Sleepless in San Diego
Unemployment and Homelessness on The
The Official Jobs Report - 3/7/2008 versus The Real Rate of Unemployment, over 10%
Officially, it would seem nothing much is happening to the unemployment rate.
The official number for
employment just out suggested a monthly loss
of non-farm 63,000 jobs nationally. This is the biggest reduction in one month
since March 2003. Since the US military is hiring anyone they can, this has to be
entirely in the private sector. The real losses of job in January may be much more
like 200,000? Many people have stopped looking for work. The
US Bureau of
Labor figures are only for those seeking a job. The BLB survey techniques are
Everyone knows they seriously underestimate the real numbers unemployed.
But its the BLB figures which are reported in the newspapers and TV. This is done to
prevent the reality from becoming a political issue. But that is changing now.
What is the real level of unemployment? The State of California estimates 56,000
fewer jobs in February than
the BLB in just the Riverside-San Bernardino area, alone.
Think what this amounts to
nationally. Even an economist from the Boston Federal Reserve
estimates that real unemployment is
always 1% to 3% higher than what the BLB. The
reality is that millions more are
discouraged and have dropped out. They are not
considered unemployed. I
consider the official rate of employment to be a
flagrantly self-serving statistic,
a disgraceful pretense Just go to any city in America
and you will see hundreds of
homeless people who have given up. And what about those
who would like to be fully employed
and are not, or accept poverty wages because they
desperately need food and shelter.
Just as the real rate of inflation is minimized for
political purposes, so is the real
level of unemployment.
As more and more Americans file for bankruptcy, lose their homes and live pay check to
pay check, homeless shelters become
more and more crowded. "There is still a mind-set that
the homeless are substance abusers
who have made bad life decisions," says Ralph Plumb,
of the Union Rescue Mission in Los
Angeles. "But more and more, they are individuals
responding to a catastrophic
financial event. The homeless are us. They're regular folk."
) Many of
those now without jobs are those
who were formerly employed in the financial services
and construction fields.
In New York City, 100,000 people are homeless during any given
year. According to a
Coalition for the Homeless report, 38,000 people sleep in a New York City
shelter every night, including
16,000 children. Thousands more sleep in the streets and
( Source: http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/advocacy/StateoftheHomeless2007.html
Veterans make up 11 percent of
America's adult population, but 26 percent of the homeless
population. (Source: http://www.pr-inside.com/obama-we-will-not-leave-any-r468281.htm
"Just Walk on
The local college
newspaper has more to say about homelessness than the San
Diego Tribune. Gaia
Veenis wrote in the Daily Aztec: "Homelessness is a growing issue
in San Diego and is rarely
discussed in local news. However, this issue cannot be swept
under a rug or easily remedied,
especially with the inadequate help and little media attention
it currently receives.
Probably the biggest cause for this issue getting so little attention is
the lack of pity most people feel
toward homeless adults. It is easy to assume these people
wound up on the streets solely
because of their own poor decisions or laziness."
Catherine Riddle is a case worker at one of San Diego County's resource
said this lack of adequate
assistance is why she decided to go into her line of work. She
further explained how easy it is
for people to become homeless. In fact, many people are
only one paycheck away from being
homeless. Once someone has been evicted, it is next
to impossible to find someone
willing to rent to you. When one doesn't have an address
and a regular place to sleep and
shower, it becomes increasingly difficult to find a new job"."
The San Diego case
worker explained that "approximately half of all homeless women are
thought to be domestic violence
victims. In all of San Diego County, there are 246 beds for
domestic violence victims; sadly,
that doesn't nearly meet the demand. These abused
people and their children need more
safety than regular shelters can offer. This leaves two
other options; either stay with the
person who is abusing you and possibly your children,
or sleep on the street when all the
battered women's shelters are full."
Want to meet some of the
homeless. The City
Beat in San Diego introduces a new homeless person each week.
San Diego's Ball Park Opening
drew a protest of 100.
Diego Treats The Homeless
The SD police would arrest all of them
for falling asleep outside. (I thought this
was banned under the Geneva
Convention. It was too "CRUEL".) The American Civil
Liberties Union sued Los Angeles on
behalf of several homeless individuals, and in
April the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, ruled that the city's
ordinance barring sleeping on
public sidewalks was unconstitutional because there
are more homeless people in Los
Angeles County than shelter beds. In building
San Diego's new baseball field,
Petco Park and million dollar high rise condominiums
numerous hotels that catered to low
income people were bulldozed. No provision
was made for whey would have to go.
San Diego's mayor Sanders and police chief
they will not establish downtown safe zones where the homeless could
sleep without the
threat of illegal-lodging citations. Sanders said:
"(I)t sends the message
that homelessness is an acceptable option. That
we have given up and so now, it's OK
to sleep on the streets. That doesn't work for me.
Observing all this is a downtown attorney. "As a sixth year criminal defense
attorney, I know
plenty of homeless people. In San Diego, our preferred method of dealing
with the homeless
is to harass the living shit out of them until they end up in prison, rehab
or on someone
else's doorstep. Don't believe me- check out the priceless litigation
whether it is
legal for the cops to arrest people for SLEEPING (PS the answer to that
3/27/07 was "YES"). You only have to check the comments
immigration related article to see what incredible a@*!s San Diegans can be. Angry,
people- always ready to blame someone: the homeless, immigrants whoever.
all the hand-wringing about the homeless "problem" to be pretty rich. After all,
hoboing has been an established social group in the United States since the
invented. Christ (was homeless.)... (T)hey even have their own King.
The fact is- many homeless grapple with mental health and substance abuse issues,
and if San
Diegans weren't so unsophisticated we'd all realize that we could save
a TON of money on
emergency services (not to mention cop money) if we just built the
shelters and kept them fed. The expenditure would pay off ten fold!"
Cruel Bullying The
Homeless for "Sport"
Americans can be sadistic bullies. Do they get that from Bush, I wonder.
on the homeless are quite common. Before I could intervene, I saw a kid
pee in a bottle
and then throw it on a sleeping homeless man in the bushes behind a bank.
Here are others'
"So I'm at champions last night after work having a beer, and i look outside
see these two "skeched"
out skinhead looking punks pushing an older (I'm assuming)
homeless man. i ran outside to see
what was up, and they chased this dude across the
street, and i watched as they beat
and kick the guy in the entrance to the prudential garage.
and no one did a goddamn thing. i
even yelled at a group of about a half dozen younger
guys about them just standing and
watching... i called the cops.... since the old guy ran off,
they had to let them
"Egged on by a 17-year-old, two 10-year-old boys joined in the attack
of a Florida homeless man,
leaving him bruised and bloody, police
said. The incident highlights an upswing in violent crime across the
U.S. against the homeless. In 2006,
there were 142 attacks and 20 murders, several involving teenagers
seeking a vicious thrill, according to
the Washington, D.C.-based National Coalition for the Homeless....
"Daytona Police Sgt. Billy Walden said the teen and two boys were walking in
around 9 p.m. when they saw 58-year-old
John D'Amico. They began throwing rocks at the homeless man.
The 17-year-old, Jeremy Woods, punched
D'Amico who then fell over a concrete wall. As he lay on the
ground, one of the 10-year-olds --
whose names are not being released -- used parts of the concrete to
bash D'Amico in the head, a police report
describes his attack) D'Amico's eye was
severely damaged in the attack. Woods and
the two boys were charged with felony aggravated battery
and are being held without bond at a
juvenile detention center in Daytona Beach, Walden said. (Watch
10-year-olds in court" (Source: http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/03/29/homeless.attack/index.html
"(A) surveillance camera captured two
teens beating a homeless man
with bats in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida, on January 12, 2006. Prosecutors say 17-year-old skateboarder
Daugherty, 18-year-old Brian Hooks, a
popular hockey team captain, and a third unseen teen, Billy Ammons,
a high school dropout, assaulted two more
homeless men that night. One of them was 45-year-old Norris Gaynor.
A witness, Anthony Clarke, told police
and CNN last year that he saw the three teens approach Gaynor as he
slept on a park bench. Daugherty began
whacking Gaynor with a bat, Clarke said. The Daytona Beach area was
the scene of another high-profile attack
in which four teenagers confessed to beating 53-year-old Michael Roberts
to death in the suburb of Holly Hill in
"Police don't know much about August Felix. No one has come forward
so Orange County took care of his burial in Chapel Cemetery.
Five Orlando teenagers have been beating the
homeless for sport.
They are now facing second-degree murder charges for allegedly beating a
man to death. In late March,
the body of August Felix, 54, was found at an electric substation. He died
30 days later in the
hospital. "This attack was unprovoked. It never should have happened..."
said Sgt. Rich Ring of the
Orlando Police Department.
Bullying the helpless is rampant.
Here's a guy who proudly says "Yeah, I'm an evil person
who goes around beating up homeless people. I wonder
if we can make it an Olympic event?"
This Cruelty is widespread. Here are more documented reports from 2006.
The source is
Two teens charged as adults in murder of homeless man
March: Keyontae Lamar Taylor, 15, and Joaquin Fitzgerald, 16, are
being charged as adults for the murder of Tracy Daniel Reynolds. The teens shot Reynolds
in the leg and in the chest.
According to authorities, the teens encountered Reynolds along railroad tracks. They
drank some beers together and then the boys left. They allegedly returned a short time
later when they robbed Reynolds and shot him.
Man burned to death: Hate crime suspected.
March 7: In a highly publicized case, the burning body of a deceased
man was discovered under a bridge in Bangor. The body was identified later as Trevor
Sprague, a 34-year-old homeless man. In April after an autopsy and further investigation,
his death was ruled a homicide.
There is suspicion that this could have been a hate crime. It should be noted that
other homeless people believed that Trevor was gay, and media reports speculated that
either his homelessness or sexual orientation could have been reasons for him to be
targeted. No further information on the investigation has been released and no charges
have been brought in the case.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Homeless man dies after beating
March 23: 16 year-old Bilal Harris and a 14-year-old, whose identity
is being withheld, stalked a homeless man and beat him to death in a wooded area behind a
former veterinary clinic.
The unidentified assailant pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was committed to a
juvenile detention center. Harris is being charged as an adult in the murder. Authorities
say the victim Steven G. Walsh is between the ages of 45 and 50 and was beaten as the two
teens attacked him with bottles, rocks and an unidentified object ultimately fracturing
Fifteen year old boy charged with homeless mans death
March 26: Braymond Harris, a 21-year-old homeless man, was shot in the
head by a 15-year-old boy. Harris had fled during an altercation with three or four
teenagers but was pursued by the 15-year-old who fatally shot him with a small-caliber gun
in a McDonalds parking lot.
I wish there was a motive like robbery, said Police Homicide Sgt. Michael
Martel. At least I could understand it. But they just wanted to beat up a bum.
The boy has been charged as a juvenile for first-degree murder and for using a firearm
while committing a felony.
Man found beaten by five teenagers
March 26: August Felix, 54, was found dead after having been severely
kicked, punched and beaten with an unknown blunt object. Felix was living near railroad
tracks when a group of teenagers attacked him for fun. Other homeless individuals were
also attacked, but Felix was the only resultant death. Five teenagers were arrested on
charges of second-degree murder. Three of the assailants were 13 years old and the
remaining two were 16 years old. They will likely be tried as adults.
Teens allegedly kill man after he mooned them
March 29: Martin Malone, 47, was taunted as he rummaged through a
trash bin and was then killed after he showed his buttocks to his attackers.
Christopher McEneaney, 16, and Andre Mark, 18, were charged in the slaying of Malone.
He was stabbed with a multi-tool and bludgeoned with a shovel.
Homeless man slain while going to work
May 27: Ronald Gumby Klaas, a 51-year-old homeless man,
was shot in the head and leg. According to police, Klaas was walking to the bus terminal
Sunday morning headed for work when he was slain. His body was later found outside of a
Bank of America building in downtown Orlando.
Those who knew him described Gumby, a nickname inspired by missing teeth, as a sweet
man. He had been a fixture in the community for the past 20 years. Homeless by choice, he
lived in a local shelter and worked long hours in theme-park kitchens.
The suspect is believed to be a young man, 17 years of age, about 5 feet, 6 inches and
weighing 115 pounds. He was riding a blue, child-sized bike.
Handicapped homeless man set afire
June 23: According to police, a wheelchair-bound homeless man was
killed as a result of extensive burns he suffered after being set afire in downtown
Spokane. Douglas R. Dawson, 50, was flown to the citys trauma and burn center in
critical condition. He later passed away.
Dawson, who only had one leg, was well known in the area by police officers that patrol
downtown. The attacker, Matthew Brian Trammell, 22, was believed to be involved in a
robbery earlier that day in the area with Sean Paul Knold, 23. When the robbery was
reported, Officer Dean Draper, who was nearby, saw the two men coming from the area where
the fire had been reported. It is believed that Knold was not involved in the arson
attack. Trammell was charged with first-degree murder.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Homeless man dies after fatal attack
July 23: William Wesley, 46 years old, was found unconscious in
the front yard of a Little Rock home, the result of being severely beaten with a stick.
Wesley later died from an infection due to the attack.
The attacker, 18-year-old Jonathon Brown, was charged with first-degree battery.
Medical records are pending examination to determine if charges against Brown should be
upgraded to murder.
Homeless woman beaten to death
July 26: 33-year old registered sex offender Oscar Wesley Smith
has been accused of beating Lynn Poelvoorde-Smith (no relation), 46, to death. Witnesses
say Oscar Wesley Smith flagged down a passing motorist to help him with
Poelvoorde-Smiths body which he claimed to have found. Poelvoorde-Smith was found
beaten to death with a claw hammer, laying in the fetal position. Hair and blood found on
a near-by hammer matched those of Poelvoorde-Smith. Oscar Wesley Smith denied owning the
hammer, but a co-worker reported seeing it in his truck the day before the murder.
Oscar Wesley Smith was charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bail.
Two men arrested for a series of crimes against the homeless
August 5: Police arrested Dale S. Hausner, 33, and Samuel J. Deiteman,
30, in suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder and 14 counts of attempted first
degree murder. The two are suspected in shootings that killed six and wounded 18
homeless people, in addition to fires started at two Wal-Mart stores over the past year.
According to a resident of the area, Deiteman described his involvement in the crimes
as RV, random acts of recreational violence. The men have been under
surveillance by the police until enough evidence had been collected for their arrest.
Homeless women pushed into river while sleeping
August 11: Tara Cole, a 32-year-old homeless woman, was killed when
she was pushed off the edge of the dock where she slept into the nearby river. Two men,
Timothy Webber, 21, and Josh Dotts, 22, were charged August 24 with criminal homicide.
The men also attacked Jesse Masters, another local homeless man who witnessed the
incident and jumped in to save Cole when he was hit in the face by a bottle of beer thrown
at him. Dotts and Webber were also charged with aggravated assault for the attack on
Masters. Coles body was recovered from the river on August 21, ten days after
Police searching for suspects in homeless beating
August 18: Police are searching for suspects involved in the brutal
beating of a 43-year-old homeless man identified as Scott Dugrenier, an Army veteran.
Dugrenier suffered severe head injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
He clung to his life for more than two weeks after a savage beating left him
comatose. He died after his family agreed to remove him from life support.
Adam Colando, the head of the Students Coalition to End Homelessness at Stetson
University, visited Scott in the hospital after his attack. Adam wrote, I kept
looking at his eyes with the hope they might move or some sign that he could hear us. No
response at all. I watched the breathing machine inflate his lungs and it would hold them
inflated for a second or two and then deflate
This has really hit home, since I see
and work with these individuals on a weekly basis. The homelessness community is
just like you and me, except they have more challenges to deal with, like mental and
physical issues. I also feel that some of these individuals just make bad decisions and
Four friends arrested for beating homeless man to death
September 2: 67-year-old Jose Perez died from injuries sustained
during a brutal attack. The beating began after Jose yelled a pick up-line to Janice
Guillen, 18, who then punched Perez. When Perez retaliated, Guillens boyfriend,
Magdiel Wingfield, 28 and their friends Jason Cardenas, 19, and Kevin Stone, 27, rushed to
the scene where the four friends proceeded to attack Perez with chairs, steel rebar and
Miami police spokesman Lt. Bill Schwartz described the attack as pure blood
lust, claiming there was no reason for this. All four have been charged
with second-degree murder.
Homeless man shot and killed by teen
September 24: 51-year old Harold Boney was shot in Wells Park. 17-year-old Joseph
Jo Jo Grantham told police he and two friends went to the park to harass
or beat up a homeless man who frequented the park. However, when Boney made movement
toward the boys, Grantham fired. The bullet entered Boneys shoulder and pierced his
heart. Grantham claims he did not know the gun was loaded and only wanted to scare Boney
away. Savannah police officials say there is enough evidence for a murder
indictment. The two boys accompanying Grantham have not been charged but are still
Homeless man beaten to death
September 30: Pablo Chavez Garcia, 25, is suspected of beating to
death Pedro Lopez Ortiz, 41. Police suspect Garcia beat Ortiz with a blunt object after
finding him sleeping behind the bushes in his front yard when returning home with his
wife. Ortiz was taken to a local medical center where he later died.
A judge set bail at more than $1.2 million for Garcia, who has several prior
misdemeanors. Garcia pled not guilty and remains in custody under a bail of more
than $1 million.
Two arrested in death of homeless man
November 11: Shane Linkows, 23, and Michael Blair, 43, have been
arrested on murder charges following the discovery of a 41-year-old homeless mans
body. The sheriff reports that the body was found near railroad tracks, and is said to
have been there since August. Police have not released the connection between the homeless
man and those arrested.