Monday, September 22, 2008

Stop human rights abuses on skid row

2 Years
18,000* arrests
No new housing

Stop the city's crackdown on poverty, homelessness and mental illness from entering its third year.

Join us Sept. 25th. at 10:00a.m.on the corner of 5th. And Main Streets to tell the mayor we want housing and services, not jails.

• 750 arrests each month in a community that’s home to 13,000 people. These arrests have had no affect on violent crime in the area, but they’ve had a devastating and lasting affect on poor, homeless and mentally ill people living downtown.
• 1,000 misdemeanor citations each month for “crimes” such as crossing the street against a flashing red hand. When a poor or homeless Skid Row resident can’t pay the fine, the citation turns to warrant and leads to arrest.
• Thousands shut out of federally-funded housing and food programs. When people return from jail, their criminal record forces them to live on the street, where they cost taxpayers $100,000 each year as they circulate through emergency rooms and jails.
• $6 million each year for 50 additional uniformed officers and as many undercover officers to police a 50-square block area. That’s about equal to the amount the city “invests” in homeless services for the entire year. Over two years, that money could have been used to get 750 people off the streets and into housing with support services.
• Thousands of cases in an overburdened court system. Drug cases involving no more than $5 in crack cocaine are clogging up a court system that has a difficult time finding space and resources for murder and rape trials.

We cannot police out way out of homelessness. It’s inhumane, expensive, and completely ineffective.
On Sept. 25, we will demand an end to the discriminatory policing and call for housing and services for the poor, homeless and disabled residents of Skid Row.

Nickelsville is standing!

Photo by Scott Eklund /P-I

As the clock reached 4 AM, energized hands constructed tents, poured coffee, and directed news media. Friends car-pooled from all over King County to support Nickelsville.

Over a hundred tents now stand. We need your help! Come show your support and stand in solidarity with those who have no choice but to sleep outside.

Head over to Nickelsville anytime! Before or after work, during your break - we hope to see you there.

Nickelsville is located in the South Seattle neighborhood, at the crossing of West Marginal Way SW and Highland Park.

Address: 7115 W Marginal Way SW, Seattle Map

More Here

Homeless start settling in fuchsia 'Nickelsville'

A modern-day Hooverville opens in Seattle

For questions email Natalie.

See everyone soon,

The Real Change Organizing Project

NPACH Statement: Bailout Must Help Low Income Families, Not Just Wall Street

The U.S. economy is in turmoil. Earlier this year, Bear Stearns received a massive federal government subsidy, in order to facilitate a fire sale. In recent weeks, the government has taken over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and seized control of AIG. Foreclosures continue to rise, and the stock market is volatile. Now, federal officials and congressional leadership are discussing a Wall Street bailout that could cost U.S. taxpayers up to $700 billion.

In these troubled times, as Congress acts to protect the safety and soundness our of financial system, we must not forget that the cause of our current problems is the mortgage and foreclosure crisis. While the impact may be felt across many sectors of the economy, what we have is at its heart a housing problem - one which demands housing-related solutions.

HUD recently declared that homelessness was down, a statement reported breathlessly by far too many in the media. Despite this government spin, cities across the country have been reporting a huge influx in homelessness due to foreclosures and a declining economy. Last week, a HUD spokesman acknowledged that their numbers predated the foreclosure crisis, and that the agency has no idea of how rising foreclosures are actually affecting homelessness, terming it "a great question," and stating that "we're still trying to get to that."

We understand the vulnerable position so many families are in - a recent report tells us that over 2 million children will be negatively affected by the foreclosure crisis, with many of them becoming homeless. And we believe that if the government chooses to intervene financially to protect corporate America, we must also protect families who are at risk of homelessness or already homeless. These families should not have to live doubled up, in tent cities, and on the streets while failed Wall Street CEOs retreat to their multi-million dollar mansions.

The President has called on Congress to swiftly enact a bailout plan. We agree that action to assist low income and homeless families cannot wait. To ensure that any legislation helps all Americans in need, the following key affordable housing priorities must be part of any final package.

Congress must act now to:
  • Permit bankruptcy judges to modify mortgages on primary residences during the foreclosure process, to help keep families in their homes.
  • Enact baseline renter protections, to ensure that innocent tenants who pay their rent and comply with their leases are not evicted (sometimes with as little as 3 days notice) when their landlord goes through a foreclosure and the rental unit is turned over to the bank.
  • Provide an immediate infusion of at least $300 million to FEMA's Emergency Food and Shelter Program, which helps prevent and end homelessness.
  • Appropriate funds for 100,000 new Section 8 vouchers targeting homeless families.
  • Require Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the new entity that will purchase mortgage securities to increase contributions to the new National Housing Trust Fund and Capital Market Fund, created earlier this year, so that more new units of affordable housing can be developed.

For additional information, contact Jeremy Rosen, NPACH Executive Director, at (202) 714-5378, or

Anti Palin rally in Alaska

Very cool video!!!

Check it out!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Capitol Strives to Define ‘Homeless’

For more than 20 years, federal housing law has counted as homeless only people living on the streets or in shelters. But now the House and the Senate are considering an expansion of the definition to include people precariously housed: those doubled up with friends or relatives or living day to day in motels, with money and options running out.

Capitol Strives to Define ‘Homeless’

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hard Times Hitting Students and Schools

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — With mortgage foreclosures throwing hundreds of families out of their homes here each month, dismayed school officials say they are feeling the upheaval: record numbers of students turning up for classes this fall are homeless or poor enough to qualify for free meals.
Full Article