NEW TIME, NEW PLACE: Today at the Parking Lot across from the Dream Inn 5:15 PM in Solidarity with anti-Police Abuse Protests by Black Lives Matter supporters

Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom

UPDATES ON ONGOING ISSUES  6-3-20

  • Solidarity with Anti-Police Abuse Movement (Black Lives Matter and others): HUFF meeting rescheduled to 5:15 PM at parking lot across from the Dream Inn where the BLM march will gather at 5:30 PM today.

    More Solidarity Actions: 
  • Retaining COVID-19 Campground Gains:  How to keep what the City/County have grudgingly given?  The City-acknowledged survival camps–both those across from Coral St. and at the Benchlands, plus homeless-run ones around the City.  Not to mention portapotties, wash stations, and trash cans appearing spottily here and there (but not much in the Pogonip).  How can residents keep and assure those gains?
  • Continued Danger of Indoor Group Shelters  Recent news reports notes 40% of the Country’s fatalities are in Nursing Homes. No clarity the City and County are moving folks into Project Roomkey Motel Rooms from The Armory, Vets Hall, and Laurel St. as well as the indoor areas of the “Housing Mutters” Coral St. complex.
  • Expanded Police Powers:  City Councils’ expansion of “emergency” powers seized by Bernal, Mills, and City Department Heads need to be monitored and resisted.  I anticipate the return of the Mills/Condotti Police Powers 8-point Repression program as well as the “improved” Camping Ordinance slithering its way through the CACH committee.  Now is obviously the moment to focus on local Santa Cruz police abuse.
  • Report on Local Motel Room Stats for the Vulnerable:  Still no new word from Mayor “NoJustice” Justin Cummings (other than “tell it to the County workers”),  county worker Jessica Scheider, and other local Project Roomkey fund fondlers in response to requests for stats on the numbers outside vulnerable not offered rooms, amount of $ left,  & the toxic congregate shelter indoor danger.
  • Have You Been Hassled Under the New Indefinite Powers for Cops and the Deputized City Employees?  Passed last month these included citation powers to dozens of city employees and vague “enforce health edicts” power to the cops.  Contact HUFF to let us know at 423-4833.
  • Resume Direct Action Protests?: Thousands came out over the weekend to demand police accountability.   HUFFsters might consider a socially-distanced picket line or Honk In outside the residences of City and County officials or Vacant Motels to demand safe shelter-in-place space.
  • Reports of Vehicle Tows Are on the Rise:  With rumored countersuits by the ACLU Santa Cruz Homeless Union still not happening here (though some action reported in Sacramento). Get reports to Alicia at 431-7766
  • Reports from Other Homeless Activists Elsewhere (Salinas, Berkeley, Marysville, Monterey)  Go to http://www.huffsantacruz.org/Lostshows.html for the latest shows.  Check http://huffsantacruz.org/wordpress/ for the content of the shows. 
  • Researching During the Lockdown–Tracking Those in Power:  Who are our Key Powerbrokers in Santa Cruz:  Real estate interests, the Canfield Company, the University, Swenson, et. al.–let’s expose the facts and let them speak for themselves.  Still looking for in-home volunteers.
  • 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  I’m gathering contacts.  If you have ’em, phone me at 423-4833 or e-mail me at rnorse3@hotmail.com.
  • Is Mills Still Breaking His “Word” on Vehicle Harassment?  Nothing new here, but recent reports of vehicle harassment and seizure, not to mention the officially-sanctioned vandalism of “tire chalking” continues in spite of court prohibition in other states (see https://www.npr.org/2019/04/23/716248823/court-says-using-chalk-on-tires-for-parking-enforcement-violates-constitution ).
  • Coronavirus Copwatch: Reports on Police, Ranger, Security Thug, and Business Behavior Towards Those Outside   The Coral St. sweep, constriction of the San Lorenzo Benchlands camp, lack of available drinking water, absence of portapotties and washing stations in the Felker St. area, as well as Mills’ illegal “move along” of street musicians and others—call it in, call it out.  This is the moment to shout out.
  • Good Though Distant Source: 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.
  • Metro Bathrooms Still Closed?:  Yep.  As reportedly are the parking garage bathrooms.  Why?  And where is the drinking water?
  • Rent strike reports?: FNB reports folks reporting illegal evictions continue.  And vacant buildings remain vacant as the virus spreads.   Distress grows while the banks and big boys get the bail-out’s with unemployment skyrocketing..  Contact Tenant Sanctuary with reports of illegal evictions at (831)200-0740 .  Go public by calling Free Radio at 423-4833.
  • 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, http://homelessperspective.com, https://wraphome.org/,

    HISTORICAL REMINDER
  • Very 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.  Funding exists, promises made, promises 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.
  • Normal 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.
  • Mayor 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, lest the homeless population triple in July.  
  • We must confront directly, clearly, persistently, loudly and immediately to secure the basic survival needs of the community in the current crisis.
  • Contact Food Not Bombs (575-770-3377),
  • HUFF (831-423-4833), or the Santa Cruz Homeless Union (831-431-7766) if you wish to help.

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