Another ACORN? Tax-funded course teaching homeless how to squat in abandoned buildings
New York Post uncovers bizarre organization called 'Picture the Homeless'
A taxpayer-funded nonprofit in the Bronx is teaching the local homeless
on a crash-course in "squatting." A group calling themselves "Picture
the Homeless," has focused city-owned buildings in particular. Teacher
Andres Perez says that the "best properties are city-owned properties or
bank-owned properties.They warehouse these properties. They're sitting
andres Perez, 46, a former city Housing Authority worker, said the group has 'two major campaigns.' One is dedicated to opposing the NYPD's 'stop-and-frisk' policy. The other involves schooling people about 'warehoused' property.
According to the Post, Andres Perez held a teach-in on how to wrest "control" of vacant apartments. He called it "homesteading."
"The best time to enter a building is in the late hours," Prez advised a group of about 20, who gathered in front of the half-empty East New York housing complex Arlington Village.
"You make sure you have your proper tools. You remove the chains and padlock, and then you go in.'
Part of the course curriculum includes filling out a change-of-address form at the post office and setting up utilities. After that, "nine out of 10 times the courts will allow you to be able to have control of the property," he said.
The Web site for Picture the Homeless boasts a list of accomplishments that includes sending "delegations to the World Social Forum in Brazil."
Perez, 46, a former city Housing Authority worker, said the group has "two major campaigns." One is dedicated to opposing the NYPD's "stop-and-frisk" policy. The other involves schooling people about "warehoused" property.
Homesteading, he lectured, is a permanent occupation, while squatting is only temporary "clubhousing."
This has predictably angered quite a few rent-paying occupants high on squatting lists.
"I can't let nobody squat where I live," 64-year-old Pete Rolon, a 35-year resident who claimed pimps had grabbed two apartments in the complex. "There were hookers. They were smoking crack."
Mohammed Hossain, the super at Arlington, where apartments go for $600 to $1,000 per month, said complaints about homeless people breaking in to steal pipes and metal fixtures are common.
"The homeless people, they have no right to be squatting here," he said. "If they pay rent, that's different."
Residents and taxpayers also aren't happy that the group has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the government. The group gets its funding from the City Council. "We're deeply troubled by reports that Picture the Homeless is instructing New Yorkers in how to engage in dangerous and illegal activities. If these reports are in fact true, they call the group's entire funding into question," one city council spokeswoman said.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: New York Post, squatting, homeless, public funding
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