A Santa Barbara Activist Responds to the Deathly Silence and Social Service Evasions in Santa Barbara

NORSE’S NOTES:  Writer and activist Peter Marin (https://msu.edu/~jdowell/135/PMarin.html) has this angry and familiar interchange with Kimberlee Albers, “Homeless Assistance” Program Manager in Santa Barbara (https://www.noozhawk.com/article/hand_washing_stations_arrive_in_santa_barbara_county_20200319 ).   The arguments and toxic duck-the-issue deficiencies are mirrored here in Santa Cruz’s reassure-a-lot do-nothing wait-until-folks-are-already-infected-before-providing-shelter “solutions”.

The National Homeless Union on Thursday presented two hours of organizational peptalk and numerous local reports at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgBEB3lv4lc with local activists Keith McHenry presenting the grim Santa Cruz picture.   If and exactly how local activists can coalesce and push back–or create their own solutions by using ties with renters, elders, disabled folks, immigrants, and the expendable in other cities, is really the big question. 

Few activist groups are braving police threats and the very real danger of infection by providing service and taking action to address issues the City and County are stalling on (motel shelter, food services, decent sanitary measures, providing survival necessities like tents, tarps, blankets, etc.).  But if folks are willing to go out to address their own necessities, it’s not merely compassion but common sense to demand and provide life-saving provisions and demand policies.  What kills those outside will kill those inside.
Irregular reports, interviews, and updates are available archived at  http://www.huffsantacruz.org/Lostshows.html