News articles

Lessons from Rio Bravo and the Border

Pamela Brouker I was in Mexico—Reynosa—when the time changed; It sprang forward. Like so many other things, time can get lost. And I definitely lost track of time on this visit. The border is so compelling and challenging to process. I began to write this on my third day back, in Austin, and I am

A House of Thin Glass

Robert Karash The goal of many programs, advocacy agencies, and society-at-large is to help the homeless get back on their feet. This frequently entails assisting these individuals to get permanent housing and out of emergency shelters or off of the street. Of the outcomes available, the very best a homeless person could hope for is

Cigarettes and Hypocrites

Three items I happened upon this week that I feel the need to rant about: 1. Smoking Ban in Public Housing A recent article in the last issue of this paper talked about a plan in Boston to ban smoking in public housing. Now as a person who has his share of problems quitting smoking,

A Victory for Privacy Rights in Shelter Living

Marisela Fermin The U.S. court system has long provided a setting for action within the homeless community. In the landmark 1979 case Callahan v. Carey, a class-action lawsuit initiated on behalf of the homeless in New York, the court ruled that shelter was a constitutional right. However, even more than 30 years later, the legal

Local Leaders Agree: Problem of Homelessness is Solvable

The message would seem patent—the first step towards solving homelessness is to get those without housing a home. Yet this obvious notion has been imbued with renewed meaning since the introduction of federal “Housing First” and “Rapid Transition to Housing” initiatives, to be implemented under the recently passed 2009 HEARTH Act. According to the parameters

"Spare Change?"

Robert L. Karash People who walk through the streets in major cities and in other places frequently hear cries of “Spare Change?” or “Can anyone spare some change?”. These requests usually come from someone who is ostensibly homeless or down on their luck in life. How a society-at-large reacts to this plea is an indication

Byrnesie’s Tips in Tough Times #2: Networking

Michael W. Byrnes, Jr. As the social media “revolution” continues to change the world, an increasing number of communications are exchanged online. The benefit is that we all have access to endless amounts of information. The drawback is that it can be quite overwhelming. In an era of information overload, here is some advice to