Arkansas Homeless

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A federal appeals court has upheld a judge's ruling against an Arkansas anti-loitering law that opponents say unfairly targets panhandlers.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a federal judge's preliminary injunction against the 2017 law, which expands the definition of loitering to include anyone asking for charity or a gift in a harassing or threatening manner that's likely to cause others alarm or create a traffic hazard. A federal judge in 2017 called the measure "plainly unconstitutional."

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CALS

In partnership with Arkansas Women’s Outreach, the Central Arkansas Library System will begin providing women’s hygiene products from its main branch on Monday, Oct. 7.

Crystal Edwards is overseeing the pilot program and says the idea was started by staff at the downtown library.

Rock Region Metro
Rock Region Metro

A new program has been launched to provide free transportation to homeless people in Pulaski County. Rock Region Metro partnered with several non-profit organizations to start the program last month. Becca Green, director of public engagement, says they’ve established a system to determine who is eligible for free bus passes. 

"The case worker will enter information on the clients in his or her care and determine using the system criteria agreed upon within the collusion if the person is eligible for a free ride," Green said.  

Sarah Kellogg

A new program in Little Rock will help pregnant women and new mothers access behavioral health services.

The program, called Home Together, is a partnership between University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Our House, a non-profit that helps the homeless and near homeless in the area.

www.are.uscourts.gov

A federal judge has blocked a new law that seeks to restrict panhandling in Arkansas. The law was the second attempt by the Arkansas Legislature to ban people from asking for money and other help on most sidewalks and intersections.

Despite the law passing with bipartisan support, U.S. District Court Judge Billy Roy Wilson said the law proposed by Rep. Charlie Collins (R-Fayetteville) is “plainly unconstitutional.” Collins tells KUAR News he authored the law to put an end to threatening conduct by panhandlers.

Two panhandlers say they're afraid they'll be prosecuted for asking for money under a rewrite of Arkansas' anti-loitering law, but attorneys for the state say the new measure still allows begging in many forms.

Rita Sklar ACLU American Civil Liberties Union
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The American Civil Liberties Union is asking a federal judge to halt a new Arkansas anti-loitering law that it says unconstitutionally targets panhandlers and that the restrictions pose the same problems as a ban on begging that was struck down last year.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Several central Arkansas organizations are joining communities across the country as they take a census of the homeless population.

Every two years a Point In Time count is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The local census will include Pulaski, Saline, Prairie, and Lonoke counties and is scheduled for Tuesday night.

Courtesy of Mike Ammons

A 67 year-old homeless man hit and killed by a car in Little Rock last year was once one of the world's foremost Beatles fans and collectors. He was even financially supported at the end of his life by a $10,000 check from Yoko Ono.

KUAR's Sarah Whites-Koditschek spoke with Will Stephenson of the Arkansas Times about his reporting on Fred Arnold's lifelong love of the Beatles.

homeless man sleeping on grass
urmission.org

As the Arkansas Homeless Coalition looks to the New Year, it is planning to identify possible programs and or facilities that would best serve homeless populations in the state once they are discharged from behavioral health centers.

Fred Ball, pastor of San Damiano Ecumenical Church is a co-chair of Arkansas Homeless Coalition. He says when members of the local homeless population enter behavioral health centers and are discharged; they don’t have a social safety net of friends or family willing to help them recover.

Arkansas Homeless Population Declines 12% From 2013

Nov 21, 2015
homeless man sleeping on grass
urmission.org

As the state braces for its first freeze this weekend, new data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows more than 2,500 Arkansans could be facing those cold temperatures outside. 

The Central Arkansas Team Care for the Homeless plans to conduct a census count of the homeless population in central Arkansas.

The count of sheltered and unsheltered people will be conducted Tuesday night in four counties in the Little Rock area - Pulaski, Lonoke, Prairie, and Saline.

Volunteers plans to distribute flyers throughout the area identifying satellite locations where volunteers will be working.

The 2014 count conducted last January found there were 571 men, women and children comprising 489 households residing in shelters in six Arkansas counties.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded more than $4.9 million in grants to 31 homeless housing and service programs in Arkansas.

The funding announced Monday is an increase of $184,118 over the previous year. HUD's Continuum of Care grants help agencies provide housing and support services to people and families experiencing homelessness.

Programs receiving the grants offer a variety of services including street outreach, client assessment and direct housing assistance.

A coalition pushing a $3 million homeless campus in Fort Smith hopes to soon shore up funding and finalize a plan so renovation work can start later this year.

The Old Fort Homeless Coalition plans to purchase and renovate a 127,500-square-foot former furniture factory to start Riverview Hope Campus. The first phase of the project will renovate about 35,000 square feet of the factory at a cost of more than $1 million.

clintonschool.uasys.edu

The Clinton School of Public Service is collecting sleeping bags and socks so they can be given to the homeless.

The Keep Little Rock Warm drive is to take place from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Students at the school are asking people to donate new or clean and gently used sleeping bags and socks.

People can bring the items to Sturgis Hall at the Clinton Presidential Center. Also, donations in the form of checks can be made out to The Van, a mobile unit that helps the homeless.

Tyson Foods Makes Major Food Donation To Arkansas Pantry

Apr 18, 2013
Tyson
Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods has donated more than 27,000 pounds of chicken to the Arkansas Rice Depot. 

The donation to the statewide food bank arrived Wednesday. Arkansas Rice Depot President and CEO Laura Rhea says the donation is essential to help the food bank support dozens of pantries and thousands of people in every Arkansas county. She says the group distributes 9 million pounds of food each year.

Tyson Foods officials say meat is one of the most-requested and least-available foods in food banks. The company says it has donated tens of millions of pounds of meat since 2000.  

Homeless children in Arkansas: Part Two

Apr 13, 2009
Malcolm Glover

There is a growing need for facilities and programs that support homeless children and families, since the deepening recession means more home foreclosures and job losses.

Homeless children in Arkansas: Part One

Apr 12, 2009
Our House
Malcolm Glover / KUAR

Most parents try to protect their children from some of life's cruel realities, like broken relationships, sickness, discrimination, and even an understanding of death. However, with the nation's economy in a state of flux, poverty is on the rise and there are some parents who are unable to safeguard their children from experiencing homelessness.