Attacks on Homeless Excluded from Crime Data: Advocates

by T.J. Johnston,
• Sidebar: “Homelessness, by the Numbers?” • Sidebar: “Human Faces, Lost in the Statistics”
Ricky Green of Bolinas, Calif., and Anthony Waters of Cleveland, Ohio, don’t know each other, but they have this much in common: both are homeless and both were brutalized by packs of teenagers in June. But their outcomes differed. Green survived. Waters did not.

Human Faces, Lost in the Statistics

By T.J. Johnston,
Main article: “Attacks on Homeless Excluded from Crime Data: Advocates”
Since 1999, when the National Coalition on the Homeless, started releasing yearly figures on attacks against people without housing, it has claims to have tracked 774 violent acts against homeless men, women and children in 235 cities throughout 45 states and Puerto Rico. Of these attacks, 217 were fatal. took an up-close look at four individuals made victims by this violence in 2007 — and found real human faces lost in the statistics. New York: “Quality of Life”
Before David Pirtle found housing in 2006 and became an advocate for the National Coalition on the Homeless’s speakers bureau, the former restaurant manager spent two-and-a-half years homeless in New York City. One autumn night in 2004, Pirtle was sleeping in an abandoned stairwell.