Homeless Still Endangered Across America

Man Not Guilty in Homeless Feeding Case

Orlando, FL – A man arrested for feeding homeless people in Orlando was found not guilty of a misdemeanor charge against him, according to an article posted on WKMG’S website.

Eric Montanez was arrested several months ago on suspicion of serving more than 25 homeless people, which Orlando police said violates a city ordinance states that a charity can feed up to 25 people at a time.

Montanez faced a maximum of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine if he would have been convicted.

City Shuts Water To Keehi Homeless Camp 

Honolulu, HI – Just a day after KITV featured a community of homeless people living on the edge of a city park at Keehi Lagoon, the city shut down their water supply, according to an article on The HawaiiChannel.com. More than 50 people were sharing an illegal water valve that city crews shut off the day after the report.

The city’s move to cut off the water line will make life more difficult for dozens of homeless people at Keehi Lagoon Park, some of whom have lived there for more than a year. However they said they would stay.

At least 40 people live in about 30 makeshift homes on a drainage canal along Keehi Lagoon. They used hoses to distribute water from one faucet to different families who live in house made of scrap wood and metal, some of which have bedrooms, dining rooms and kitchens.

A spokesman for the mayor was quoted in the article saying that there are no plans to close the park at night or evict the homeless community. However, he said the city needed to shut down the water valve because it was an illegal hookup, and the constantly – running water was costing city taxpayers a lot of money. 

Transit Officer Fired for Beating Homeless couple 

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – A city transit officer accused of beating up homeless couple at a transit stop has been fired, according to an article on KOB.com Eyewitness News

Brian Mazur was charged with assault and battery for the incident in which several people called 911 to report the officer was punching and kicking a homeless couple. The couple included a woman in a wheelchair.

Mazur will reportedly appeal his firing, claiming the case was blown out of proportion.

Las Vegas Pursues Alternative to Panhandling 

Las Vegas, NV – Las Vegas plans to join Denver, Chattanooga and Minneapolis in enacting a program that would put money from certain parking meters into a trust fund to get homeless people off the streets.

According to an article on KVBC.com News Channel 3, the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Commission is promoting the program as an alternative to giving to panhandlers.

The program is still in its planning stage. It would have to pass a vote from city council to be enacted.

Teen Charged in Murder of Homeless Man 

ABILENE, TX – A 15 year – old boy has been charged with murder in the beating death of a 48-year – old homeless man – and police are seeking a second suspect.

According to an article from the AP Texas News, victim Eric Raphael McMahon was found badly beaten in an alley behind a homeless ministry center. Doctors removed McMahon from life support the next day.

Witnesses told police that two men in their late teens assaulted the victim.

McMahon was unemployed and had been in the Abilene area several years. Police said McMahon was retired from the Texas National Guard. No information about a possible motive has been released.


National Housing trust Moves Forward

The National Housing Trust was introduced this summer, and passed the U.S, House of Representatives. Activists are championing this as a major step forward to rebuilding affordable housing in the United States. The President has threatened to veto the bill should it reach his desk. The senate must introduce and pass this bill before it can go to the president. If this legislation were passed most of the funds in the first year would go to help with gulf coast relief to reconstruct some of the housing lost in 2005 after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Copyright Homeless Grapevine, Cleveland, Ohio, Issue 83, November 2007