Poverty

Down the Aisles, a Secret Shelter for the Homeless

Drau 3c

Between the racks of canned beans and rolls of toilet paper in a bodega in Borough Park, Brooklyn, a staircase hides beside the shelves. Written by SARAH MASLIN NIR; Photographs by VICTOR J. BLUE The New York Times It leads to a cavern where, for the past 14 years, the bodega owner has quietly housed scores of homeless men, some with violent pasts and mental illness. He takes them in, from local park benches and street corners, unable to bear the idea ... Read More »

For richer or poorer: 4 economists ponder what 2018 has in store

Foro 8h

Editor’s note: We asked four economists to offer their thoughts and insights on what they expect to be a key theme or issue in 2018. Greg Wright, assistant professor of economics, University of California, Merced Patricia Smith, professor of economics, University of Michigan Christos Makridis, Ph.D. candidate in labor and public economics, Stanford University William Hauk, associate professor of economics, University of South Carolina The Conversation Income and wealth inequality are currently at levels last seen during the Gilded Age ... Read More »

Sessions Says to Courts: Go Ahead, Jail People Because They’re Poor

Jeff Sessions 1a NYT LLLL

Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions retracted an Obama-era guidance to state courts that was meant to end debtors’ prisons, where people who are too poor to pay fines are sent. CHIRAAG BAINS The New York Times This practice is blatantly unconstitutional, and the guidance had helped jump-start reform around the country. Its withdrawal is the latest sign that the federal government is retreating from protecting civil rights for the most vulnerable among us. The Justice Department helped shine a light on ... Read More »

STM opening metro stations as shelters for homeless during freezing weather

Homeless 2b Roman Bodnarcuk Dhutterstock LLLL

STM metro stations will serve as shelters for the homeless during the cold winter months STM has teamed up with several other organizations to provide those in need with a warm place to stay and social services at various metro stations. DH Montreal Staff The initiative has been in place for five years. Social workers will also be on site offering those in need a shuttle service when the stations close for the evening. “Homelessness is a complex social phenomenon that challenges ... Read More »

This man died sleeping on Birmingham streets. What happened to his life?

Shu 2b

Father of Paul Williams, who died in sub-zero temperatures outside a restaurant in the Bullring centre, searches for answers Caroline Davies The Guardian Two days after his son’s death, Bob Williams made his way to a semi-industrialised street in central Birmingham to start an emotional journey to discover his missing years. “This is as close as I can get to where he was,” said the 65-year-old retired telecoms engineer, surveying piles of donated food, clothing and bedding at the Birmingham Homeless Outreach (BHO) drop-in ... Read More »

Venezuela crisis: Farmers struggle as people go hungry

Kalab 2b

The state of Portuguesa is Venezuela’s breadbasket – full of crops like rice, beans, soya and sunflowers. Katy Watson BBC It is also where Venezuela’s staple corn is grown – the raw material for much-loved corn patties or arepas. Imposing metal silos stand tall on the horizon. At a time when people in the country are going hungry, Portuguesa is a strategic part of the economy. But the breadbasket is looking a bit emptier these days. Ronald Lakra and his family ... Read More »

New study shows income redistribution from the poor to the rich

Teto 1a

Back in 1980, the bottom 50 percent of wage-earners in the United States earned about 21 percent of all income in the country – nearly twice as much as the share of income (11 percent) earned by the top 1 percent of Americans. Christopher Ingraham Washington Post Chicago Tribune But today, according to a massive new study on global inequality, those numbers have nearly reversed: the bottom 50 percent only take in 13 percent of the income pie, while the ... Read More »

3 myths about the poor that Republicans are using to support slashing US safety net

Avera 2b

Republicans continue to use long-debunked myths about the poor as they defend lower taxes for the rich and deep cuts to the social safety net to pay for them. Michele Gilman In so doing, they are essentially expressing scorn for working class and low-income Americans. The Conversation Sen. Chuck Grassley, for example, recently justified reducing the number of wealthy families exposed to the estate tax as a way to recognize “the people that are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, ... Read More »

Government moves to curb modern slavery

Depression 1a LLLL

Slavery is the world’s second-biggest illicit market In the past, slaves were shackled in metal chains. Editorial Today, they are exploited in supply chains. The Sydney Morning Herald It might have been thought that slavery was a shameful but pretty much closed chapter of history. It’s not. It is the world’s second-biggest illicit market, behind drugs, with an estimated 45 million children, women and men treated as commodities (average price about $90). Forced labour generates an estimated $US150 billion  ($199b) ... Read More »

Poorest men in Scotland die 10 years before richest, report finds

Ceu 4d

Men living in Scotland’s poorest areas can expect to die 10 years before those living in more well-off places, official statistics have confirmed. CHRIS MCCALL The Scotsman The life expectancy gap between the 20 per cent most and least deprived areas of Scotland was 10.5 years for males and 7.8 years for females, a report by the National Records of Scotland found. The country has one of the lowest life expectancies in western Europe for both genders, at 77.1 years ... Read More »

Ed Sheeran means well but this poverty porn has to stop

Papal 9i

Aid adverts featuring ‘white saviours’ may bring in cash but they remove all dignity from those who are suffering Afua Hirsch  The Guardian It was almost exactly five years ago that I realised something was changing A video landed on my phone – I was living in Ghana then – raising awareness of “this time of need for Norway”. This “need” was winter, and the video was hilarious. Amid scenes of blizzards, vehicles overturned in snow, and children battling through ... Read More »

Humanitarian aid arrives in Yemen as coalition allows UN flights

Gleo 1a

The first shipments of humanitarian aid arrived at Sanaa airport overnight after a weeks-long closure which aid groups said deprived Yemen’s residents of badly needed food and supplies. tvnz On Saturday, the airport received two flights – one from the Red Cross and another from UNICEF. Both carried medical supplies, among them polio vaccines.They also carried UNICEF and Red Cross aid workers. The Saudi-led coalition that has imposed an air, sea and land blockade on war-battered Yemen since November 6 ... Read More »

Varadkar’s homeless comments reveal his true colours

Cemo 1a

The Taoiseach has betrayed a lack of empathy that is matched only by his contempt for our intelligence Áine Carroll The Irish Times  Controversy has erupted after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stood over his claim that “Ireland has one of the lowest homelessness (rates) by international standards compared with our peers.” He continued by saying, “[I]t is a good thing in Ireland, that we have a low level of homelessness compared to our peer countries”, quickly followed by, “but what’s better ... Read More »

‘It’s been a night from hell’: Homeless pushed out of Santa Ana River face uncertain futures

Poy 2b

Lisa Weber pushed her red-rimmed glasses higher on the bridge of her nose Thursday morning as she pondered how best to move her belongings off the dirt trail she has called home for months. Hannah Fry Los Angeles Times Her blue eyes seemed to show a glimmer of hope in contrast with her doleful expression. A friend living in a tent farther down the trail passed by and waved. ‘I’m not scared because I have a plan’ Back to sleeping ... Read More »

As poverty rises, the affluent won’t be able to escape its effects

Raya 1a

Rising resentment among the underclass is spilling out from ‘deprived’ areas and threatening to engulf society at large Darren McGarvey The Guardian The study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies predicting a sharp rise in child poverty will provoke the usual, commendable, shrieks of indignation. When news that more children than ever before are soon to be confined to economic deprivation, it’s sure to inspire a slew of robust dinner party debates. The overriding emotion anyone should be feeling at ... Read More »

Slavery is a bigger problem now than when it was ‘abolished’ — and it’s happening here

Zio 7g

Slavery. The word conjures images of people in leg irons. Edward Santow We think of the abolitionists who toiled centuries ago in lands far away to abolish this horrific practice. ABC Yet two things should shock us. First, slavery is more common today than when it was “abolished”. In fact, there are more slaves now than at any time in human history. Secondly, our region — the Asia Pacific — is home to about half of the world’s 45.8 million ... Read More »