Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom
The Issues We Deal With
Civil Rights for homeless people!!! We demand:
- A safe and legal place for all residents of Santa Cruz to sleep.
- An end to police harassment of homeless people based on status and not conduct.
- That downtown be a resource for all citizens, not just privileged yuppies and the merchants who serve them.
Restore Public Space Downtown
With the advent of the redeveloped Pacific Mall, each passing year sees greater privatization of the public
sidewalk space. Entire sections of sidewalk and kiosks are cordoned off for the exclusive leased use of restaurants.
Bench space is
slowly eroded due to merchant complaints. Planters are removed or made unusable. City codes actually go
so far as giving merchants veto power over certain activities in front of their establishments. A "move along"
code makes sure you can't stay in one public place for more than an hour. Entire blocks of sidewalk
(Cathcart to Locust) cannot be used in practice for many free speech purposes because they are less than
or close to the new
fourteen foot (sitting, panhandling) and ten foot exclusion zones (non-commercial display).
End Police Repression
Responding to merchant and Council demands, SCPD and the Downtown "Hosts" have been energetically
enforcing the new Downtown Ordinances. Citations are up about 100% from 2001, according to Dan
White of the Sentinel. There are signs of selective enforcement - homeless or poor will be cited for something
while tourists a few feet away doing the same thing will be ignored. The net effect of this blizzard of citations
has been an unbearable burden to those who can least afford it. Police Chief Belcher has said in briefings
that these efforts are "appreciated" and in an interview that "no one has gotten a citation who didn't deserve it."
We don't think so! HUFF calls for an end to the economic and racial cleansing of Pacific Avenue.
Legalize Sleep!!! End The Sleeping/Blanket Ban
This is a cruel and inhuman law designed to drive homeless people out of our city. A homeless mother and
child cannot cover up with a blanket between 11 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. without fear of arrest, no matter how
cold and wet it gets.
End The Camping Ban
Between 1500 and 2000 residents of this city are forced to camp in parks and greenbelt areas, constantly
subject to harassment, arrest and seizure of possessions by police, physical assault by vigilantes, and simple
Vehicularly housed residents are subject to similar harassment, no matter how responsibly they conduct
themselves. They never know when their vehicle will be ticketed, towed, or they'll wake up at 3 a.m. to the
sound of police pounding at their door, demanding to know if they're inside.
Safe and Legal Campsites
Creating a safe and legal place for vehicularly housed and folk outdoors will reduce the impact on local
neighborhoods from people forced to park and sleep wherever they can.