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Homeless people face plenty of uncertainty, but one city stepped in with a legal leg up.

The city wants to protect the homeless. So why is the mayor so against it?

Homeless people face plenty of uncertainty, but one city stepped in with a legal leg up.

Early this week, the progressive, former hippie mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, said something kind of surprising.

Image by WMTV-15.


"We've reached a point where our compassion, our empathy, and our understanding, [have] done more damage than good."
— Madison Mayor Paul Soglin

Believe it or not, he's talking about homeless people. Yes, really.

How did we get here? Let's back up.

You see, Madison boasts a long, proud progressive history.

It's a city surrounded by lakes, bratwursts, 40,000+ college students, and to some degree, reality.

It's a place people of all stripes are proud to call home. (I should know, it's my hometown.)

Downtown Madison is wedged between two lakes. The other lake has a brat stand. Image via Thinkstock.

In Wisconsin, 3,100 families experienced homelessness in the past year.

Many of these families live in the Madison area, and all of them desperately need a fair shot.

Madison's winter weather is brutal, especially if you don't have a roof overhead. Image by lifeground seeker/Flickr.

Being the wonderful city that it is, Madison's city council decided to propose a measure that would make homeless people a protected class.

Basically, the measure would ensure that employers and landlords can no longer use homelessness as a means to discriminate, which could be a real game-changer when it comes to homeless people being able to apply for work, rent apartments, or even use a restroom in a business.

And that's when things took a surprising turn — the mayor, Paul Soglin, vetoed the measure.

Remember this? Yep. It's still a real thing that a real mayor said about helping homeless people. Image by WMTV-15.

Some people in Madison started to think the city was doing too much to accommodate homeless people.

In fact, a group of homeless people camp right in front of city hall every night. Soglin's worried the group, and others like it, have become a little too comfortable.

Look at all of that comfort. Image by John Benson/Flickr (altered).

He also suggested the measure is just pricey, "feel-good" legislation that will have little effect on the city's homeless population.

Luckily, Madison's city council wasn't having any of that argument. On a 17-1 vote, it overrode Soglin's veto.

While it's unclear whether Madison's measure will prove successful, providing even a small amount of legal protection to those in uncertain situations is a big step toward equality for people experiencing homelessness.

Image via Thinkstock.

All of this may upset Mayor Soglin, but thanks to the Madison City Council, his most vulnerable constituents have one less thing to worry about. And that's something to celebrate.

You can learn all about the council's decision and the community response in this short clip from Madison's WMTV-15.

Courtesy of Verizon
True

If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via CNN / Twitter

Eviction seemed imminent for Dasha Kelly, 32, and her three young daughters Sharron, 8; Kia, 6; and Imani, 5, on Monday. The eviction moratorium expired over the weekend and it looked like there was no way for them to avoid becoming homeless.

The former Las Vegas card dealer lost her job due to casino closures during the pandemic and needed $2,000 to cover her back rent. The mother of three couldn't bear the thought of being put out of her apartment with three children in the scorching Nevada desert.

"I had no idea what we were going to do," Kelly said, according to KOAT.

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