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Christine Schanes
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Christine Schanes, J.D., Ph.D., is a consultant, public educator and attorney in the area of homelessness.

Christine is director of two departments within Nos Amis/Our Friends, Inc.:

(1) the Center for Justice and Social Compassion (CJSC) through which Christine gives talks, seminars and workshops on the issues of homelessness. Also, Christine is the staff attorney for the CJSC Homeless Law ID Program which helps homeless people get their ID: certified copies of birth certificates, CA photo ID and social security cards. For more information please visit and

(2) Children Helping Poor and Homeless People (CHPHP). For more information, please visit

Entries by Christine Schanes

Homelessness: California Offers Free ID to Homeless People

(14) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 1:10 PM

As of July 1st, a homeless person, child or youth born in the State of California can get a free certified birth certificate from the county of their birth. And as of January 1, 2016, a homeless person, child or youth will be able to get a free new or...

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Homelessness: Does a Dollar Make a Difference?

(61) Comments | Posted November 7, 2013 | 11:16 AM

Every day many of us see a homeless person holding a sign or a cup begging for money. The kind-hearted people among us often give spare change or a dollar to this homeless person. However, we may ask ourselves, "Will a dollar make a difference in the life we've just...

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Providing End-of-Life Care to Homeless People

(25) Comments | Posted May 29, 2013 | 3:26 PM

There is one certainty in life -- we are all going to die. How and where we die are the only issues.

Will we die quickly or have a lingering death? We don't know. However, most of us housed people are pretty sure we will die indoors in some health...

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Why I Become a Volunteer Coordinator for the 2013 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count

(8) Comments | Posted January 9, 2013 | 9:15 AM

I didn't expect my life to change as a result of my research for articles about
homelessness for The Huffington Post. But that's exactly what happened.
In the course of my research, I contacted several lead agencies of Continuums of Care (CoCs) in California to learn...

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Calling 5,000 People to Volunteer in Los Angeles

(2) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 11:10 AM

It's time to volunteer, get trained and help count homeless people!

The 2013 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, directed by Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), consists of counting homeless people within the City and County of Los Angeles, excluding Long Beach, Pasadena and Glendale that conduct their own...

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Homelessness Myth #25: Here a Homeless, There a Homeless

(14) Comments | Posted October 10, 2012 | 2:07 PM

For some time now, we have been aware of homelessness in our midst. In the 50s, we called people without homes "hobos." The hobos were generally men who we believed chose the free and easy lifestyle of riding railroad cars and doing odd jobs for housed country folk in exchange...

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Thank You for Helping Susan Hunt

(8) Comments | Posted September 13, 2012 | 6:26 PM

On Saturday, August 25th in San Diego, California, Susan Hunt, a 61-year-old woman, was struck by a car driven by a 69-year-old man.

In the accident, Susan hit her head and suffered severe brain trauma. She was on life-support at Scripps Hospital until September 4th, when, following her previously...

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Homelessness: The Children of Hawaii Sing

(21) Comments | Posted September 5, 2012 | 3:36 PM

Would you appreciate the opportunity to be inspired? Do yourself a favor and watch this video, "Dream What Could Be Done," sung by children of Lanai High and Elementary School (LHES) Fifth Grade Class of 2020 under the direction of Matt Glickstein, educational assistant for the Department of Education, State...

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Homelessness: My Friend Bobby

(6) Comments | Posted September 4, 2012 | 7:35 PM

Recently, my friend Bobby died. A San Diego, Calif., native, Robert Eugene Ojala, 56 years old, was homeless. Bobby was grateful for the hospital and residential hospice care he received that enabled him to spend his last several weeks indoors and free of pain.

After run-ins with the law, Bobby...

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Homelessness: Love, Sex, Companionship

(6) Comments | Posted August 13, 2012 | 6:39 PM

"Consider the following. We humans are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others' actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others' activities. For this...

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Homelessness: Man's Inhumanity to Man

(15) Comments | Posted August 7, 2012 | 5:43 PM

There is no question that every political issue has at least two sides -- the pros and the cons. Issues involving homelessness are no different. However, when weighing the impact of both sides of homelessness issues, often one side appears to have a greater impact upon humanity than the other....

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Homelessness Myth #24: They All Frequent Bars

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2012 | 1:45 PM

We're all aware that the United States economy is going through some hard times. A number of businesses are experiencing financial down turns. Some housed people believe that all homeless people spend a great deal of time hanging out in bars and, by their very presence in those bars, negatively...

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Homelessness and Hand-to-Hand Combat

(9) Comments | Posted June 7, 2012 | 11:53 AM

Violence. We all know that some housed people fight with each other in physical, hand-to-hand combat. But why do some homeless people, living bereft of everything, fight?

To find out why some homeless people fight, I interviewed a 48-year-old man who lives in the streets. I thank him for...

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Homelessness Myth #23: They Have Too Much Food to Eat

(0) Comments | Posted May 30, 2012 | 6:02 PM

Really? Do some housed people really believe that homeless people have too much food to eat? Actually, yes. And they provide what they consider the evidence, "Of course they have too much food to eat. See how fat they are!"

This myth leaves me stunned because I believe its falsehood...

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Homelessness Myth #22: They Have Enough Money

(2) Comments | Posted May 23, 2012 | 7:12 PM

Do homeless people need money? Of course, housed or unhoused, we all need money. Some housed people believe that homeless people have enough money to get what they need.

However, do homeless people really have enough money to get what they need? I think not. For example, one of...

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Why We Should Care About the Death of Kelly Thomas

(72) Comments | Posted May 14, 2012 | 1:03 PM

At around 8:30 p.m. the evening of July 5, 2011, Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old, mentally ill homeless man, was in the parking lot of the Fullerton bus depot when he was approached by police officers. Approximately 33 minutes later, Kelly was unconscious and taken to the hospital where...

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Homelessness -- Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2012 | 12:41 PM

Homelessness, a challenge composed of many issues, spans our globe. Because homeless people seem to be everywhere, many of us feel that homelessness is too big an issue to be solved. And because of the complexity of the issues of homelessness, we may feel too overwhelmed to affect change.


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The Dalai Lama Comes to San Diego

(4) Comments | Posted April 20, 2012 | 1:25 PM

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet began his first official visit to San Diego on Wednesday, by offering two parts of his three-part symposium, "Compassion Without Borders: Science, Peace, Ethics" by taking part in a panel discussion entitled "The Global Impact of Climate Change" at University of California,...

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Homelessness - A Test of True Compassion

(3) Comments | Posted April 16, 2012 | 6:51 PM

Many of us believe that we are compassionate people. But are we really? Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary formally defines "compassion" as the "sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it."

In our daily lives, some people think of compassion as "love in action." Many religions encourage...

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"We All Count"

(2) Comments | Posted January 30, 2012 | 5:58 PM

At 4 a.m. on Friday morning, January 27th, hundreds of volunteers left deployment centers throughout San Diego County to count homeless people. Called, "We All Count," this annual enumeration of homeless people in the county is run by the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless.

Beginning in...

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