The 17th Annual Homelessness Marathon

The 17th Annual Homelessness Marathon is set to air.  If you’ve never seen or heard it, it is, literally, like no other broadcast in the world (except for our daughter broadcast, the Canadian Homelessness Marathon). This is the world turned upside down and looked at from the perspective of the poorest-of-the-poor, and featuring their voices as they speak for themselves.

The broadcast will start tomorrow (Tuesday the 17th) at 7p.m., eastern time, and it will run for fourteen hours until 9a.m., eastern time, on Wednesday the 18th.

A list of stations where it can be heard, all or in part, may be found here: http://news.homelessnessmarathon.org/2008/09/where-to-listen.html

(check local listings for exact hours of carriage).

The entire broadcast will be televised on Free Speech Television’s website at http://www.freespeech.org.

And from 1-5a.m., eastern time, on the morning of Wednesday the 18th, the broadcast will also be televised on channel 9415 of the Dish Network and Channel 348 on DirecTV.

A schedule of the topics to be covered may be found here: http://news.homelessnessmarathon.org/2008/08/broadcast-schedule.html

(but bear in mind that this is a live broadcast that is always full of unscheduled twists and turns).

This is not a charity event or a pity party.  Homeless advocates have been warning for decades that the same economic factors causing homelessness would affect more affluent Americans too.  Now that just about everybody in America is struggling, maybe it’s time to learn what the poor have known all along.

The great secret about homeless people isn’t the percentage that are mentally ill or addicted.  It’s that almost all of them are American citizens.  The

government should not be in the business of demonizing whole classes of people, herding them around like cattle and jailing them for the crime of being poor just like in Dickens’ time.  But nonetheless, we’ve created a society where there is no legal place to be free, once you’ve lost your housing.

For this broadcast, we’ll focus on the criminalization of homelessness, and remember, the number one thing that homeless people say is, “I never thought it could happen to me.”  If you don’t want it happening to YOU, tune in.

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