Homeless Man by
White House & Capitol


Homeless Man by
White House & Capitol


Homeless ~ Teardrops of Blood ~ Boulevard
According to official U.S. government statistics issued in November of 2007, more than 1 in 10 people in the United States go hungry.  More than 35 million people went hungry in 2006 according to the same report; almost 13 million of them were children and many of the rest were impoverished senior citizens.  In response, David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World said:  "The U.S. is the only industrialised nation that still allows hunger within its borders."

While it is literally impossible to obtain entirely accurate statistics regarding poverty in America, valid estimates can be made based on a variety of agency, government and other sources.  On August 1st, 2003, it was estimated that 2.5 - 3.5 million Americans were entirely homeless and millions more lived in vehicles, garages and similar makeshift accommodations.  According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, the bare minimum of entirely homeless individuals in the United States in 2006 is more than 750,000.

The actual number is likely 2-4 million or more, as many cities only count the homeless who are actually in shelters on a given random date, thus reporting grossly under-inflated figures which in turn, are published as "fact" by federal agencies and the media (see newspaper article addressing severe Nashville descrepancies below). Suffice it to say, many of those who work with homeless war veterans claim that homeless veterans alone number in the hundreds of thousands. Many Americans have part-time shelter, moving in and out of motels and other weekly rental situations; when these and others who live in garages, motorhomes, automobiles, abandoned buildings and other forms of makeshift housing are included, the number of Americans who do not have a permanent residence is likely well over 10 million.

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, over 60 American cities have essentially made it criminal to be poor, introducing measures to make it illegal to beg or sleep on the street, to sit in bus shelters for more than an hour, to stand on the corner soliciting work and some cities, including Las Vegas, have made it illegal to feed the homeless in parks and other public places; this is a gross violation of federal anti-discrimination laws unless such draconian measures are uniformly applied to citizens of all economic status, including making it illegal to feed relatives and children or to share food with friends at a public picnic area, as well. Meanwhile, neither the Republican or Democratic Party has any plan whatsoever directly addressing America's growing homeless population, nor are the homeless, including homeless war veterans, even mentioned as a priority in their party platform agendas.

It is estimated by veterans groups that as of January, 2005, there are approximately 230,000 homeless war veterans in America.  Homeless veterans from the current conflict in Iraq are already showing up at public beaches, parks and in city shelters and due to this conflict, the problem is expected to grow dramatically in the next several; years (see Operation Stand Down Homeless Veteran Statistics below).  If 5% of the current American military budget were diverted to end the growing hunger within our own borders, there would be virtually no hunger in the United States.  An additional 10% diverted annually, if managed correctly, could eventually wipe out starvation on the entire continent of Africa.

One of fastest growing statistical segments of the U.S. homeless population is single women with children.  Lack of affordable healthcare, coupled with a catastrophic family illness, is a growing reason why many formerly working-class and middle-class productive citizens are becoming homeless.  Other homeless statistics compiled by the National Coalition for the homeless include the following:

Approximately 50% of all homeless women and children are fleeing some form of domestic violence.  Approximately 25% of the urban homeless are children under 18. 40% of homeless men have served in the U.S. military; meanwhile, the federal budget addressing homeless veterans was reduced in 2005.  Caucasians make up only 35% of the homeless, while 50% are African Americans; 40% are single men, 14% single women and 46% are couples, families or children.  While it is true that many homeless individuals suffer from mental disabilities and addiction, several studies indicate that much of the problem, especially in regards to addiction, occurs after individuals become homeless, thus making homelessness a cause of addiction, rather than the other way around, as is so often assumed by many of those attempting to excuse themselves for not wanting to help.

Before the Creator of the universe, there is no excuse whatsoever for a nation as wealthy as the United States to have one person within our borders who does not have adequate food, shelter and health care.  And it is beyond the iniquity of ancient Babylon, Egypt, Sodom and Rome combined that our leaders of all party affiliation, who hold the supreme advantage of historical perspective, do not make alleviation and elimination of poverty and disease America's number one priority issue.

Historically, it is beyond all argument that if a nation does not address its own sick and poor, that nation will not long survive, as major plagues and other diseases spread throughout the least on up to the highest rungs of a society without partiality. Historically, large populations living in poverty without forseeable hope of improvement, either violently revolt and/or, lose all form of country loyalty and welcome a conquering enemy to come in and improve their meager lives of disease, hunger and misery.  According to both Ezekiel and Jesus, God without partiality, will judge all nations by whether or not they help their sick and their poor.  The historical bottom-line agreed upon by even the most atheistic of scholars is that nations in the long run, will truly reap what they sow; nations that do not help their sick and poor will not likely be around very long on the history time clock to reap much of anything.  See Fleeing Sodom for more details.
Tara Cole
TARA "Little Bit" COLE

On an August summer night in 2006, a young homeless female named Tyra Cole was sleeping on a warf at Riverfront Park in Nashville, Tennessee, when two men stepped out of the shadows and rolled her into the Cumberland River.  Witnessess tried but were unable to rescue her.

Tara's body was found ten days later when the city, after several nights of ongoing vigil and much prodding from local advocates, finally moved a barge.  This is the second known deliberate killing of a homeless Nashville resident within the past two years, both apparently murdered for being poor.

Click Here for Story and "Ballad of Tara Cole"
According to Mother Jones Magazine, there are between 200,000 and 300,000 U.S. homeless war veterans.  Below is an article about homeless Iraq war veterans from The Associated Press.

In New York, Ralph, 30, who declined to give
his last name, shows how he looked in uni-
form. He served in Iraq but is now homeless.

By VERENA DOBNIK NEW YORK Herold Noel had nowhere to call home after returning from military service in Iraq.  He slept in his Jeep, taking care to find a parking space where he wouldn't get a ticket.

"Then the nightmares would start," says the former Army private first class, who drove a fuel truck in Iraq.  "I saw a baby decapitated when it was run over by a truck; I relived that every night." Across the nation on any evening, hundreds of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan like Noel, 26, are homeless, according to government estimates.

The reasons are many.  For some, residual stress from daily insurgent attacks and roadside bombs makes it tough to adjust to civilian life; some can't navigate government-assistance programs; others can't afford a house or apartment.

They are living on the edge in towns and cities from Washington state to California and Florida. Some of the hardest hit are in New York City, where housing costs "can be very tough," says Peter Dougherty, head of the federal government's Homeless Veterans Program.

As a member of the National Guard, Nadine Beckford patrolled New York train stations after the Sept. 11 attacks and served a year in the Persian Gulf region.  But when she returned home from Iraq, she found her storage locker had been emptied and her bank account had been depleted. She thinks her boyfriend took everything and "just vanished."

Six months after her return to the United States, she lives in a homeless shelter in Brooklyn, sharing a room with eight other women and attending a job-training program.  Her parents live in Jamaica and are barely making ends meet, she says.

"I'm just an ordinary person who served. I'm not embarrassed about my homelessness, because the circumstances that created it were not my fault," says Beckford, 30, who was a military-supply specialist at a U.S. base in Iraq, a sitting duck for around-the-clock attacks "where hell was your home."

It was a "hell" familiar to Noel during his eight months in Iraq.  But it didn't stop when he returned home to New York last year and couldn't find a job to support his wife and three children.  Without enough money to rent an apartment, he turned to the housing programs for vets, "but they were overbooked," Noel says.

While he was in Iraq, his family had lived in military housing in Georgia.  In New York, the family ended up in a Bronx shelter "with people who were just out of prison, and with roaches," Noel said. "I'm a young black man from the ghetto, but this was culture shock.  This is not what I fought for, what I almost died for.  This is not what I was supposed to come home to."

There are about 200,000 homeless vets in the United States, according to government figures. About 10 percent are from either the 1991 Gulf War or the current one, and about 40 percent are Vietnam veterans.

Noel doesn't blame the Army, which "helped make my dreams come true," he says, recalling the military-base life in Georgia and in South Korea that his family enjoyed before his deployment to Iraq.

"I had a house, a car; they gave me everything they promised me," he said.  "Now it's up to the government and the people we're defending to take care of their soldiers."


LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- A hospital van dropped off a paraplegic man on Skid Row, allegedly leaving him crawling in the street with nothing more than a soiled gown and a broken colostomy bag, police said.

Witnesses who said they saw the incident Thursday wrote down a phone number on the van and took down its license-plate number, which helped detectives connect the vehicle to Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, the Los Angeles Times reported on its Web site.  Police said the incident was a case of "homeless dumping" and were questioning officials from the hospital.

"I can't think of anything colder than that," said Detective Russ Long.  "There was no mission around, no services.  It's the worst area of Skid Row."

The case comes three months after the L.A. city attorney's office filed its first indictment for homeless dumping against Kaiser Permanente for an incident earlier last year.  In that case, a 63-year-old patient from the hospital's Bellflower medical center was videotaped wandering the streets of Skid Row in a hospital gown and socks.

An after-hours call Thursday to Hollywood Presbyterian seeking comment was not immediately returned.  Kaylor Shemberger, the hospital's executive vice president, told the Times the incident was under investigation.

"Obviously we are very concerned about the information that has been presented to us," Shemberger said.  "If some of the facts are correct, it is clearly not in line with our policy of handling these types of patients."

City officials have accused more than a dozen hospitals of dumping patients and criminals on Skid Row.  Hospital officials have denied the allegations, but some said they had taken homeless patients to Skid Row service providers.

In 2005, Hollywood Presbyterian was accused of homeless dumping.  At the time, a top executive denied the charge, but said Skid Row service providers offered treatment and care for some patients who had nowhere else to go.