Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JAN 2018

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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84 Landscape Architect and Specifier News The Homeless Inventory More than half of the chronically homeless were in three states: Calif. (42%), N.Y. (6%), and Florida (6%). "And homeless near a thousand homes I stood, And near a thousand tables pined and wanted food." —William Wordsworth, 1791 In December, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released its 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress ( https://tinyurl.com/yb7rvdrj ) The report's introductory comments includes this statement: "On a single night in 2017, 553,742 people were experiencing homelessness in the U.S. For every 10,000 people in the country, 17 were homeless; 65% of those were staying in emergency shelters or transitional housing; 35% were unsheltered. The report notes that homelessness increased (a little less that 1%) for the first time in seven years. This small increase, however, reflects a 9% increase in the unsheltered homeless, and a 3% decline in homeless in sheltered locations. The unsheltered homeless rose in all 50 of the U.S. largest cities. Robbie the Robot to the Rescue After two break-ins at the SPCA animal shelter in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, coupled with staff members and volunteer complaints about damaged cars and harassment in the parking lot from homeless people, the SPCA rented a Knightscope security robot. How did it turn out? PHOTO: KNIGHTSCOPE Having a robot patrol a business parking lot seems like an appropriate use of technology. For a reasonable rental rate you can have your facility patrolled 24/7, or whatever time duration you choose. That's what the SPCA in San Francisco's Mission area thought. And indeed, with the robot on patrol the animal shelter reported break-ins and discarded drug needles had decreased on the property. However, the city order the SPCA to keep the robot off the public sidewalk, and threatened to fine it $1,000 a day if that continued. Complying with the threats of fines, the robot was confined to the property, however, the robot was not welcomed by the street people, who reportedly defaced it with feces, smeared barbeque sauce on its sensors, knocked it over and draped a tarp over it. Continued on page 85 I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 6 7 4

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