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The Urban Survivor
Donate your change to make a change.
The Urban Survivor
Police officers continue to negatively objectify Black men, case in point, a prominent Hollywood producer Charles Belk is an example of how out of serious the situation is now. As Belk was leaving an L.A. restaurant on last Friday, he was swarmed by six Beverly Hills police cruisers and then handcuffed without explanation for six hours, because he allegedly “matched the physical characteristics ” of a suspect sought in a bank robbery in the surrounding area.
The 51-year-old Belk a Harvard grad and award-winningproducer claims he was not told why he was arrested, denied a phone call, and barred from speaking to his attorney at length.
Belk, posted a Facebook picture of himself, handcuffed and sitting on a concrete curb in the hot blazing sun with two White officers standing guard over him. He was booked on a $100,000 bail. Belk says that the officers treated him contemptibly and only released him when they knew he looked nothing like the suspected robber.
The photo of Mr. Belk, which has been shared via the social network some thousands of times, is also accompanied by his written outrage at the way he was targeted:
“I get that the Beverly Hills Police Department didn’t know that I was a well-educated American citizen that had received a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California, an MBA from Indiana University … and an executive leadership certificate from Harvard Business School,” Belk’s statement read. “Hey, I was ‘tall,’ ‘bald,’ a ‘male’ and ‘black,’ so I fit the description.”
I was transported to the Beverly Hills Police Headquarters, photographed, fingerprinted and put under a $100,000 bail and accused of armed bank robbery and accessory to robbery of a bank.”
“What I don’t get … is why, during the 45 minutes that they had me on the curb, handcuffed in the sun, before they locked me up and took away my civil rights, that they could not simply review the ATM and bank’s HD video footage to clearly see that the ‘tall, bald-headed, black male’ … did not fit MY description.”
What did the Beverly Hills police department have to say about their faux pas?
The department reportedly referred to the Belk incident as “regrettable,” according to KTLA, and released the following statement:
“The Beverly Hills Police Department regrets the inconvenience to Mr. Belk, but was under obligation to thoroughly verify that he was not the suspect before releasing him.”
There were two alleged robbers involved in the bank heist, Brianna Kloutse, 47, who is suspected in 11 recent bank robberies in the Los Angeles area was placed into custody last Friday. The other robbery suspect whom police mistakenly thought was Belk is still at large.
We were homeless when we started The Urban Survivor 14 years ago, now we are housed albeit marginal, we have a roof. Some others do not. Because we have experienced homelessness first hand we realize what homeless people need, whereas a lot of the religious oriented organizations and government institutions mean well. They themselves as individuals, may not have experienced homelessness first hand. So a lot of times the programs these well meaning organizations produce do not have the necessary components to deal with the real issues of homelessness and the reasons there-of.
If you can afford it, donate ! even a little can help a lot.
April 10, 2013
Did you know that there are thousands upon thousands of homeless people that are living underground beneath the streets of major U.S. cities? It is happening in Las Vegas, it is happening in New York City and it is even happening in Kansas City. As the economy crumbles, poverty in the United States is absolutely exploding and so is homelessness. In addition to the thousands of “tunnel people” living under the streets of America, there are also thousands that are living in tent cities, there are tens of thousands that are living in their vehicles and there are more than a million public school children that do not have a home to go back to at night. The federal government tells us that the recession “is over” and that “things are getting better”, and yet poverty and homelessness in this country continue to rise with no end in sight. So what in the world are things going to look like when the next economic crisis hits?
When I heard that there were homeless people living in a network of underground tunnels beneath the streets of Kansas City, I was absolutely stunned. I have relatives that live in that area. I never thought of Kansas City as one of the more troubled cities in the United States.
But according to the Daily Mail, police recently discovered a network of tunnels under the city that people had been living in…
Below the streets of Kansas City, there are deep underground tunnels where a group of vagrant homeless people lived in camps. These so-called homeless camps have now been uncovered by the Kansas City Police, who then evicted the residents because of the unsafe environment.
Authorities said these people were living in squalor, with piles of garbage and dirty diapers left around wooded areas.
The saddest part is the fact that authorities found dirty diapers in the areas near these tunnels. That must mean that babies were being raised in that kind of an environment.
Unfortunately, this kind of thing is happening all over the nation. In recent years, the tunnel people of Las Vegas have received quite a bit of publicity all over the world. It has been estimated that more than 1,000 people live in the massive network of flood tunnels under the city…
Deep beneath Vegas’s glittering lights lies a sinister labyrinth inhabited by poisonous spiders and a man nicknamed The Troll who wields an iron bar. But astonishingly, the 200 miles of flood tunnels are also home to 1,000 people who eke out a living in the strip’s dark underbelly.Some, like Steven and his girlfriend Kathryn, have furnished their home with considerable care – their 400sq ft ‘bungalow’ boasts a double bed, a wardrobe and even a bookshelf.
Could you imagine living like that? Sadly, for an increasing number of Americans a “normal lifestyle” is no longer an option. Either they have to go to the homeless shelters or they have to try to eke out an existence on their own any way that they can.
In New York City, authorities are constantly trying to root out the people that live in the tunnels under the city and yet they never seem to be able to find them all. The following is from a New York Post article about the “Mole People” that live underneath New York City…
The homeless people who live down here are called Mole People. They do not, as many believe, exist in a separate, organized underground society. It’s more of a solitary existence and loose-knit community of secretive, hard-luck individuals.
The New York Post followed one homeless man known as “John Travolta” on a tour through the underground world. What they discovered was a world that is very much different from what most New Yorkers experience…
In the tunnels, their world is one of malt liquor, tight spaces, schizophrenic neighbors, hunger and spells of heat and cold. Travolta and the others eat fairly well, living on a regimented schedule of restaurant leftovers, dumped each night at different times around the neighborhood above his foreboding home.
Even as the Dow hits record high after record high, poverty in New York City continues to rise at a very frightening pace. Incredibly, the number of homeless people sleeping in the homeless shelters of New York City has increased by a whopping 19 percent over the past year.
In many of our major cities, the homeless shelters are already at maximum capacity and are absolutely packed night after night. Large numbers of homeless people are often left to fend for themselves.
That is one reason why we have seen the rise of so many tent cities.
Yes, the tent cities are still there, they just aren’t getting as much attention these days because they do not fit in with the “economic recovery” narrative that the mainstream media is currently pushing.
In fact, many of the tent cities are larger than ever. For example, you can check out a Reuters video about a growing tent city in New Jersey that was posted on YouTube at the end of March right here. A lot of these tent cities have now become permanent fixtures, and unfortunately they will probably become much larger when the next major economic crisis strikes.
But perhaps the saddest part of all of this is the massive number of children that are suffering night after night.
For the first time ever, more than a million public school children in the United States are homeless. That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.
So if things are really “getting better”, then why in the world do we have more than a million public school children without homes?
These days a lot of families that have lost their homes have ended up living in their vehicles. The following is an excerpt from a 60 Minutes interview with one family that is living in their truck…
This is the home of the Metzger family. Arielle,15. Her brother Austin, 13. Their mother died when they were very young. Their dad, Tom, is a carpenter. And, he’s been looking for work ever since Florida’s construction industry collapsed. When foreclosure took their house, he bought the truck on Craigslist with his last thousand dollars. Tom’s a little camera shy – thought we ought to talk to the kids – and it didn’t take long to see why.
Pelley: How long have you been living in this truck?
Arielle Metzger: About five months.
Pelley: What’s that like?
Arielle Metzger: It’s an adventure.
Austin Metzger: That’s how we see it.
Pelley: When kids at school ask you where you live, what do you tell ‘em?
Austin Metzger: When they see the truck they ask me if I live in it, and when I hesitate they kinda realize. And they say they won’t tell anybody.
Arielle Metzger: Yeah it’s not really that much an embarrassment. I mean, it’s only life. You do what you need to do, right?
But after watching a news report or reading something on the Internet about these people we rapidly forget about them because they are not a part of “our world”.
Another place where a lot of poor people end up is in prison. In aprevious article, I detailed how the prison population in the United States has been booming in recent years. If you can believe it, the United States now has approximately 25 percent of the entire global prison population even though it only has about 5 percent of the total global population.
And these days it is not just violent criminals that get thrown into prison. If you lose your job and get behind on your bills, you could be thrown into prison as well. The following is from a recent CBS News article…
Roughly a third of U.S. states today jail people for not paying off their debts, from court-related fines and fees to credit card and car loans, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Such practices contravene a 1983 United States Supreme Court ruling that they violate the Constitutions’s Equal Protection Clause.
Some states apply “poverty penalties,” such as late fees, payment plan fees and interest, when people are unable to pay all their debts at once. Alabama charges a 30 percent collection fee, for instance, while Florida allows private debt collectors to add a 40 percent surcharge on the original debt. Some Florida counties also use so-called collection courts, where debtors can be jailed but have no right to a public defender. In North Carolina, people are charged for using a public defender, so poor defendants who can’t afford such costs may be forced to forgo legal counsel.
The high rates of unemployment and government fiscal shortfalls that followed the housing crash have increased the use of debtors’ prisons, as states look for ways to replenish their coffers. Said Chettiar, “It’s like drawing blood from a stone. States are trying to increase their revenue on the backs of the poor.”
If you are poor, the United States can be an incredibly cold and cruel place. Mercy and compassion are in very short supply.
The middle class continues to shrink and poverty continues to grow with each passing year. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately one out of every six Americans is now living in poverty. And if you throw in those that are considered to be “near poverty”, that number becomes much larger. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans are either “poor” or “low income”.
For many more facts about the rapid increase of poverty in this country, please see my previous article entitled “21 Statistics About The Explosive Growth Of Poverty In America That Everyone Should Know“.But even as poverty grows, it seems like the hearts of those that still do have money are getting colder. Just check out what happened recently at a grocery store that was in the process of closing down in Augusta, Georgia…
Residents filled the parking lot with bags and baskets hoping to get some of the baby food, canned goods, noodles and other non-perishables. But a local church never came to pick up the food, as the storeowner prior to the eviction said they had arranged. By the time the people showed up for the food, what was left inside the premises—as with any eviction—came into the ownership of the property holder, SunTrust Bank.
The bank ordered the food to be loaded into dumpsters and hauled to a landfill instead of distributed. The people that gathered had to be restrained by police as they saw perfectly good food destroyed. Local Sheriff Richard Roundtree told the news “a potential for a riot was extremely high.”
Can you imagine watching that happen?
But of course handouts and charity are only temporary solutions. What the poor in this country really need are jobs, and unfortunately there has not been a jobs recovery in the United States since the recession ended.
In fact, the employment crisis looks like it is starting to take another turn for the worse. The number of layoffs in the month of March was 30 percent higher than the same time a year ago.
Meanwhile, small businesses are indicating that hiring is about to slow down significantly. According to a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, small businesses in the United States are extremely pessimistic right now. The following is what Goldman Sachs had to say about this survey…
Components of the survey were consistent with the decline in headline optimism, as the net percent of respondents planning to hire fell to 0% (from +4%), those expecting higher sales fell to -4% (from +1%), and those reporting that it is a good time to expand ticked down to +4% (from +5%). The net percent of respondents expecting the economy to improve was unchanged at -28%, a very depressed level. However, on the positive side, +25% of respondents plan increased capital spending [ZH: With Alcoa CapEx spending at a 2 year low]. Small business owners continue to place poor sales, taxes, and red tape at the top of their list of business problems, as they have for the past several years.
So why aren’t our politicians doing anything to fix this? For example, why in the world don’t they stop millions of our jobs from being sent out of the country? Well, the truth is that they don’t think we have a problem. In fact, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson recently said that U.S. trade deficits “don’t matter”.
He apparently does not seem alarmed that more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities have been shut down in the United States since 2001.And since the last election, the White House has seemed to have gone into permanent party mode.
On Tuesday, another extravagant party will be held at the White House. It is being called “In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul”, and it is going to include some of the biggest names in the music industry…
As the White House has previously announced, Justin Timberlake (who will be making his White House debut), Al Green, Ben Harper, Queen Latifah, Cyndi Lauper, Joshua Ledet, Sam Moore, Charlie Musselwhite, Mavis Staples, and others will be performing at the exclusive event.
And so who will be paying for all of this?
You and I will be. Even as the Obamas cry about all of the other “spending cuts” that are happening, they continue to blow millions of taxpayer dollars on wildly extravagant parties and vacations.
Overall, U.S. taxpayers will spend well over a billion dollars on the Obamas this year.
I wonder what the tunnel people that live under the streets of America think about that.
This article was posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 6:01 am
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Now, courtesy of our forward-thinking financier elite (who are probably so choked up with currency conundrums that the old “cup o’ joe” doesn’t hit that sacred spot) we no longer have that LCD – the lowest common denominator, the penny.
Part of me (the fractionally crazy part) says – hey great, i don’t know how many times my inner math computer has been defaulting on it’s reasoning functions because of a redundant 1,1,1,1,1, type singularity on the event horizon. What that translates into is that the copper (and especially copper oxidized green) tint to what some would call “the high point of the day – a good cup of tea or coffee” seems to be awash in auburn metallurgical particulates – some may see them as ingredients in a quantum chemical bath that goes into – invisible to all but an alien scientist – our liquid intakes.
What are we going to do with all that copper now that it’s out of the larger socio-economic corpus (sounds like someone was trying to exterminate the little beggars – pun not intended, i’ll say 2 acts of contrition.) Immediately one could say that the melted down copper could go a long way to subsidize Canada’s well-known telecommunications industry…but then you realize everyone’s talking about Wire-Fibre – just as silicate a syndicate as the microchips which cause us to decide on crazy oracular life issues from economics, social-networking, what kind of tattoo to get, among other decisions once left to soothsayers …
All in all it’s nice to surmise that someone out there isn’t going to get the average person to reinforce his averageness through creation of percentile calculations – are we beginning to find that having a nickel as a lowest common denominator may intimate that “Pi” the longest non-repeating repeating number is getting closer to a “zero point” (ya, ya i know we missed the end of McKenna’s *(RIP) TimeWave Zero on December 12th last year – i’ll send a postcard from the edge.
Overall i’m hoping that the ecology of muddy money, perhaps rooted in grudgery and drudgery will begin to shine clear as that silver backed beaver …
Cheemo to you, cup of Joe!
Emergency Shelters for Men
Good Shepherd Centre
135 Mary Street, Box 1003,
Hamilton, ON L8N 3R1
Emergency shelter for men in need of temporary accommodation. A daily hot meal is served for non-residents as well. Bag lunch available, also a food bank. Clothing and household items available if needed.
Mission Services Men’s Residence
325 James Street North,
Hamilton, ON L8L 1H3
Programs available to adult men experiencing a crisis in housing, clothing, finances, and personal well-being. Also emergency men’s shelter.
Booth Centre Single Men’s Hostel
94 York Boulevard,
Hamilton, ON L8R 1R6
Emergency shelter for men. Provides a bag lunch. Also a daily traveling meal van stopping at several downtown locations between 9 pm and midnight. Call for schedule
Emergency Shelters for Women
Crisis Line: 905-387-8881
Business Line: 905-387-9959
A transition house for battered/abused women and their children. Provides meals, emergency clothing and personal needs, 7 days a week.
Crisis Line: 905-523-6277
Business Line: 905-523-8895
Emergency family shelter specializing in the care of victims of domestic violence. 28 bed security-equipped transition house for women and children in crisis.
9 bed emergency shelter for homeless women 18 years and older who may experience difficulty in accessing the shelter system.
Native Women’s Centre
Provides safe emergency shelter for all women regardless of age, ancestry, culture, place of origin or sexual orientation, with or without children, who are experiencing a crisis in their lives due to family violence, homelessness, or conflict with the law.
Crisis Line: 905-529-8600
Business Line: 905-529-8149
Emergency shelter for abused and homeless women and their children, as well as female teenagers over the age of 16.
Emergency Shelters for Youth (Ages 16-21)
Notre Dame House
14 Cannon Street West,
Hamilton, ON L8R 3B3
There are 11 beds available for males and 9 beds available for females. Laundry facilities and meals are provided. Additional services are provided through their resource centre from 9-5 p.m. daily. These include school, employment counselling, addictions counsellings, public health nurse.
Here is a list of resources for homeless people in the Ottawa area. Inside, you will find links to food, shelter, and other information. Please suggest a link.
Catholic Immigration Services provides temporary accomodations, food, clothing, information, counselling, orientation workshops, and translation services.
Contact: (613) 789-4338
John Howard Society of Ottawa provides a structured home-like environment for people who require help making transitions (ie:employment, education)(613) 236-3077
National Capital Region YMCA/YWCA
provides single adults with partly furnished rooms for monthly rental, health and wellness facility membership, local phone services; to provide adults and families: accomodations, local phone services, facility access, food money; To provide youth aged 16 to 19 with furnished room, phone and gym access, life skills programs, and goal-setting and achievement program; and to provide on a user pay basis referrals to a budget hotel on nightly or weekly basis for crisis or transient use.
Contact: (613) 788-5063
Shepard’s of Good Hope provides shelter, food, addiction recovery programs, and supportive housing.
Contact: (613) 789-8210
Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa-Carleton provides rent-geared-to-income housing for youth; and works to re-integrate residents back into the community.
Contact: (613) 729-1000
Centre Espoir Sophie est une halte accueil qui offre un soutien pratique (repas, paniers de nourriture, produits hygiéniques, buanderie, coupes de cheveux) et émotionnel (accompagnement, écoute, ateliers et activités) aux femmes et à leurs enfants.
Contact: (613) 789-5119
Interval House of Ottawa-Carleton provides temporary shelter for women and there children who are escaping domestic violence.
Contact: (613) 234-8511
Harmony House provides medium-term supportive housing for women and their children, who have survived violent relationships.
Contact: (613) 233-3386
Cornerstone / Pilier provides emergency shelter and supportive housing for a of women.
Contact: (613) 237-4669
Shepard’s of Good Hope provides food to those in need.
Contact: (613) 789-8210
Carlington Community and Health Services provides a walk-in clinic, employment guidance; youth programs; newcomers support and nutrition and cooking together.
Contact: (613) 722-4000
Sandy Hill Community Health Centre provides the opportunity for the group to cook and eat a meal together and take food home, along with vitamins and milk vouchers, and helps with babysitting of older children. Also provides bus tickets.
Contact: (613) 789-1500
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Advocate and provide client-directed services and programs with and for people with mental health problems. Enhance, promote and maintain the mental health of individuals and communities through education and awareness.
Carlington Community and Health Services
Provides a walk-in clinic, employment guidance; youth programs; newcomers support and nutrition and cooking together.
Contact: (613) 722-4000
Centretown Community Health Centre Support for people living on the street or in shelters; health care, outreach and assistance to obtain a health card. Support for people without health insurance.
Contact: (613) 233-4443
Ottawa Inner City Health Project Provide health care services to men and women who are chronically homeless and unable to use regular services due to lifestyle or complex health needs. Four main health services are provided to chronically homeless individuals in OttawaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s downtown core:
Contact: (613) 562-4500
Royal Ottawa Hospital Our mission is to look for better ways to improve the delivery of services to better meet the needs of the homeless and mentally ill populations.
Contact: (613) 722-6521 x6
Somerset West Community Health Centre Provides clients with primary health care, education, technical training, life skills, and employment skills that are tied to today’s world.
Contact: (613) 238-8210
Alliance to End Homelessness A coalition of community stakeholders committed to working collaboratively to eliminate homelessness by gaining a better understanding of homelessness and developing and implementing strategies to end it
Contact: (613) 241-7913 x 205
Centre 507 Association of Ottawa Provides services to people who are disadvantaged both economically and socially, responding to their changing needs through a variety of free programs.
Contact: (613) 233-5626
Financial and Employment Support Provides financial assistance in emergency situations, offering numerous services and programs for senior citizens, immigrants/refugees, the disabled, the homeless, and others.
Contact: (613) 580-2400
Housing Help (Ottawa) Assists homeless families and individuals living in shelters in finding find affordable housing.
Contact: (613) 563-4532
National Anti-Poverty Organization Works to ensure that the concerns of low-income people in Canada are heard and respected.
Contact: (613) 789-0096
Rideau Street Youth Enterprises Creating opportunities for street and at-risk youth to develop the practical skills and experience they need to enter (or re-enter) the work force, and to become active, contributing members of the local community.
Contact: (613) 562-3864
Salvation Army Offers rehabilitation to men suffering from drug and alcohol addiction through a residential twelve-step recovery program and other addiction services; assists men who are homeless or living in poverty in achieving a substance abuse free lifestyle.
Contact: (613) 241-1573
your connection to information about community, social, health and government services.
The Out Of The Cold program provides emergency food and overnight shelter during winter months.
Homeless Nation Toronto’s community partners.
Youth Link Inner City provides drop-in and outreach services to street involved and homeless youth.
Working arts for street involved and homeless youth.
The Meeting Place offers drop-in services to homeless and underhoused adults.
The Parkdale Activity – Recreation Centre offers drop-in and outreach supports to psychiatric survivors and socially isolated adults.
Toronto Disaster Relief Committee
Political advocacy group working to end homelessness with a national housing strategy, and to relieve suffering of homeless people by advocating for better emergency relief measures in Toronto, including increased shelter space and public health services * no individual case work
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Direct action anti-poverty organization * campaigns against regressive government policies * advocates for individuals facing eviction, termination of social assistance & deportation.