Tag Archives: New Deal

Without rights, without housing

(July 14) Paul Boden connects the New Deal with today’s current climate on the streets.

In 1933, when more than a million Americans were homeless, President Roosevelt’s New Deal made their economic and social well-being a federal responsibility. In 2008, an estimated 3.5 million Americans will live without housing; homeless children in school number more than 900,000 according to the Department of Education. Ironically, in this election year – which marks the 75th anniversary of the New Deal – neither major party nor presidential candidate has acknowledged a federal responsibility. It is time that they do so.

The federal government created the contemporary crisis of mass homelessness by cutting and refusing to restore billions of dollars in funding for affordable housing programs. Since 1982, every federal plan to address homelessness has failed because every plan has been based on the assumption that something was wrong with the people who were finding themselves without housing. Every plan has focused on individuals: FEMA emergency shelter plans, HUD Continuum of Care plans and 10-Year Plans to End Homelessness as spearheaded by the Bush administration’s Interagency Council on Homelessness all identify homeless people as “the problem” that needs fixing.

Continue reading

A pitch for tents

Is Portland ready – or willing – to create another tent city for the homeless? Reporter Amanda Waldroupe takes an in-depth look at the politics surrounding another tent city, or what some individuals on the streets are calling a “green zone.”

We look at Dignity Village eight years after it’s formation. How is the village fairing? What is life like right now at Dignity? Are people being housed? You might be surprised.

Other features this week include opinions from the Mental Health Association of Portland, the New Sanctuary Movement and a look at poverty and justice with Father Loughery with the Downtown Chapel.

Our sister paper in Argentina spends a day talking Che, life as president and politics with the Bolivia’s first indigenous leader, Evo Morales.

Street Roots catches up with homeless youth outreach worker Dennis Lundberg, and looks at lessons to be learned on the 75th anniversary of the New Deal.

You’d be crazy not to pick up a Street Roots coming out tomorrow.