Jeremy Corbyn's promise to solve homelessness in England isn't as ridiculous as it sounds.
Image via Garry Knight/Flickr.

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says if his party were in power, they'd give every homeless person a house.

England has had a spike in its homeless population in recent years with an estimated 4,751 in the winter of 2017, an increase of 15% from the previous year. And while the U.K.'s next election isn't until May 2022 — though a special election can be called and the Labour Party is leading the Tories right now — Corbyn says the solution is simple.

"[We would] immediately purchase 8,000 properties across the country to give immediate housing to those people that are currently homeless," Corbyn told the BBC. "At the same time we would require local authorities to build far more."


That means safe housing would be a guaranteed right for every person in the country.

Corbyn said the plan would empower local authorities to temporarily use vacant housing for "rough sleepers," aka homeless people, while more permanent shelters are built. He criticized developers who build luxury properties and intentionally leave them unfilled even as the country grapples with a growing homeless population:

"There is something grossly insulting about the idea you would build some luxury block and deliberately keep it empty. Surely we have to have a social objective and a social priority in our society?"

Some on this side of the pond even agree with Corbyn, though the U.S. has a far greater number of homeless individuals nationwide.

That hasn't stopped a handful of American cities from experimenting with similar approaches. In Chicago, a pilot program by the University of Illinois Hospital and the Center for Housing and Health placed 26 chronically homeless individuals into housing for the winter, with the thought that living indoors is cheaper than seeking cold-related emergency medical services. The hospital invested $1,000 per month in supportive services for each person in the program, whereas a single day in the hospital's emergency room can cost more than $3,000.

At the same time, housing isn't the only factor in addressing the multiple issues homeless communities face. In Utah, initial reports about the success of a housing program have shown more mixed results in hindsight, as state officials struggle to deal with an ever-evolving homeless population affected by a multitude of complicated factors — including the opioid crisis, mental illness, and economic challenges.

Homelessness is a serious issue. Mental illness, addiction, and poverty are real challenges that communities across America, the U.K., and elsewhere have always struggled with.

But sometimes the best solution is also the most simple: If you want to combat homelessness, give the homeless a place to live. It could save money and give people hope for a better life.

Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
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With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

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Yesterday I was perusing comments on an Upworthy article about Joe Biden comforting the son of a Parkland shooting victim and immediately had flashbacks to the lead-up of the 2016 election. In describing former vice President Biden, some commenters were using the words "criminal," "corrupt," and "pedophile—exactly the same words people used to describe Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I remember being baffled so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

Simon and Graeme Berney-Edwards, a gay married couple, from London, England both wanted to be the biological father of their first child.

"We couldn't decide on who would be the biological father," Simon told The Daily Mail. "Graeme said it should be me, but I said that he had just as much right as I did."

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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