Homelessness

This story begins an occasional series about individuals who don't have much money or power but do have a big impact on their communities.

Sometimes, the people you'd least expect are those who do the most. People like Tony Simmons, a homeless man in Baltimore who helps others get off the street. Simmons says he does it as much for himself as for anyone else.

Should We Give Money to Panhandlers?

Jan 13, 2015
time.com

As you drive around in Oklahoma City, you’re bound to see them, people on the curbs with cardboard signs asking for jobs or money.

In this week’s JenX, while it might be instinct to give to them, Jennifer Martin observes that might not be the right thing.


Every story has dignity and a uniquely human touch, but some stories are harder to tell than others.

When KOSU opened a studio in Oklahoma City’s Film Row district, we started working one block away from the City Rescue Mission and came in daily contact with the homeless community. We wanted to find a way to tell their story, a story that is mostly untold with dignity.

Now, with your help, we have an opportunity to do that. With the inspiration of programs like StoryCorps and Youth Radio, we are raising funds so the homeless community can tell its story in a very personal way.

KOSU will lend its expertise in radio and sound mixing, and your gift will help recruit members of the homeless community and buy recorders to allow them to tell their own stories. KOSU will then help them mix down the sound into a documentary that we will air and make available for podcast.

If you don't have a place to live, getting enough to eat clearly may be a struggle. And since homelessness in the U.S. isn't going away and is even rising in some cities, more charitable groups and individuals have been stepping up the past few years to share food with these vulnerable folks in their communities.

But just as more people reach out to help, cities are biting back at those hands feeding the homeless.

Every summer for 27 years, a small tent city has popped up in San Diego. "Stand Down" is a three-day oasis for homeless veterans, with showers, new clothes, hot meals, medical help, legal aid and a booth set up for every housing program in the city.

Increasingly, the event needs ways to keep children entertained.

"They've got the kids zone and everything. My kids live out here very happy. They're looking forward to it from last year," says Alex Morales, who served in the Army in the 1970s.

A Different View of Home Economics

Sep 16, 2014
Transformer18 / Flickr Creative commons

In Oklahoma, it’s not uncommon to see panhandlers -- people who’ve fallen on hard times, asking for help on the side of the street.  Many of them have no permanent place to live.  On this week’s JenX, Jennifer Dennis Smith looks at homelessness in Oklahoma from a mother’s perspective.


Nikole Robinson Carroll / KOSU

Street paper The Curbside Chronicle strives to help the homeless get back to what the rest of us consider a “normal” life while showing the general public what homelessness really looks like.

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