Camping Out – Homelessness in America

“Single adults actually constitute a minority of [NYC’s] homeless. The invisible face of homelessness is that of a child.”
– Atlas of Student Homelessness in NYC[1]

Dear Kim Moon-shine,

It depresses me to read that a lot of your people are getting addicted to South Livian TV junk.[2]

Do not let such transgressions go unpunished.

There’s nothing worse in life than South Livian TV soaps – Hideous to the eye and terrible for the soul.

But I do recommend the South Korean star Choi Min-sik. A gifted actor, Choi made the screen glow in Angmareul Boatda (I Saw the Devil).[3]

If nothing else, the gory film will at least give you some tips on how to deal with the next traitor – Chop, Chop, Chop.

Sounds like fun, eh?

Here in America, the people loved Angmareul Boatda. Not surprising, since violence gives the savages a high.

When we spoke last week, you asked if America had homelessness (a problem not absent in the Democratic People’s Republic of Livia too).

Homeless in America

Kim, every day in America several hundred thousand people spend the night on the streets, in shelters, in parks, inside post offices, under bridges or ride commuter trains and buses back and forth.

Homeless Man in NYCA Homeless Man in an NYC Subway Station

In the United States of Callousness, homeless Americans occasionally freeze to death in the open or die on the train.

A 63-year-old dead man kept riding the E train in New York City until his body was discovered at the Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archers station on January 14, 2017.[4]

God knows when the poor homeless man died or how long his dead body kept riding the train back and forth from Queens station to World Trade Center/Church Street.

The downtown post office in Santa Fe (NM) is restricting night-time access to the lobby during winter because homeless people are using it as a warm sleeping haven.[5]

In the so-called “richest” nation on Earth, people are frequently rendered homeless by mental health problems, layoffs, evictions, pitiful wages, family crises, unaffordable rent and an assortment of health problems.

Tens of thousands of homeless people have taken to squatting (illegally occupying empty homes and warehouses that are sometimes dangerous).

Writers like Nell Zink (Nicotine) and Jonathan Miles (Want Not) have romanticized squatting as a protest movement increasing its appeal to those with one screw loose.

Across this vast nation, millions of Americans are penniless and roofless.

Some of my former neighbors have drifted into the homeless category and avoid my eyes when I see them at the library (in the America of 2018, libraries are the daytime “home” of the homeless).

The terrible tragedy of homelessness affects all races, sexes and ages in America.

Old and young, Black and White, men, women and children, Americans and foreigners, and legal and illegal “aliens” are subject to the inhumane humiliation of not having a roof over their head.

Even young children and students are not spared the indignity of homelessness in cruel America.

A June 2016 report on student homelessness by Civic Enterprises found 1.3 million students were homeless in 2013-2014. The study found “student homelessness remains an invisible and extremely disruptive problem” in America.[6]

Walk the streets of Manhattan and you’ll quickly encounter homeless people dragging along aa black plastic trash bag containing all of their worldly possessions.

Most Americans ignore homelessness and vainly hope it’ll vanish if only they close their eyes and pretend the homeless are not around them.

Despite all the public talk by American leaders like NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio about addressing the crisis, homelessness is a low priority item on the national agenda.

I bet there are 100 times more media reports about bathrooms for transgendered or transitioning people than about the homeless crisis crushing the souls and lives of people.

Since America steadfastly, cruelly refuses to tackle homelessness, the nation’s homeless sleep in doorways, on park benches, in train stations, in tent encampments, at airports, in bus stations, under bridges, in culverts and cars, and wherever they can squeeze a little space.

During the day, you can see America’s homeless huddled in the corners of city libraries.

Frequently, I see fights erupt between homeless people and the other folks at my local library.[7]

What happens is that homeless guys (many with mental problems) are muttering to themselves or talking to each other.

After all, if you’re homeless in America you can only talk to yourself or to one of your own kind. But such talk sends White people watching TV/movies or reading a magazine at the library into high dudgeon.

White folks in America hate Blacks and more so when they’re homeless and, naturally enough, start to smell. So to control disturbances and fights between the Black homeless people and White folks, the city has now permanently stationed a rookie policeman/cadet at the library.

Cops at libraries.

Cops, tasers and metal detectors in schools.

Cops in shelters.

Well, nobody said America wasn’t fun!

As long as the homeless remain ‘hidden,’ ‘invisible’ and stay ‘in the shadows,’ American Sonderkommandos are happy.

They can go about their lives pretending all’s well with ‘exceptional’ America, the so called richest nation in the world, and continue swiping on their iPhone XR, Samsung Galaxy S9, and the latest iPad Pro left and right, up and down.

L.A. Shock

Back in the old days (we’re talking twentieth century now), I was a restless feller.

I was spending all my free time tramping up and down the Big City of Los Angeles.

Given so much walking, it was inevitable I’d soon have my first big encounter with homelessness in America.

One morning in Los Angeles I found myself stepping outside one of the subway stations earlier than usual.

As I walked around aimlessly, to my horror, I stumbled upon two or three dozen Black men waking up near a soup kitchen.

It was a bizarre moment, and the memory of it has stayed with me.

Of course, I was no stranger to homeless people in America, having encountered them in an assortment of places (train stations, airport parking lots, city parks and downtowns of NYC, Chicago and Philadelphia).

But the scale of what I witnessed that morning in Los Angeles took my breath away.

The homeless picture has worsened in Los Angeles in recent years.

On August 23, 2016, the Los Angeles City Council voted on a resolution urging the state’s Governor Jerry Brown to declare homelessness a statewide emergency.[8]

The Governor refused because he does not consider 48,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County to be a serious crisis.

With 116,000 people living on the streets, in doorways, in tent camps and under bridges, California has the nation’s highest homeless rate.

Homelessness is not restricted just to L.A. and the state of California but is now a crisis across America.

New York City, Seattle, Hawaii, Chicago, Portland (Oregon), Philadelphia, Wilmington, San Diego, Washington DC and several other cities face a serious homelessness crisis.

Officially, over half a million people are homeless in America, with a quarter of them children.[9]

But that number is a huge lie, a gross underestimate by the government to avoid public pressure to address the homeless crisis.

The official homeless number (565,000 to be precise) is a gross underestimate for three reasons – First, it comes from the Obama administration, which has a proven record of lying and exaggerating the “accomplishments” of the faux Black President; Second, it relies on a one-night national survey; Finally, in the same month as the survey (January 2015), 1.46 million people had used homeless shelters.[10]

Homeless Among Billionaires

What ancient Rome was to the rest of the world, Silicon Valley is to the contemporary age.

People from far corners of our planet look at the “disruptive” power of Silicon Valley with a sense of awe.

After all, Silicon Valley (in Santa Clara county), is the home of Apple, Google, Intel, Facebook and a gazillion other startups (many that flamed out while the few survivors bask in glory, adulation and billions in market capitalization).

Just as ancient Rome relentlessly expanded its frontiers (until the wise Augustus Caesar said enough), Silicon Valley’s reach into the daily lives of people expands every day.

But among the billionaires and the mere millionaires of Silicon Valley, the story of the region’s homeless gets short shrift.

Thousands of people (including many working people) are homeless in Santa Clara county.

Some of the homeless sleep in their cars and pickup trucks in the parking lots of Walmart and other relatively safe locations. But many are forced into tiny tents or huddle on the street, doorways and under the giant overpasses of California’s highways.

Yet the illuminati pioneers of Silicon Valley and their fawning media acolytes have not focused even 0.1% of their time and resources to “disrupting” the area’s crisis-level homeless situation.

By 2018, Santa Clara was third in chronic homelessness in United States of Homeless People.[11]

Homeless Children

In New York City alone, 87,000 school children were living in homeless shelters or temporary housing during the 2013-2014 school year.[12]

Isn’t that fun?

Just imagine tens of thousands of kids going back to vermin-infested, squalid homeless shelters or a shared room at a distant cousin’s home at the end of their school day.

According to The Atlas of Student Homelessness in New York City put out by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness, one out of every nine kids in NYC public schools in school year 2013-2014 experienced homelessness within the previous four years. The report also noted chronic absenteeism (38%) among homeless students in NYC.

Here’s what the Atlas of Student Homelessness in New York City report had to say on the crisis:

“Whatever broad economic recovery is taking hold in New York City does not appear to have reached extremely low-income New Yorkers, for whom unstable employment and housing have become the new normal. As a result, thousands of the city’s children each year experience instability in the form of hunger, frequent moves, chronic health problems and anxiety for their family’s future. Moreover, these children most often struggle with disruptions to their educational progress and fall behind in school.”[13]

Student homelessness is a grim story in NYC.

At PS 188 and a few other schools in New York City, nearly half the students are homeless.

The New York Times reported in June 2016 that one-third of students were homeless in 46 NYC schools in the fall of the previous school year.[14]

Things are no different in 2018.

A new piece in the New York Times reported that 11,234 children under 6 were living in a shelter. Thousands of New Yorker babies begin their life in the city’s shelter system, according to the Coalition for the Homeless.[15]

How depressing must it be for a young kid in NYC to be homeless in a city where apartments go for over $100 million and “cool” sneakers cost over $200.

Poop Patrol in San Francisco

The Bay Area in California is home to Silicon Valley, hundreds of startups and wealthy corporations like Facebook, Google, Apple, Intel, SalesForce, Oracle, Twitter, AMD, etc.

The wealth created by Silicon Valley has exacerbated inequality and brought in its wake a giant problem of homelessness in the area.

San Francisco, the biggest city in the Bay Area, is struggling to cope with a huge encampment of homeless people on its sidewalks.

Amidst the great wealth of Silicon Valley, more than 10,000 people live on the streets of San Francisco. Unsurprising, when you consider that a studio apartment rental in San Francisco costs north of $2,500 a month.

With very few public toilets, San Francisco’s homeless have taken to urinating and defecating on the sidewalks.

A noxious stench of piss and shit assaults the nostrils of locals and tourists who throng the city.

In 2018, it’s hard to walk on several streets of San Francisco (particularly, in the Mission, Tenderloin, SOMA, Civic center, Nob Hill, and Mid-Market neighborhoods) without stepping into piles of human poop.

Elevators and porches of many buildings of the city greet visitors with piles of poop.

Here’s what the Guardian had to say about America’s Poop City:

San Francisco is a crappier place to live these days. Sightings of human feces on the sidewalks are now a regular occurrence; over the past 10 years, complaints about human waste have increased 400%. People now call the city 65 times a day to report poop, and there have ben 14,597 calls in 2018 alone.”[16]

So widespread is the human poop problem in San Francisco that one local engineer developed Poop Maps to highlight the tragedy.

Are San Francisco’s homeless to blame for turning the city into Poop Shitty?

Of course, not. The poor and desperate have nowhere else to “go” except on the sidewalk.

The city has few public toilets and businesses refuse to let anyone but customers use their restrooms.

San Francisco’s poop problem is so huge that in 2018 the city created a “Poop Patrol” and set aside $750,000 to remove human waste from its sidewalks. The Poop Patrol will move around high-poop neighborhoods in a special vehicle with a steam cleaner, and remove human poop.[17]

Yet, San Francisco and the state of California have made little effort to address the twin afflictions of poverty and its spawn, homelessnesses.

Coffin Homes in NYC

Some homeless people in NYC live in crevices on the upper deck of the Manhattan Bridge.

Murdoch’s literary masterpiece New York Post describes them as “coffin-sized living spaces.”[18]

Isn’t it wonderful that in a city where a few super-rich people spend millions to convert apartment buildings with several units into single-family homes, other people live in coffin-sized living spaces.

Real estate agents are excited with such apartment conversions because of higher resale value (the average price per square foot for a single family home in Manhattan is much higher than for a two, three or five family home).

The late irreverent NYC magazine Gawker had a fine headline for one such building with several apartments being marketed as a single family home – Are You Enough of an Asshole to Buy this Building?[19]

Other homeless New Yorkers make their “home” below NYC bridges.

To the Big Apple’s many distinctions, add the fact that homeless people in the city live both above and below its bridges.

Thousands of people live in America’s transit hubs like Pennsylvania Station and Grand Central Terminal in New York City surviving on “what the tourists throw out.”[20]

In New York City alone, several thousand people sleep on the streets or in transit hubs (that’s in addition to the 63,000 homeless people living in shelters).

Even veterans struggle to cope with the wretched indignity of homelessness in America. There are thousands of homeless veterans across the United States.[21]

Not only does nobody gives a rat’s ass for the poor homeless people in America, they’re also often harassed endlessly by the Thugs in Blue a.k.a. the police.

Sick of the New York Police Department’s endless harassment of homeless people even when no laws were broken, the frustrated New York Civil Liberties Union filed a human rights complaint against the police on May 26, 2016.[22]

Rental Crisis in NYC

Long a bastion for the rich, New York City in the last five decades has turned into a disaster zone for low-income people trying to find affordable rentals.

Writing in the New York Review of Books, Michael Greenberg documents a rental crisis emergency for low-income households in NYC that’s heart-wrenching in scope.[23]

NYC’s low-income tenants live in constant fear of rezoning and a host of other nasty tricks that developers deploy to throw them out of slightly affordable homes.

As low income people are displaced from rent-stabilized units, they swell the ranks of the city’s homeless population.

Deplorable Shelters

What about condition inside homeless shelters?

Most shelters in America are hellholes, unfit for rats and roaches let alone adults or children.

Fights at shelters are common and violent attacks including murder not uncommon.

An article in the NY Daily News mentioned that NYC homeless shelters had 21,401 open code violations like vermin, leaking, peeling paint and what not![24]

If homeless shelters are in such bad shape in New York City, where media attention is high, think how much worse they must be in smaller towns and cities across America.

Dangerous Shelters

Many of America’s homeless are reluctant to get into shelters even when there are beds there.

The reason is simple – A lot of the shelters are dangerous places.

Since a lot of homeless people are stressed out or suffer from untreated mental problems, violent fights break out frequently in the shelters and people get seriously injured or die.

In New York City alone, six people were murdered in shelters in less than four months in 2016.[25]

Often, both the killer and the victim suffer from psychiatric issues.

According to a recent study, more than 50% of homeless people suffer from a mental health disease.[26]

Even rapes are not uncommon inside America’s horrific shelters.

A 14-year-old girl was raped inside a Brooklyn shelter on April 5, 2017. The young girl’s alleged rapist is 16-years-old.[27]

Shipping Containers

In some parts of the United States, high rents are pushing people into the homeless category.

Even salaried workers struggle to find affordable homes to buy or rent in the Bay Area (close to Silicon Valley in California).

A sfgate news item in June 2016 highlighted a teardown, 1920s era home in Palo Alto priced at $5.5 million.[28]

So Americans who are employed but can’t afford to rent or buy homes are seriously starting to consider living in tiny shipping containers.[29]

Containers from China that bring diapers, toilet paper, iPads, wash-rags, car brake-pads, iPhones, dildos and keyboards into the United States are now being turned into living spaces for Americans.

Awesome!

Shipping containers will soon be the future of homes not just in Silicon Valley but in other big cities as well.

Who’s to Blame?

If you ask well-off Americans, the homeless are squarely to blame for their homelessness.

The wealthy think a lot of America’s homeless people like to live in Hobbes’ State of Nature.

As any Republican will tell you, the homeless just won’t take individual responsibility for their situation and expect the government to provide them apartments in Trump Tower.

Why can’t America’s homeless children and adults start a social network like Facebook, a search engine like Google, build soaring luxury apartment complexes like Trump Tower or learn to invest like the Sage of Omaha.

If Ronald Reagan were around he’d look the American people squarely in the eye and in his folksy style lie that most homeless people in NYC are actually driving around in Cadillacs, shopping for shrimp in Zabar’s and dining on heavily charred steaks at Luger’s.

Greyhound Therapy
American Sonderkommando response to homeless is often bizarre, completely in line with their sick souls.

There’s an utter lack of seriousness and commitment to address the crisis of homelessness.

In New York City, the Bloomberg administration tackled homelessness by giving one-way bus, train or plane ticket to families to get out of the Big Apple.

A New York Times article reveals that the Bloomberg administration sent homeless families in NYC to 24 states and five continents to avoid putting these dirt poor folks up in city shelters.[30]

Through its one-way ticket policy, the Bloomberg plan merely kicked the homeless problem to another city.

The practice of kicking out homeless people with one-way tickets a.k.a “homeless dumping” is not restricted to NYC but common in America.

Seattle, Washington DC, San Francisco, Orlando, Hawaii, Ohio, Las Vegas and several other cities/states have tried similar “Greyhound therapy” to “tackle” homelessness in their area.

In years past, several cities bought bus tickets for their homeless people and pushed them off to distant NYC. So what NYC has been doing in recent years is returning the “favor.”

Although Washington DC has a “right to shelter” policy in theory to tackle homelessness, in practice the city is extremely callous when it comes to assisting the roofless.

A Washington Post investigation found that the district’s Department of Human Services rejected 78% of applicants for family shelter in 2016.[31]

Washington DC’s Department of Human Services is also notorious for offering “bus-ticket therapy” service to some who come pleading for help.

In late 2016, NYC (under Mayor de Blasio) unveiled a similar cockamamie plan to “tackle” homelessness.

Launched under the nice-sounding “Home for the Holidays” name, the program offered friends and relatives of 5,000 families living in city shelters up to $1,800 a month for up to 12 months for taking in the homeless.[32]

Even the mentally ill are not spared the so-called “Greyhound therapy” if they’re homeless.

In Nevada, a Las Vegas psychiatric hospital discharged hundreds of mentally ill, homeless people and shipped them off to distant cities by giving them a one-way Greyhound bus ticket.[33]

Instead of addressing homelessness with the seriousness it deserves, American response to the crisis is often morbidly cruel, hopelessly ridiculous and grossly inadequate.

Eviction Industrial Complex
To make a terrible homeless situation worse, evictions are in full swing across America.

Damn, in America when there are already three powerful complexes (Military-Industrial Complex, Medical-Industrial-Complex and Prison-Industrial Complex) comes a new one called Eviction-Industrial Complex.[34]

The people doing the evicting (sheriff’s deputies, moving companies and landlords) are usually White while the folks getting evicted are often Latinos or Black.[35]

Cool, let’s increase the pace of evictions so that 99% of Americans can become homeless.

Of course, American narrative control monsters will spin it as the country’s love for “Camping Out” in the open.

America has $1.45 trillion to squander on the F-35 fighter jet boondoggle but allotted a mere $2.25 billion to the McKinney-Vento federal homeless assistance grants program in 2016.[36]

Early Death

In the only bit of merciful news for America’s homeless people, they die far earlier than other people.

Average age of death for the homeless in Los Angeles and Seattle is 48 years compared to 78 years for the general population.[37]

Wherever America’s homeless people go after death, surely it can’t be any worse than being homeless on the streets of this goddamned nation.


Karma Gospel Notes

[1] The Atlas of Student Homelessness in New York City, Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness, August 8, 2015
[2] Confidential reports to Estevanico Cortez
[3] I Saw the Devil (2010), Directed by Kim Jee-won and Starring Choi Min-sik and Lee Byung-hun, Wikipedia; available on Netflix for streaming
[4] Man, 63, found dead on E train at last stop in Queens, by Thomas Tracy, NY Daily News, January 14, 2016
[5] Homeless Seeking Shelter Leads to Post Office’s Reduced Hours, by Justin Horwath, Santa Fe New Mexican, October 27, 2017
[6] Hidden in Plain Sight: Homeless Students in America’s Public Schools, June 2016 report by Civic Enterprises with Hart Research Associates, p.4; also see These are the Faces of America’s Growing Youth Homeless Population, Washington Post, June 17, 2016
[7] Estevanico’s Observations of a library on the U.S. East Coast
[8] L.A. City Council asks Gov. Brown to Declare Homelessness a Statewide Emergency, by Gale Holland, Los Angeles Times, August 23, 2016
[9] More Than 500,000 People Homeless in the United States: Report, by Eric M. Johnson, Reuters, November 19, 2015
[10] Estimates of Homeless in the U.S., U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
[11] Cisco Commits $50 Million to End Homelessness in Silicon Valley, by Megan Rose Dickey, TechCrunch, March 26, 2018
[12] Number of Homeless School Children in NYC Soars to 87,000, New Report Reveals, by Ben Chapman, Lisa L.Colangelo, NY Daily News, August 26, 2015; The Atlas of Student Homelessness in New York City
[13] The Atlas of Student Homelessness in New York City
[14] Where Nearly Half of Pupils are Homeless, School Aims to be Teacher, Therapist, Even Santa, by Elizabeth A. Harris, New York Times, June 6, 2016
[15] Baby Antonio: 5 Pounds, 12 Ounces and Homeless from Birth, by Nikita Stewart, New York Times, October 30, 2018
[16] Why is San Francisco Covered in Human Feces?, by Nathan Robinson, The Guardian, August 18, 2018
[17] San Francisco Creates ‘Poop Patrol’ To Clean up City’s Feces-Ridden Sidewalks, by Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News, August 15, 2018
[18] Vagrant Take Shelter Within Manhattan Bridge’s Frame, NY Post, April 13, 2014
[19] Are You Enough of an Asshole to Buy this Building?, by Tom Socca, Gawker, April 15, 2016; Intrepid Buyers Convert Apartment Buildings into Single Family Homes, by Candace Jackson, Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2016
[20] Among Travelers and Commuters, the Homeless Stop In and Stay, by Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, April 18, 2016
[21] See Chapter – No Country for Veterans in this book
[22] NYCLU Files Complaint Against NYPD for Harassing Homeless People, by Victoria Bekiempis, Jennifer Fermino, NY Daily News, May 26, 2016
[23] Tenants Under Siege: Inside New York City’s Housing Crisis, by Michael Greenberg, New York Review of Books, August 17, 2017, p.75-81
[24] Mayor de Blasio Scorecard Shows City Homeless Shelters had 21,400 Code Violations by End of 2015, by Erin Durkin, NY Daily News, February 1, 2016
[25] 2 Sought by Police After Man is Found Dead at Manhattan Homeless Shelter, by Ashley Southall and Nikita Stewart, New York Times, April 15, 2016
[26] Chronic Disease Management in the Homeless, National Health Care for the Homeless Council
[27] Teen Boy Arrested for Raping Girl, 14, Inside Brooklyn Shelter, by Rocco Parascandola, NY Daily News, April 6, 2017
[28] This Teardown is What $5.5M Buys You in Palo Alto, by Anna Marie Erwert, SFGate, June 17, 2016
[29] This Couple Couldn’t Afford to Live in San Francisco, So They’re Building Tiny Homes Made from Shipping Containers, Tech Insider, June 16, 2016
[30] City Aids Homeless with One-Way Tickets Home, by Julie Bosman, New York Times, July 28, 2009
[31] A Homeless Family Needed Shelter. D.C. Gave Them Bus Tickets to North Carolina, by Peter Jamison, Washington Post, April 16, 2017
[32] City to Pay New Yorkers Who House their Homeless Relatives in ‘Home for the Holidays’ Campaign, by Jennifer Fermino, New York Daily News, December 1, 2016
[33] Homeless Mental Patients given ‘Greyhound therapy’ from Las Vegas Could get a Payout, By Cynthia Hubert, Sacramento Bee, March 20, 2018
[34] Kicked Out in America!, by Jason DeParle, Review of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond, New York Review of Books, March 10, 2016
[35] One Day, Nine Cruel Evictions, by Aditya Chakrabortty, The Guardian, March 8, 2016
[36] See National Alliance to End Homelessness, FY 2017 Budget Proposal Rundown; also read, How DOD’s $1.5 Trillion Broke the Air Force, CNBC, July 31, 2014; The Pentagon’s $1.5 Trillion Mistake, The Atlantic
[37] The Impossibility of Managing a Chronic Disease While Homeless, by Maralyssa Bann, The Atlantic, March 2016; also read National Coalition for the Homeless, Fact Sheet – Health Care and Homelessness

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