This week Hawaiian lawmakers will vote on a radical bill which could fundamentally change how the state tackles homelessness, letting doctors begin prescribing houses to rough sleepers.
Physician and state senator Josh Green proposed the legislation, saying it would be massively cost effective and ease the strain on local hospitals.
"A small number of homeless people require a disproportionate amount of medical treatment. According to Green, a recent internal study by a major Hawaiian insurer found that over half of the state’s $2bn Medicaid allotment was consumed by a tiny fraction of users, many of whom are dealing with homelessness, mental illness and substance addiction.
Yet research suggests that healthcare spending for those who have been homeless for long periods and struggle with mental illness and addictions falls by 43% after they have been housed and provided with supportive services. Green said many of the individuals he hopes to house cost the healthcare system an average of $120,000 annually, yet the annual cost to house an individual is $18,000."
Meanwhile, empathy towards rough sleepers has also been on display in Hamburg. When authorities erected a fence to stop homeless people from resting on a wall, locals began leaving donations on it - including food, sleeping bags, toiletries and even dog food, Jetzt reports.
- Sally Hayden
U.N. human rights experts unite to condemn China over expulsions of Tibetans - Officials have reportedly demolished some of the homes of the 20,000 monks and nuns living around Larung Gar, the world's largest Buddhist institute, in a high valley in Sichuan Province. Here, Edward Wong reports for the New York Times.
Landmarks of the 1917 Russian Revolution: then and today (text in Russian but photos available to all)
Housing and race in the time of Trump: a report from the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, a data mapping and storytelling collective from San Francisco