Homeless Hate Crimes Press Release

1203 North Federal Highway, Hollywood, Florida 33020
Homeless Voice Homeless Shelter
According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, Cononie is viewed as a National/Local expert on Homeless Issues and Homeless Hate Crimes and According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, Cononie’s groups Helping People in America, The Homeless Voice Newspaper and Shelter and the COSAC Foundation are the most active local organization, nationwide working on the attacks and murders committed against homeless individuals.
Speech Started at 11:07am
Over the years we have had these press conferences on the subject of attacks and murders committed against the homeless by housed individuals. During this time we have also seen that the attacks and murders are increasing; in 2007 we have seen a sharp increase in the attacks and murders.
As someone who has degree in Criminal Justice and who worked in the field as well as being a homeless advocate, I am here to tell you these attacks should be considered a Hate Crime. Not only a hate crime, but a form of Terrorism; they cannot be considered anything else.
According to FBI stats from 1999 to 2006 there were 85 homicides committed against the people who were a protected class under the federal hate crimes statutes. Durring the same period there were 187 fatal attacks against the homeless. Yet the homeless are not considered a protected class. With these numbers, which continue to increase, I am here to ask the question why the homeless are not a protected class when it is clear that they are targeted, hunted, and killed.
The attacks and murders are not simple crimes; they are crimes of hate and you can tell this by the way they are killed. They are lit on fire, decapitated, beaten to death with baseball bats and the sad part about it, is that the people doing these attacks are kids. Two of the subjects were kids just ten years of age.Young kids�killing the homeless sends a powerful message, and that message says… We have a major problem in the USA and something needs to be done about it.
For the year 2007 there were 160 attacks on the homeless compared to 142 attacks for the year of 2006, this was a 13 percent increase.
For the year 2007 there were 28 homeless people killed, compared to 20 deaths in the year 2006 which was a 40 percent increase.
Again the sad part to this story is that 64 percent of the people who are doing these vicious attacks are youths ages 13 to 19 and again two of them were just 10 years of age.
Florida is once again in first place for the most attacks and most murders committed against the homeless by housed individuals for a grand total of 31 attacks.
California 22 incidents
Nevada 14 incidents
Ohio 13 incidents
In Florida out of the 31 victims six died and they happened in 13 different cities.
There are several reasons why we believe that these attacks take place.
Young people see the way adults, city leaders, and residents of cities treat the homeless by saying negative things about the homeless. Political leaders say things like; we dont want a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen in our city because it will be bad for the city and our kids wont be allowed to play on their streets. They also hear that towns are making it illegal to feed the homeless or to let them sleep in town or ask for money.
It seems when cities make laws that target the homeless, the attacks in that area seem to increase. When kids hear us adults say and do these things it sets an example that homeless people are not even human. Their mentality is that a homeless person is not human and we should not feed them. And because they are not human, it does not matter if we kill them. In fact some may even consider themselves a hero and they are doing a public service when they do one of these vicious attacks.
It is simple, kids learn from adults. If we teach kids that the homeless are worthless individuals, and dehumanize them, then we are giving them the OK to kill them.
The Lack of Beds
The fact that the homeless live in a home with no windows or locks to protect them from people who want to hurt them puts them at a greater risk. So we need more beds.
While some people may feel that these numbers are not alarming, we must remember that, like all crimes, there is under reporting; therefore the numbers are much greater then reported.
What Can Be Done to Stop It
Hate Crimes Laws
More Beds
Public Education
Parents must watch what their kids do with videos