Charitable event will support a very important cause and bring together some fabulous authors for a special night of readings. The Poetry Center is at the 24th & R Art Complex in Midtown Sacramento. Hosted by Frank Dixon Graham and Leonard Germinara!
9 AM – SET UP (BREAKFAST SNACKS AND COFFEE)
10:45 – OPENING CEREMONY CONVENE AROUND HAYBALES
11:00 – WORKSHOP ONE
Homelessness Best Practices, environmental, camping skills
12:00 WORKING LUNCH
2:30-3:30 WORKSHOP TWO: WOUND CARE & FIRST AID
3:45 WORKSHOPS THREE & FOUR
NEWS FROM THE REGION
PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY – WRITE LETTER TO BOARD OF SUPS AND CITY COUNCIL
6 PM DINNER
MUSIC, POETRY, OPEN MIC
9 PM – LIGHTS OUT
9 AM BREAKFAST
10:00 ZINE & ART
12:00 WORKSHOP FIVE
Healing the Community – police violence, homelessness, mental health and de-escalation:
2 PM WORKSHOP SIX
Know Your Rights
3:30: CLOSING CEREMONY
2nd Stop: Sacramento, April 4th 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
11 AM-1 PM Townhall Meeting
Community Space, 400 16th St., Sacramento
(If it isn’t raining) 1-2 PM March and Rally
Loaves and Fishes at 12th and North C St. (Cul de Sac)
Other Stops on the Bus Tour: 1st Stop: Chico, April 3rd 3:00 – 7:00 pm, 3rd Stop:Oakland, April 6th 2:00 – 4:00 pm, 4th Stop: Fresno, April 8th 10:30 am – 3:00 pm, 5th Stop: Pacoima, April 9th 6:00 – 9:00 pm, 6th Stop: Pomona, April 10th 12:00 – 5:00 pm, 7th Stop: Orange County, April 11th 10:30 – 4:00 pm, 8th Stop: North San Diego County, April 13th & 14th, 9th Stop: Home! Dates & Times: Uncertain
STATEWIDE TRUTH AND POVERTY BUS TOUR
Witnessing and Listening to the People
April 3rd – April 13th, California Poor People’s Campaign will travel across our state to highlight the REAL EMERGENCY!
“We have real socio-political and moral emergencies–they are the ongoing realities of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation the war economy/militarism and the false moral narrative of religious nationalism,” said the Rev. Barber. “These are not are not left or right, but moral issues that must be addressed. Democrats haven’t done enough to make things better and Republicans do too much to make things worse.”
In a country with 140 million poor and low income residents, we declare a STATE OF EMERGENCY! We will shine a light on the TRUTH of the level of poverty this nation promotes, encourages, enforces and then criminalizes. We will be holding Public Hearings and site visits at 8 locations across California from April 3rd to April 13th. On the 8th, we are asking all locations to join us in Fresno for the Statewide Public Hearing.
SACRAMENTO HOMELESS ORGANIZING COMMITTEE AND SACRAMENTO (LOCAL) POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN: POSITION ON THE STOCKTON BOULEVARD CAMP AND MAYOR’S $40 MILLION PLAN
The Mayor’s $40 Million Plan Should Be Rethought Because The Proposed Emergency Shelters Will Not Make A Real Dent On Homelessness And The Money Would Be Better Spent In Supporting Permanent Housing, Jobs, And Self Governed Communities
We do not oppose shelters. People need to get out of the weather. Emergency shelter and its ability to connect people to resources and support services can play a role as an entry point and a transition from the street to permanent housing, if such housing is funded. However, the plan to Spend $40 million for short term, emergency, mass shelters should be rethought. The emergency shelter model outlined is not cost effective. Such shelters would cover only a fraction of homeless people currently on our streets. (20% or less). With thoughtful planning and diversification of strategies we could come much closer to ending homelessness for many more people with that $40 million.
- Self-determined survival strategies, such as group camping, can also serve as entry points if the City and County supported such camps with dedicated sites, de-criminalization, sanitation, trash collection, improved shelter/tents, and services. Respect homeless residents’ civil rights, including search warrant requirements and expunging minor violations.
- The plan links shelters with police services. This is unjustified, wasteful, and intimidating to homeless and other residents. It sends the wrong message and leads to criminalization of the poor.
- Emergency shelters do not address root causes and will not stem the flow of homeless economic refugees who are without incomes and shut out of expensive housing.
- Emergency shelters provide only a band-aid, as well as political window-dressing, and they cost a lot. A good example is the current $400,000 per month spent for a hundred-bed shelter. For this cost, many types of permanent supportive housing (such as group homes or apartment buildings) could be rented or purchased through leveraged funds.
- A proposal for 2 years of funding is irresponsible and simply takes us into the next election.
- Services for those with mental illness and for those in recovery must include the option of permanent homes.
- The County as well as the City should be held accountable.
- Homeless organizations and homeless individuals should be brought into decision making. A homeless commission to review plans and propose budgets should be created and should include these organizations and individuals.
- Vacant, chronically tax delinquent, and abandoned properties should be claimed by eminent domain and made available to homeless and near homeless. Homeless people should be hired to fix and maintain the properties.
- Self-governance of homeless communities, leadership development, and stability in place (right to rest) should be the governing principles for dealing with tent communities. Sanitation, trash collection, supportive services, and stability should be the key principles.
- The government should fund, protect, and serve self-governing homeless camps so that the residents can maintain clean, attractive, well run communities. The Anti-camping ordinance should be modified or repealed. “Safe parking” spaces would allow people to sleep in their cars without threat of arrest.
- Non-profits, including Sacramento Steps Forward, who have contracted to provide services should be audited to curb high administrative costs. These programs should be reconfigured and annually audited for complete transparency.
ADDRESS ROOT CAUSES
- It’s not about the money – it’s how the money is used. A cot and a lunch bag does not address root causes. Managing the poor to get them out of view is not the answer.
- Do not use homeless funds to pay for police services.
- The City can use eminent domain to seize vacant and abandoned housing. These properties can and should be made available to house homeless people and families.
- Local governments should employ homeless people to fix vacant properties so they can be rented for homeless and near homeless residents.
- Sacramento should follow the lead of cities like San Diego that have funded and built permanent supportive housing units and other approaches to prevent homelessness and house the poor.
- Sacramento should prioritize programs that allow groups of homeless people to earn enough collectively to pay first and last month’s rents, and deposits.
- City programs should pay decent wages in cash and not simply gift cards. Landlords do not accept gift cards.
- The city should help homeless people to get business licenses. Many people have good skills they can use but are discouraged by hiring discrimination.
THE STOCKTON BOULEVARD CAMP
- Recognize the Stockton Boulevard camp as a contributing part of the Sacramento community.
- The Stockton Boulevard camp is a good location for a self-governing homeless community because of the size of the lot, because it is accessible to public transportation, and because it is in a neighborhood of mixed residential and business uses.
- A self-governed, clean, well-run tent community would be an asset to the surrounding neighborhood, including gardens and communal facilities. Clear the way for churches and other property owners to allow camping or shelter, as well as other services, such as communal meals.
- When or if the land is taken for low income housing the tent community can be established elsewhere.
- There are many models across the country for self-governing houseless communities. Sacramento Safe Ground (a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit) has developed models of self-governing communities and would provide assistance. Seattle has permitted and supported self-governing houseless communities. Portland has Dignity Village — a community of self-built housing. “Right 2 Dream Too” in downtown Portland, offers a safe nightly area for rest and respite on a tiny private lot. Clean and friendly, run by houseless residents, Right 2 Dream Too serves as a model for immediate relief.
- In light of the goal of establishing a functional community, the county should support, protect and fund the Stockton Boulevard camp. Basic services, including trash collection, sanitation, services, and resources should be provided right away, and ongoing. The lot should be professionally cleaned to eliminate bio-hazards and pallets to raise the tents should be provided.
- Leadership development, through immediate engagement of volunteer organizations, should start right away in order to support the creation of a governing council.
- These are economic refugees and they should be afforded stability (the right to rest) dignity and respect. Do not disrupt this camp, do not arrest or scatter the people.
Where are they to go? Where can they live?
Stockton Blvd houseless community face displacement by police
What: Solidarity with Stockton Blvd Encampment Residents
When: Wednesday, February 12, 10 AM
Where: 5700 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento, CA
Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee, Cathleen – (916) 801-4672)
Reckless Charity Entertainment (Crystal email@example.com)
Marysville Homeless Union
Salinas Homeless Union
California Homeless Union Organizing Council
ENGAGE, Inc, Kimberly – (916) 532-5604
Sacramento Safe Organized Spaced for Unhomed Youth
Governor Gavin Newsom today appointed Sacramento Mayor Steinberg to lead a new California commission on homelessness. How can the mayor be successful unless he, first, assures Sacramento is on the right track? It is not. First, the City should start by allowing current residents living in tents on Stockton Blvd to stay where they are until they are able to get into a better situation–apartments, rooms, and other appropriate shelter. A fence has been built surrounding the community and it is expected that Wednesday morning service providers will come out to provide support (or will they coax residents to leave with the promise of a motel voucher for a couple nights? Or offer referrals to services that don’t exist?) They will probably be accompanied by police, during the services or afterwards. Afterwards, it’s expected that police may enforce eviction. Currently they have nowhere else to go. Shelters are full. Homeless housing programs are full. By forcing them to move, they leave what little stability they have found. They will have to leave the community that has formed by their need to help each other. This is only a first step since there is similarly houseless people living throughout Sacramento as individuals and in tight knit communities, who also need to be treated with dignity.
We want our city leaders to fight for their rights to survive and to exist. We want the city and county to not only protect their rights to not be displaced once again, but to allow and provide at least a minimum of services including portable toilets, water, garbage collection, and access to other services residents determine they need. Allow houseless members of our society to engage in self-determined survival strategies, including safe organized spaces, while they have no housing or shelter provided for them.
We want our city and county to appreciate and understand the 9th Circuit decision in Boise vs Martin, that it is cruel and unusual punishment to make it a crime to live without shelter when there is not enough shelter beds or housing available to most of the houseless people in our community. The city camping ordinance that makes it against the law to merely live outdoors is a cruel law and an impossible law for thousands of people to obey because of the lack of alternatives.
Many individuals and groups have been helping the Stockton Blvd houseless community with food, supplies, help and friendship. Niki Jones (SHOC) said, “If you spent time with the residents of this encampment, too, then you would know that they were worth fighting for and their stability is worth fighting for.”
Members of California Homeless Union Organizing Council, Marysville Homeless Union, and Salinas Homeless Union heard about their plight and wanted to come to show their solidarity and support. Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee is exploring our participation and membership in this growing homeless lead movement.
Where: Sacramento City Hall, 915 I St. Sacramento, CA
THE POLICY ADVOCACY CLINIC AT UC BERKELEY SCHOOL OF LAW RELEASES CALIFORNIA BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS REPORT..HOMELESS EXCLUSION DISTRICTS
The Policy Advocacy Clinic at UC Berkeley School of Law conducted a study for the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) to understand the effects Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have on houseless communities in California.
Patrolling and controlling our public spaces, sidewalks, streets, and parks, Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are privatizing our downtowns and main thoroughfares. Our public spaces are becoming corridors and shopping centers that are welcoming consumers with open arms and excluding everyone else. Most particularly impacted by this emerging trend are the houseless communities that see areas to rest and sleep, free from harassment and criminalization, shrinking.
A BID is a special, legal subdivision of the city, with the legal authority to create their own districts, effectively claiming ownership over neighborhoods. The city collects assessments (taxes) from property owners, including city property and public spaces within the district, and then distributes that money to the BID. The BIDs can use those funds however they see fit to serve businesses within the district with little to no public oversight.
This study “Homeless Exclusion Districts: How California Business Improvement Districts Use Policy Advocacy and Policing Practices to Exclude Homeless People from Public Space,” is the first of its kind and contains groundbreaking research on how BIDs impacts our local communities and reflect the impacts of BIDs across the country. The report analyses the several ways in which current BID policy and policing practices violate California law and infringe on the legal rights of homeless people. The UC BerkeleyLaw Policy Advocacy Clinic surveyed approximately 189 BIDS in 69 of California’s largest cities to study the relationship between BIDs and houseless people. Clinic student Shelby Nacino states “Our research shows that BIDs have been successful in pressing state and local lawmakers to criminalize homelessness.The growing number of BIDs since the legislature gave them greater authority and autonomy in 1994 correlates strongly with a striking increase in anti-homeless laws.”
The study found that “BIDs violate California law when they spend property assessment revenue on policy advocacy… BIDs may violate additional state laws when they spend assessment revenue collected from public properties within their districts on policy advocacy…. BIDs and their agents may violate state, federal, and international law through their policing practices, including the infringing on the legal rights of homeless people.”
BIDs have been at the forefront of the criminalization of homelessness, gentrification, and displacement of poor people across the country. In the Bay Area, we see and experience the backlash of BIDs’ influence on public policy, privatization of public spaces and policing every day. Unfortunately, the repercussions of BIDs are visible not just in the Bay Area. Benjamin Dunning from Denver Homeless Out Loud stated that business districts in Denver started to take sections of sidewalk away. “This was public space, and they were offering it up to private business… The business improvement district made environmental changes to make it more difficult for homeless people to exist in that area.” BIDs are privatizing public space across the country and with privatization comes policing, criminalization and displacement of the houseless, buskers, street vendors and the local poor.
“BIDs will go Block by Block to ensure that every sidewalk, street, and park serve to benefit the businesses that are in the district. Public Space has become nothing more than the hallways of a shopping mall and if you are in that hallways you better be there to shop, or someone might chase you out.” says Paul Boden of WRAP.
Paula Lomazzi of SHOC says “In Sacramento BIDs have opposed facilities and programs that would help houseless people already living in their districts. The City Council listens to them and acts accordingly. That’s not how it should work.”
With the release of this study “Homeless Exclusion Districts: How California Business Improvement Districts Use Policy Advocacy and Policing Practices to Exclude Homeless People from Public Space,” we hope to bring greater awareness to how our shiny new shopping spaces are created, and what goes into their creation–mainly our tax dollars and our freedom.
All locations hosting Report Release events:
What: UC Berkeley Report Release
Where: 10:30am @ San Francisco City Hall. 1 Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA
Where: 12:00pm @ 5th and Spring St. Downtown Los Angeles, CA
Where: 12:00pm @ Skyline Park. 16th St & Arapahoe St. Denver, CO
Where: 4:30pm @ Sacramento City Hall, 915 I St. Sacramento, CA
Where: 4:00pm @ Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th Ave. Portland, OR
Thursday Day 1
10:30am Gates Open
11am- Know Your Rights Training with National Lawyers Guild Sacramento Chapter
12:45pm- Lunch break
2pm- People’s Assembly
4:30pm- Street ArtReach – Tye Dye and Clay Tables w/ The Creation District, Tracie Leah Rice-Bailey, and Diana Monroy
6pm- Dinner break
7pm- Open Mic w/ Speak Out Sacramento‘s Grace Loescher
10pm- Gates Close
Friday Day 2
9:45am- Gates Open
10am- Stitch and Bitch w/ Suzanne Hastings and Zinemaking w/ Tee Fansofa
11:15am,- Community Health with Harm Reduction Services
12:45pm- Lunch break
1:30pm- Storytelling and Messaging w/ Organize Sacramento
3pm- Street Theater w/ Your Sacramento Art and Revolution
5:30pm- Dinner break
Join us for two days of art and action to uplift the voices of people experiencing homelessness in our region! We are calling for an end to the criminalization of survival, community, and property and for the right to dignified access to shelter and housing. If you’d like to donate supplies or financial support, text or call (916)862-8649
In recent years we have seen the number of our neighbors living outside continue to grow and though thousands are forced to live outside each night, there continues to be no legal, safe place for people to sleep or keep their personal belongings in our city. As this crisis expands, we see it coupled with a housing crisis that has been exacerbated by corporate landlords, contagious rent hikes, evictions and tenancy terminations. Working class, poor families and families of color are losing ground in Sacramento. But we are fighting back; against the stigmatization of our lives, the criminalization of our survival, and the normalization of this crisis in our community.