Barber wins back right to help those down and out

Last week, Hartford police and health officials moved to shut him down because he doesn’t have city permits. Mayor Pedro Segarra intervened and allowed him back into the park. On Wednesday (June 19), Segarra stopped by the park and got a hug from Joe.

Cymerys has been setting up a make-shift barber shop in Bushnell Park for 25 years with nothing more than a battery to charge his razors and clippers, a beach chair and a duffel bag stocked with aftershave and alcohol.

A retired business man from Windsor, Conn., Cymerys quotes Jesus when asked why he cuts the hair of those who have lost their way in the world.

“Do unto others as you would have them do to you,” he said.

Robin Nason, who was homeless for years until a friend took her in, wishes there were more people like Joe the Barber in the world.

“You can’t ask for a kinder or more gentle person than Joe,” she said.

Salvatore Pinna, who has been coming to see Joe for three years, can’t decide if he likes Joe’s hugs or shaves better.

“It’s a combination of both,” Pinna said.

Bismark, North Dakota

BISMARCK, North Dakota — The number of homeless people is soaring as desperate job seekers flock to North Dakota to take advantage of the oil-wealthy state’s abundant employment opportunities, the director of an advocacy group says.

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Treating The Homeless Like They Were Leapers?

Homeless can move from camps to shelters outside Concord, state argues

By LAURA McCRYSTAL

Monitor staff

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Homeless people who are camping in Concord could move to shelters in other cities, an attorney for the state argued in court yesterday.

Even though there aren’t beds available in Concord, shelters statewide are only 77 percent full, said Senior Assistant Attorney General Mary Ann Dempsey.

“So to say that Concord is the only place that people can stay is incorrect,” Dempsey said.

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Would You Go This Far To Survive? Bet You Would!

TEN homeless people a week are being turned away at a Waterford homeless shelter before the harshest period of winter even begins.

Sheltered by Grace general manager Jason Loakes said winter was always a particularly terrible time for the homeless.

“We don’t advertise and we don’t tell anyone where we are so it’s only word of mouth that people know about us and still we have to turn people away,” he said.

“This time of year is always berserk.

“We either have homeless people trying to injure themselves to get a warm hospital bed or committing petty crimes to get a jail cell for the night.”

He said more people and families were coming closer to homelessness with most being just a month’s worth of wages away from losing a roof over their head.

Mr Loakes said with no government funding, the financial strains on the shelter were also holding them back from helping more people.

“Our electricity bill here at the shelter has doubled in under four years,” he said.

“There’s so much we’re fundraising for, we’re aiming to raise $100,000 to start building the next stage of the shelter.”

Mr Loakes said some people had been dependent on help from the shelter for periods of up to two years, while others would stay only a fortnight.

“We don’t keep a timeline when it comes to helping people,” he said.

A Salvation Army spokeswoman says the number of people experiencing homelessness homeless people in the around Beenleigh area had increased in the past 18 months.

Captain Lyn Cathcart from the Beenleigh Corps said in the past weekend she had been contacted by three families over one weekend recently looking for accommodation when on average normally she would only receive a get such a call of that nature once a fortnight.

She was only able to find accommodation for one of those families as nearby facilities are stretched ahead of winter.

“Winter is much harder because during summer time it’s much easier for people to sleep out but in winter they need more help,” Ms Cathcart said.

“Family breakdowns are still the most common cause of homelessness followed by evictions and mismanagement of finances,” Capt Cathcart said.

Most families are really only one pay packet away from homelessness and can’t save enough to be able to survive a financial drought.”

To help the Salvation Army, you can donate at salvos.org.au or donate goods such as beds, linen and warm clothing to Salvation Army stores.

“A lot of people donate stuff that they think is good enough for someone else but not for themselves . . . but we need to give homeless people some dignity,” she said.

I Pray This Is A Start For Things To Turn Around For Americas Poor And Homeless Rites

Connecticut Passes Landmark ‘Homeless Person’s Bill Of Rights’ Law

By Scott Keyes on Jun 12, 2013 at 10:30 am

(Credit: Shutterstock)
Connecticut is on the cusp of enacting a major new law to protect people who are homeless from discrimination.

Last week, Connecticut lawmakers passed the “Homeless Person’s Bill Of Rights” at the literal 11th hour — 11:30pm on June 5th, one half hour before the legislative session ended. The bill, SB 896, a landmark piece of legislation to protect homeless individuals’ rights, adds homeless people as a protected class who can’t be discriminated against in employment, housing, or public accommodations. It also includes protections for homeless people to move freely in public spaces, such as parks and sidewalks, without being singled out for harassment by law enforcement officers.

Here are the bill’s seven protections:

(1) Move freely in public spaces, including on public sidewalks, in public parks, on public transportation and in public buildings without harassment or intimidation from law enforcement officers in the same manner as other persons;

(2) Have equal opportunities for employment;

(3) Receive emergency medical care;

(4) Register to vote and to vote;

(5) Have personal information protected;

(6) Have a reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her personal property; and

(7) Receive equal treatment by state and municipal agencies.

This is no symbolic victory, Michael Stoops, Director of Community Organizing at the National Coalition for the Homeless, explained. “Homeless people are regularly discriminated against in employment and housing,” Stoops told ThinkProgress.

Nate Fox, Project Supervisor for Faces Of Homelessness Connecticut, a group that advocated for the bill, hailed its passage. “Currently, there are certain civil liberties that could be automatically wiped out when you walked into a homeless shelter,” Fox told ThinkProgress. This bill not only fixes that unintended side effect of shelters and other homeless services, it’s also “changed the conversation on how to protect homeless persons’ rights,” Fox said.

The bill now awaits Gov. Dan Malloy’s (D) signature before it can take effect at its scheduled date of October 1, 2013. It will not only play a major role in preventing discrimination against homeless people; it could also have an effect on municipalities like Hartford which currently have anti-loitering and anti-panhandling ordinances.

If it ultimately becomes law, Connecticut will become just the second state in the nation to enact a Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights. Last year, Rhode Island became the first state to do so. Illinois could increase the number to three if Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signs a bill which passed the legislature recently, and other states like Oregon and Delaware are considering similar legislation.

Homeless Man Killed Here

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Jimmy Wayne Clark

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Police identified him as Jimmy Wayne Clark, 57.

The body was discovered about 6:40 a.m. at a makeshift homeless camp in an alley behind the BP station at Independence Avenue and Van Brunt Boulevard in the Northeast area.

At first, police did not know how he died, but a medical examiner investigator found a suspicious wound. Police were investigating the death as a homicide but did not release the cause.

Friends said Clark often slept in the alley and recently dragged mattresses there for himself and his friends. They sat on crates under the shade of the trees to talk and drink during the day.

Carl “Crow” McClelland, a friend, said he last saw Clark about 8 p.m. Wednesday at the scene with another man. Everything was fine, McClelland said.

Police took the man that had been with Clark along with three others to police headquarters Thursday morning to question them.

Friends said Clark grew up on an Indian reservation, where he was a standout athlete. He later served in the Army and fell into alcoholism. He had a son, two daughters and two granddaughters, friends said. Two of his children showed up at the scene Thursday morning and learned their dad had been killed.

Joe Yanez, who spent a lot of time with Clark and called him his best friend, said Clark had no known enemies. About two months ago, however, another homeless man tried to beat Clark, Yanez said. Yanez stepped in between them and fought the man “because (Clark) didn’t do anything wrong.” Yanez said he was arrested for assault afterward.

Clark often mowed lawns, picked up trash and performed other odd jobs, Yanez said. He received regular checks from his tribe, although friends did not know the tribe’s name.

Everyone in the area knew him, said Victoria Tamayo, who met Clark 30 years ago when he stocked shelves at the Heart of America Indian Center. He came into her barbershop about 10 years ago and asked her to cut his long black hair to shoulder length. He kept it short since then and it grayed over the years, Tamayo said.

Clark frequented the nearby Children’s Memorial Lutheran Church for Sunday services and free meals during the week.

“He would come every Sunday and sit with me,” said Lisa Lightfoot, who volunteers for the church. “He was my pew buddy.”

Although Clark struggled with alcoholism, he never caused trouble, Lightfoot said, and “was pretty much content with life.”

“The people out here aren’t bad people,” Lightfoot said. “They’re just lost souls. There’s more to them than just drinking.”

To reach Christine Vendel, call 816-234-4438 or send email to cvendel@kcstar.com.

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Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/13/4290639/body-found-behind-gas-station.html#storylink=cpy

You can’t even give a free haircut anymore? Is this still America?

HARTFORD, Conn. — Hartford officials say they ordered an 82-year-old good Samaritan out of a city park because residents were concerned about the safety and sanitation of his free haircuts to homeless people.

But city health officials said Thursday they’re trying to work with Anthony Cymerys (sih-MEHR’-is) so he can continue providing the valuable service in a more controlled environment. They also say Cymerys isn’t a licensed barber.

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Cymerys is known as “Joe the Barber” and has been giving haircuts in exchange for hugs for 25 years in the city. He’s been a fixture at Bushnell Park every Wednesday, but authorities kicked him out of the park this week.

Cymerys’ friends questioned officials’ actions, saying it was only a year ago that the city honored Cymerys for his charitable deeds.

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Homeless Rights

Connecticut is on the cusp of enacting a major new law to protect people who are homeless from discrimination.

Last week, Connecticut lawmakers passed the “Homeless Person’s Bill Of Rights” at the literal 11th hour — 11:30pm on June 5th, one half hour before the legislative session ended. The bill, SB 896, a landmark piece of legislation to protect homeless individuals’ rights, adds homeless people as a protected class who can’t be discriminated against in employment, housing, or public accommodations. It also includes protections for homeless people to move freely in public spaces, such as parks and sidewalks, without being singled out for harassment by law enforcement officers.

Here are the bill’s seven protections:

(1) Move freely in public spaces, including on public sidewalks, in public parks, on public transportation and in public buildings without harassment or intimidation from law enforcement officers in the same manner as other persons;

(2) Have equal opportunities for employment;

(3) Receive emergency medical care;

(4) Register to vote and to vote;

(5) Have personal information protected;

(6) Have a reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her personal property; and

(7) Receive equal treatment by state and municipal agencies.

This is no symbolic victory, Michael Stoops, Director of Community Organizing at the National Coalition for the Homeless, explained. “Homeless people are regularly discriminated against in employment and housing,” Stoops told ThinkProgress.

Nate Fox, Project Supervisor for Faces Of Homelessness Connecticut, a group that advocated for the bill, hailed its passage. “Currently, there are certain civil liberties that could be automatically wiped out when you walked into a homeless shelter,” Fox told ThinkProgress. This bill not only fixes that unintended side effect of shelters and other homeless services, it’s also “changed the conversation on how to protect homeless persons’ rights,” Fox said.

The bill now awaits Gov. Dan Malloy’s (D) signature before it can take effect at its scheduled date of October 1, 2013. It will not only play a major role in preventing discrimination against homeless people; it could also have an effect on municipalities like Hartford which currently have anti-loitering and anti-panhandling ordinances.

If it ultimately becomes law, Connecticut will become just the second state in the nation to enact a Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights. Last year, Rhode Island became the first state to do so. Illinois could increase the number to three if Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signs a bill which passed the legislature recently, and other states like Oregon and Delaware are considering similar legislation.