Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012. New York City – Picture the Homeless was “informed” by the NY Post on Friday, March 30, that The Post had obtained a leaked letter from the New York City Council directing the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to freeze PTH funding in the wake of a misleading and racially-charged article the Post ran last Sunday. Picture the Homeless has not received any letter or other communication from the City Council regarding this matter, though HPD officials contacted PTH on Thursday and directed PTH to turn over certain business records.
This is why, the grassroots, not-for profit organization had a press conference and rally in Harlem on Sunday, April 1st, 2012. You can see pictures and videos bellow.
Rupert Murdoch, the Australian-born chairman and controlling shareholder of News Corporation, is perhaps the preeminent global media magnate. The company, which owns Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and the 20th Century Fox film studio, among other assets, is one of the world’s largest media conglomerates.
On Sunday, March 25th, 2012, The New York Post ran an inaccurate, misleading, and inflammatory article about the work of Picture the Homeless, implying that homeless people (more than 90% of whom are Black and Latino) are all pimps, vagrants, thieves, and addicts.
But it’s not just homeless people that the Post hates. Manuel Ducret says, “ANYTHING with Rupert Murdoch attached is racist and homophobic!”
“If this is true (that the New York City Council is directing the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to freeze PTH funding), it’s an outrage that the City Council would move to freeze our funding as a result of unfounded and inflammatory allegations,” said Lynn Lewis, Executive Director of Picture the Homeless.
A study by Picture the Homeless found that there are 3,551 vacant buildings that can house 71,707 people and 2,489 vacant lots that can house 128,874 people. Housing a total of 199,981 people in New York City.
There are about 40,000 people in the homeless shelter system. There is enough space to house the city’s entire homeless population – and more.
Lynn Lewis, Directora ejecutiva de la organización Picture the Homeless: “Hay 3.551 edificios vacíos y 2.489 lotes baldíos que puede albergar un total de 199.981 personas en la Ciudad de Nueva York.
Hay alrededor de 40.000 personas en los refugios de la ciudad. Hay suficiente espacio para dar vivienda a toda la población sin hogar en la ciudad y todavía se tendría espacio para mas personas.”
Some buildings in Harlem had been empty for 20 years and 30 years. The phenomenon has been borne out by several studies. In 2007, the Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer, released a survey of Manhattan’s buildings that found 1,723 were significantly vacant.
Carl Siciliano, Executive Director of The Ali Forney Center. says, “There are 3,800 homeless youth in NYC. About 40% – 1600 of them – identify as LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans). New York City and State provide only 250 youth shelter beds for them, leaving the rest in the streets.”
Mr. Siciliano took pictures and interviewed homeless LGBT youth on the streets without shelter. Go to their website to read their stories.
According to Coalition for the Homeless, “Each night more than 45,000 people — including 17,000 children — experience homelessness. Currently 41,200 homeless men, women, and children bed down each night in municipal homeless shelters, and thousands more sleep rough on the streets or in other forms of shelter.”
Picture the Homeless is an organization founded on the principle that in order to end homelessness, people who are homeless must become an organized, effective voice for systemic change. We have a track record of developing leadership among homeless people to impact policies and systems that affect their lives and our efforts have created space for homeless people, and their agenda, within the broader social justice movement.
We are a citywide, multiracial, bilingual organization and our constituency includes homeless people living in shelters as well as those living on the streets and in other public places. We serve a broad population of people because homelessness cuts across all boundaries: race, ethnicity, culture, gender, family composition, age, sexual orientation, language, etc., but what all homeless people have in common as a community is extreme poverty and social stigmatization. The vast majority of people in the NYC shelter system are Black and Latino/a, and many of them are women and children. There are currently nearly 40,000 people in the New York City shelter system, including over 9,000 families with over 18,000 children. These numbers do not include street-dwelling homeless people, or the hundreds of families waiting for placement in a shelter, or the estimated 350,000 doubled-up households throughout the city. Our outreach targets individuals from within the shelter system, as well as those who are unable/unwilling to live within it.
VIDEOS OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE AND RALLY BY PETER SHAPIRO.
Kendall Jackman speaks at Picture The Homeless – Emergency Press Conference and Rally on Sunday, April 1st, 2012.
Gideon Oliver, President of the New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild speaks at Picture The Homeless – Emergency Press Conference and Rally on Sunday, April 1st, 2012.
Lynn Lewis, Executive Director of Picture The Homeless speaks at the Emergency Press Conference and Rally on Sunday, April 1st, 2012.
For more information, get in contact with them.
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