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Sleep News Special Report || A month’s worth of Homeless ‘Right To Sleep’ coverage

This special supplement shines the spotlight on the plight of homeless people who are unable to find a safe place to sleep.

The homeless “right to sleep” is both a human and a civil right. Yet homelessness is a global problem of epidemic proportion, with so many innocent people criminalized for being poor. A place to sleep for those without a roof (which includes people who actually have jobs and are working, as well as entire families with nowhere to go) has become impossible to find for untold thousands. The odds of these people turning their lives around become slimmer the longer they “sleep rough,” yet getting adequate sleep may be one of the most critical basic needs that could help them.

 


SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT: THE HOMELESS’ RIGHT TO SLEEP

Read what SHC has to say about this growing civil and human rights concern


People who are homeless, who “sleep rough,” are still people.

And all people need sleep.

We can no longer avoid the discussion about homelessness.

  • When cities with available housing decide to spend millions on fences to keep out those without a place to sleep, the conversation can no longer be about “how they got there,” but “how we can help them.”
  • When people are displaced by floods, hurricanes, landslides, wildfires, earthquakes, or man-made disasters, we should have better plans in place to prevent their spiral into homelessness.
  • When shelters fill up and cities criminalize those pushed into the streets, it’s time to review public policy.
  • When people with actual work still can’t afford to live in their community where they are employed, something has to change.
  • When families live in cars and are shooed off of streets near parks where the only available restrooms can be found, we need to rethink public use of parking lots.

Some reports estimate that just 15 percent of all homeless people are truly vagrant.

That means the other 85 percent are families who have lost their homes, children who have either run away or lost their place in foster care, the victims of displacement through no fault of their own, or working people (some of them in white collar jobs) who can’t afford an apartment, so they live on the street and use a local fitness club to shower.

Safe sleep helps all people, but not all people have the opportunity to sleep safe

Safe sleep on a very basic level restores so much: it prevents mental health problems, helps the body to remain healthy, and boosts morale and physical strength.

People who can find a safe and comfortable space to sleep have 8 hours to regroup, rejuvenate, and rebuild. That safe place could be a house, a shelter, a tent, a car, a recreational vehicle. Sleep for them is an advantage, a chance to turn things around.

For the disabled who are also homeless, a safe place is even more critical to their health. Their possessions are often medical equipment they need just to get by, but life on the street means they also deal with theft and assault.

The problem isn’t unique to one community or country. The world, including first-world nations like the United States and countries on the European continent, is facing a huge humanitarian crisis as more and more people find themselves without a roof to keep away inclement weather, criminals, pollution, vermin, and other inhumane conditions.

SHC has curated just one month’s worth of links tying the need for safe sleep to homeless patterns and crises worldwide. What you read below may not make you feel better, but it’s no longer a subject that can be avoided.

The good news is that many communities are reaching out to raise money and awareness about our homeless neighbors in attempts to bring humanity back to our cities and urban centers, to reintroduce safe sleep to those who are least fortunate, so they can restore and rejuvenate themselves and get back on their feet.

In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, please consider a donation or volunteer effort to support these charities which are tasked with finding solutions for safe sleep for those who have no bed to sleep on tonight.

Thank you for helping in any way you can with this critical human health and civil rights challenge. ~The Curator


Dateline: November 1, 2017 from The Progressive
Denver’s Crackdown on Being Homeless

In 2005, the City of Denver forbade sitting or lying on any public right-of-way in the downtown business district from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. An ordinance passed in 2012 went further, banning ‘unauthorized camping’ on public or private property. ‘Camping’ is defined broadly: ‘to reside or dwell temporarily in a place, with shelter.’ ‘Shelter’ is defined as ‘any tent, tarpaulin, lean-to, sleeping bag, bedroll, blankets, or any form of cover or protection from the elements other than clothing.’ And to ‘reside or dwell’ has its own generous explanation, including eating, sleeping, or storing personal possessions.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 2, 2017 from The Guardian
Sleeping in buses and bin sheds: Britain’s homeless children

Today, we’ve launched the third film of the series, Britain’s homeless children, which focuses on the scandal that children are sleeping rough in 21st-century Britain when their parents are turned away by local authorities, often due to their immigration status.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 2, 2017 from Sacramento Bee
Does Sacramento unfairly apply its camping ordinance against the homeless? Jury to decide

The plaintiffs are homeless people who in 2009, following years of efforts to set up a “safe ground” where they could sleep without police interference, made a stand by setting up an illegal campground on a vacant lot on 12th and C streets. They argue that the city’s enforcement of its camping ordinance violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 5, 2017 from The News Tribune
Commentary: And still Tacoma kids sleep under bridges

Angela Connelly: “In 2014, millions of dollars were granted from the Washington state Legislature for an overnight shelter for teens. Bravo. …Except now it is 2017. …And there’s still no shelter. …And winter is fast approaching. …And there weren’t any coats, socks or underwear for these kids three years later. …And the children continue to sleep under the bridge.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 7, 2017 from Townhall
‘We still need to eat’: Tech boom creates working homeless

The booming economy, fueled by the tech sector, and decades of under-building have led to an historic shortage of affordable housing. It has upended the stereotypical view of people out on the streets as unemployed: They are retail clerks, plumbers, janitors—even teachers—who go to work, sleep where they can and buy gym memberships for a place to shower.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 8, 2017 from KRCR News
Group pushes for Humboldt County supervisors to declare shelter crisis

Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives (AHHA) representative Nezzie Wade: They can’t sleep because they are made to move and they can’t keep their possessions safe. …They’re adulated and get their possessions stolen.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 9, 2017 from Daily Camera
About 125 people sleep out for Attention Homes in Boulder

Don Stensrud, principal at Fairview High, said he was participating in the sleep out for the sixth time on Thursday night. He does so, in part, because he can’t recall a single semester during his 14 years at the high school where at least one student wasn’t living on the street—some of whom are helped by Attention Homes.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 13, 2017 from WBAY
Changing face of homelessness: mom of three shares her story

Andrea Pasqualucci, Ashwaubenon Schools social worker: “We do have kids who sleep in the car at night. Families are living in other people’s inadequate apartments, their basements. They’re crashing on a living room floor.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 13, 2017 from WFTS
Beating the Odds: Homeless teen becomes USF freshman and Student Government leader

Her dorm room at USF is the first room she’s ever had to herself. At 16 years old she was homeless and sleeping in cars and on friends’ couches.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 15, 2017 from NPR
New Study Finds That 4.2 Million Kids Experience Homelessness Each Year

Schools are uniquely positioned to reach [unsheltered youth]—and some of the biggest school districts in the country are facing this problem too. In New York, new data showed that 110,000 students had no permanent place to sleep at night. The number is double what it was a decade ago.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 15, 2017 from Portland Tribune
More than 8,000 homeless students recorded in the Portland area

New state data reveals a growing trend of students without a fixed, stable place to sleep at night.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 16, 2017 from FOX 46 Charlotte
15-year-old raising money to buy 1,000 sleeping bags for the homeless

After some research, Noah [Rupp] found a temporary solution in lightweight and extremely warm sleeping bags. ‘You can roll it up and it’s very portable, which is important,’ explained Noah. ‘We realize this is the way to help people who can’t get to the homeless shelter or find that warm place to sleep at night.’ So, he started Noah’s Ark Project, and plans on buying 1,000 of the sleeping bags. Each bag costs $15, and he’s raised more than $8,000 of the $15,000 necessary.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 16, 2017 from Liverpool Echo
Homeless man describes what it’s like to sleep in a bin

A homeless man has described the deadly risk of sleeping in commercial bins. John, who has lived on Liverpool’s streets on-and-off for over 15 years, warned homeless people face being crushed and suffocated when bins are tipped into a waste collection truck. But as more doorways are boarded up, sleeping in bins is often the warmest place for homeless people.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 16, 2017 from San Diego Union Tribune
Homeless people with disabilities sue San Diego over RV parking law

The nine homeless men and women say they have no choice but to live in their RVs and park them overnight on city streets. They say their disabilities make them unable to afford rent and that homeless shelters are unsuitable for the disabled.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 16, 2017 from Twin Cities Pioneer Press
Homeless family planned to spend frigid night in car: Coon Rapids cop had another idea

The officer attempted to find emergency shelter for the family through normal channels, but had no luck securing it. …The officer then helped transport the family to a local motel, where the officer personally paid for the room.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 17, 2017 from BBC News
Stoke-on-Trent homeless would risk £1k fine in tent ban plan

Homeless people may face a £1,000 fine if they are found sleeping in tents under new plans to ban rough sleepers.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 18, 2017 from South China Morning Post
Property agent who sold HK$20 million Mid-Levels flat ended up sleeping rough in Hong Kong

In 2010, Ka-hei was forced to quit the real estate industry after kidney surgery and mental health issues. He says the frequency of follow-up consultations left him unable to cope with his workload or find another full-time job. And since then, he has been taking temporary jobs, mostly in the catering and logistics fields. …In early 2011, Ka-hei was kicked out by his landlord as he could not afford the rent any more. He says he had no alternative but to sleep on the streets. …’I really couldn’t imagine the life of a street sleeper at that time,’ he says. ‘Back then I thought people ended up sleeping on the streets because they were messed up.’ …Ka-hei says the sudden turn of fate was so sudden that he didn’t even have time to process his feelings. ‘I still remember three days before my landlord kicked me out I had begun to look for what I thought would be the best spot in a nearby park for me to sleep.’(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 21, 2017 from dezeen
Framlab proposes parasitic hexagonal pods to sleep New York’s homeless

New York’s empty walls could be covered with honeycomb-like clusters of pods to house the city’s growing homeless population, as part of this proposal by creative agency Framlab. Oslo and New York City-based Framlab developed the Homed scheme in response to the growing number of people sleeping rough in New York City, which has risen by 40 per cent since 2012.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 21, 2017 from Ithaca.com
Why we’re now charging homeless to stay at the shelter

Relying on one of the only viable safety nets for the city’s homeless since 2014, the temporary residents at the Rescue Mission have, for the past several months, had to do something they’ve never had to do before: pay for a place to sleep, or face another night outside.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 21, 2017 from The List
Sleep in the Park raises the issue of homelessness with a mass public sleep-out

Acoustic artist Amy Macdonald: “The idea of Sleep in the Park is great for raising awareness, because it makes homelessness real for so many people. Most of us have been lucky to never have to think about where we’ll find shelter, so having an event like this brings it into the consciousness of so many people. Everybody should have somewhere safe to sleep at night.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 21, 2017 from WFAA
We asked 100 homeless people if they’d rather sleep outside or in a shelter

One man sitting outside the Denver Rescue Mission says he’s afraid of sleeping in shelters because of rampant theft.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 22, 2017 from St. Augustine Record
Panhandling, vagrancy and public input

Although some might have the constitutional right to sleep on a sidewalk in front of a business, they do not have the right to sleep in an alcove or other entryway that is part of that business. If someone takes shelter by curling up in the corner of an alcove or entryway on private property, there is no constitutional protection. It’s called trespassing.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 23, 2017 from Phoenix New Times
These Programs Want to Help Phoenix’s Homeless Youth—If They Can Find The Funding

At night, they would settle in on a park bench or go to a bus stop. If Jones was sleep-deprived, they’d find a public restroom, sometimes at Fair Trade, and lock the door and nap until an impatient patron pounded on the door.(click headline for more)

 


Dateline: November 25, 2017 from Traverse City Record Eagle
Acme community to help the homeless ‘Sleep Inn’

Owners and managers at the Sleep Inn & Suites in Acme recognized that isn’t a reality for everyone and opted to open its doors to the homeless through the winter. …Though the winter the hotel will offer up two of its rooms for the homeless should they need a place to stay for the night. The hotel is looking to the community for donations to offset the cost of the rooms, which carry a discounted rate of $50 per night.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 26, 2017 from The Maui News
Bill would allow people without homes to sleep in their parked cars

The aim of the measure is to give families without a home but with a car ‘a place to sleep overnight,’ [South Maui councilmember Kelly King] said. They could be in a safe area with access to a bathroom. [King] wants to ensure children get a good night’s rest and are ready for school without the risk of having to move along with their families in the middle of the night.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 27, 2017 from The Business Journal
Gloria House to be a Beacon for Homeless Girls

Headed by Journey Youth Coalition, a faith-based nonprofit, the 3,100-square foot shelter will have 24 beds and sleeping pods available for runaway and homeless girls ages 14 to 17 for three weeks. Looper stated that it will provide those staying not only a place to sleep, but also to receive counseling and help girls with their studies.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 27, 2017 from Tap Into Passaic Valley
Woodland Park Resident Sleeps Overnight On Manhattan Street to Spotlight Plight of the Homeless

Lori Couso Hinkle: “The wind was so strong there were times we couldn’t even hear ourselves think. I had a lot of layers of clothing on. We didn’t have any food or water. We lied down and tried to sleep. I could not sleep at all. It was too cold, too lit up with street lights, and way too nosy with the wind and the traffic. It was uncomfortable, cold and scary. I couldn’t stop thinking about how these people that live out there have no choice. They have to urinate on the street. They have to freeze. They have to starve. They have no choice. I kept trying to doze off and it just wasn’t happening.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 27, 2017 from WBAY.com
Walker signs bills on homeless council, housing voucher wait list

Wisconsin Rep. Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna): “We were up here in Green Bay a few months ago, and I was talking to a homeless gentleman. It was just mind boggling to me that he doesn’t have a place to go at night to sleep. He doesn’t have a place to shower. He’s moving around quite a bit and yet he’s able to hold on to a job.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 28, 2017 from CBC News Toronto
Toronto faith leaders urge city to call shelter emergency, open 400 beds

A 2013 report released by the city found there were around 5,000 homeless people sleeping outdoors.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 28, 2017 from The Daily Californian
Opinion: Under eyes of the law, homeless people lack right to exist

But nowhere does the judge mention that a homeless person is subject to the possibility of, by virtue of being on the street, solitude, disease, assault, exposure, theft of possessions (by both the authorities and criminals), harassment, sleep deprivation and the psychological and physical toll that comes with exposure and uncertainty. And the homeless cannot sue anyone or any entity for any of this.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 28, 2017 from Fairfax Connection
Giving Homeless a Warm Place to Sleep in Fairfax County

[T]he FACETS’ Hypothermia Prevention and Response Program officially started on Sunday, Nov. 26 and will extend until April 1, 2018. It means every night there is somewhere warm for homeless people to sleep in Fairfax County. It means the homeless won’t have to sleep in the woods or their cars or the streets.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 28, 2017 from Oxford City Council
Rough Sleeping: The City Conversation

Today more than 100 stakeholders met to discuss rough sleeping and homelessness in Oxford. …The City Conversation, organised by Oxford City Council, included representatives from Oxfordshire’s homelessness organisations, health and mental health providers, faith groups, public bodies, local councillors, and people with lived experience of rough sleeping. …It was the largest conversation of its kind to take place in Oxford. …The aim of the conversation was to start to find a common understanding of what causes rough sleeping and street homelessness in Oxford—and find the means to tackle the issue.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 29, 2017 from KRCR
Humboldt County Library: Hub for homeless activity?

Officer Cory Crnich, Eureka CA Police Department: “This is a place where people camp, and sleep and use drugs. I have seen kids playing with their parents here, but it’s not something I see often.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 29, 2017 from Liberation News
Seattle spends $1.1 M on anti-homeless fence amidst homelessness crisis

There is no real solution to homelessness in the capitalist housing market, where thousands of homes sit empty and thousands of people sleep on the sidewalk. Recent research has shown that income inequality in Seattle is the worst in the nation, that a 10 percent rent increase in Seattle results in 523 more homeless people; that a family of four needs an income of $76,000 a year just to manage to live a bare-bones existence in the Emerald City. “Sweeping” homeless people from one area to another–as if they are trash– cannot possibly resolve the true state of emergency that exists in this city. Dramatic measures are needed that will put people’s needs first over the profits of the landlords and developers.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 30, 2017 from Denver 7 ABC
3 new homeless shelters open in Denver ahead of the winter season

The city’s newest shelter, located near 48th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard, is a 40,000-square foot facility that will provide beds instead of sleeping mats, greater access to charging stations, as well as bathrooms and showers.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 30, 2017 from Inside Housing
Javid announces rough sleeping advisory panel

The [British] government has set a target of halving rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminating it completely by 2027.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 30, 2017 from KESQ
Mecca emergency shelter for migrant farmworkers set to open

County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez: “These donations are amazing blessings that offer not only a place to sleep but immense hope to people in need.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 30, 2017 from Straits Times
Rio’s homeless fear violence and ‘little showers’ amid ‘sidewalk gentrification’

A homeless woman was shot dead in October while sleeping under a marquee outside a building in Copacabana, police said in a statement. …Video footage from the area’s surveillance system shows two men smiling as they killed the woman, sparking fears about a campaign to ‘cleanse’ the neighbourhood of homeless people, according to local media reports.(click headline for more)


Dateline: November 30, 2017 from Wales Online
How a teenager lived on a roof after being thrown out of his family home at 15

‘It was dark and cold and I never knew who was going to be around. We felt a little more safe when we got back to our sleeping place on the roof. We slept on that same roof for a month. Sometimes we would sleep in shop doorways to be warmer and more sheltered depending on who was around.’(click headline for more)

Sleep News Special Report || A month’s worth of Homeless ‘Right To Sleep’ coverage

Has your right to sleep ever been violated?

Thank you for the vote!

ATTENTION CONTENT CREATORS

SHC is not accepting pitches, manuscripts, or queries at this time for guest posts, infographics, or other unsolicited content. All guest posts are by invitation only.  Writers' guidelines for the Vitamin Zzz literary series can be found here.

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