Category: Poverty / Homeless / Hunger

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© Zoran Milich
Responding to a New York Post report stating that more than 300 New York City municipal employees didn’t earn enough to be able to afford a place to live, the mayor has offered to find them permanent housing.

During a press conference on Monday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted there were people working for the city that were homeless, though he disputed the number initially reported.

What we’re facing now, this is becoming more and more of an economic problem. Meaning people have been displaced from their homes by the high cost of housing, even if they’re working,” de Blasio said at City Hall.

We’re going to make sure in every case, particularly with working folks, that we look for every opportunity to get them to permanent housing.

The mayor questioned whether the number of homeless city employees was over 300, with his spokeswoman Ishanee Parikh saying records showed that only 83 shelter residents have identified themselves as city employees.

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De Blasio vows to put a roof over homeless city workers’ heads 

Municipal union leaders told the Post, however, that the actual number is over 300, but many don’t report their employment status to shelters out of shame.

“There’s a social taboo that they believe comes with being homeless,” Joseph Puleo, president of Local 983 of District Council 37, the city’s largest blue-collar municipal-workers union, told the Post.


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 Published time: 25 Sep, 2015 12:20
© Seven LE DUC
The French animal rights group, Cause Animal Nord, has come under fire after a video emerged of the activists taking away a puppy from a crying homeless man in central Paris.

The video shows the man fighting for his dog, but eventually losing out as three members of the group, including the organization’s president, seized the puppy and ran away. The homeless man was left in tears.

The cruel act has been condemned by the media and internet users. A number took to social networks to express their disgust, while others left highly critical messages on the organization’s Facebook page.

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3 French animal rights activists steal puppy from homeless man, and put it up for adoption under the name “Vegan”:h…

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End Of The American Dream

The American Dream Is Becoming A Nightmare And Life As We Know It Is About To Change

Puzzle Last Piece - Public Domain


One of the biggest steps toward a one world government that we have ever seen is happening this week, and yet barely anyone is even talking about it.  In fact, it is even being called a “new universal Agenda” for humanity.  Those are not my words – those are the words that the United Nations is using.  If you don’t believe this, just go look at the official document for this new UN agenda.  You won’t have to read very far.  The phrase “new universal Agenda” is right near the end of the preamble.  Officially, the name of this ambitious new program is “the 2030 Agenda“, and it is being hyped as a way to get the whole world to work together to make life better for all of us.  And a lot of the goals of this new agenda are very admirable.  For example, who wouldn’t want to end global poverty?  But as you look deeper into what the UN is trying to do, you find some very disturbing things.

If you didn’t like Agenda 21, then you really are not going to like the 2030 Agenda, because the 2030 Agenda takes things to an entirely new level.  Agenda 21 was primarily focused on climate change and the environment, but the 2030 Agenda goes far beyond that.  As I have noted previously, the 2030 Agenda addresses economics, agriculture, education, gender equality, healthcare and a whole host of other issues.  It has been argued that there are very few forms of human activity that do not fall under the goals of the 2030 Agenda in one way or another.

The UN says that this new Agenda is “voluntary”, and yet virtually every single nation on the entire planet is willingly signing up for it.  In the official document that all of these nations are agreeing to, there are 17 sustainable development goals and 169 very specific sustainable development targets.  You can read them for yourself right here.


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Time to Trade in Your Jag, Benz, BMW for a Dented Econobox: Days of Rage Are Coming

The resistance will take the form of subverting the signifiers of wealth that exemplify the few who have benefited so greatly while everyone else lost ground.
It’s time to trade in your Jag, Mercedes, BMW (and maybe your Prius, Volvo, Lexus, etc.) before the Days of Rage start. As I’ve explained before ( As the “Prosperity” Tide Recedes, the Ugly Reality of Wealth Inequality Is Exposed), the rage of the masses who have been losing ground while the Financier Oligarchs, the New Nobility and the technocrat class reap immense gains for decades has been suppressed by the dream that they too could join the Upper Caste.
But once the realistic odds of that happening (low) sink in, the Days of Rage will begin. For those still who don’t know the facts of rising inequality, here’s what you need to know.
The top 1% skim 23% of all income:
While the top 5% has enjoyed substantial income gains over the past 45 years, adjusted for inflation, the bottom 90% have lost ground:
The last time there was mass unrest in America was the civil rights/Vietnam War era. The power of the civil rights movement arose from the core injustice of segregation (separate and unequal) and institutionalized racism/bias. This institutionalized injustice drew people from all classes and ethnicities into the streets, where they were promptly beaten by police.

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TRT World – World in Focus: Egypt to Flood Gaza Tunnels

Gaza after Egypt floods tunnels


Strangled: Gaza after Egypt floods tunnels

20 Sep 2015 09:29 GMT


Marga Ortigas
Marga Ortigas covers the Asia-Pacific region for Al Jazeera English.


Seventy-three year old Mansura Abu Shaar was more than happy to talk to strangers.

People rarely came this far, she told us, and it seemed to her that very few of those that did, cared enough to ask how they were doing.

“Not well at all,” she said needing little prodding. “Not well at all.”

Mansura was clearly exhausted from having stayed up the night before.

Fearful for her family, she sat outside her makeshift house just a few hundred metres from the border between Gaza and Egypt, on guard until dawn.

“We’re used to the guns and the rockets and the explosions,” she said. “But now – water?” Her voice trembled, and tears began to pool in her eyes.

“This is our life,” she said hopelessly.

“We are so, so tired.”

Mansura lives in Rafah, the town divided between Gaza and Egypt by international political agreements in the 1980s.

With Israel the only other way in or out, Gazans saw the border with fellow-Arab Egypt as the “friendly” alternative.

It was a pressure valve when all else around them seemed to be closing in.

But the “friendly border” closed when Hamas took control of the government in Gaza in 2007.

At least in theory……


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‘Rafah has turned into a ghost town’

As Egypt works to create a buffer zone, the destruction of tunnels has further crippled Gaza’s already besieged economy.

Walaa Ghussein | 18 Nov 2014 09:04 GMT

Egyptian authorities have ordered residents living along the border with Gaza to evacuate their homes [Al Jazeera]Egyptian authorities have ordered residents living along the border with Gaza to evacuate their homes [Al Jazeera]

Rafah, Gaza – Ahmed al-Afifi cannot focus on studying as midterm exams approach. For the past two weeks, the constant sounds of explosions have echoed from across the border.

“We are not psychologically ready for this,” said al-Afifi, 22, a Gaza-based university student who lives in the Palestinian side of Rafah, which shares a border with Egypt’s restive Sinai peninsula. His home is about 400m from the border, and the explosions are part of an Egyptian military operation to initially create a 500m-deep buffer zone.

But on Tuesday November 18, Egyptian authorities said they were to expand the buffer zone to one km.

The army is clearing the area by using dynamite and bulldozers, a systematic campaign also aimed at destroying smuggling tunnels into Gaza. The operation followed the killing of 33 Egyptian soldiers in an attack in North Sinai in October. Egyptian authorities have ordered residents living along the country’s eastern border with Gaza to evacuate their homes, which are targeted for demolition.

On Monday November 17, Rober Turner, head of UNRAWA operations in Gaza, said that the buffer zone set up by Egyptian authorities will make things more difficult . He described the siege as ‘unjust’.

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Egypt floods people-smuggling tunnels leading from Sinai to the Gaza Strip in a renewed effort to stamp out terror activity

  • Authorities feared the tunnels would allow Islamist militants to smuggle people and weapons across the border in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip
  • Military pumped water from the Mediterranean Sea into the tunnel pipes, which are now to be converted into fish farms
  • Hamas previously infiltrated Israel via smuggling tunnels, killing 12 soldiers and destroying 32 underground passages 

Egyptian forces flooded smuggling tunnels beneath the Gaza-Egypt border in Rafah on Friday in a reported attempt to stamp out terror activity.

Authorities feared the tunnels, which lead from Sinai to the Gaza Strip, would allow for smuggling by Islamist militants between the blockaded Palestinian enclave, according to a report by DPA.

The military pumped water from the Mediterranean Sea into the pipes of the underground cross-border tunnels in an effort to curb the use of the passages in their entirety.

A Palestinian youth shows how to abseil into one of the tunnels on the Gaza side after Egyptian forces flooded smuggling tunnels beneath the border to the Gaza strip, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip

A Palestinian youth shows how to abseil into one of the tunnels on the Gaza side after Egyptian forces flooded smuggling tunnels beneath the border to the Gaza strip, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip


The humble sergeant thought nobody would know about the kind act.

When he saw a man in need, this humble cop decided to help without expecting any recognition in return.

Sgt. Brendan Hagarty of the Chicago Police Department in Illinois was having lunch at a Chipotle restaurant in early September when he saw a man picking through the trash outside, Hagarty told The Huffington Post. The officer tapped on the window to get the man’s attention, ushered him inside and bought him food.

The interaction was caught on camera by Rachel Mitchell, who posted it to Facebook. It later went viral when a country music radio station, as well as Hagarty’s own department shared the posts. The pictures have received more than 10,000 shares and over 26,000 likes on the police department’s Facebook page alone.

019th District Town Hall – Sergeant Hagarty
Leading by Example

A quote posted on social media, Facebook…
Rachel Mitchell – “So today I saw something that made my day. This Chicago Police officer was sitting at a window seat at Chipotle, outside the window he saw a homeless man digging through the trash. The cop knocked on the window, getting the homeless man’s attention. Through the glass he asked the man if he was hungry. The man nodded yes, and the cop motioned for him to c

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Chicago Police Department's photo.
  • Steve Eagan, Lani Yost Lawson, Sue Self and 27,178 others like this.

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Jobseekers being forced into zero-hours roles

Letter from Conservative minister reveals plans to sanction unemployed people if they fail to agree to controversial contracts

Jobseekers queue outside a Jobcentre Plus branch at London Bridge. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images


For the first time, benefit claimants are at risk of sanctions if they do not apply for and accept certain zero-hours jobs under the new universal credit system, despite fears that such contracts are increasingly tying workers into insecure and low paid employment.

Last week, the Office for National Statistics revealed the number of contracts that do not guarantee minimum hours of work or pay but require workers to be on standby had reached 1.4 million.

More than one in 10 employers are using such contracts, which are most likely to be offered to women, young people and people over 65. The figure rises to almost half of all employers in the tourism, catering and food sector.

Currently, people claiming jobseekers’ allowance are not required to apply for zero-hours contract vacancies and they do not face penalties for turning them down.

However, the change in policy under universal credit was revealed in a letter from Esther McVey, an employment minister, to Labour MP Sheila Gilmore, who had raised the issue of sanctions with her.

The senior Tory confirmed that, under the new system, JobCentre “coaches” would be able to “mandate to zero-hours contracts“, although they would have discretion about considering whether a role was suitable.

Separately, a response to a freedom of information request to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published on its website reveals: “We expect claimants to do all they reasonably can to look for and move into paid work. If a claimant turns down a particular vacancy (including zero-hours contract jobs) a sanction may be applied, but we will look into the circumstances of the case and consider whether they had a good reason.”

Higher level sanctions – imposed if a jobseeker refuses to take a position without good reason or leaves a position voluntarily – will lead to a loss of benefits for 13 weeks on the first occasion, 26 weeks on the second occasion and 156 weeks on the third occasion.

Asked about the issue by the Guardian, the DWP said jobseekers would not be required to take a zero-hours contract that tied them in exclusively to work for a single employer. The government is already consulting on whether to ban this type of contract altogether.

The change has been made possible because universal credit will automatically adjust the level of benefits someone receives depending on the number of hours they work. This means claimants should not face periods without the correct benefits when their earnings fluctuate or they change job.

However, critics raised concerns that the new policy will force people into uncertain employment and restrict the ability of claimants to seek better work while still placing a burden on many to increase their hours.

Labour’s Sheila Gilmore said she was concerned about the situation because JobCentre decision makers already do not appear to be exercising enough discretion before applying sanctions under the old regime.

“While I don’t object to the principle of either universal credit or zero-hours contracts, I am concerned about this policy change,” she said. “I also fear that if people are required to take jobs with zero-hours contracts, they could be prevented from taking training courses or applying for other jobs that might lead to more stable and sustainable employment in the long term.”


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ByBruce Kennedy

Another bad sign for America’s middle class

You don’t have to be an economic victim of the Great Recession to know that America’s middle class is being squeezed in an unprecedented manner. Not only is the U.S. middle class no longer the world’s richest, according to recent research, but millions of families who were once financially secure are now living hand-to-mouth.

What’s going on? A new report from the National Employment Law Project finds that, nearly five years after the recession officially ended, most of the jobs that have been created during the recovery offer lower wages. Such positions made up 22 percent of jobs lost in the recession, but have accounted for 44 percent of employment growth.


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Where is the middle class heading?


The labor research and advocacy group also found that, from the outset of the recession in late 2007 to its low point in February of 2010, “employment losses occurred throughout the economy, but were concentrated in mid-wage and higher-wage industries.”

By contrast, mid-wage positions, which composed 37 percent of the jobs cut in the recession, have made up only 26 percent of those recovered. High-wage industries, which made up 41 percent of recession jobs lost, reportedly had a 30 percent recovery growth.

“Today, there are nearly 2 million fewer jobs in mid- and higher-wage industries than there were before the recession took hold, while there are 1.85 million more jobs in lower-wage industries,” NELP said in a statement,


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The low wage jobs explosion

  @Luhby April 28, 2014: 4:57 PM ET

low wage explosionLow wage jobs are on the rise.


Looking for a job? The ones you’ll find will likely be low wage.

The labor market has been recovering since the Great Recession ended, but many of the jobs created have been in low-wage industries, according to a new report by the National Employment Law Project, a left-leaning group.

Among the fastest-growing jobs: Food services, home health care and retail — all of which pay relatively little.

Better paying blue-collar industries, such as construction and manufacturing, have not recovered to their employment levels before the recession.

Lower wage industries accounted for 44% of employment growth since employment hit bottom in February 2010, the group found.

Going back to the start of the recession six years ago, the nation has added 1.85 million jobs in low-wage industries, but mid-wage and higher-wage industries have shed nearly 1 million positions each.


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Depriving the homeless of their last shelter is Silicon Valley at its worst – especially when rich cities aren’t doing anything to end homelessness

homeless in california
There are nearly 90,000 homeless people live in Los Angeles County but only 9,000 to 10,000 beds available in homeless shelters, single-room occupancy hotels, and other facilities. Photograph: David McNew / Getty Images

Across the United States, many local governments are responding to skyrocketing levels of inequality and the now decades-long crisis of homelessness among the very poor … by passing laws making it a crime to sleep in a parked car.

This happened most recently in Palo Alto, in California’s Silicon Valley, where new billionaires are seemingly minted every month – and where 92% of homeless people lack shelter of any kind. Dozens of cities have passed similar anti-homeless laws. The largest of them is Los Angeles, the longtime unofficial “homeless capital of America”, where lawyers are currently defending a similar vehicle-sleeping law before a skeptical federal appellate court. Laws against sleeping on sidewalks or in cars are called “quality of life” laws. But they certainly don’t protect the quality of life of the poor.

To be sure, people living in cars cannot be the best neighbors. Some people are able to acquire old and ugly – but still functioning – recreational vehicles with bathrooms; others do the best they can. These same cities have resisted efforts to provide more public toilet facilities, often on the grounds that this will make their city a “magnet” for homeless people from other cities. As a result, anti-homeless ordinances often spread to adjacent cities, leaving entire regions without public facilities of any kind.

Their hope, of course, is that homeless people will go elsewhere, despite the fact that the great majority of homeless people are trying to survive in the same communities in which they were last housed – and where they still maintain connections. Americans sleeping in their own cars literally have nowhere to go.

Indeed, nearly all homelessness in the US begins with a loss of income and an eviction for nonpayment of rent – a rent set entirely by market forces. The waiting lists are years long for the tiny fraction of housing with government subsidies. And rents have risen dramatically in the past two years, in part because long-time tenants must now compete with the millions of former homeowners who lost their homes in the Great Recession.

The paths from eviction to homelessness follow familiar patterns. For the completely destitute without family or friends able to help, that path leads more or less directly to the streets. For those slightly better off, unemployment and the exhaustion of meager savings – along with the good graces of family and friends – eventually leaves people with only two alternatives: a shelter cot or their old automobile.


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