Oakland land trust buys house where homeless moms evicted

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Homeless moms who were evicted earlier this year from a vacant San Francisco Bay Area house they occupied say a community land trust has purchased the property and will turn it into transitional housing for other mothers experiencing homelessness.

Members of the activist group, Moms 4 Housing, announced Friday that the three-bedroom home in West Oakland was purchased by the Oakland Community Land Trust from a real estate investment company. The property requires extensive renovation for habitation, the group said.

The land trust purchased the property for $587,500 and closed in May, but the pandemic and planning for repairs delayed a public celebration . The land trust is a nonprofit organization that holds property for the benefit of low-income residents.

Steve King, executive director of the trust, says the house requires extensive repairs, including a new roof and windows. He said his group will work with Moms 4 Housing to figure out a transitional housing program for the property. Money to buy and refurbish the house came from donations and does not include city money, he said.


“We’re excited to be part of it and definitely excited to get the rehab started and finished so the house can be used,” he said.

The group caused a national sensation last year when the moms and their children moved into the empty house in November, partly to protest the methods of speculators who they claim snap up distressed homes and leave them empty despite California’s severe housing shortage and growing numbers of homeless people. They said mothers and children should not be homeless when housing is available.

They were evicted at dawn in January, surrounded by supporters on watch. Video showed one deputy slamming a battering ram against the house’s front door.

The group received widespread support, including from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who decried the worsening homelessness crisis.

In January, Wedgewood agreed to sell the house to the Oakland Community Land Trust.

The median sales price of a house in Oakland is nearly $900,000, according to Compass real estate.

Moms 4 Housing has vowed to acquire more homes.

Source Article

Read more

Homeless man held on $20,000 bail after allegedly hitting pedestrian by Public Garden

A 58-year-old homeless man was held on $20,000 cash bail on Friday, a day after police said he walked away after the pickup truck he stole hit a pedestrian by the Boston Public Garden, leaving her with life-threatening injuries.

Keith Andrade, whose address is listed as homeless, was arraigned Friday in Boston Municipal Court on charges including larceny of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

The victim, whose name was not released, was hit after police said Andrade crashed the stolen pickup truck into the gates of the public garden. She is listed in critical condition, Boston police said.

Andrade’s $1,000 bail in a separate case was revoked. He has two active warrants out of Boston District Court for larceny from a person, police said.

Police said they arrested Andrade once they spotted him Thursday night, hours after the 4:22 p.m. crash in the area of Washington and School streets.

Police said the call first came in of a person struck at the corner of Boylston and Charles streets. Authorities were making “full notifications” soon after, which is done when someone either has died or might die.

Witness Antonio Avanti was waiting for the light on Boylston when he heard the crash and then saw smoke. He told the Herald he jumped out of his car and saw what appeared to be a young woman lying on the ground with people tending to her.

“She had an angel — there was somebody with blue scrubs who was helping her,” Avanti said.

The vehicle — a black Chevrolet Colorado, he said — had jumped the curb and smashed into the iron fencing and stone pillars that form an entrance to the Public Garden at the corner of the two streets, the Boston resident said.

The Chevy pickup truck remained there, propped up on a small pile of debris.

Brendan Kearney of the WalkBoston advocacy group said he counts five fatal crashes in Boston this year, including the one earlier this week in Andrew Square.

He said the city should use its current Boston Common master planning project to take a hard look at the wide streets surrounding the pedestrian-heavy parks downtown that “really just invite speeding.”

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders at the scene of a serious pedestrian accident on Charles and Boylston Streets in Boston, Massachusetts.(Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders at the scene of a serious pedestrian accident on Charles and Boylston Streets in Boston, Massachusetts.(Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders at the scene of a serious pedestrian accident on Charles and Boylston Streets in Boston, Massachusetts.(Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders at the scene of a serious pedestrian accident on Charles and Boylston Streets in Boston, Massachusetts.(Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders

Read more

Marian House drops ‘soup kitchen’ to reflect restaurant-style dining | Homeless

Colorado Springs’ oldest soup kitchen has been feeding anyone in need of a meal for 50 years, and now, the Marian House is dropping the “soup” and the “kitchen.”

The phrase conjures up a downtrodden image of broth with floating bits of meat or vegetables, said Rochelle Schlortt, spokeswoman for Catholic Charities of Central Colorado, which operates the Marian House in downtown Colorado Springs.

But the Marian House has been and continues to provide much more than that, she said.

The daily lunchtime meal, now under COVID-19 restrictions served from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in eight seatings, provides hot food that includes a main dish, side dish, salad, bread, dessert and drink.

“For many, this is their only meal of the day,” Schlortt said. “It’s high-calorie, nutritious and well-balanced.”

Rearranging seating from picnic-style tables and benches to round tables and chairs, and providing “generous portions” of pre-plated meals instead of a cafeteria-type of serving line, has turned the “soup kitchen” into a dining hall  that’s more like a restaurant, Schlortt said.

The changes add dignity and give guests a feeling of dining instead of receiving an institutional service, she said.


Homeless could lose safe haven as gentrification comes to Colorado Springs

COVID-19 also added the need for a meal card with the guests’ names and contact, in case tracing is needed in the event of virus infections, said Lorri Orwig, senior vice president of operations.

However, “we’re not going to turn anyone away,” she said.

The changes come as Springs Rescue Mission, another campus about a mile away that also offers homeless services, has expanded and on Thursday began serving breakfast, lunch and dinner meals to a clientele that is primarily the chronically homeless population.

The Marian House now is shifting to focus on families, seniors, people with disabilities and the working poor, many of which are served in its other programs that include assistance with employment, housing, medical care, literacy, language, counseling, budgeting, family matters, legal issues, identification and other needs.

The pandemic has decreased meals from 500 to 600 a day to a maximum of 288 in the main dining room and a few families in a separate family room.

The organization is not sure where the hundreds of other clients went, but Schlortt speculates that families have been staying at home more and getting food from local pantries and school distributions.

“We tend to look at COVID as all the things it’s prevented us from doing, but from our perspective, it allowed us to move forward to making some changes we’ve wanted to do for some time,” Schlortt said.

“It was time to make our dining hall more welcoming, more dignified and have servers for our guests.”

Anyone interested in volunteering at the Marian House can call 866-6559.


Pandemic relief funding helps get homeless Colorado Springs vets off streets

Contact the writer: 719-476-1656.

Source Article

Read more

You Can Virtually Tour This House to Benefit Charities Supporting Children and the Homeless

Photo credit: Stephen Karlisch
Photo credit: Stephen Karlisch

From House Beautiful

For over 45 years, the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse has been one of the country’s most illustrious showcases of design—but also an important fundraiser for the Bronx-based Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club. Over the past few decades, luminaries including Mario Buatta, Bunny Williams, Sheila Bridges, and more have outfitted a townhouse in New York City, which visitors tour with proceeds going to the clubhouse in support of the programming it offers to New York City kids. This year, while the New York showhouse was sadly cancelled due to COVID, the event moved to Dallas, where this week, the first ever Kips Bay Dallas showhouse opened to the public.

Photo credit: Stephen Karlisch
Photo credit: Stephen Karlisch

In light of the ongoing pandemic and subsequent social distancing guidelines and travel restrictions, this year, the Dallas showhouse will be the first ever to offer virtual tours—meaning that, no matter where you are, you can “visit” the 12,000 square foot home in Dallas’s Preston Hollow and see rooms by 27 designers in 3D. But even better, the $20 virtual ticket will provide much needed funding not only to the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, but to Dallas-based Dwell with Dignity, an organization providing transitional housing to formerly homeless, incarcerated, or abused women and families (read more about Dwell with Dignity here).

Photo credit: Stephen Karlisch
Photo credit: Stephen Karlisch

“Each room of the house will be showcased along with a two minute narration of the space by each designer,” explains Jean Liu, who is an avid supporter of Dwell with Dignity and a vice-chair of the house along with Chad Dorsey and chairs Jan Showers, Christopher Peacock, and Veranda’s Steele Marcoux.

On the tour, you’ll be treated to delightfully inventive rooms by the likes of Mark Sikes, Michelle Nussbaumer, Lauren Rottet (whose entry shown above, was inspired by the nearby botanical garden), Traci Zeller, and many more—all decorated in just a few short weeks, and in the midst of a pandemic, no less!

Photo credit: Stephen Karlisch
Photo credit: Stephen Karlisch

“Every designer who participated in this year’s event deserves exceptional praise,” says Liu. “Their grit and commitment to delivering top notch design during these uncertain times has been inspiring to witness these past few months.”

Want proof? Take the virtual tour now—or, if you’re in Dallas, purchase tickets for (safely-distanced and mask mandatory) in-person access here.

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.

You Might Also Like

Source Article

Read more

Midtown, Hell’s Kitchen hotels housing the most single homeless adults by far

The vast majority of single homeless adults moved from shelters to stop the spread of COVID-19 were relocated to hotels in Manhattan, the city’s Department of Homeless Services data shows.



a close up of a busy city street with tall buildings: The Lucerne Hotel on West 79th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan, New York City.


© Gardiner Anderson
The Lucerne Hotel on West 79th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan, New York City.

Of the 8,969 single adults assigned to “COVID-relatedhotels, more than 5,400 are living in 32 Manhattan hotels — with at least 3,000 concentrated in Midtown, Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea.

Those numbers are a stark contrast to other boroughs.

Staten Island hotels haven’t housed any single adults as part of the city’s effort to reduce the density in shelters and prevent the spread of COVID-19, city data shows.

As of July 31, 1,600 single adults have stayed in 15 Brooklyn hotels, 1,719 in 14 hotels in Queens and 240 in two Bronx hotels.

More recent data suggests there’s a bigger homeless population in Midtown hotels — up to 4,300, according to Barbara Blair, head of the Garment District Alliance. The numbers are consistent with a wave of complaints from borough residents fearful about the influx.

“It’s terrifying people,” said Dan Biederman, president of the Bryant Park Corporation and the 34th Street Partnership, which represents local businesses. “I have never seen such vociferous comments from owners and tenants.”



a pile of luggage sitting on top of a building: A homeless encampment along W. 39th St. between Ninth and Tenth Aves. on Saturday in Manhattan. (Barry Williams)


© Provided by New York Daily News
A homeless encampment along W. 39th St. between Ninth and Tenth Aves. on Saturday in Manhattan. (Barry Williams)

A homeless encampment along W. 39th St. between Ninth and Tenth Aves. on Saturday in Manhattan. (Barry Williams) (Barry Williams/)

The Garment District Alliance, which represents local businesses, wrote in an Aug. 17 letter to Mayor de Blasio the situation has “degraded to a crisis point.”

“Since the arrival of the temporary shelters throughout West Midtown, there has been a precipitous increase in crime and antisocial behavior on our streets,” the group wrote in a letter signed by dozens of businesses and residents.

“Open drug use and sales, drinking, fighting, aggressive behavior, panhandling, verbal altercations, urinating and defecating in public and loitering have become commonplace.”

“None of these issues existed at this level and intensity before the use of area hotels commenced,” the alliance added.

Some of the most vocal backlash has come from the largely white and upper-middle class Upper West Side, where for weeks residents railed against the relocation of about 300 homeless men to the Lucerne Hotel.

De Blasio last week said the men would be moved from the Lucerne — not because of the political pressure from residents or Randy Mastro, the high profile lawyer and former deputy mayor who promised to sue the city over the controversy — but because it was part of a broader city policy goal, first outlined in 2017, to phase out hotels as shelter for the homeless and disperse the homeless more evenly throughout the city.

COVID-19 put that plan on hold as the city scrambled to slow the virus spread in homeless shelters by transferring people to

Read more

Delays, high costs plague efforts to house LA’s homeless

FILE - This May 21, 2020 file photo shows a homeless encampment on Beaudry Avenue as traffic moves along Interstate 110 in downtown Los Angeles. A $1.2 billion program aimed at building housing for homeless people in Los Angeles has been plagued by delays and soaring costs that have seen the average price of constructing a single unit jump to nearly $559,000, according to a city audit, on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

FILE – This May 21, 2020 file photo shows a homeless encampment on Beaudry Avenue as traffic moves along Interstate 110 in downtown Los Angeles. A $1.2 billion program aimed at building housing for homeless people in Los Angeles has been plagued by delays and soaring costs that have seen the average price of constructing a single unit jump to nearly $559,000, according to a city audit, on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

AP

A $1.2 billion program aimed at building housing for homeless people in Los Angeles has been plagued by delays and soaring costs that have seen the average price of constructing a single unit jump to nearly $559,000, according to a city audit.

Voters passed a 2016 bond measure to help ease the deepening homelessness crisis by creating up to 10,000 housing units over a decade.

Since then, only three new housing projects have been completed and others that are under construction won’t be open for at least two more years, City Controller Ron Galperin said in a report released Wednesday.

“Meanwhile, the crisis has gotten far worse, compounded by pressing COVID-19 health and safety concerns. To truly reduce homelessness as LA voters intended, the city must meet the moment by pivoting to an action plan that will house more people right away. We cannot stay the course when people are dying every day on our streets,” Galperin said in a statement.

Galperin recommends the city shift gears and immediately begin converting hotels and other large buildings into interim shelters to save money and get people off the streets quickly.

Since the last audit in 2019, the average cost of housing projects in development increased from $507,000 per unit to nearly $559,000, the report said. Galperin cited two outlier projects that saw costs spike to nearly $750,000 per unit.

Most of the delays began before the coronavirus pandemic, he found.

A January count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reported that there were more than 66,400 homeless people in LA County, with the majority living within the city limits.

Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office didn’t immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment on the city controller’s findings.

The homelessness crisis is visible in downtown Los Angeles, where hundreds of people live in makeshift shanties that line entire blocks in the notorious neighborhood known as Skid Row. Tents regularly pop up on the pavement outside City Hall, and encampments are increasingly found in suburban areas under freeway overpasses.

Source Article

Read more

Delays, high costs plague efforts to house LA’s homeless

Updated


LOS ANGELES (AP) — A $1.2 billion program aimed at building housing for homeless people in Los Angeles has been plagued by delays and soaring costs that have seen the average price of constructing a single unit jump to nearly $559,000, according to a city audit.

Voters passed a 2016 bond measure to help ease the deepening homelessness crisis by creating up to 10,000 housing units over a decade.


Since then, only three new housing projects have been completed and others that are under construction won’t be open for at least two more years, City Controller Ron Galperin said in a report released Wednesday.

“Meanwhile, the crisis has gotten far worse, compounded by pressing COVID-19 health and safety concerns. To truly reduce homelessness as LA voters intended, the city must meet the moment by pivoting to an action plan that will house more people right away. We cannot stay the course when people are dying every day on our streets,” Galperin said in a statement.



Galperin recommends the city shift gears and immediately begin converting hotels and other large buildings into interim shelters to save money and get people off the streets quickly.


Since the last audit in 2019, the average cost of housing projects in development increased from $507,000 per unit to nearly $559,000, the report said. Galperin cited two outlier projects that saw costs spike to nearly $750,000 per unit.

Most of the delays began before the coronavirus pandemic, he found.

A January count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reported that there were more than 66,400 homeless people in

Read more