This week's coverage of homelessness across the world has highlighted legislation cracking down on rough sleepers, but also a range of innovative solutions for new ways to provide shelter.
In California's Berkeley, prefab micro-units are being proposed, while in Orange County, the LA Times reports on the opening of an apartment building built with shipping containers to house homeless veterans.
In Seattle, a plan to house homeless people in "tiny houses" - 96-square-foot insulated huts - has got off to a slow start. Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat writes that one year later, 28 have been built - but 95 people have been taken off the streets. "For $2.2 million - less than 5 percent of what the city spends annually on homelessness," he writes, "we could build all 1,000 tiny homes."
On the criminalisation of poverty, author Roqayah Chamseddine also mentions homelessness, writing:
"On a recent freezing night in Portland, Oregon, where nearly 2,000 people sleep on the streets each evening, an unnamed infant was found dead next to his mother at a bus stop. The boy, who at that point was the fifth person to die in the city’s streets in just the first week of 2017, was born in a transient camp, and his mother was likely mentally ill. He is the face of the homeless criminalisation across the United States."
Last year 127,000 people slept in New York's homeless shelters, “the highest levels since the Great Depression," Chamseddine points out.
Meanwhile, in Australian city Melbourne, hundreds are expected to sleep on the streets in protest against the city's plan to prohibit camping with legislation that activists say effectively bans homelessness.
- Sally Hayden
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