Link and taco cuddle.
movies, economics, tortoises, and pretty clothes. I'm happy, usually.
The 1% wants to ban sleeping in cars - it hurts their ‘quality of life’
April 16, 2014
Across the United States, many local governments are responding to skyrocketing levels of inequality and the now decades-long crisis of homelessness among the very poor … by passing laws making it a crime to sleep in a parked car.
This happened most recently in Palo Alto, in California’s Silicon Valley, where new billionaires are seemingly minted every month – and where 92% of homeless people lack shelter of any kind. Dozens of cities have passed similar anti-homeless laws. The largest of them is Los Angeles, the longtime unofficial “homeless capital of America”, where lawyers are currently defending a similar vehicle-sleeping law before a skeptical federal appellate court. Laws against sleeping on sidewalks or in cars are called “quality of life” laws. But they certainly don’t protect the quality of life of the poor.
To be sure, people living in cars cannot be the best neighbors. Some people are able to acquire old and ugly – but still functioning – recreational vehicles with bathrooms; others do the best they can. These same cities have resisted efforts to provide more public toilet facilities, often on the grounds that this will make their city a “magnet” for homeless people from other cities. As a result, anti-homeless ordinances often spread to adjacent cities, leaving entire regions without public facilities of any kind.
Their hope, of course, is that homeless people will go elsewhere, despite the fact that the great majority of homeless people are trying to survive in the same communities in which they were last housed – and where they still maintain connections. Americans sleeping in their own cars literally have nowhere to go.
Indeed, nearly all homelessness in the US begins with a loss of income and an eviction for nonpayment of rent – a rent set entirely by market forces. The waiting lists are years long for the tiny fraction of housing with government subsidies. And rents have risen dramatically in the past two years, in part because long-time tenants must now compete with the millions of former homeowners who lost their homes in the Great Recession.
The paths from eviction to homelessness follow familiar patterns. For the completely destitute without family or friends able to help, that path leads more or less directly to the streets. For those slightly better off, unemployment and the exhaustion of meager savings – along with the good graces of family and friends – eventually leaves people with only two alternatives: a shelter cot or their old automobile.
However, in places like Los Angeles, the shelters are pretty much always full. Between 2011 and 2013, the number of unsheltered homeless people increased by 67%. In Palo Alto last year, there were 12 shelter beds for 157 homeless individuals. Homeless people in these cities do have choices: they can choose to sleep in a doorway, on a sidewalk, in a park, under a bridge or overpass, or – if they are relatively lucky – in a car. But these cities have ordinances that make all of those choices a criminal offense. The car is the best of bad options, now common enough that local bureaucrats have devised a new, if oxymoronic, term – the “vehicularly housed”.
People sleeping in cars try to find legal, nighttime parking places, where they will be less apparent and arouse the least hostility. But cities like Palo Alto and Los Angeles often forbid parking between 2am and 5am in commercial areas, where police write expensive tickets and arrest and impound the vehicles of repeat offenders. That leaves residential areas, where overnight street parking cannot, as a practical matter, be prohibited.
One finds the “vehicularly housed” in virtually every neighborhood, including my own. But the animus that drives anti-homeless laws seems to be greatest in the wealthiest cities, like Palo Alto, which has probably spawned more per-capita fortunes than any city on Earth, and in the more recently gentrified areas like Los Angeles’ Venice. These places are ruled by majorities of “liberals” who decry, with increasing fervor, the rapid rise in economic inequality. Nationally, 90% of Democrats (and 45% of Republicans) believe the government should act to reduce the rich-poor gap.
It is easy to be opposed to inequality in the abstract. So why are Los Angeles and Palo Alto spending virtually none of their budgets on efforts to provide housing for the very poor and homeless? When the most obvious evidence of inequality parks on their street, it appears, even liberals would rather just call the police. The word from the car: if you’re not going to do anything to help, please don’t make things worse.
“Their hope, of course, is that homeless people will go elsewhere…”
HOW? WITH WHAT FUNDS? FOR WHOSE BENEFIT? TO WHERE?
Our society’s approach to its most vulnerable members: I don’t want to see them suffer—so get them out of my sight!
There have been a few periods in my life when I have needed to sleep in my vehicle for several days at a time, and some of those periods have been when it would have been best for me to avoid the scrutiny of the police, shall we say, because the consequences would have been disproportionate.
I’ve gotten pretty good at finding places to sleep in my car where I am less likely to attract attention.
First of all, forget shopping center parking lots, train stations, or any place like that where they will either have regular patrols or your vehicle will be isolated. Nothing attracts a cops attention like a vehicle seemingly out of place. Assume they *will* investigate. Although Wal-Mart allows RVers to park overnight, they also generally have security or police around, and if you don’t look like an RVer, except to be hassled.
Assume that anyone who encounters you in the early morning will notify the police. The time just after dawn is the most dangerous, because there will be light enough to see into your vehicle, but you are likely to be too exhausted to note this fact and totally unconscious until the cops start banging on your window.
Try to find a place where you can park your vehicle among others like it. I have found, as a pickup driver, that industrial parks can be useful, because there are often other company light trucks parked overnight and people don’t usually show up to work until 8am-ish. On weekends, this works even better, because the office might be closed from Friday evening till Monday morning, or at least from Saturday evening til Monday morning.
I once found a great place outside of Nashville, TN that was an abandoned home site up a hill, with a paved driveway that led up into the trees where you couldn’t be seen from the road. I slept pretty well that night, at least as far as a 6’ 1” tall person can sleep in a vehicle with the interior completely filled except for the driver’s seat with their possessions.
Avoid using the same site two nights in a row, if you can help it, especially if people come by and see you in the morning. If you must remain in the same area, use your days to scout for other potential sites to sleep safely.
this is really, really important and i hope everyone reads it.
"People run from rain but
in bathtubs full of
Charles Bukowski (via bittersweetsongs)
Wow bukowski so profound do you also bathe fully clothed you dickhead. “Oohh isn’t it funny that a person will eat when they’re hungry but will duck if you throw an apple at their face”
friendly reminder not to support lindt this easter season, or apparently ever again, because they support autism speaks.
can someone please explain why autism speaks is so bad?
because they’re adamant that autism is a disease that can be “cured”. They don’t have a single autistic person on their board. Autism Speaks produces advertisements, small films, ect. about what a burden autistic people are to a society. They only spend about 4% of their money on “family services.” They create a stereotype that makes it hard for actual autistic people, like myself, be heard and recognized as actually autistic. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder before they realized that I actually showed signs of Asperger’s. They don’t actually help us.
That’s the problem with Autism Speaks.
(tw for violence, ableism, abuse, murder, and death)
It goes deeper than not having any autistic board members. Many of the allistics running the organization promote the horrific notion that you’re better off dead than autistic, and their influence and “activism” only supports the ideology resulting in the continued murder of autistic children and adults by their parents and caregivers.
Former Autism Speaks board member Harry Slatkin, whose wife, Laura, continues to serve on the Board of Directors, stated in an interview with Town and Country while still a board member that sometimes he hoped their autistic son David would drown in the backyard pond rather than “suffer like this all his life.” Evidencing a pattern of similarly violent rhetoric, Autism Speaks is also responsible for the 2006 PSA “Autism Every Day" in which their then Vice President states on camera that she considered putting her autistic daughter in the car and driving off a bridge, and that the only reason she refrained from doing so was because her other, non-autistic daughter would have been waiting for her at home—her autistic daughter was in the room as she made these statements. Furthermore, the producer of this PSA explicitly admitted that the film was intentionally staged to portray negative images of autistic people and their families.
Only four days following the release of “Autism Every Day,” pathologist Karen McCarron smothered her autistic daughter with a garbage bag. McCarron stated that she murdered Katie because her “autism had not been improving,” had thought about killing Katie, that made an earlier brief attempt at suffocation, wanted to cure Katie, thought killing Katie would make her “complete” in heaven, and wanted to live without autism and thus had to kill Katie. Investigators found that McCarron was obsessed with different treatments for Katie. (See People v. FRANK-McCARRON, 934 NE 2d 76 - Ill: Appellate Court, 3rd Dist. 2010.) Though it is not presently possible to draw a direct connection between Autism Speaks’ PSA and Katie’s murder, this crime and dozens like it only underscore how the kind of rhetoric that Autism Speaks favors only serves to recklessly endanger the lives of autistic people.
Autism Speaks also publicly supports the Judge Rotenberg Center, a group home for autistic and neurodivergent students that uses “treatments” like food and sleep deprivation and electric shock to try and train the residents into acting neurotypical. The center has changed states three times in an attempt to bypass regulation against abusive treatment, and their practices have resulted in the deaths of more than one student.
It’s not just an issue of Autism Speaks making it harder for us to get proper diagnoses and treatment. Autism Speaks is actively killing us.
I was eyeing up their strawberries and cream lindor the other day but this is more important than delicious chocolate.
you all need to know this. You really do. Please do not support Lindt or anything that supports autism speaks. Please.
Well shit. I used to really like Lindor…
At least now though I can get better chocolate from Aldi.
Absolutely re-blogging this, because more people need to know that what Autism Speaks has done (and still is doing) is not cool. I’ve known this for years, having autism myself, but it still needs to be said, and repeated, until everyone gets it.
Any organization who consistently refers to autistics as “taken”, “stolen” or otherwise “not whole”, or calls their movie “Sounding the Alarm”, which is basically connecting autism to a reference to the goddamn Rapture in the Book of Revelation (where, once again, a parent expresses their want to kill their adult child with autism), should not be supported. They are dangerous, they support a dangerous ideal towards people with autism, and their words can easily be taken as a justification to harm those with disabilities.
And the worst part is, because they are the biggest autism organization, a lot of companies fall for their “altruistic” bullshit. They are not altruistic. The bulk of their money does not go to helping actual autistic people or for other practical purposes - it goes to “research” for a “cure” and a “cause”. And they prey on the emotions of family members of people with autism, and the pursestrings of those companies those families buy from, to accomplish this.
Spread the word and reblog. Boycott these companies and tell them with your money how you feel about their sponsorship of Autism Speaks.