Housing for the People: “Tennessee’s anti-homelessness law feels like someone ripping our collective hearts out”
Tennessee is Vicky Batcher’s home, and it is a place she is witnessing turn against people who don’t have shelter and must make their home on the street, a position she knows all too well from past experience. In the latest in INSP’s Housing for the People column, she writes about the jarring experience of seeing the place you live criminalize homeless people – people Vicky has a kinship with – as Tennessee will do with the passing of a new law.
Gary Barker, who sells Portland street paper Street Roots, writes for the latest in INSP’s Housing for the People – a column that allows those with lived experience of poverty, homelessness and insecure housing tell their story – writes about being “in a hell of my own doing”, but how with the pandemic making the world seem like world was falling apart, circumstances in Gary’s life suddenly made things start to come together. He writes about his work as an ambassador for Street Roots and leading on its MoJo scheme to get vendors into journalism, and how being in housing allows him to “find a way to get problems off my mind”.
Brian Augustine, who sells Colorado street paper the Denver VOICE, writes for the latest in INSP’s Housing for the People series about how happenstance, and events outside his control, led to him losing the place he called home. Now, he counts the street paper as his home, and the people who come by his place of work as his family.
For Vicky Batcher, a regular face with and in Nashville street paper The Contributor, simply liking a Facebook page set her on a road toward a roof of her own over her head. For the latest in INSP’s ‘Housing for the People’ column, she writes about the rush of emotions that experiencing safety and security for the first time in years brought her.
For the latest instalment of INSP’s ‘Housing for the People’ column, Denver VOICE contributor Larmarques ‘Misha’ Smith writes about their journey from temporary to stable housing, their experience of shelters throughout the pandemic, and how ensuring housing is a right enjoyed by all should be done intersectionally with multiple goals in mind.
In this deeply personal piece for INSP’s ‘Housing for the People’ column, the writer tells a story of displacement and homelessness that spans continents in an attempt to escape the horror of domestic violence and to give her child the chance of a better life, even if it meant experiencing a period of transition living outside first.
Janiah Miller – an advocate experienced in providing support to political campaigns and offices, assisting in legislative and constituent support, and building intersectional coalitions within the community – writes for INSP’s latest ‘Housing for the People’ column about how the culminating moment of the American Dream – owning a home – is not equitably accessible to all.
Interweaving her own personal story with evidence of the current homelessness issue in Oregon, columnist Mandee Seeley drafts a heartfelt epistle to the US President about how to properly address the housing crisis. The letter is the latest instalment in INSP’s Housing for the People series.
Mandee Seeley spent three of her five years in Oregon without a home, living in the national forest with her husband and two children. For the latest instalment of INSP’s ‘Housing for the People’ column, she writes from her personal perspective about the basic requirement of all humans to have a home, and how the system should reflect that.
Janiah Miller – an advocate experienced in providing support to political campaigns and offices, assisting in legislative and constituent support, and building intersectional coalitions within the community – writes for INSP’s ‘Housing for the People’ column about how the affordable housing crisis remains at a historic nadir and how local organizations must continuously elevate affordable housing and homeownership as top priorities in their communities and bringing them to the attention of those with the power to affect change.
Housing for the People: “We got into our new apartment right before Christmas – it was the best gift!”
Mindy Woods and her son were forced to leave their dilapidated and mold infested home when it began to affect their health. Their experience thereafter is a story of lows – navigating the Kafkaesque public housing and benefits rigmarole, facing up to the “embarrassment” of having to tell her son’s teachers they were homeless – but also the high of finally getting a place to call home. A tireless housing and social justice advocate, Mindy shares her story here – as part of INSP’s new ‘Housing for the People’ column – to affect public perception and create policy change.