Homeless Endangered Across America

Homeless Men Turned Away From Reno Shelter

     The Reno Assistance Center can shelter up to 140 men a night, but on cold nights up to 184 typically stay there. When the temperatures dip below freezing this time of year, homeless people who are forced to sleep outside can wake up covered with several inches of snow on them and also run the risk of getting frostbite. The United Way is working with the center to place men in motels when the shelter is full. Nevada Human Resources will investigate reshuffling some of the state’s discretionary federal funds for emergency shelter.

Salvation Army Fees

     Some needy residents in southern Mississippi are complaining that a $55.00 weekly fee at the Gulfport shelter run by the Salvation Army is too much. They claim that those who aren’t able to pay are being thrown out of their rooms. Most Salvation Army shelters do charge a fee for extended stay programs. It is free to stay at the Salvation Army Shelter for the first seven days. There is a service fee for stays longer than one full week.

Murder In Modesto, Calif.

     Modesto police are investigating the death of a homeless man whose body was found outside of a vacant building. The unidentified man, believed to be in his mid-50s, suffered blunt trauma to the head. An owner of a nearby donut shop recognized the deceased as a man who came into her shop almost everyday and bought coffee with the change he would find in the parking lot. Police classified the death as suspicious. The result of an autopsy is pending.

 Homeless Children Population Growing

     More than 680 children in Volusia County, Florida, and another 30 in Flager County, Florida, cannot count on sleeping in the same bed every night. These children were found by school officials to be regularly on the move. They suspect the numbers are much larger. Family Renew Community of Volusia County can provide temporary housing for 33 families. The executive director states they are full all the time, and they unfortunately have to turn families away at times. Volusia County counted 440 homeless children a year ago, and 330 the previous year.

Homeless Man Escapes Injury In Trash Dumpster

     A homeless man in Ann Arbor, Michigan, who fell asleep in a commercial trash bin was dumped into a garbage truck and compacted. There is a dull steel blade that pushes the waste against the wall of the truck to maximize space but a person can be protected from the blade by trash. Firefighters got on top of the garbage truck and were able to get the man out without serious injury.

San Francisco Cops Want Homeless Dumped Elsewhere

     San Francisco police officers suggested the city offer homeless people who were unhappy living within the city a one-way bus ticket out of town, suggesting the policy would help unite them with loved ones. The police came up with the idea after responding to complaints of homeless people loitering outside the public library. A spokesman for the Mayor’s office responded to local media inquiries by saying it was not under consideration.

Church Member Irate Over Homeless Encampment

     Members of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church on Seattle’s east side have expressed anger at the possibility of providing grounds for the homeless encampment, Tent City 4. The encampment provides a spot for area homeless people to come and set up “camp.” The site is currently located at St. John Mary Vianney Catholic Church. Organizers of the current site applied to extend the date of the permit to Feb. 20. The organizers have yet to establish a definite site for a new encampment, but have been in discussion with other churches besides Holy Cross. Certain members of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church have said they would leave the parish if it goes forth with plans to host Tent City 4.

Massachusetts NPOs and Community Organizations Awarded Grants

     Approximately 40 non-profit and community-based organizations in Massachusetts were given $750,000 in competitive grants and technical assistance for programs that seek to develop the skills of homeless individuals and at-risk youth. The program was organized by Connections for Tomorrow, which is a three-year collaboration led by the Community Technology Centers’ Network (CTCNet) in partnership with the Alliance for Technology Access and the TechMission. Funding was provided through the Compassion Capital Fund, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Faith-Based and Community Initiative.

Copyright NEOCH, Homeless Grapevine Issue #68 Cleveland Ohio February 2005. All Rights Reserved.