HUFF Contact for Reports: I’ll be occupied with legal and medical appointments today, but hoping a rep can be present to gather any street reports and check-in’s today at 1 PM at the Food Not Bombs meal at Laurel and Front Sts. No coffee (sigh). No paper Street Spirits yet nor financial assistance for vendors. If you have reports, questions, or complaints, please contact me by phone at 831-423-4833. I will continue netcast reports on Thursday and Sunday as long as information comes in. Keep it coming!
- Linking Up with “Motels Not Hospital Beds” Movement of the Bay Area & Other Local Groups
- Report on Local Motel Room Accessibility.
- Possible Lobby & Direct Action to Expose City Manager Dithering on Motel Room Access: Caravaning to Politician Lairs
- Prep for Any 5-12 Council Meeting “Action”
- Support for Possible City Action Against Food Not Bombs
- Reports from Other Homeless Activists Elsewhere (Salinas, Berkeley, Marysville, Monterey)
- Tracking Those in Power: Who are our Key Powerbrokers to Petition and Protest for Opening Motel Rooms under Project Roomkey?
- Progress Reports on the 99%: on Encampments outside including San Lorenzo Park, Coral St., the Pogonip: What they need, how they’re faring, new contacts
of Legal Action to Fight Sweeps, Motel Room Denial, Police Abuse, and Fund Mismanagement
on Police, Ranger, Security Thug, and Business Behavior Towards Those Outside
in Other Cities Under Fire: Supporting Them in Berkeley, Oakland, Marysville, Salinas, and Elsewhere
- Still Relevant and Telling:
SF Coalition on Homelessness
panel of medical experts demands testing now, and immediate movement of
crowded shelter residents into individual motel rooms. Still relevant
is the press conference
& discussion at https://www.facebook.com/CoalitionOnHomelessness/videos/2954977444559143/?
- SC Homeless Union Looking: …for blankets, tents, and other survival gear. Leave them at the Food Not Bombs meal (see below) or call Alicia at 431-7766. …for medical professionals working in respiratory therapy, nursing, other life-saving professions willing to write, e-mail, or call city, county, and state officials to open up the motel rooms.
- Food Not Bombs [FNB] meal and clothes distribution is still daily 1-6 PM at the parking lot next to the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union at Laurel & Front. Weekends the meal will be 4-6 PM. Food preppers wanted at Vet’s Hall weekends noon.
- Still unanswered questions:
- How many of those crammed into unhealthy shelters have been offered the option of motel rooms rather than the dangerous conditions in the Vet’s Hall, the Armory, the Laurel St. shelter, Page Smith Community House, and the Paul Lee Loft?
- Why are no City Council members demanding these figures from the City Managers Bernal & O’Hara?
- Of those in the unhealthy shelters, how many have been tested for COVID-19? How many are sick? How many have recovered?
- Where’s the FEMA and Governor’s funding specifically for those motel rooms?
How much is left? How was it spent?
isn’t Santa Cruz doing what San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other
Counties are doing: Immediately Housing Vulnerable Folks Now!
- What are the
priorities–are the most vulnerable but not yet ill or COVID-19
infected–to be last while waiting for the sickness to hit?
- Metro Bathrooms Still Closed?: Even during the day? While conditions are improving, some portapotties and washing stations are reportedly insufficiently cleaned and lack water, toilet paper, and paper towels HUFF IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS TO .DO A DAILY CHECK AND REPORT IN ON THE VARIOUS PORTAPOTTIES AND PRIMITIVE GARAGE BATHROOMS (often lacking privacy) throughout the City.. We checked a few during the Tour of Shame last Sunday, but need to do so more thoroughly and regularly.
- Rent strike reports?: FNB reports folks reporting illegal evictions continue. And vacant buildings remain vacant as the virus spreads. Contact Tenant Sanctuary with reports of illegal evictions at (831)200-0740 .
- HUFF MAY BE ORGANIZING BY PHONE to support the demand for Motel rooms before the only option is quarantine areas. CONTACT US AT 831-423-4833 OR RESPOND TO THIS E-MAIL IF YOU’D LIKE TO HELP OR WANT TO PROVIDE REPORTS.
- Frequent local updates
can still be found on Facebook under Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs, Santa
Cruz County Homeless
Advocates, Homeless Outside in Santa Cruz, SCCCP (Santa Cruz and
Central Coast Politics), Monterey County Homeless Advocates, The Santa
Cruz Community, (SF) Coalition on Homelessness. More distant updates: homelesstimes.com,
HISTORICAL REMINDERS from a HUFFster’s perspective
- Check at
to hear a series of phoned-in reports from different activists and
workers–which should be posted shortly and may be updated more
- Recent shutdowns at the Library, Louden Nelson, the Metro, the publicly sponsored Bookshop Santa Cruz, closed restaurants and businesses make this situation ever more dangerous both for folks outside and the broader community.
very few motel or hotel rooms are yet available for the 1000-2000
homeless outside who want and may need them to shelter more safely and
securely in spite of government directives and financial grants.
promises are made, promises are broken.
- The inadequate “normal” charitable activities of those working with churches, social services, etc. have been cut back or closed–many of the staff of these organizations are over 60 and particularly vulnerable to the corona virus.
donations to those directly seeking survival money through “panhandling”
have been discouraged or criminalized under the new emergency regs,
enacted without public discussion or vote. Support those panhandling on
the medians and elsewhere.
- Public transportation options have been restricted or shut down, making access to what limited resources there are even more problematic.
Cummings has still not issued no calls for an emergency Council meeting
to pass elementary measures already done in other cities like a
moratorium on rents.
- City Manager Martin Bernal & the City Council majority continue their long history of resisting the expansion of basic services for the less privileged in town.
- Supervisor Coonerty and the Board of Supervisors have declined to provide county-wide resources in an equitable and sensible fashion.
- The health of the community depends on our community action through a direct and united response.
- The current Corona Virus crisis has prompted City and County to grudgingly and partially expand the unhealthy indoor shelter services (in violation of CDC guidelines) and to provide some long overdue portapotties and wash stations, but not in key locations like the Levy and Felker St.
- Overcrowding is being encouraged in San Lorenzo Park by the police pressure.
- Meekly following the dictates of authority in this crisis has not in the past, nor likely in the future, to be a wise, health-providing, and productive course.
- We must confront directly, clearly, persistently, loudly and immediately to secure the basic survival needs of the community in the current crisis.
- With washed hands and care to keep physical distance, bring food and yourselves to the noon food serving to sustain the survival effort and take the necessary future steps.
- Contact Food Not Bombs (575-770-3377), HUFF (831-423-4833), or the Santa Cruz Homeless Union (831-431-7766) if unable to come for health or other reasons. (454-2200) and you wish to help.