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The Homelessness Marathon

America's only national broadcast focusing on
homelessness and poverty

The 21st Homelessness Marathon live broadcast took place on July 24, 2019 from 10 A.M. to midnight, originating at WMBR in Cambridge, Massachusetts. You can listen to the archived broadcast at archive.org.


Here are some writings related to homelessness in various cities where the Marathon has taken place:

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE SARASOTA COMMUNITY
Starting on the evening of Tuesday, February 17th, through the good offices of our local host, community radio station WSLR, we will be originating the 17th Homelessness Marathon from Sarasota. It is a 14-hour-long, live national radio and television broadcast focusing on homelessness and poverty. We'll be talking all night with experts, politicians, advocates, callers and, above all, with homeless people themselves. We're not coming to Sarasota to attack it. We know that no city can solve homelessness by itself, we've been in much worse places (Fresno, you know who you are), and we are encouraged that Sarasota has already begun a community-wide dialog about how best to deal with homelessness. We want to contribute to that dialog, but before we can do that, there is something you should know: The single piece of information about the homeless that Sarasotons have either most passionately embraced or vehemently rejected, is almost certainly fake.... [read more]

WHY NOT DO THE RIGHT THING?
On January 18th,2011, I gave a presentation to the Kansas City (Missouri) Task Force on Homelessness, which is in the process of formulating recommendations for local policy. The theme of our upcoming 14th Annual Homelessness Marathon, originating from Kansas City, is “Why Not Do The Right Thing?” In order to facilitate a dialogue, I wanted to explain to the Task Force what I, and many others around the country, believe is the right thing to do. I think my appearance there aroused varied, and in some cases strong, reactions. One member of the Task Force asked me if I would write up a White Paper in which I laid out the points I had set before them. I agreed to do so, and this document is the result. This is not, however, an exact summary of the words I spoke to the Task Force. Rather, it is a continuation of the sentiments I expressed there, with some exegesis added or subtracted, but in the main faithful to my earlier remarks.... [read more]

DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES
At the Homelessness Marathon, we believe that the elimination of poverty is a moral duty for society. We believe that fulfilling this duty makes for a better society. And we believe that there are many ways to fulfill this duty, but that all of them should be guided by these principles... [read more]


POVERTY: IS ANYONE LISTENING?
I remember an episode of the old TV show "Father Knows Best" in which the son brought home a shortwave radio, and the whole family gathered round to listen. Of course, this being television, the situation quickly turned dramatic, and sitting in their suburban living room, the TV family became the only ones to hear the distress signals from a sinking motorboat miles away. They wound up calling the Coast Guard, and the episode ended with a grateful skipper saying something like, "Thank you out there, whoever you are." [read more]


THE DISASTER AFTER THE DISASTER
This year I had the unsettling experience of finding out that I didn't actually know much about something I thought I knew a lot about. I was in rural Mississippi, talking to survivors of Katrina, right near the Ground Zero where the hurricane came ashore. I thought I knew a lot about their plight, because Katrina was surely one of the most covered stories of the last century. What I discovered was that those iconic scenes of hungry, thirsty survivors right after the storm just marked the beginning of the malign neglect that marred the recovery process. One survivor warned me that what happened to them was like a "premonition" of what could happen to the rest of the country if a disaster strikes... [read more]


AS WE HELP THE NEW HOMELESS WE MUST HELP THE OLD HOMELESS TOO

A statement on Hurricane Katrina from The Homelessness Marathon. This statement was released shortly after Katrina struck and was signed by our entire staff at that time. [read the statement]

WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
A look at the salary and benefits of top executives at selected organizations helping hungry and homeless people in 2003.

HAS THE AMERICAN LEFT TAKEN AN HISTORIC WRONG TURN?
There was a time when the struggle for social justice in America was inseparable from the fight against poverty. Is that still the case today? [read more]

LETHAL CAKEOLOGY
When I was a boy, I saw ads referring to products developed at "The Betty Crocker Institute." I imagined an ivy-covered campus around which professors strolled while discussing the finer points of cakeology. It took a while before I caught on that this "Institute" had all the substance of a mail-order PhD, but even so, I think it has more credibility than the "Manhattan Institute." At least what Betty Crocker put out you could swallow. [read more]

LET THE BUMS HAVE A FLOP
"Nobody," the founder of the Homelessness Marathon, gives some of his views on what keeps people on the streets. [read more]

IN MEMORIAM, ROLAND LEE PAIGE

Roland Lee Paige was one of the homeless people who came to the broadcast site at the 5th Homelessness Marathon. He died during the night. [read more]


UNEQUAL JUSTICE by Mike Rhodes, Homelessness Marathon Board Member
Imagine that the mayor in your city is beaten almost to death on a downtown street. She is rushed to a hospital emergency room where the police interview her about the incident. Under ordinary circumstances, the police would be under intense pressure to bring the perpetrator of the crime to justice and the hospital would be expected to do everything necessary to provide the mayor with the best medical care available. [read more]

"WITHOUT HOUSING"
A report by the Western Regional Advocacy Project (executive director Paul Boden is a member of the Homelessness Marathon's board). [read more]