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
For immediate release:
Contact: Jeremy Alderson, 607-546-2084
LIVE FROM BRATTLEBORO, VERMONT –
THE 16TH ANNUAL HOMELESSNESS MARATHON
The Homelessness Marathon will once again bring the voices of homeless people into America's homes. "I wish we could get their bodies inside too," comments Jeremy Weir Alderson, the broadcast's founder, "but we're doing the best thing we can, by showing America why this problem should be, can be and must be solved."
The broadcast, which has previously originated from Detroit, Kansas City, and Katrina-ravaged Mississippi, among other places, features live in-depth discussions with homeless people. The broadcast also takes calls, so people living in their homes can talk with people living on the streets. It will originate from in front of the First Baptist Church of Brattleboro, at 190 Main St. The First Baptist Church provides the space for Brattleboro's overflow shelter, operated by the Brattleboro Drop-In Center. A few years ago, the church sold its prize possession - a Tiffany stained glass window – so that it could continue its mission, including its service to the poor.
The 16th Annual Homelessness Marathon will start at 7 p.m., EST. Wednesday, February 19th and will run for six hours until 1:00 a.m. Its audio signal will be available for free to all radio stations over the Public Radio Satellite System, the Pacifica Ku-band and Pacifica's Audioport.
We wish to thank both our hosts on the ground -- the Brattleboro First Baptist Church and The Brattleboro Drop-In center – as well as our hosts on the air. We would not be in Brattleboro at all were it not for our longtime Brattleboro affiliate, community radio station, WVEW-LP, 107.7 FM. And it is thanks to the folks at Brattleboro Community Television (BCTV) and a host of volunteers that the 16th Annual Homelessness Marathon will also be televised.
The locally-produced video from Brattleboro will air nationally on Free Speech Television (FSTV). Starting at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19th, all six hours of the Homelessness Marathon will be on FSTV's website, http://www.freespeech.org. Starting at 8 pm, the last five hours will also be on FSTV's two satellite channels, channel 9415 on the Dish Network and channel 348 on DirecTV (and also on BCTV's channel 8).
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