Stockton Blvd Action

PRESS ADVISORY

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

Who:
Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee, Cathleen – (916) 801-4672)
Reckless Charity Entertainment (Crystal reckless.charity.entertainment@gmail.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.

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About shocpaula

I work in the field of homelessness, with interest in civil rights, sustainability resilience.
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