Come Chow Down and Speak Up Tuesday 6:45 PM at Santa Cruz Homelessness “Study” Session

The Santa Cruz City Council has scheduled a Special “Study” Session on Homelessness for 7 PM at 809 Center St. (City Council Chambers) for Tuesday, March 30th.  Only one day short of April Fools day.This is the Council that recently voted an anti-homeless curfew on Cowell’s Beach, killed Needle Exchange in the City, and has backed more recruits for the sleepsnatcher SCPD, which regularly rousts homeless people, steals and confiscates or destroys their gear.

Some Council members (Lynn Robinson, Pamela Comstock) are suspected of planning a further fund reduction of the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center in the near future, for which this session is preparation.

Reports of recent vigilante and police violence against homeless people have been on the rise.

Jumbogumbo Joe Schultz will be providing hot tasty vegan soup at 6:45 PM outside Council chambers for any  who show up.   Councilmember Micah Posner stated on Free Radio yesterday he would insist on a full public comment period.

You can look over the staff report at the City Council website re: Study Session on Homelessness coming up tomorrow by going on the City Council website.Go to  and then click  on the Homelessness Study Session (CM) link.  It’s the first of the six documents in the box to the right.  The other documents will also be under consideration at Council  Plus public testimony.

It also looks like the national figures are a severe undercount.There are five additional documents on the same site that will be “considered” by City Council.

Please come and bring your accounts.  Call City Council at 420-5020 to demand

(1) endorsement of AB5 (the state Homeless Bill of Rights,
(2) immediate funding of 24-hour sanitary facilities at different areas where people sleep outside
(3) trash pick-ups and sharps containers in those areas
(4) dismissal of harassment tickets of homeless people for violation of curfew and “no sitting” laws
(5) suspension of the anti-homeless laws generally(e.g. the Sleeping Ban), particularly important given the rise in vigilante violence, need for homeless to camps safely in groups and well-lighted areas
(6) immediate opening of legal places for people to carcamp or sleep.
(7) an emergency task force to quickly implement a Sanctuary Camp

Currently there is legal shelter at the Paul Lee loft for less than 50 people in a homeless population of 1500-2000.  The Winter Armory Shelter closed on April 15th.

Or e-mail City Council at   Request that City Council staff acknowledge your input with a reply and include it in the City Council packet.

Interesting and actually quite apropos is the telling sentence on the first page of the Staff Report:

In order to keep the meeting to a manageable scope, the report and presentation on April 30 will not
delve into possible solutions for Council action. Should the City Council wish to engage in

that discussion, future agenda items can be scheduled.

In spite of this significant limitation, it is important that the realities of the struggle for homeless survival be made visible and public.  Bringing the issue to the community is our real task.

Please bring any accounts you have of vigilante violence or police harassment.