Bill O'Reilly And Jesse Watters Shamelessly Slam Homeless People

As far as I can tell, this shameful segment from Bill O'Reilly and Jesse Watters was intended to slap Mayor Bill DeBlasio for policies enacted during the Bloomberg years. But slapping homeless people around to do it is just a craven, despicable act.

We begin with O'Reilly complaining that police can no longer use choke holds on suspects. Somehow this is linked to police ignoring homeless people in Penn Station.

First, a few facts about the homeless in New York, something that BillO couldn’t be bothered to look at. Under Bloomberg, the number of homeless people skyrocketed mostly because there is not enough affordable housing in New York City. 57,000 spend their nights in shelters, but those shelters are run down and in need of rehabilitation.

According to the Coalition for the Homeless, DeBlasio’s policies are beginning to turn this around.

Last year’s rise in homelessness was the result of New York City’s worsening housing affordability crisis; the lingering effects of Bloomberg-era elimination of housing for homeless children and families; and the failure of the State and City to act quickly enough to restore desperately-needed permanent housing resources for homeless New Yorkers.

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Call it what you like. Panhandling, begging. Refuse to give because there are scammers out there, or give what you can to show you care. NYC is terribly cold this time of year. Being alone, out in the cold, with no where to go and no idea where your next meal comes from can be terrifying. 

Appreciate what you have, give what you can. 

Donate to the Coalition for the Homeless 

Move over, Banksy, there’s a new guy in town

Now that Banksy’s monthlong New York residency is fading into memory, meet Stik, another British street artist whose face and real name are unknown. Stik’s show opened Thursday at the&

English street artist, Stik, grabs headlines and makes records with his new show at Dorian Grey Gallery. Page Six has the story:

For more from the artist, bid on his work to support Coalition for the Homeless:
Coalition for the Homeless Director identifies Occupy Louisville as community resource

From the site:

In a statement issued in the last half of November, Natalie Harris, the Director of the Coalition for the Homeless, expressed her gratefulness for Occupy Louisville

“Until we begin to address the causes of poverty and homelessness within our community , the numbers will only continue to rise. It requires new ways of thinking, additional resources and non-traditional partners. We have begun to gather all three, but we have a long way to go. So, I am thankful to the members of Occupy Louisville who are serving ‘the least of these’ in their newly established community. While they may have many decisions to make about their message and demands, this is one thing they are clearly getting right.”(DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE STATEMENT HERE)

Fun story-
San Francisco is currently experiencing a housing AND homelessness crisis that’s worse than it was during the Great Depression. The waitlist for public housings in the Bay Area is now 15 years long, and landlords can refuse tenants with Section 8 vouchers.
The City of San Francisco could literally change that with $6.9 million but the board of supervisors are considering funding 2 new police academies AND a new jail (which is gonna be like $30 million).
I work at a place called the Coalition on Homelessness, which works with homeless people on getting them into shelters/housing, as well as lobbying the government for more funding and creating proposals. So today there was a public comment period and my boss and I went to speak for our budget proposal of $6.9 million. My boss is from Mexico and his English is kinda broken and in his speech he basically said “I can’t believe you would fund racist police who will create MORE HOMELESSNESS over actual houses” and as he was walking out, one of the officers who was in the chamber to “keep the peace” leaned over and whispered “I could have you arrested, sent to ICE and deported”

$50 for Colorado Coalition for the Homeless - 8/12

I feel really bad when I see people standing at street lights with signs that ask for food or money. They just stand there in the hot sun, usually looking dirty, sunburned, silent, and hopeless. Whenever it happens, I remember a time I was in California with my parents, and we had a bunch of leftover hamburgers from Jack in the Box. This was the 90s, and they sold a large burger with lettuce and tomato for just .99. Being from New Jersey, we were astounded. McDs and BK did not give you lettuce and tomato on their regular burgers. I think the Value Menu didn’t even exist yet so .99 was also a coup.

As a result, we overbought, and, on impulse, my mom handed the bag to a young man with a sign at a light. He was probably in his 20s, wearing jeans, and she summed it up with, “He looked thin.” He did. Closer to gaunt, in that tall, lean way that is popular for rockers now. Who knows if he was just a 90s hipster, or a drug-addict, or a generic undesirable, or maybe he was whatever we define as an ‘acceptable’, 'legitimate’ homeless person these days. I don’t know, I never will, and I really never wonder.

Denver has these people. In New York, I’ve grown immune to them, because I fear scam artists, but it seems truer in the bright light and dust of Colorado. They’re frequently immigrants. Sometimes the sign says they’re looking for work.

What’s odd is that I wasn’t just an observer, separated from these people as I might be in NYC. There, people with signs stay in one place - the subway, a station, a street - and I am moving through it, past them, away. They always park in a transient location, a place where people are never meant to linger, to maximize their exposure. In Denver, I guess that’s not so convenient. I’d ride with the destitute on the bus or stand with them at the lightrail station, but the difference is that they were going somewhere. They were not a fixture or some gritty scenery that I passed. They had a destination and a life.

This is not meant to be a paeon to “homeless people are people to”, but to the oddity of what this experience uncovers. On the bus, in a poor part of town (ironically, we were coming home from the zoo that was my previous donation), I stood in the front next to a woman with a cart that had a cardboard sign on it, proclaiming her status as a veteran. The cart was full of the usual things - plastic bags, blankets, etc, but she herself seemed in her early 40s, with curly blonde hair, decent clothes, and clean skin. It was perplexing. Someone, perhaps similarly disbelieving of her appearance paired with her claim, asked her what wars she had been in, and she said something like she had been in Vietnam, the Gulf, and more, as a Navy Seal, a Marine, etc. Too many wars, too many different branches. It was just not believable, and yet she seemed completely lucid. There was none of the passion and bravado and drunkenness that a liar usually employs to cover up their falsehoods. I wasn’t sure if she was just that convinced of her delusions or so tired at the end of the day that wasn’t going to bother making her act convincing. I suppose there’s a far-off chance she was telling the truth but it seems incredibly unlikely.

Why am I talking about a scam artist among a blog about giving money to charity? Why not? It’s reality. It happens. The way you escape it, I think, is to always give to organizations who had the knowledge and connections to give resources to the right people. The people in the shelter know who their regulars are. They know who has alcohol problems, psychological problems, who just hit some bad luck. I put my trust in them.

Regardless, it was an odd experience, but the net of it, and the other experiences I had in Denver, impressed the idea of homelessness on my mind. Accordingly, I donated to the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. They not only serve urban areas, but rural ones, too, where work has run out and there’s not as much of a community safety net. I’ve driven through the tiny mountain towns and wide open spaces of the state, and I am glad an organization is thinking about the people out there. I bet it gets lonely.

So, $50 for an organization that consistently builds affordable housing in Denver and helps people get back on their feet. Good luck. Love your city.

Cuffing Season is upon us, a time when single people too terrified and shallow to weather the long winter months alone desperately try to get into relationships until Summer rolls around again, giving little or no consideration to the other person involved. This year, the National Coalition For The Homeless has decided to take advantage of this phenomenon with a new ad campaign.