This past Sunday, June 12, Beat of the Street (BOTS) was featured in an article on the front page of the Hartford Courant CTNow section.
BOTS, Hartford’s first and only street newspaper
“written by the homeless, the formerly homeless and those close to them, aims to expose the challenges they face and, eventually, help to raise money to support them” [quoted from the Hartford Courant].
Courant staff writer Jenna Carlesso and staff photographer Cloe Poisson teamed up to document the entire production cycle of BOTS - from article writing to newspaper layout to distribution – and produced a picture perfect snapshot of the BOTS team and process.
By Joan Artis
Let me tell you what the Beat of the Street newspaper is about. We are a volunteer-based group of people - some of us are homeless and some of us work for organizations that help homeless people. But we are all passionate about helping people who are homeless.
Hey - come check us out. We are here at 21 Charter Oak Ave, Hartford every Tuesday and Thursday at 2:30PM.
Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Joan Artis
HUD/VASH is a joint program between the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that provides stable and independent housing to veterans who experience homelessness. The program requirements are listed below:
- You need to be “chronically homeless” for 1 year or have had 4 episodes of homelessness in the past 3 years.
- Veterans must be eligible for VA healthcare and have the willingness to accept case management services.
- A HUD/VASH referral form must be submitted.
- Referrals can be submitted by a VA primary coordinator.
- Referrals are then prioritized based on level of chronic homelessness.
- Once you receive an eligible referral you are then reviewed by a HUD/VASH screening team.
- The HUD/VASH case manager will help develop a Section 8 application with a public housing authority, and then a Section 8 voucher will be awarded to you.
- The veteran must adhere to services and treatments outlined in the veteran service and housing agreement.
By Jhon Pacheco
A recent visit to the Immaculate Conception Homeless Shelter made me come to the realization that on the sur-face, reality is a perspective. Just a couple of weeks ago reality was returning to Miami to a world of parties, family and friends, and music festivals. At Trinity, reality is what we conceive within our bubble and the glimpses I see while tutoring at a local middle school every week.
Yet at Immaculate, reality meant a body and bag search at entrance, seeing as men waited outside in the cold to enter the closest thing to a home they had. Reality was speaking to a young man, also from Colombia, who could not have possibly been older than me and being too afraid to ask what his age was.
Person & Pigeons.
Reality, after serving food and conducting casual interviews of several other volunteers and homeless people, was what you felt and saw when you walked through the real streets of Hartford.
By Harry Mitchell
- Harry Mitchell
Hello and a happy spring to all of you loyal beat readers. If you’re anything like me, I’ll bet you’re glad to see the warm weather emerging with it’s April showers and May flowers blooming. I know that you will probably be inclined to agree with me when I say that it would be the understatement of the year to say that this past winter has been rough, especially for the homeless.
Homelessness has come a long way since the days of the vagrant hobo walking down the railways of past Americana. With his few meager belongings wrapped up in a bandana tied to the end of a stick, looking and hoping to find a place to sleep for the night, he would look in an empty railroad boxcar or maybe a secluded spot somewhere in the semi-wilderness on the outskirts of a small town to take a load off, then build a small inconspicuous camp fire, roasting a frankfurter accompanied by a can of beans. Compared to the present times, the image is considered nostalgic and the hobo himself is an almost mythical lovable down on his luck character of American history.
Well these days, the homeless don’t appear to be so lovable to the general public anymore. As a matter of fact, we are now viewed as walking and talking eyesores of the community, due to the negative prejudices of some of society in regards to who we are and what we care about. Through my own personal experiences, I found that an abundance of society now looks upon us as a bunch of lazy, not ambitious, alcoholic, drug addicted, career criminal offenders who are just a waste of skin taking up space. In a few cases, this might be considered true, though even the few bad apples are not a waste of skin, as I believe everyone is put here to serve a positive purpose, whether they know it or not.
Also some of the women that live in the homeless realm aren’t always viewed favorably in the judgmental eye of the public as well. Sometimes they are seen as nothing more than crack and dope addicted mothers who don’t take care of their little ones and will perform sexual favors for very little or nothing to some selfish SOB taking advantage of the fact that she’s got a habit. Again, in a few cases some of these things may ring true, but to say that these are the primary reasons that people become homeless is total BS.