NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Frigid 'Polar Vortex' Puts Homeless in Extreme Danger


    Adam Schneider: Cities have taken action to house their homeless populations in face of record cold temperatures but fail to prevent and end homelessness -   January 7, 14
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

    Audio

    Share to Facebook Share to Twitter




    The in-depth interviews with knowledgeable people are a gold mine to those of us with questing minds who are determined to pursue the facts, wherever they may lead. - Jennifer Humiston
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Transcript

    Frigid 'Polar Vortex' Puts Homeless in Extreme DangerJAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jaisal Noor in Baltimore.

    A so-called polar vortex has brought record low temperatures from the Midwest to the East Coast. With wind chills reported as low as -70 degrees, many cities, like Baltimore, issued special advisories for their homeless populations, making emergency services and shelters available.

    Now joining us to discuss this is Adam Schneider. He's the director of community relations for Health Care for the Homeless here in Baltimore.

    Thank you so much for joining us.

    ADAM SCHNEIDER, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS, HEALTH CARE FOR THE HOMELESS: Thank you.

    NOOR: So, Adam, talk about what these record low temperatures mean for the homeless today. We know here in Baltimore at least 3,000 people are homeless every night. The highs on Tuesday are expected to be in the teens.

    SCHNEIDER: Yeah. I mean, the experience of homelessness is one that is very difficult to survive. People experiencing homelessness are three to four times more likely to die prematurely than their housed counterparts. And temperatures like this, weather like this is really--it's really unbearable. And so it's laudable that there are these emergency responses that are intended to help people get off the streets, at least for the time being, when the weather's so terrible.

    NOOR: And so this response involves either optional or mandatory placement into homeless shelters. Talk about what this means and if this is an effective solution.

    SCHNEIDER: Well, I mean, it's not an effective solution to the problem of homelessness, but it is an effective response to the immediate need. Right? The immediate need tonight is to ensure that there are places for people to go anytime tonight so that they don't freeze to death on our streets.

    An effective response to homeless is to ensure that adequate housing is available for people, to ensure that people's incomes are livable, to ensure that there are supportive services, health services, the things that all of us need in order to maintain ourselves into housing.

    But that's the discussion that we need to have had yesterday. That's the discussion that we need to be having tomorrow and the next day. Today, it's really important that we be having this discussion about how to ensure that people are able to get off the streets and into places that are warmer and safer.

    NOOR: And on that point, cities like Baltimore have at least 10,000 vacant homes. The actual number might be many times that amount. Talk about why this issue of homelessness exists in this country we live in, the wealthiest country in history.

    SCHNEIDER: Yeah. Well, I mean, homelessness, you know, many people don't remember a time that there wasn't mass homelessness, but for people who are a little bit older, they'll remember a time when there wasn't this number of people, there wasn't such a diverse cross-section of people experiencing homelessness.

    Homelessness fundamentally is caused by policy decisions--most importantly, policy decisions that have led to stagnant, in fact, reduced wages over time and a real disinvestment in affordable housing. So that's fundamentally the causes.

    Now, there are, you know, tens of thousands of vacant buildings in Baltimore City. I'm sure that there are people who are going to be spending the night in those buildings tonight, as there are many nights. You know. So when we talk about the number of people experiencing homelessness, the number of people who need shelters, you know, oftentimes it's an undercount. Right? There are people who are doubled up with family and friends tonight. Tomorrow, who knows? There are people who are sleeping in abandoned buildings who weren't counted the last time we did homeless census.

    So it's really, you know, important that we be doing everything we can to expand, as much as we can, the emergency shelter today, and then ensuring that there's an adequate supply of affordable housing tomorrow and in the future.

    NOOR: And so just in the last few weeks and months, we've seen food stamps cut, unemployment benefits that expired. Federal sequestration has hit many agencies that provide services for the homeless, that provide housing, federal housing programs. Yet you still see reports claiming that homelessness is in decline. What's your response?

    SCHNEIDER: Well, I think that--a couple of responses. I think that in this, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, the fact that we would cut food subsidies for people who are poor, for poor kids, many of them, is really beyond the pale. I mean, it makes us--we should be thinking, who are we, when we're allowing--when our leaders are making these sorts of decisions.

    You know, the idea that homelessness is in the decline is something that I've read and seen. I think it's highly dubious. You mentioned cuts to food stamps. You mentioned cuts through sequestration. You mentioned cuts as a result of unemployment benefits not being extended.

    I mean, homelessness is largely the result of cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development's budget over the past 40 years. So today HUD's budget is about 40 percent of what it was in 1979. Cuts through the Carter administration, the Reagan administration, the Bush administration, the Clinton administration, the Bush administration, the Obama administration--we haven't even gotten back to where we were in 1979. And that disinvestment in affordable housing at the federal level has ripple effects at the state and local level. In Baltimore City, you know, we've seen the demolition of large swaths, 40 percent--over 40 percent of the once occupied public housing units have been demolished in Baltimore City. And that's not unique. Nationally, this is what's happening.

    At the same time as we are reducing the supply of housing affordable to people who are very poor, we are increasing the number of people who are very poor. Wages are stagnant. People who have disabilities are living on, you know, a paltry amount that isn't enough to rent an affordable--a efficiency unit. Even the minimum wage, the federal minimum wage, there's not a single jurisdiction in the United States where a minimum-wage worker working full-time can afford housing at the fair market rent.

    So it's all of these things that create homelessness and have created homelessness over the past 40 years. And that's what we need to be focused on, as I say, going forward. Today it's really important that we focus on getting people off the streets and making sure that there are places that people can go that they feel safe, that they feel respected. But tomorrow and in the future we need to worry about not just how to manage this problem, which we've been doing for 40 years, but really how to end it.

    NOOR: Adam Schneider, thank you so much for joining us.

    SCHNEIDER: My pleasure. Absolutely.

    NOOR: Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting