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Offline Eddie

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Re: Homeless: There But for Fortune...
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2017, 01:28:48 PM »
Will the police crack down? I would expect that in most cities now. Here, they only tolerate urban camping if nobody can see it. There are some long standing spots, but the police run people off periodically.
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Offline RE

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Re: Homeless: There But for Fortune...
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2017, 04:06:26 PM »
Both hands on the wheel.  This is the interstate.  I have tried to drive and click.  The camps have been here before and I have tried to photograph them out the window.  The tents wind up being the size of a postage stamp in the pics and the people are really small.  Sometimes the view is across lanes of traffic.  Today was something new.  Before I saw a camp here and there.  Today they were everywhere for about a two mile stretch.

Get a GoPro and clamp it to the rear view mirror.

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Offline luciddreams

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Re: Homeless: There But for Fortune...
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2017, 05:11:27 PM »
Seattle has always had a lot of homeless drug addicts.  It was that way when I lived there in 2002.  Heroine addicts sleeping in sleeping bags all over the place.  Seems that type is called there for some reason. 

Offline K-Dog

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Re: Homeless: There But for Fortune...
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2017, 11:46:59 PM »
Will the police crack down? I would expect that in most cities now. Here, they only tolerate urban camping if nobody can see it. There are some long standing spots, but the police run people off periodically.

The camps are allowed to stay in different places but they are taken down and residents forced to move when the garbage problem becomes bad.  The basic idea is to get the people into shelters before the camps are taken down.  Once an area is cleared portable chain link fence sections keep people from coming back.  That won't work along the freeway of course.  Moving along the freeway may be as a result of other camps being closed.

Offline K-Dog

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Re: Homeless: There But for Fortune...
« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2017, 08:40:29 PM »
No homeless report this morning because I forgot my phone at home.  I counted about 20 tents in three distinct hedgerows over about a mile before I was forty feet off the ground on the viaduct flying towards the stadium.

I-90

To the lower right is Sam Smith Park.  I met Sam once.  He was from the south-end.  That is where I-90 comes out of the tunnel.  The first two camps were on the right.  The first immediately out of the tunnel up an embankment up to a concrete fence/barrier.  The second was in the cloverleaf where I-90 crosses Rainier Avenue.  That is the only city street crossed so you can locate it easy but don't confuse it with the Rizal Bridge near I-5.  The last camp with the most tents was along I-5 just to the south of where I crossed over on the last half mile of I-90 before it hits salt water.

I snagged the photo off Google Earth.  Green dots are evergreens and the photography was done when the grass was dry in later summer.  That is nice since you can tell where the camps are more easily.  What you don't get is the topography.  There are significant elevation changes around the freeway.  The tunnel cuts through a 300 foot ridge after I-90 comes off Lake Washington.  Sam Smith was built over the tunnel after the tunnel was extended to form the park lid.  Originally the tunnel was only a tenth of a mile long through the ridge.  Now it is more than twice as long as that.



« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 08:57:11 PM by K-Dog »

Offline RE

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AP PHOTOS: Homelessness leaves mark on West Coast cities
« Reply #35 on: November 10, 2017, 12:15:09 PM »
https://www.apnews.com/ce383d6fe4de4b9da254de35a2e99e87

AP PHOTOS: Homelessness leaves mark on West Coast cities


Homelessness is not a new issue to America’s West Coast. But it’s getting worse — much worse.

On any given night, more than 105,000 people are sleeping unsheltered in some of the country’s biggest and trendiest metropolises, driven there by soaring housing costs, rental vacancy rates that rival those in Manhattan and a booming tech economy that’s leaving thousands behind. Another 63,000 are sleeping in shelters or transitional housing with no safety net.

The rising numbers have pushed abject poverty into the open like never before.

San Diego now scrubs its sidewalks with bleach to counter a deadly hepatitis A outbreak that has spread to other cities and forced California to declare a state of emergency. In Anaheim, home to Disneyland, 400 people sleep along a bike path in the shadow of Angel Stadium. Organizers in Portland, Oregon, lit incense at a recent outdoor food festival to mask the stench of urine in a parking lot where vendors set up shop.

All along the coast, elected officials are scrambling for solutions .

“It’s a sea of humanity crashing against services, and services at this point are overwhelmed, literally overwhelmed,” said Jeremy Lemoine, who works for a Seattle nonprofit that provides various forms of assistance to the homeless. “It’s catastrophic.”






















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Follow AP’s complete coverage of the homeless crisis here: https://apnews.com/tag/HomelessCrisis
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Offline K-Dog

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Re: Homeless: There But for Fortune...
« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2017, 01:18:53 PM »
The some-what belated homeless report.  Imagine being so preoccupied driving I did not notice the camps this morning. Are they still there I can’t say.  Once parked my awareness changed.  I needed a tube of silicone sealant for work so I walked over to Home Depot.  Only Starbucks Corporate HQ is between work and Home Depot.  They are not all in the burbs.  Sixteen men waited by the parking lot entrance hoping to get picked up for a job.  As I walked by I overheard one of them telling another to show up somewhere at 8:30 AM and there would be work.  Every morning. I did not hear any details.

Offline RE

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Homeless: Cinderella Man in Seattle
« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2017, 01:34:45 PM »
The some-what belated homeless report.  Imagine being so preoccupied driving I did not notice the camps this morning. Are they still there I can’t say.  Once parked my awareness changed.  I needed a tube of silicone sealant for work so I walked over to Home Depot.  Only Starbucks Corporate HQ is between work and Home Depot.  They are not all in the burbs.  Sixteen men waited by the parking lot entrance hoping to get picked up for a job.  As I walked by I overheard one of them telling another to show up somewhere at 8:30 AM and there would be work.  Every morning. I did not hear any details.

Sounds like the scene from "Cinderella Man" where all the wannabee Longshoremen for the day show up looking for work.  It works like that today too with Lumpers on the loading docks of many warehouses the trucks go to.  These are sleazy operations run by somebody who gets a contract from the warehouse to provide labor, then he gets the cheapest he can get on a daily basis.  Sometimes independent lumpers can operate, most times no.  No bennies of course.

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Thanksgiving LA: 'We haven't seen numbers like this since the Great Depression'
« Reply #38 on: November 24, 2017, 07:07:09 AM »
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-homeless-thanksgiving-20171123-story.html

Thanksgiving help for the homeless: 'We haven't seen numbers like this since the Great Depression'

On Skid Row


Volunteer Monica Smith serves up a Thanksgiving meal at the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles last year. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

City News Service

Thanksgiving meals will be served to thousands of homeless and near-homeless individuals today on Skid Row and in Pasadena and Canoga Park amid calls for donations and volunteers for the rest of the year.

The Midnight Mission will serve Thanksgiving brunch to nearly 2,500 homeless and near-homeless men, women and children, according to Georgia Berkovich, its director of public affairs.
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Scheduled volunteer servers include gubernatorial candidate and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, entertainer Dick Van Dyke and actress Nicolette Sheridan.

The Midnight Mission is seeking donations of $5 to $10 to help it cover the costs of the meals. Donations can be made by texting “Meals” to 71777, Berkovich said. The mission serves meals seven days a week, distributes hygiene kits after its meal service and conducts drives for food and clothing to distribute to its guests.

Berkovich said the group has been serving nearly 1 million meals a year each year since 2013.

“We haven't seen numbers like this since the Great Depression,” she said.

The nearby Fred Jordan Mission expects to serve more than a ton of turkey drumsticks, along with 500 pounds of mashed potatoes, 80 gallons of gravy, hundreds of pounds of traditional cornbread stuffing, 560 pounds of candied yams, 585 pounds of green beans, glazed carrots, spiced peaches, cranberry sauce and 400 pumpkin pies, according to the mission's Suzanna Choi.

The mission is seeking donations of unwrapped toys worth $15 to $20 each to be given to thousands of poor children for Christmas. The toys can be dropped off at the mission on Thanksgiving or any other day through Dec. 15, Choi said.

Union Station Homeless Services will be serving thousands of meals at its annual Thanksgiving Dinner in the Park at Central Park in Pasadena, continuing a tradition that began in 1972. Donations of store-bought pies will be accepted Thanksgiving morning, CEO John C. Brauer said.

More than 2,000 people will be served a sit-down meal of turkey with trimmings at the 30th annual Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner for San Fernando Valley homeless and low-income families at the Guadalupe Community Center in Canoga Park.
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Homeless Housing Solutions - Stackable Micro Apartments
« Reply #39 on: December 27, 2017, 02:49:04 AM »
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Skid Row Los Angeles Christmas Day 2017
« Reply #40 on: December 28, 2017, 01:36:26 PM »
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Death in an Amazon Dumpster
« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2017, 12:56:22 AM »
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/28/amazon-dumpster-death-homeless-man-frank-ryan

Death in an Amazon Dumpster


Death in an Amazon dumpster

When his body was found in a dumpster outside an Amazon warehouse, the homeless man’s death was a mystery. The search to uncover his past exposes the dangers of a life spent scavenging

by in San Francisco

 
 

The day before last year’s presidential election, a hungry homeless man named Jonathan Manley stopped at a dumpster outside a warehouse in San Francisco. Unmarked on the outside, the building was occupied by Amazon.

For those able to tolerate the grime and the smell, and who had no other choice but to risk eating expired or rotting food, the large dumpsters stationed there could be bountiful. Visitors say they have found ice cream, bananas, strawberries, grapes and frozen pizzas, not to mention cans and packaging that can be sold for pennies at recycling centers.

The lid was too high and too heavy for Manley to flip open from the sidewalk, so he climbed the side, pulled the lid back and dropped into the trash. It was full of things to eat.

“That’s when I noticed him,” Manley said.

At the front, on all fours as if he was struggling to stand up, was a middle-aged man wearing a T-shirt, pants and boots. He had a graying mustache and beard, his hands were caked with dirt and there was blood around his nose.

Manley tried to wake him but could not. He tried to lift him, but the man weighed too much and was too stiff. Poking his head out of the dumpster, Manley saw two passersby walking a dog across the street and yelled for them to call 911. When the paramedics arrived, they determined that the man was beyond resuscitation.

Dumpsters can be life-sustaining for people surviving on the streets. But a Guardian investigation has found that they are also implicated in dozens of homeless deaths.

This has added resonance in San Francisco, where the economy hinges on the noncorporeal – algorithms, the cloud and the flows of venture capital – yet some 4,500 people sleeping outdoors still struggle each night for the basic physical necessities of existence. They subsist in the interstices of the new paradigm, or in some cases off its waste.

Just inside the Amazon warehouse, visitors are confronted by shelves stacked with food, everything from peanut butter to tabasco sauce, Oreos, teabags and jello.

  • The dumpsters outside of an Amazon warehouse in San Francisco, where the homeless man’s body was found. Photo: Talia Herman for the Guardian
The dumpsters outside of an Amazon warehouse, where the homeless man’s body was found.
The inside of an Amazon dumpster.
The inside of an Amazon dumpster.
  • The view inside a dumpster at the warehouse. Photo: Talia Herman for the Guardian.

In another room, staff hurriedly prepare bags of shopping. When they are ready, delivery people dispatch this abundance to the inhabitants of San Francisco.

The garbage receptacles outside are not the first tech dumpsters to have attracted the attention of homeless locals. A few years ago, they responded with wonder and bemusement to a dumpster by a nearby Google warehouse.

It “had every kind of food you can imagine”, said a resident named Michael Mundy. “They just threw it away, thousands of dollars’ worth.”

But the warehouse closed down, and people had to look elsewhere. “All of a sudden,” said a woman who only gave her first name, Renee, “they started talking about Amazon”.

For about a week after stumbling on the body, Manley went through the encampments of south-eastern San Francisco, trying to find somebody who was missing someone. Thousands of homeless people die in American cities each year to little fanfare, and the Amazon incident barely made the news. Neither the man’s name nor the occupant of the warehouse appear to have ever been reported.

At an encampment underneath a highway, he came across a woman who had strung up dried flowers around her tent and cultivated succulents. Cheryl Iversen, 49, had riotous, flaming orange hair, a personality to match and, fittingly, went by the name of Tygrr, pronounced “Tiger”. Manley told her what he had discovered, and she felt the burden of not knowing what had happened to Frank Ryan lifted.

“I said ‘thank you’,” she recalled. “He held me when I cried.”

Cheryl Iversen by her tent in San Francisco.
  • Iversen, whose boyfriend Frank Ryan died in a dumpster outside Amazon, at her home on the streets of San Francisco. Photo: Talia Herman for the Guardian.

An abusive childhood had led Iversen to run away at 12, and then to exotic dancing, a bad marriage and a heroin addiction. She calls herself a “functional junkie”.

Over a decade ago she met Ryan, whose own origins are unclear. His friends said he was the son of a gold-miner. One suggested he had been sexually abused. He had lived in RVs in the Bay Area since at least the 1990s, making a living by scavenging scrap metal. On occasion he could earn thousands of dollars per haul, with which he subsidized meth and marijuana habits. He was never seen without a jug of milk in his hands and obsessively collected rocks that he hoped were meteorites.

Iversen vividly remembers the day they got together. They were wading by a pier in San Francisco Bay, gathering stones that they could sell and placing them on a plastic float. As the tide rose, they sat on the float, and had to lie down when their heads started to bump on the pier above. He brushed her hair from her cheek and they kissed.

A few days later, Iversen wrote a poem about it that she still remembers by heart.

Cheryl Iversen’s poem
  • Cheryl Iversen’s poem, written for Frank. Photo: Alastair Gee for the Guardian.

“He had such a beautiful soul, he was so smart,” she said. “He never once made me feel stupid for not knowing something.”

Although they were not monogamous – Iversen described herself dismissively as a “side-piece” – towards the end Ryan had told her he wanted to settle down with her in a warehouse squat. When she last saw him he said he was going to look for ice cream.

For those so inclined, living out of dumpsters can occasion philosophy. “Almost everything I have now has already been cast out at least once, proving that what I own is valueless to someone,” Lars Eighner wrote in his treatise On Dumpster Diving.

Eighner’s experiences were distinct from those of people who dumpster-dive as a lifestyle choice – he began when he was struggling to pay rent, and the day-to-day realities were brutal. “No matter how careful I am I still get dysentery at least once a month, oftener in warm weather,” he said.

A Guardian review of news reports from the last decade has found at least 50 cases of dumpster-related homeless deaths and serious injuries. In some instances, the dumpster is simply the bleak setting. On Christmas Day last year, a Wichita, Kansas, man was found in a dumpster outside a bakery, and while a preliminary autopsy suggested he died of natural causes, his relatives could not fathom what had prompted him to get inside.

In other examples, it is the act of trash collection itself that is fatal. A man in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was tipped out of a dumpster and then run over by a garbage truck. In Forth Worth, Texas, a screaming man had a heart attack after the dumpster he was inside was picked up. More common are situations in which homeless people, sleeping in dumpsters or sheltering from the elements, are collected by garbage or recycling trucks and compacted along with the trash. This is why ruined bodies sometimes end up at the dump.

I could just hear my bones breaking. It was just going through my legs like a hot knife through butter

Marcus Baldwin

In 2003, a woman sued a waste-management company for more than $10m after her brother was suffocated in this way in Portland, Oregon, alleging “reckless and outrageous indifference” to homeless lives.

In an interview, her lawyer, Greg Kafoury, recalled the testimony of a garbage worker, who said that after picking up dumpsters with his truck he shook them in order to wake anyone sleeping inside, and taught his colleagues to do the same. Kafoury also remembers hypothesizing before the jury that, because six people had died in similar circumstances over the course of several years in Oregon, a state with a little over 1% of the US population, as many as 600 could have been killed in the country as a whole.

The lawsuit “was a chance to save untold numbers of lives”, he said – but he lost. “Somebody needs to take one of these cases and go the distance with it because the case can be won.”

On occasion, though, there are survivors.

In November 2016, about two weeks after Ryan climbed into the dumpster, Marcus Baldwin did the same thing in Mount Clemens, just north of Detroit. Alcoholism had led to the breakdown of his marriage and to homelessness. Finally he found a job in demolition, but he still had nowhere to stay, and after work on a cold and wet night a dumpster beckoned. It was filled with cardboard and seemed clean. He fell asleep.

Marcus Baldwin, who survived being compacted inside a garbage truck.
  • Marcus Baldwin, who survived being compacted inside a garbage truck. Photo: Garrett MacLean for the Guardian.

At around 5.30am, he awoke to “this beeping noise”, Baldwin said. “The next thing I knew, I was going up into the air.”

Falling on his head, he was disoriented and in pain, and he had the sensation of having been dropped into a sewer. It was greasy and filled with rotten food, old clothes and construction materials.

He screamed for the driver to no avail. About 15 minutes after Baldwin was picked up, the compacting process began. A contraption that reminded him of a snow shovel began to move along the length of the vehicle and pinned Marcus to an interior wall. “I could just hear my bones breaking,” Baldwin said. “It was just going through my legs like a hot knife through butter.”

Both were shattered. Baldwin thinks he was compacted another five times, every quarter-hour or so. He tried to protect himself with a shopping cart. Eventually the driver noticed him and he was rescued, but owing to a bad infection doctors had to amputate his right leg below the knee.

The life expectancy of homeless people is only around 50; when he died, Ryan was 55 or so. His autopsy report gave the verdict of a methamphetamine overdose. At his wake, his friends poured some of his ashes into the bay along with jugs of milk and some buds of weed. His dog was adopted, and Iversen planted a garden of succulents and cacti near her tent in his memory.

“I’ve never felt so right in my life,” she said of her time with Ryan, “and nothing has been right since. It probably never will be, and what can I expect? Such a big piece of me is gone.”

In a statement, Amazon, which recently announced that it would host a homeless shelter in one of its new buildings in Seattle, called the death a “sad event”.

Surprisingly, considering that Ryan appears to have dropped off the map long ago, the impact of his passing has reverberated far beyond a small homeless community in an obscure part of San Francisco.

In the vicinity of Spokane, Washington, for instance, there lives a 34-year-old who is also called Frank Ryan. He is the late Frank Ryan’s long-lost son.

Iversen’s memorial garden for Frank Ryan: ‘Such a big piece of me is gone.’
Part of the succulent garden that Iversen made for Frank Ryan
Cheryl Iversen in southeastern San Francisco
  • Iversen at the memorial garden she made for Frank Ryan: ‘Such a big piece of me is gone.’ Photo: Talia Herman for the Guardian.

In the late 1980s, when he was six or seven, he lived with his father, as well as with his father’s new wife and her daughter from a previous relationship.

The younger Ryan remembers little of his father beyond a birthday when he was given a bike and shown how to assemble it. The two Frank Ryans were separated when the son was, as he describes it, spirited away by his mother. “Even if he was looking as hard as he could he probably wouldn’t have been able to find me due to the measures my mother had taken,” Ryan said in an interview recently. “I never harbored any ill will.”

During an itinerant period in the western US with his mother, he said he lived in a van and slept on blankets on the ground and obtained food from churches and food banks. Now he has a young family and works in security for the federal government.

Several months before his father’s death, the older Ryan re-established contact via Facebook, and they made plans to meet for the first time in three decades. These plans were interrupted because Ryan Sr accidentally shot himself in the groin while trying to remove the rust from a discarded handgun, leaving him hobbling and unable to work or pay for travel. He died before the meeting could take place.

“The fact that he was hungry enough to crawl into a dumpster definitely was the hardest part,” the younger Ryan said. It “stirred up” his own experiences of homelessness.

When the younger Ryan was taken away by his mother, he also lost contact with the little girl who was residing with them. Today Danielle Lent, who goes by the name Avalon, is 37 and lives in a town an hour north of San Francisco.

Her memories of her stepsibling are warm, though the relationship between the adults was anything but harmonious. The older Ryan only seemed to care about the drugs he was taking. And one night, she said, he entered Lent’s room and sexually abused her, the first of several occasions.

Lent remembers herself “just staring at the alarm clock, saying ‘when is this going to be over?’” Afterwards her mother did not believe her. Indeed, when the older Ryan became homeless, Lent’s mother took food and money to him. “My mom was so in love with him and he did all these bad things to both of us. I still have night terrors over all of this. I’m on anxiety medication.”

Danielle Lent, who goes by the name Avalon, at her home in Vacaville, California.
  • Danielle Lent, Frank Ryan’s former stepdaughter, at her home in Vacaville, California. Photo: Talia Herman for the Guardian.

The importance of finding her stepsibling was impressed on Lent by her mother. “On her deathbed she told me, ‘Danielle Marie, I have three wishes,’ and this is the last wish that she asked for.” For Lent herself, the relationship seemed like one of the best things from that time.

At Lent’s request, and with Ryan’s permission, the Guardian put them in touch with one another, and on Christmas Day they spoke for the first time since they were children.

“He said he’s not stopped looking for me,” Lent told a reporter afterwards. “And I never stopped looking for him.”

“It seems more than a coincidence that out of the millions of homeless Americans that you could do a story on, it would be my father,” said Ryan.

The Amazon dumpsters continue to provide.

On a Saturday morning earlier this year, a brown-haired young man wearing a varsity jacket cycled up and climbed inside in full view of passing cars and pedestrians.

At that moment, the gate of the warehouse loading dock rose to reveal a staffer clutching some white trash bags. He moved to throw the bags into the open dumpster when he caught sight of the visitor. They locked eyes.

The employee gently tossed the bags to the dumpster-diver, who opened them. A few minutes later, the homeless man got on to the bike, balanced a few items on the handlebars and unsteadily rode off.

Do you have an experience of homelessness to share with the Guardian? Get in touch

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Offline RE

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California Homeless Problem (video)
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2018, 12:13:11 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/zvCGtxeknSg" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/zvCGtxeknSg</a>
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Why Japan's Homeless are Different from North America's (Part 1 Vid 6min)
« Reply #43 on: January 18, 2018, 03:16:51 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/eK--oCVP18A" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/eK--oCVP18A</a>
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Homeless in Ithaca Tough it Out (Video 18:03)
« Reply #44 on: January 26, 2018, 04:09:41 AM »
Another Heartwarming Homeless story.  :icon_sunny:

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