The Homelessness Marathon
The Truth About Homelessness
These facts are not part of the national dialog about homelessness (such as it is).
* Other countries take different approaches to homelessness than we do, and some do a much, much better job of preventing it than we do. They do things like keep families in their homes, even if the state has to pay the rent for a long time, because they know that the financial and social toll of homelessness would be far greater.
* For many years now, official homelessness policy in the United States has revolved around encouraging a plethora of local initiatives usually called something like "A Ten Year Plan To End Homelessness." What has been missing from all of these ten-year plans is a date on which, according to the plan, homelessness would actually end. The plans were never more than public relations gimmicks, they have massively failed, and they do not represent a serious attempt to resolve the homelessness crisis.
* Recently, unofficial homelessness policy across the United States has been to criminalize homelessness, like something out of Dickens' time. Homeless people are routinely rousted, arrested and driven from their encampments, which, for many of them (especially women), represent their only place of safety. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development does not withhold funds from communities that treat homeless people badly. HUD simply doesn't care.
* Before the 2007 financial crash, there was one (still unrecognized) group of people sounding the alarm. Homeless advocates tried to warn people that our modern crisis of homelessness was not caused by people gone bad, but by a system gone bad, and that this malfunctioning system would attack more than the poorest of the poor. Sure enough, the global economy nearly collapsed, because of a burst bubble in (not-coincidentally) the U.S. housing market. The message from homeless advocates is still the same: widespread homelessness is a symptom of a cruel economy tricked up to help only the rich.
The 16th Homelessness Marathon is available for rebroadcast
Hour One: Click here
Hour Two: Click here
Hour Three: Click here
Hour Four: Click here
Hour Five: Click here
Hour Six: Click here
Each hour after the first begins with a short segment, a five-minute pre-recorded report, followed by a long 53-minute live segment. These short and long segments are marked on the broadcast schedule below. In addition to what is marked, we will be taking calls and recognizing speakers at our street mic throughout the broadcast.
|LONG: "Who's in the Overflow Shelter?" The Homelessness Marathon will originate from in front of the Brattleboro First Baptist Church. The church is the site of Brattleboro's overflow shelter (operated by the Brattleboro Drop-In Center), a place where men and women, in separate rooms, can sleep on the floor and get through the night. Some nights, as many as forty people sleep there. The Drop-In Center's director, Lucy Fortier, and several of the folks who spend the night at the overflow shelter will help us to understand who they are, how they got there and what they face.|
|Welcome to new viewers just joining us on FSTV!|
SHORT: "Not Forgotten When You Die." A remembrance of San Francisco's poor SRO tenants. Producer Laura Flynn
LONG: "Who's In The Emergency Shelter?" The official emergency shelter in Brattleboro is the Morningside Shelter. It holds a maximum of 29 people. It is in a very large, well-kept house in the middle of an upscale neighborhood, where it is not always entirely welcome. The people living here have a little more stability than the people in the overflow shelter, but they're still homeless. We'll meet them and hear their stories.
|SHORT: "A Homeless Viet Nam Vet Gives Back in Montana." Producer Clay Scott|
LONG: More Homeless People from Brattleboro. Not all homeless people fall into even the loosest category, so we're not going to categorize this hour. We're just going to invite some of Brattleboro's poorest citizens into our broadcast booth and talk with them. At some point during this hour, we'll have a shout out from the Women's Freedom Center, Brattleboro's place of refuge for battered women.
|SHORT: "Free Medical Services in Appalachia." People line up for hours to get dental and health care in Virginia. Producer Thomas Pierce|
LONG: Reports from Around the Country (segment times approximate): 10:10 – Gordon Walker, Director of the Housing and Community Development Division of the Utah Department of Workforce Services. Utah has announced its plans to end chronic homelessness in the state by 2015 and Mr. Walker is heading up the effort. 10:25 – Mike Rhodes, editor of the Community Alliance newspaper of Fresno and a board member of the Homelessness Marathon. Mike and one or two members of Fresno's homeless community will discuss Fresno's official campaign to assault homeless encampments.
|SHORT: Homeless but Powered by Green Energy. One man uses solar panels to heat, work and live outside in a legal encampment. Producer Cori Princell|
LONG: "More reports from Around The Country" (segment times approximate): 11:10 – Blogger Jeff 4 Justice, has lived in his car for four years. He has traveled extensively in his rolling home, and has interviewed many others in the same situation. 11:25 – Paul Boden, field director for the Western Regional Advocacy Project and member of the Homelessness Marathon board, is spearheading a campaign in California to get a "Homeless Bill of Rights" passed by the legislature. He will be joined by Ibrahim Mubarak, the dean of the Portland, OR tent community.
|SHORT: Last Days of Duroville. Mobile Homes for the Poor in Rural California. Producer Lisa Morehouse|
Midnight Forum: "Where Do We Go From Here?" A conversation about how do we get our country to actually address the problems of the poor and do something about them. Participants to include: Cheri Honkala, 2012 Green Party vice-presidential candidate, founder of the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign and board member of the Homelessness Marathon; Christopher Curtis, staff attorney at Vermont Legal Aid and co-chair of the Governor's Council on Pathways Out of Poverty.