<p>This is a final reminder that Picture the Homeless is organizing a "sleep out" protest against the "bail out," and FOR housing that is truly affordable to low-income folks. The House of Representatives is set to vote today on a revision of the trillion-dollar bail-out for greedy bankers - even though year after year, those same elected officials refuse to consider any significant new funding for low-income housing... so it's crucial that we turn out and make some noise.
We will be spending the entire night on 125th Street at Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., and we encourage all friends and members and allies of Picture the Homeless to stop by... for an hour or the entire night. See below for our press release, as well as further information. If you're a journalist, please consider covering it. If you know a journalist, please pass this on to them. <br /> <br />Dress warm! Bring loud chants and ghost stories and a camera and a deck of cards (it'll be a long night). We have gotten some excellent donations of food and blankets, but we want to prioritize those for homeless folks... so, if possible, please bring your own blankets and food.
Some subscribers to this listserv expressed concern that our sleep-out was up against the Vice Presidential debates. So we encourage folks to bring battery-powered radios, so we can all listen to the debate together, and debate amongst ourselves. <br /> <br />See you there! <br /> <br />--<br /> <br />FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE<br /> <br />Homeless People "Sleep Out" against the "Bail Out," and for Housing<br />Protesters rally against government policies that hurt the poor and help the rich<br /> <br />Harlem, NY.—Homeless people, faith leaders, neighborhood residents, university students, and other allies will gather in front of the State Office Building in Harlem to protest the city's shortage of housing—and the fact that "affordable housing" as produced by the city is not affordable to poor people. <br /> <br />"The Mayor says affordable housing is for households making $70,000 a year," said Manny Contes of Picture the Homeless, one of the organizers of the event. "But the city spends ten to twenty-five thousand dollars a year to keep a person in shelter.
The Mayor's priorities are all wrong. We need $700 billion for the needy, not the greedy."<br /> <br />In an atmosphere of impending economic collapse, and with a $700 billion dollar bailout pending for big business, homeless and low-income people are taking to the streets to dramatize the ways that Mayor Bloomberg's misguided plans will be increasing poverty in New York City, and to demand change in the way the city creates housing. <br /> <br />"If the city's policies on affordable housing aren't fixed, then this is what the city could look like," said Picture the Homeless member Abdul Sabur. "It won't be long before we're back in the 1980's, when you couldn't walk ten feet without having to step over someone sleeping on the ground—or in your doorway, or on the train, or in the park."<br /> <br />According to federal guidelines, "affordability" is based on the Area Median Income for a given city. In New York City, where the AMI is $70,900, "affordable housing" is accessible to households with incomes ranging from $40K to $100K. By focusing affordability guidelines on specific neighborhoods—such as Harlem, where the average household income is $28,000, Picture the Homeless and others believe that affordable housing would truly be targeted to the people who need it most.
In addition, a 2006 survey by Picture the Homeless revealed that there are enough potential apartments in vacant buildings and lots in Manhattan alone to house every single homeless person in the city. In light of the pending economic crisis, Picture the Homeless believes that these vacant buildings could be used to create jobs and housing for the poor and unemployed.<br /> <br /> <br />WHERE: Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building, 163 W. 125TH ST. A/B/C/D train to 125th Street. <br /> <br />WHEN: Thursday, October 2nd. 4PM Rally, 6PM Sleep Out! <br /> <br />FOR MORE INFORMATION call: Sam Miller or Linda Contes at Picture the Homeless 646-314-6423<br /> <br /> <br />-30-</p>