Their lifestyle choices are self perpetuating in that they need to seek services to help with that but the services can only offer so much if they cant get housing, but to get housing they need to not have issues such as alcoholism, drug use, etc. So now HUD or state governments (heroes) need to step in and provide housing first programs to give those who who are hardest to reach services.

      The article is going to be used to understand the starting construction of homeless individuals and homeless issues in the start of the housing first program. Coming articles though need to be focused pre-2007 to understand the typology of homeless individuals before the housing first program to see if there has been a shift, or even if homelessness was discussed. It might also be useful to have statistics on homeless point in time studies to see if a spike in homelessness produced these conversations of change or if it was a push by advocates of homelessness programs to change the discussion of the issue.

    1. Homelessness is not a crime

      Summary of article: The article describes the narrative of a few individuals who are homeless such as Katherine who fled emotional and physical abuse, who received a citation for prohibited camping which led her to a cycle of chronic homelessness. Then discussing the marine who after returning from war was unable to live with people and confined spaces and was then cited for trespassing; which led to him going to jail for a few days and having a criminal record. Lastly about Roger who is disabled and homeless but has difficulty finding shelter because he is unable to receive the care he needs, so he ended up in a few homeless camps; roger later received a $1,000 citation for illegal camping. The article specifically goes into detail about the city of Eugene (which the paper is located in) and their use of homeless criminalization policies of prohibited camping, no trespassing in parks, etc. Finishing with a discussion on the changing federal regulations about funding, specifically from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Continuum of Care Program, which gives federal funds to cities seeking to eliminate or diminish homeless populations in their city limits, has now created conditions on this funding in that localities will need to end specific policies that are directly responsible for criminalization of homeless individuals. The article ends witha list of ways the city council can change the direction on criminalizing homeless individuals.

      My take: (I am blunt in my review and in no way wish to offend someone) I think this is an interesting article to analyze in looking at the narrative put forth. We have a woman who escaped her abusive husband, a veteran who needs medical care, and an elderly person on social security. These are segments of our population that can be viewed as needy or deserving of benefits, which makes the narrative of helping the homeless become an issue of providing for the most needy populations. This moves the conversation about from drug users who wound up on the streets to a very personal issue of it could be someone who fought for our country, it could be a woman who escaped a bad situation and is trying to make life better, or a man who because of his limited income was unable to pay for the services he needed. This creates the narrative surrounding the issue which makes the issue become more about helping those who deserve our help.

      It is important to note the article does not mention mental health services, drug use, or other life choices that could have gotten someone on the streets. This is important because those are negative sides of homelessness which the article sought to avoid. Instead using terms such as military veteran, people with disabilities women, and poverty. The issue is not that people made bad choices but that people were put into bad situations and need our help. When we look at people's reaction to this article we find some support reviews and some negative reviews. The negative reviews do seem to bring up that these people are deserving but that the homeless population is not made up of these needy populations and therefore the issue becomes helping the needy ones and criminalizing those who have issues not deemed "worthy".

  4. Sep 2015
    1. Tiny Housing Community Metro Polis Magazine

      The linked article is about the Quixote Village in Olympia, Washington. This is a community of 30 tiny, 144 sq-foot homes, around a common building with a kitchen, shower, laundry facility, and staff offices. The idea for this village emerged from a group of homeless individuals that were part of a tent community moving from church parking lot to church parking lot in 2007. A non-profit called Panza was formed and secured land from Thurston County that is on the edge of Olympia and Tumwater. The village was funded by multiple organizations and sources such as the Washington state Housing Trust Fund, HUD Community Development Block Grants, the City of Olympia, Thurston County, and private contributions. The interesting part is the village is self governed by the residents of Quixote village. While there is an onsite landlord, there is still a committee that addresses community concerns and advises the landlord.

      There are a few very key takeaways from this article. First that there were multiple funders for this project, meaning that there are different jurisdictions that are willing to create a solution but also that it might be necessary for this type of project. Another take away is that the concept of self-governing homeless camps is possible. There is a self-governing homeless camp in Portland Oregon (Dignity Village), but there have been a few articles in the news about the political power struggles of the organization in Dignity Village. While this article doesnt discuss the functionality of the self-governing model I think it is interesting to note that it exists.

    1. Vancouver, WA near Portland, OR has seen an increase in homeless tents and tarps, especially near the Share House shelter in the downtown area. Katherine Garrett, shelter's director who's been working with homeless since 2001 says she's "never seen this much open camping before." Since the late 1990's people have been banned from camping outside in public places, making it a misdemeanor. Now, a proposed ordinance would allow people to camp out legally from 9:30 PM - 6:30 AM. Vancouver Police was barely enforcing this ban as is, about 9 citations a month. After the U.S Justice Department put out a statement of interest on Aug. 6th saying Government can't ban people from sleeping outside, the Vancouver P.D has ceased citing people altogether. The U.S Justice Dept. says that it is unconstitutional and it “just keeps ‘em homeless” as it impedes on their ability to find jobs and housing with criminal record. Police Chief James McElvain told KATU that police will still crack down on other behaviors; drinking in public, fighting, blocking sidewalks etc.” Kevin Lisman, a homeless man since March, told KATU that he wishes people “would be more sympathetic.” Tristia Bauman, senior attorney for the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty in Washington D.C., said; “We are pleased that cities are paying attention to what the Justice Department has said, and that they are revising their criminalization policies.” However, Vancouver would still need to catch up to some other cities implementing constructive policy that federal government is promoting. There should be more focus on “providing permanent housing to homeless people.”<br> The proposed ordinance for allowing outside camping between 9:30PM-6:30AM will be going up before the City this Monday, September 21.