Author: Ray Bramson (Ray Bramson)

Bramson: Homelessness trumps manners

Over the holidays, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to blast California for its homelessness problem. It’s not news to anyone that there’s a big crisis here and these tweets – coupled with a threat to somehow intervene if our state doesn’t get moving – have actually been a pretty regular overture from the leader...

Bramson: There’s no place like home for the holidays

As the giving season approaches, I find myself thinking about the curious custom of gift wrapping. Going way back to ancient China where paper was first invented, putting presents in packages for others has been going on for centuries. There’s both a psychological and tangible effect about containing an object and creating a sense of...

Bramson: An open door for those who have served

My stepfather joined the Navy around the time of the Korean War. He enlisted the summer after graduating from high school, serving aboard a minesweeper as a radioman. After four years on the sea, he was honorably discharged and came back to sunny California. He went to Long Beach State on the GI Bill, earned...

Bramson: Home is where the health is

Recently, on a trip down to LA, I found myself in a cab talking to the driver about homelessness. This happens to me a lot, but in Los Angeles, home to nearly 60,000 unhoused residents, almost every person you meet has come into some sort of contact with the crisis. A personal experience, an opinion...

Bramson: The high price of growing up

The construction of new high-rise buildings has long been a key indicator of progress and promise for the modern city. Architectural marvels that rise to the heavens and offer to meet the rapidly growing demands of a prospering metropolis. With each new tower, the skyline forever changes, heralding the arrival of the density which is...

Bramson: A troubling boom on the streets

My great grandmother was born in New York City in 1902, lived there all her life, and died in 2006. After raising two children and then losing her husband at a relatively young age, she worked as a bookkeeper until she was 88 years old, helping her kids get through college and start their own...

Bramson: Voucher discrimination is just another closed door

If you’ve ever found yourself in a housing hunt, you’ve probably noticed online or paper ads stating in the fine print (or upfront nowadays): No Section 8. Not accepting Section 8 vouchers at this time. Not a Section 8 building. Those same listings might as well read “very poor people need not apply.” While to...

Bramson: What really counts when it comes to homelessness?

Back in 2005, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development decided that communities across the country needed to start regularly counting the number of people on the streets and in shelters. The government argued that a standardized process to enumerate and survey those without a permanent home would help us all measure the severity...

Bramson: The price of admission

Saturday night in downtown San Jose. My family is going to watch The Public, a new film by Emilio Estevez. It tells the tale of a group of homeless patrons who convince a few city staff members to help them take over a public library to use as an emergency shelter for a night to...

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