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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Sunday June 23rd 2024

Posts Tagged ‘homelessness’

Peace House Community Journal: A Special Thank You

Peace House Community Journal: A Special Thank You

By MARTI MALTBY From last November until mid-August, a homeless encampment occupied the vacant lots behind Peace House Community. Over the months various people came and went from the camp, bringing with them tents, bicycles, generators, and a host of other items. Many others stopped by during the day and the night, sometimes to say hi to friends or to drop off supplies, and sometimes for less socially acceptable behaviors. The camp presented various challenges for PHC. We do our best to serve homeless individuals, among others, and we want to reduce the stigma that goes with being homeless. However, we recognize that homelessness and criminal activity sometimes go together. The homeless are often the victims of the crimes, while at other times they are the ones breaking the laws. In the case of this encampment, every property on our block suffered vandalism, theft, threats, and in one case arson. Often our missing items turned up in the encampment. But many of the problems [...]

Phillips Community Listening Session Focused on Encampments

By JANA METGE, JAMES TRICE and DONNA PUSUSTA NESTE On March 30, a meeting entitled “A Listening Session About Encampments in Phillips and Minneapolis” organized by a Phillips Neighborhood group calling themselves Phillips Neighborhood Safety Coalition took place at the East Phillips Park Community and Cultural Center. Facilitator James Trice, a resident of Phillips for 25 years, welcomed all and went over the ground rules for a respectful meeting, which it was. 78 people signed in, however there were an estimated 100 in attendance. AIM Patrol members mingled with the crowd to let everyone know they were welcome and that their presence was important. Attendees were invited to add printed materials to an information table in which various perspectives were represented, from a harm reduction model for safe injection sites to a draft on policy and procedure for encampments. Five community members gave testimony on their experiences with encampments. Mike Forcia, a leader in the [...]

Do Whatever You Want

Do Whatever You Want

Peace House Community By MARTI MALTBY When people find out that I have worked with the homeless, they sometimes ask me if they should give money to panhandlers. I used to give the standard social work answer: “If you give them money, it could be used for drugs or alcohol. It’s better to give them a snack, or to donate money to agencies that help the homeless.” Eventually I realized how insulting and hypocritical that answer was. It’s insulting because it reinforces the stereotype that people are homeless because they use drugs and alcohol, or that all the homeless use drugs and alcohol. It also implies that they don’t know any better than to blow their money on things that won’t improve their situation. And this coming from social workers who say we’re trying to reduce the stigma of homelessness, and that we care for the people we “serve”. It’s also hypocritical because it implies that the homeless shouldn’t drink, even though it’s okay for [...]

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