18 Stories

Houston's Local Hero After Harvey: 'Mattress Mack'

Jim McIngvale has opened up 2 of his furniture warehouses for shelter, meals

(Newser) - Meals and comfortable places to lounge and sleep are among the most coveted amenities when holed up in a shelter after a natural disaster—but a Houston businessman has that covered in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. While Joel Osteen's megachurch is taking heat for delayed efforts to house... More »

Brawls Erupt at Refugee Shelters

Police make several arrests at Berlin facility

(Newser) - Cops responded to two brawls at refugee centers in Berlin on Sunday—one so big that more than 100 officers arrived at the scene, the Guardian reports. Several arrests were made at the former Tempelhof airport, where "many hundreds of people [were] involved," according to a police spokesman.... More »

Humanity's Survival Lies in ... Kansas Caves?

Caverns can host 1K RVs

(Newser) - There are only 1,000 parking spaces available, so you may want to get in on this quick: A California developer is turning a vast area of underground caverns into a post-apocalyptic shelter. The Atchison, Kansas, caves cover 45 acres and have room for 1,000 RVs; customers will be... More »

Ikea's Latest: Refugee Shelters

Company's philanthropic arm plans major upgrade from tents

(Newser) - It sounds like the set-up to a really bad joke—the world's refugees are going to start using shelters from Ikea. But the idea actually has the potential to do a world of good, reports the Christian Science Monitor . The shelters from the Ikea Foundation, the furniture maker's... More »

Hundreds of Thousands Told to Evacuate

New York, Delaware, NJ, and Connecticut make it mandatory

(Newser) - With Hurricane Sandy headed their way, state and local officials along the East Coast have told hundreds of thousands of people to flee low-lying areas, NBC News reports. Among those given mandatory evacuation orders:
  • 375,000 New Yorkers, including about 45,000 in public housing—where elevator services, hot water,
... More »

World Habitat Day a Reminder of the Need for Shelter

Jimmy Carter urges everyone to take action

(Newser) - It's World Habitat Day, and in the Huffington Post Jimmy Carter urges you to take the time to "recognize the basic need for shelter" around the globe. In Haiti, for example, hundreds of thousands still live in tents and other makeshift shelters—almost three years after its 7.... More »

Japan Firm Builds 'Noah's Ark' For Next Tsunami

Giant tennis ball also functions as toy house

(Newser) - It’s Noah’s Ark for the 21st century: A Japanese firm has built a tiny, floating shelter that can hold four adults, the AP reports. Called the “Noah,” the enhanced-fiberglass contraption looks like a huge tennis ball and doubles as a toy house for kids. Cosmo Power... More »

Japan Evacuees: Clinics Deny Care Over Contagion Fears

Worries are groundless—but unsurprising, says expert

(Newser) - Fearing contagion from exposure to radioactivity, Japanese shelters and clinics are rejecting hundreds of evacuees from near the Fukushima nuclear plant, reports the Telegraph . The institutions are requiring certificates from evacuees that show they haven’t faced exposure. Such concerns, however, are “completely irrational,” says a British expert... More »

As Flood Toll Hits 25, Chavez Opens Palace to Refugees

State of emergency has left 5K homeless

(Newser) - Hugo Chavez is letting dozens of people made homeless by Venezuelan flooding crash at his palace, and he told them yesterday—as the death toll hit 25—that they can stay there until the government finds them new homes. Visiting a slum, the AP reports that Chavez urged other residents... More »

FEMA Is Also in the Prevention Business

Agency funds preparation projects; some scientists want to see more

(Newser) - FEMA may be best known for its response in times of crisis, but it also tries to provide help before disaster strikes, NPR reports. In the tiny Missouri hamlet of Niangua, a tornado shelter mostly funded by the agency will soon be able to house the entire town—a relief... More »

Milan's Poor Get Contraband Caviar for Xmas

(Newser) - The poor and homeless in Milan will get a pricey treat this holiday season, the BBC reports. Officials will distribute 88 pounds of beluga caviar seized from smugglers to the city’s shelters and soup kitchens. The sturgeon roe, confiscated in November en route from Poland, is valued at around... More »

LA Homeless Get Portable Shelter

(Newser) - A select group of homeless people in Los Angeles now have some relatively decent digs, the Los Angeles Times reports. The EDAR, which stands for for Everyone Deserves a Roof, is a portable shelter that can be used to transport belongings by day. At night it unfolds into a rainproof... More »

Trump Houses Hudson, Family

Hudson and relatives stay at Trump Tower for free

(Newser) - Donald Trump has been sheltering Jennifer Hudson and some relatives in his swanky, self-named tower for free since the Oscar-winner's mother, brother, and nephew were murdered last month, People reports. “She's a great girl. And we're protecting them well,” the mogul says. More »

300 in Limbo as Houston's Last Ike Shelter Closes

Many still wrangling with FEMA, other agencies, blast 'ridiculous lies'

(Newser) - The Red Cross will boot nearly 300 Hurricane Ike survivors from its remaining Houston shelter Sunday, the Chronicle reports, leaving them to the care of federal and local agencies some accuse of “ridiculous lies.” The possibility of transitional housing does little for one FEMA reject, who was told... More »

Galveston Resort Turns Into Storm Central

500 to 800 souls took refuge at a convention center in Galveston during Ike's assault

(Newser) - A motley crew rode out Hurricane Ike at Galveston’s San Luis Resort, Spa, & Conference Center, Joel Achenbach writes for the Washington Post. Up to 800 people were there, among them the mayor, cops and firefighters, along with storm chasers and drenched refugees holed up as the wind roared... More »

Junta Closing Cyclone Shelters

UN official denounces coerced moves

(Newser) - The Burmese junta has reportedly begun closing shelters and telling cyclone victims to return to their decimated villages, a move that drew strong condemnation from a UN official, the BBC reports. Military leaders, apparently worried that the camps will become permanent aid centers, have given victims tents and bamboo poles... More »

Homeless Look to Foreclosures

Spike in empty homes provides convenient, albeit sometimes dangerous, shelter

(Newser) - As the nation's spate of foreclosures leaves more people homeless, more homeless people are finding shelter in those newly abandoned buildings, the AP reports. The stock of foreclosed homes in hard-hit areas may well outnumber people on the street, leading many to chance arrest or a run-in with drug dealers... More »

Detox is Second (or Only) Home for These Addicts

Repeat patients who use it as refuge are costing New York millions

(Newser) - Drug addicts who check into New York hospital detox units dozens of times per year cost the state more than $300 million annually. These frequent fliers are often homeless or mentally ill people who see detox as a source of food and housing. People use it instead of the shelter... More »

18 Stories