Arkansas Homeless

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.

Little Rock To Give Homeless Feeding Center A Try

Jul 12, 2017
Arkansas Times

After outcry led to the tabling of a proposed Little Rock ordinance that would have restricted feeding large groups of people on public grounds, the city is about to embark on a trial plan for getting food to the homeless community.

On Tuesday, the Little Rock Board of Directors heard from the city's Volunteer Committee on Group Feeding that had spent six weeks studying the issue. The committee recommends relocating most feeding operations to the grounds of the Jericho Way Resource Center in southeast Little Rock, with transportation to and from downtown.

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.

Study: Arkansas Homeless Population Drops In 2016

Nov 20, 2016
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The number of people experiencing homelessness in Arkansas dropped in 2016. That’s according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The state's homeless population dropped 3.8 percent since last year and 10.8 percent since 2010, according to the report. HUD estimated that 2,463 people in the state are homeless in 2016. 

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.

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