This man was in his early sixties and had been homeless for many years. Yet he kept his hair combed, and he spoke clearly and reasonably. Sure, he had some anger concerning his plight, but who wouldn’t? It seems that fate had dealt him a few too many blows, and this is where he had ended up.
After closing the public feeding facility, San Diego officials quickly moved against the Salvation Army and got their meal program closed. Then, one by one, they began began picking off the smaller homeless providers who offered food and day shelter. Some churches have resisted.
U.S. housing advocates can and should use international human rights standards to reframe the public debate, craft and support legislative proposals, supplement legal claims in court, advocate in international forums and support community organizing efforts.
“What is needed is a change in the mindset and motivation of our elected leaders to say that housing is not just a commodity, but a basic human need, and a basic human right. This report was a chance to make a strong statement in that regard, and it is sad to see our leaders shying away from this opportunity.” —Eric Tars, human rights program director at the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty
Violent, often fatal, attacks on homeless Americans now outnumber all other categories of hate crimes combined. Over the past 11 years, there are more than double the amount of homeless hate crime deaths than there are for all other protected classes. Homeless Americans from all walks of life have been victimized by hate crimes. Many of the victims of lethal assaults are older homeless men.
***** Lenny Silverberg’s starkly beautiful paintings capture the suffering etched on the faces of homeless people the artist observed struggling to survive.