Homelessness

facebook.com/CurbsideOKC

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma City Council is expected to vote on an ordinance banning activities in city medians with an emphasis on ending panhandling.

KOSU's Michael Cross spoke with Homeless Alliance Executive Director Dan Straughan about what this means for Oklahoma City's indigent community.

 

More than 560,000 people lived on the streets or in homeless shelters in the U.S. earlier this year. That number marks a 2 percent drop from the year before, according to new figures released Thursday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Still, some question how accurately those numbers depict the problem. There are many ways one can count who is and isn't homeless.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Oklahoma City Council advances an ordinance to ban everyone from medians not just panhandlers.

The council heard from several citizens opposed to the measure like Derrek Jump, a veteran who advocates for homeless vets. Jump says he’s opposed to the idea of fining and jailing our poorest citizens.

"I think what it boils down to is extra revenue for our great city and the fact that we're willing to create revenue off the backs of our homeless population is absolutely reprehensible," says Jump.

The Sooner Stand Down by The Homeless Alliance taking place on Thursday from 6am to 4pm is entering its ninth year.

Executive Director Dan Straughan says the goal of the Stand Down is to help get veterans back on their feet.

The term “Stand Down” originated during World War I when soldiers were pulled back from the trenches for physical and mental respite.

Eight months after homelessness hit a record in New York City, you can still see the need of the city's most vulnerable in Tompkins Square Park.

"Good morning! Two pieces?" asks Mario Cornejo, as he places slices of frosted banana bread on paper towels for a long line of hungry people.

"It used to be just a small pot before," explains Cornejo, a volunteer with a New York group called Food for Life since 2008. "Now it's a big pot and bigger salad containers, more trays of cake."

Two police officers responded to a 911 call in March 2014 that ended in the killing of James Boyd, 38, a homeless man camping in the foothills outside Albuquerque, N.M.

Now a judge says there is probable cause to try officers Dominique Perez and Keith Sandy for murder, The Associated Press reports.

The AP notes that during a hearing:

Just a couple of blocks off the 210 Freeway in San Bernardino, Calif., about an hour east of LA, rest a whole row of cheap, rundown motels. Some people stay for a night or two, others just by the hour.

But some rooms house families with kids — and these families aren't just stopping in.

This is home for them, at least for now. They've run out of other options for a roof over their heads.

On a steamy San Diego afternoon, baseball fans are headed toward the Padres' downtown stadium. As they approach the park, they pass a large steel stall on the sidewalk. Darlene Collins stops to look at it.

"I did not know that was a bathroom," Collins observes. "I thought it was some kind of electrical equipment or something."

Then the stall emits a familiar sound.

"Well, now that I hear it flush, ..." she says. "I did not know that was a bathroom."

In 2009, then-Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki declared that all homeless veterans would have housing by year's end. New Orleans has made huge strides towards ending veteran homelessness in the city. (This story first aired on August 4, 2015 on All Things Considered.)

Pages