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Picture the Homeless
A right-wing witch hunt cost us a big chunk of our funding. Help us make it up?
How do you know when you're winning?
Because the right-wing corporate-owned media starts trying to take you down.
In March, Rupert Murdoch's New York Post began a series of offensive, race-baiting articles about Picture the Homeless. In articles and editorials filled with misinformation, innuendo and racist stereotypes, the Post tried to paint PTH as a criminal enterprise. The articles were widely circulated on white supremacist web forums, making PTH the focus of hate-filled phone calls and emails and blog posts.
After whipping up this fake scandal, the Post called on the City Council to "do something about it." Sure enough, instead of standing up for poor people, folks at the City Council threw PTH to the wolves. These politicians, including folks we've been targeting for years because they won't do the right thing on issues of housing or policing, asked the city’s Dept. of Housing Preservation & Development to freeze our funding while they conducted a murky, intimidating investigation of PTH's organizing.
HPD spent a couple months “interrogating” PTH members and staff and board members, and reading every article and blog post written by or about us for the past five years. Without the incredible legal support of allies Gideon Oliver and Darius Charney, we probably would have lost our minds.
The good news is: HPD found no evidence of bad behavior on our part, and they unfroze every penny of our funding.
The bad news is: it looks like we're not getting that grant again. The city just released its listing of who will be funded under that program area, and we're no longer on it. $50,000, twelve percent of our budget, gone - because a notoriously racist paper made up some lies, and politicians took advantage of it because they didn't like the pressure we were putting on them.
This is part of a new wave of right-wing "sting" attacks on grassroots organizations in low-income communities of color - because so much incredible work is being done to fight for justice in communities all over this city.
Our greatest strength has always been our community of support. When we have sleep-out protests, you come in the middle of the night to bring coffee and cookies. When the NYPD trashed our banners in the raid on Zuccotti Park, you came through with the money to replace them. When we need help counting buildings, hundreds of you pound the pavement with us.
And now that a right-wing witch hunt has cost us $50,000, we hope you'll come through again.
Click here to make a donation today. We're grateful for whatever you can give, but there's an especially urgent need for Monthly Sustainers - people who sign up for a monthly, recurring donation of even a small amount. And if you give $113, one dollar for every thousand men women and children who stayed in a city shelter last year, you'll get a sexy "Solidarity Member" T-shirt and invites to exclusive potlucks and gatherings.
PTH is a grassroots organization of homeless and formerly homeless people pushing for real solutions to homelessness and the housing crisis. We're not training "vagrants" in "breaking and entering." Last year we collaborated with Hunter College on a community-led exposé on NYC’s tens of thousands of warehoused, vacant apartments. This year we're honored to have a leadership role in a powerful coalition working to end the NYPD's unconstitutional Stop and Frisk policies.
We couldn't have gotten here without you, and we hope you'll help us move forward.