Manchester: Winter Shelter

In Manchester, a squatted winter shelter has been set up for the Xmas period. Organising on Facebook under the name ‘Manchester Winter Shelter’ the project is now on its second building having lost the first one in court on Tuesday (17th) but that’s not stopping them!
[Read More]

Brighton: As council seals arches, where do the people go?

On Thursday 12th and Friday 13th several arches and shelters above Madeira Drive, at Black Rock, spaces which had housed a community of people over the summer were sealed off with metal grilles — the question has to be where are those people now? [UPDATE the grilles were taken down again a week later]

This summer I was really shocked by the number of homeless people in Brighton. It was much higher than it used to be. Despite a controversial official survey which said numbers had dropped by half, the evidence from my own eyes was that I saw many more homeless people on my way into town than in previous years. There are also many people living in the parks and on the beach. There have been encampments all over town, for example Hove Lawns. Now it’s getting colder, the camps are disappearing and so are the people. Where have they gone? Each person sleeping rough has their own reasons for doing so, maybe some have chosen to move on because of the weather, but what about the others?
[Read More]

UK: Chester’s homeless have had enough!

726 people died on the UK’s streets last year.

Well in excess of 120,000 people applied to their local councils to be recognised as homeless in the hopes of having access to meagre support.

Meanwhile 200,000 houses sit empty. Then there are all the commercial and industrial units lying dormant and decaying.

Chester, like most places during this latest wave of austerity, has seen a sharp rise in homelessness and rough sleeping with a piss poor response from the local council, with services and social support provided in as mild and cost-effective manner possible. During the tail end of last year when the council had an official tally of 17 “street-homeless people”, the local homeless support project “ForFutures”, itself ran on a council contract, would see over a hundred different people request refuge over a couple of months.

Earlier this year, ForFutures opened up a “Homeless Assessment Centre” on the ground floor of a large, empty, and council-owned office block called Hamilton House. Opened to great fanfare, this centre was going to be a one-stop-shop to help manage and limit the swelling crisis of homelessness Chester was facing. It was supposed to be an accessible 24/7 secure space for the most vulnerable in our community, the contact point for the homeless to a council which like the rest of them across the UK constrains its support behind a register of “unintentionally homeless”.
[Read More]

Manchester: Lessons of Cornerhouse

The Cornerhouse is a former theatre in Manchester squatted from January to August 2017 by self-organised homeless people linked to the Manchester Activist Network. This is their story.

As the final pieces of our belongings, donations and clothes were brought out of the infamous Cornerhouse it was time for Manchester Activist Network to reflect back on six months of occupation. From the Loose Space festival and surviving three eviction attempts, to the rough sleepers we housed and three other squats opened over that time, this had been a busy, and at times stressful but productive period that none of us will ever forget.

The biggest thing that came out of the Cornerhouse was a reaffirmation of the need for solidarity when we are faced with big issues. In order to fully tackle rough sleeping and stop the rise in homelessness we all need to be prepared to give a little of ourselves. Not money, but from inside of us. We need constructive dialogues, we need to drop the egos, forget about the “company line,” reflect on what we put our energies into and how we can change as individuals. Only then can we better the systemic problem that is homelessness. [Read More]

UK: Manchester homeless call out council ‘one way ticket’ scandal

Following revelations that Manchester Council has spent £10,000 on one-way tickets to push rough sleepers out of the city, activists have been expressing their disdain for executives’ excuses that the measure is aimed at “reconnecting” people with relatives who can help.

In a statement, Manchester Activist Network (MAN), which has been heavily involved in homeless self-organising in the city explained the real way in which the system works:

Person becomes homeless. Person goes to local town hall. Person is told no housing available, all the money is in Manchester. Person goes to Manchester and asks for help. Person told they have no local connection, go back home. Person kicks off a bit. Person is offered a train ticket to stop them from staying in Manchester long enough to be considered as having a local connection (six months). Decision time. Go back to the place that’s already failed you (and has a waiting least of two years+) or stay and take a chance in a city where at least the public care even if the council doesn’t. [Read More]

Manchester: Council gears up for eviction of the Addy

Andy Burnham’s Labour administration found itself in yet another mess over homelessness today as it made its first abortive attempt to scare a self-organised homeless group off an occupied site in Hulme — just days after pledging to “end homelessness” in Manchester.

The spectacle has been particularly humiliating for City bosses because the squatted empty property was once better known as North Hulme Adventure Playground — a community space which was shut down by council funding cuts cuts in 2014.

The council-owned land was occupied in August by around 40 people who had been evicted from Hotspur Press — itself an embarrassing episode for Mayor Burnham which prompted protests outside his office only weeks after his election on a ticket of helping rough sleepers. [Read More]

Lelystad (NL): Freespace De Waaghaals unjustly and illegally evicted

Quick translation from indymedia

The police came to tell the people that they had to pack their belongings and the property had to be empty before 14:00 in the afternoon.

Two days previously we were suddenly cut off from our electricity without notice while we busy putting our name on a bill. The same afternoon we actually had the appointment for a reconnection.
[Read More]

San Jose: Largest Homeless Camp In US Evicted And Destroyed To Make Way For Tech Billionaires

More than 350 homeless Americans lived in their makeshift village, ‘The Jungle’ in San Jose, California – that is, until police and social services raided the camp, evicting tenants and destroying their self-made homes on Thursday.

Evicted homeless people lined the sidewalk along Story Road, clutching shopping carts filled with their meager possessions as they watched city workers literally rip apart their community. Some wept uncontrollably, as they asked: Where will we go now?
[Read More]

London: More anti-homeless spikes go up in Southwark

Yesterday, more anti-homeless spikes were installed outside a Southwark building.

Yesterday, a local resident sent us two photos of more spikes being installed outside what looks like another, possibly private residential building on the corner of Druid Street and Abbey Street in Bermondsey.
[Read More]

UK: DWP And Homelessness Charities Link Up To Bully Homeless Benefit Claimants

The homelessness industry is today welcoming an upcoming change in the law which could see homeless people forced to live in unsuitable or unsafe accommodation or face losing eligibility for benefits.

Homeless Link and St Mungo’s Broadway have published a gushing press release cheering amendments to the rules for Jobseeker’s Allowance set to come into force next month. The changes mean that newly homeless people may only be considered meeting the criteria for benefits if they take “such steps as are reasonable for him (sic) to take to find living accommodation.”
[Read More]

Tags: ,

Bloomington (USA): No justice, only fire

Ian Stark, a 24 year old man experiencing homelessness, froze to death Tuesday night in Bloomington, IN. In response, 50-70 people took the streets on Friday night with torches, banners, spray paint and fireworks to express rage over Ian’s death. The unruly mob, mostly masked up, was comprised of anarchists, anti-prison activists, students, homeless folks, social workers, and others who knew Ian.

The march held the streets for nearly two hours, covering almost all of downtown. Participants in the march disabled several dozen parking meters, wrote graffiti, paint-bombed banks, popped tires, and distributed hundreds of fliers about Ian’s death, homelessness, and policing in Bloomington. Participants also took the opportunity to run into several yuppie restaurants and rain fliers on the passive diners.
[Read More]

Hungary is about to criminalize homelessness once again

By passing a new law that would criminalize street homelessness, the Hungarian government is once again about to violate the fundamental right to human dignity, defy the country’s international obligations, and go directly in the face of the judgement of Hungarian Constitutional Court.
[Read More]