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For Immediate Release
December 15, 3017
Press Contact Mike Lee email@example.com
Homeless Activist Threatened With Eviction
Homeless activist and community advocate Guy “Mike” Lee was recently notified that his rent would increase by nearly 70% starting January 3,2018. Another rent increase of 150% is scheduled for April 3, 2018. The verbal notification was issued by The Hub which acts as Berkeley’s CENTRAL ENTRY POINT for Homeless Services. Currently funded by the City at over $1,000,000.00 The HUB administers over $3,000,000 of HUD funding which the City receives. The majority of the HUD funding received is earmarked as housing subsidies through HUD's Continuum of Care Program. This program has as its goal ”Promotes community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; provides funding for efforts by nonprofit providers and State and local governments to quickly re-house homeless individuals and families to minimize trauma and dislocation; promotes access to and effective utilization of mainstream programs; and optimizes self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.”
While the HUB receives millions of dollars to end homelessness it is clear in this case it actually exacerbates the problem by threatening to displace one of its most vocal critics.
During his 2016 Mayoral campaign, Mike openly criticized the HUB for its failure to adequately address Berkeley's homeless problem. He pointed out its lack of accountability for the money it received and the results which he characterized as marginal at best. At every public forum he was heard to question and challenge the HUB's effectiveness as a strategy to end homelessness. Referring to his own situation he pointed out that they couldn't even get one old bum housing which he could afford.
As a member of the City's Homeless Commission, Mike issued a white paper detailing exactly how much money the HUB was squandering and even went to the extreme of presenting a power point presentation.
Less then a month before the election, Mike joined the Snubbed By The HUB=Poor Tour which protested in general the lack of homeless services and in particular that of the HUB. Over the next several months ths tour was evicted 17 times at an estimated cost to the City of $450.000, numerous arrests, beatings, illegal confiscation of property and verbal threats.
The Daily Californian reported on September 22,2017 that Mike's two year battle for housing he could afford was over. With a huge smile on his face, tears in his eyes Mike moved into what he thought was his own South Berkeley apartment. In reflecting on that day Mike stated “This was a real community victory.” “I'm so grateful for the support I received but this is just a beginning, we have a thousand more to go.”
True to his word to continue to fight for the un-housed, within fifteen minuets his apartment became a support center for numerous people still on the sidewalk. He hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for members of five different encampments. In a Facebook post Mike bragged proudly that he had so much fun that he was going to do it again for Christmas and male it even bigger. So far his Christmas dinner has received hundreds of dollars of support, and a major contribution from Smart and Final.
While due to the recent news he may soon loose his housing this Christmas could have been indeed a somber one. For this firebrand activist he remains optimistic,confident that once again community sentiment and sense of fair play will prevail. “I did everything that City Council and The HUB asked of me and more.” He he went on to say “The HUB didn't follow the rules or guidelines and once a judge sees that I'm confident we will prevail.” “This is not my battle alone.” “This is a community battle to end homelessness and hold those that we elect accountable to that goal.” “At the end of the day what matters is the will of the community and if I should wind up back on the streets the battle to make the community voice heard will continue.” ... See MoreSee Less
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Wow, can you believe there's a twin-size mattress in this box? We can't wait to open it up and watch it expand! What a wonderful donation for one of our residential facilities. ... See MoreSee Less
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