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The Right To Sleep in BEVERLY HILLS
9 years ago

In this wealthy California state,there are,just the same,about two dozen

But they are being blamed for the accumulated misdeeds,of those from the last
16 years,and a re-criminalized "no-camping" ordinance suddenly came out of
nowhere (with signs) as of May 12.

Though one can sleep overnight some places on a public building (re: Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals,ends 6 a.m.) eight hours of opportunity don't equal
8 hours of sleep. But,taking a nap in a public place beyond that is now's a dilemma.

9 years ago

Am refreshing this thread and putting it on Twitter, as this is an important human need and right.


Right to Sleep Activist Arrested
10 years ago

-from Heatscore, Homeless Nation
Today marks the first day of David Arthur Johnston’s latest hunger-strike in support of the rights of the homeless in Victoria.
In the midst of Canada’s homelessness catastrophe, the crown has manipulated the opportunity of the Right to Sleep constitutional challenge decision being reserved for a period of up to 8 months. Whilst David Arthur Johnston and Supporters including Tavis Dodds, a journalist for the East Van Republic, and members of Vancouver’s Anti-Poverty Committee and Victoria’s Students Against War were preparing to pitch camp at St. Ann’s academy, David Arthur Johnston was arrested by a small army of police in his peaceful manner for breaching a court order not to attend St. Ann’s Academy.

Realizing that the ramifications of a precedent favouring the homeless could damage tourism and gentrification nationally, the crown has undertaken a systematic campaign of crushing dissent in order to remove the spotlight on the legal limbo that homeless people face. What the Crown fails to realize is that people across the country will not let the issue die. From the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty’s take over of a major park in Toronto today, to David Arthur Johnston’s refusal to let homeless people live without dignity, the whole nation is fighting this poor-bashing crown tooth and nail and we intend to win by any means necessary.

This is David’s 21st arrest around the right to sleep campaign and he plans to spend the time in lock up fasting again. David’s last arrest resulted in the equivalent of a 36-day hunger strike. Supporters were told by police during the arrest that David would appear in Victoria city court Monday morning, likely 9:00 am. Supporters will be available for comment and to network outside the courthouse, Monday 9:00 am.

well care2 tech is screwing up as usual..
10 years ago

it only printed part of the post. Please visit URL of blog, which has been posted. Thanks.

10 years ago

Santa Cruz Human Rights Organization (HRO),

(831) 425-4467 or 345-9685

Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom (HUFF),

10 years ago


[Howard Zinn Speaks out on the Sleeping Ban "I think we should interrupt the sleep of people who pass such laws."]
Speaking in response to the Santa Cruz Sleeping Ban at an event sponsored by the
Resource Center for Nonviolence.

Many people don’t know that Santa Cruz homeless rights advocates and well known civil rights attorneys are preparing a lawsuit against the city of Santa Cruz for anti-homeless laws that violate constitutional rights. For those who have been following the issue you will find this important information.

For year’s efforts by many community members who lobbied local law makers to do the right thing for the homeless, not just the easy thing fell on deaf ears.

In early 2006 we began an outreach program to national legal organizations that support legal actions on homeless issues. This was slow and it became obvious results would not soon be forthcoming. A key turning point in our effort accrued when the U.S. 9th. Circuit Court ruled against Las Angles Camping ordinances. With this hopeful decision in L.A. in early 2007 we began to contact local legal council in a grass roots effort to bring relief from these same types of laws, and the harsh enforcement in Santa Cruz.

We now have attorneys David Beauvais, Kate Wells and Brett Bennett interviewing people that have received citations under the Santa Cruz “Camping Prohibited” laws in preparations for the law suit. These restrictive laws include 6.36.010(a) the Sleeping Ban, 6.36.010(b) the Blanket Ban and 6.36.010(c) the Camping Ban.

The largest problems with these laws are that they criminalize the homeless for using public spaces, and sleeping and camping at night. It is well documented that there is a lack of adequate emergency shelter in Santa Cruz. People are being criminalized when they make their own shelter or try to form protective groups. Other outward problems are lack of adequate medical care, community prejudice, political cowardice and rigorous Police enforcement. It’s not quit clear how homeless people are expected to live.

Our focus is on defending, restoring, and establishing civil rights for homeless people rather than lobbying for more services. We believe people should be free from police, state, and community harassment. Free to organize and to form self-help communities. It is to these ends we are willing to spend time and effort. We are looking forward to hearing from anyone about whatever legal help you can bring to the issues or questions you have.

We are looking for volunteers to work with attorneys and plaintiffs, help with community education on the issue, write letters and make phone calls.

We are in need of funds, any donations (tax deductible) can be sent to the address below.

Community Defense Inc.

For: Santa Cruz Anti-Sleeping Lawsuit

P.O. Box 7649

Santa Cruz, CA 95061

Endorsed by:

Santa Cruz Human Rights Organization (HRO),

Tim, thanks!
11 years ago

Looks like an excellent website- and thanks, also, for that quote.  I like the way Howard Zinn thinks   (he's always been one of my favorites) 

The fight for the right to sleep not anywhere and everywhere but somewhere is still being waged in S
11 years ago

A new website to be used for putting out information regarding the Sleeping Ban Lawsuite against the City of Santa Cruz is now up. Updates will be added as the suit progresses. A new update will be posted tomorrow. There is lots of current information there now.
Poverty is not a crime.
Howard Zinn Speaks out on the Sleeping Ban "I think we should interrupt
the sleep
of people who pass
such laws."

*Howard Zinn 10/25/97*

Speaking in response to the
Santa Cruz Sleeping Ban
at an event sponsored by the
Resource Center for Nonviolence.

I’m looking for 18 ticketed homeless to fight their camping tickets
11 years ago

I’m looking for 18 ticketed homeless to fight their camping tickets

Peace be with you

Wednesday April 17, 2008 the Eureka Police Department ticketed 18 people for “camping.” If anyone can locate any of these accused please send them my way. Eureka, as well as Arcata, has lost these cases in court already and have done nothing to bring local laws in line with constitutional guarantees. If you are homeless and have no place to sleep you can not be convicted of “camping” when there is no legal place for you to sleep.

Though many potential crimes were reported by the EPD in the press release nobody was arrested for any such crimes. Camping was the only crime people were cited for. Help us stop the illegal ticketing of homeless for life sustaining activities.

If anyone in Humboldt County wants to fight their camping tickets I can hook you up with a lawyer and help you with all the court %#&!*%. Contact me.

love eternal

Get to the point
11 years ago

Get to the point A task force aimed at finding permanent housing for the homeless is wasting valuable time The San Diego City Council operates under a system in which members tend to defer to a colleague when the issue at hand is geographic in nature. For instance, Scott Peters would take the lead on issues in La Jolla while Tony Young would be the go-to guy on matters in Encanto. Donna Frye in Clairemont, Brian Maienschein in Rancho Bernardo—you get the picture. But such a system isn’t always a good idea, for the issue might have qualities that trump geography. Take homelessness, for example. When a City Council committee created a task force to address the need for permanent shelter for homeless citizens, it appointed Kevin Faulconer to chair it, because he represents Downtown, where the largest chunk of the homeless population lives. However, representing Downtown means maintaining close contact with downtown business groups, and seeking solutions that help homeless people doesn’t always mesh with seeking solutions that help people who wish homeless people would just go away. Early indications suggest that Faulconer has given the business group priority, which convinces us that a better chairperson would have been Jim Madaffer, who has demonstrated throughout the years an interest in homelessness, or Toni Atkins, whose top priority has been affordable housing. (Atkins is at least a member of the task force and, ideally, will help keep the panel’s eyes on the prize.) It’s become painfully obvious that Faulconer’s primary goal is to reinstate the police department’s enforcement of the city’s illegal-lodging law, which ostensibly bans homeless people from sleeping in public. In response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of a handful of homeless people, claiming that it’s unconstitutional to deny folks the right to sleep outdoors when there’s no viable alternative, the city agreed to stop ticketing people for merely sleeping on public property between 9 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. Faulconer came right out of the chute talking during the first two meetings about getting those citations back in action. Attorneys representing the homeless people have been asked how many new beds it’ll take for them to agree to drop their case. In interviews with CityBeat, Faulconer has acknowledged that he’s heard from downtown business representatives unhappy with the illegal-lodging settlement and has sung the praises of Rachel Ortiz, a Barrio Logan activist who, at last week’s task force meeting, made no secret of her preference for a more punitive approach to solving homelessness. To sum up her thoughts on the matter: Toss ’em all in jail. Appalling. Faulconer is a friendly guy and seems decent enough, but under his leadership, the task force so far has been a colossal waste of time. In addition to squandering precious hours discussing the illegal-lodging law (at the third meeting, his first appearance, task force member and developer Dene Oliver thankfully noted that law enforcement is not the purview of this group) the task force is now in the midst of discussing possible locations for next winter’s temporary shelter. This thing is called the Permanent Homeless Facility Task Force—it’s right there in the name. It shouldn’t be using its limited time in existence talking about the temporary shelter. The winter facility should be handled by the City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee, allowing the task force to get down to the business at hand: coming up with plans to site and finance a permanent intake center, where homeless folks can find temporary shelter and get routed to the services they need (such as substance-dependency treatment, mental-health treatment and domestic-violence help), and to site and finance permanent supportive housing units. Much of the groundwork has already been done. The City Council in 2006 approved its Plan to End Chronic Homelessness, which, as part of a nationwide campaign, states, correctly, that the only effective way to attack chronic homelessness is with a “housing first” approach. Once people are housed, it’s much easier to begin fixing the problems that caused their homelessness. Once those problems are dealt with, the “hidden” costs of homelessness—emergency medical care, police work, jail stays and court time—will be reduced. Other cities have done it, and their experiences are documented. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. The task force must get right to determining exactly how many supportive-housing units are needed and then issue requests for proposals to developers, who can work with the city on locations and financing. This, in addition to developing an intake center, will be a gargantuan task burdened with the usual NIMBYism problems, but it’s terribly important, and the City Council, through this task force, has to think big and show real leadership. And the first step is for Faulconer and his task force to stop tip-toeing, stop talking about side issues, stay on point and get it done. Got something to say? Email us at *fair use*

11 years ago Among the homeless in Gresham, there is fear. The official statement in Gresham is that homelessness does not exist in their town. This is the statement of the mayor and the police. However, there is at least a hundred chronically homeless folks in the city of Gresham, a suburb of Portland, OR. Yet the homeless that are there, for the most part, have been raised in Gresham, and the town in their permanent residence, so to speak. The police have done what they can to force the homeless to move out of town, to make the official statement to be true. They regularly force people out of their camps, even throwing away their tents and blankets and sleeping bags. They regularly check on people who look homeless, whether they are or not. In the past, they have waited for the homeless outside of churches where the street folks worshipped in order to pick up anyone who happened to have a warrant. This practice was stopped because of the concern of middle class citizens who express their dismay at that practice. The police also attempted to deny some homeless folks access to the library because they were camping on public property. This attempt was thwarted by a Multnomah County judge. But more than this, some people have been targeted with brutality. Mitch, a gentle, quiet homeless man, was attacked by a police dog and so was walking with a limp for the rest of his life. Another couple was recently beaten senseless by the police. The homeless are regularly threatened. I, myself, was last year threatened with arrest because I was a witness to the verbal abuse they poured upon innocent people. The problem, as I see it, is not one that can be rectified by judges or by taking each situation as it comes. The city that denies the existence of homelessness is only one issue. In Portland, public bathrooms are closed so that the homeless have no place to use the toilet. This is a basic human necessity, yet it is denied to one segment of the population. We all need to have sleep in order to live and to function appropriately, but the homeless are denied the right to sleep because they cannot establish a place themselves. If they get a place to sleep then they know that they will be rousted out of their sleep one of these nights and told to move on. It is a basic necessity of life to eat, and yet some cities are denying even churches an opportunity to feed street people. It is a basic necessity of life to have shelter from the cold, yet every neighborhood wants to deny any place for the homeless to congregate indoors. Ultimately, all this is based on one issue: the denial of street people’s humanity. Everyone in all segments of society would agree that street people ARE people. Yet societal forces are denying their humanity, taking away their ability to function as physical beings. They are being denied the very survival necessities that would be considered abuse to any animal—denying sleep, a place to go to the bathroom, a place out of dangerous weather, and food. It is not that there are not resources available for the homeless to have these human necessities met, it is that society is denying their humanity to grant them access to these resources. My main question is, what can be done? How can we communicate to a society that denies our humanity, our very existence? Is there a peaceful means to establish the re-humanization of the homeless? Does anyone have any ideas? What would you do if you were here in Gresham, living among the oppressed? Steve K *fair use*

Right to Sleep rally, Monday, Jan 28
11 years ago Right to Sleep rally, Monday, Jan 28 topic posted Sun, January 27, 2008 - 2:01 PM by danielle Hey All, Local activists, homeless, students, and community workers are rallying tomorrow in support of the right of all Victorians to sleep on streets and in parks without harassment by law enforcement and businesses. The right to sleep is a human right, one that marginalized folks in Victoria are regularly denied by lack of affordable housing and shelter beds. Lawyer Irene Faulkner has launched a challenge of the city's bylaws which make it illegal for the homeless to sleep outdoors, on the grounds that such bylaws are unconstitutional. We are rallying tomorrow at the Courthouse to show our support for Faulkner's case, to protest the unjust treatment of homeless attempting to sleep on our streets, and to demand more safe, affordable beds in our community. We will meet at Victoria Courthouse, at the intersection of Blanshard and Broughton, Monday, January 28th at Noon, and march on to city hall. Live music, lunch by Food Not Bombs (I think!) I hope some of you can make it out! posted by: danielle offline danielle Vancouver 15 friends *fair use* Harmony- note- this message was a little late in getting out there, or in being picked up.. as I've only just got it in my google reader today.. february 7th...
Thanks Harmony
11 years ago

Thanks, Yes it is so beautiful here, but unfortunately its also becoming a place only for the elite as more and more and more laws that are aimed at the criminalization of homelessness come to pass.  Its even illegal to sleep in said driveway, with permission! At least it is in the City of Santa Cruz.  Scott's Valley, in the County of Santa Cruz, passed their own nighttime sleeping ban, one day before Christmas in 2006 with 20 degree temperatures. Rights for those with homes and those without be damned. Safe Sleeping zones are an option that take less enforcement, money, resources and provide a dignified answer to the problem. The City Council is full of merchants and developers or political ladder climbers.  They care little for the homeless but like to pretend they do. The walk in Shelter is a mess, black mold, rules made up as they go along. But today, if it was like last week, hundreds of homeless will stand up to the police as they have the last to weeks, and it wont even make the local paper. Yet 12 people walking the railroad tracks in defiance of a new tresspass law did. But its all ok now, as the new law will only be used... drum roll... for the homeless. That was in the paper. $2,000 fines for walking the railroad tracks.

Thanks Harmony!



Tim, thanks for that report! (post)
11 years ago
I used to live in Santa Cruz myself- both as a "homed" person, and as a "homeless" person. As a "homed" person, I used to think that Santa Cruz was a lovely community by the sea- so many fascinating places to go, etc. As a "homeless" person, the very ugly, cold side of Santa Cruz instantly lay exposed. NO place to go, and no time to rest in any of the places you weren't allowed to be. I remember my husband and I tried to park our VW van in an industrial section of town. At least there, there was a night time bathroom that was open. But all too soon, one of the guys who worked there started yelling at us and threatening us. I got so desperate for sleep and rest I drove to Capitola, trying to see if someone would let me sleep in their driveway over night. No. No such luck. I think Howard Zinn is right. Let the rest of the wealthy, the heartless, and the stupid be disturbed for once!!
The right to sleep ending the sleeping ban in SC
11 years ago
I live in Santa Cruz California, ranked the 15th worst City in America for its treatment of the homeless. I am a local activist fighting such draconian laws as the Nighttime Sleeping Ban, The Blanket Ban, and the 15 Minute Parking Lot trespass Law.

For three decades Santa Cruz authorities have used The Nighttime Sleeping Ban to selectively harass and drive away homeless people. The ordinance MC 6.36.010a is a law against sleeping on any public property, or in a vehicle and most private property between the hours of 11PM to 8:30 AM. In a town with emergency walk-in shelter for less than 60-160 people and an estimated homeless population of 1500-2000, this law is unconscionable, unconstitutional and immoral.

The Blanket Ban makes it illegal to cover up with blankets or bedding outside during the same nighttime hours.

Visit to read about the current lawsuit we are starting in federal court. After the Jones decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the subsequent Jones Settlement, nighttime camping bans in Los Angeles, Fresno, Richmond and San Diego were eliminated. Activists in Santa Cruz took heart and began preparing for a legal challenge here.

We hope to challenge not only the Santa Cruz's infamous Sleeping Ban , criminalizing the very act of sleeping at night, but also any and all police practices that abusively and selectively target houseless humans for necessary survival behavior such as sleeping. Given the city-acknowledged shelter emergency, the city has done little to resolve in spite of its "progressive" pretensions.

Attorneys from Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Washington, D.C. are putting together the pleadings. Attor­neys from San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento are helping.

The City Attorney and Mayor
Ryan Coonerty has resisted any and all efforts to reform the Sleeping Ban so that it conforms with the 9th Circuit decision. We are fund-raising and gathering plaintiffs to take the course directly to federal court and expect to have an action filed in February.


Fighting for a Place to Sleep: David Arthur Johnston
11 years ago
Fighting for a Place to Sleep: Homeless Challenge to Canadian Authority
11 years ago Written by Press Release Saturday, 05 January 2008 The Most Important Event In Canadian History (A.K.A. Here Come The Tent-Cities) by David Arthur Johnston JANUARY 9th and 10th, 2008, the Provincial Government of BC is bringing us to a BC Supreme Court judge to attempt a discontinuance of the 'Right to Sleep' Charter Challenge that is due to begin JANUARY 28th and is set for a five day trial. Success of the Charter Challenge, the striking of the Corporation of the City of Victoria's 'anti-camping' and chattel bylaws, would mean that the people's right to facilitate survival would preclude any restriction if done conscientiously. Meaning we could set up tents with an attitude of minimal damage, anywhere we saw fit, ultimately not limited to any 'private property,' making those who would restrict "their property" having to make it physically inaccessible (12 foot high razor wire fences around the parks) or to simply trust in the good nature of people. I trust the first tent-cities will begin on government land, as, generally speaking, people would like to impose as little as possible on the sensibilities of those who've long held property "bought" from the 'Crown'. Being a Constitutional issue, every municipality in Canada would have to adhere. In time there will be multiple tent-cities: some for families, some more "front line" (where many angels will get their training). The beginning of the tent-cities mark the end of capitalism, most notably when a mass of people understand that they no longer "have" to pay rent, bringing economic collapse. This is for real, folks... If the court says we must pay to live it means that they're fascists and we're slaves. It means, knowing better, there would be no way to maintain sanity AND ignore the responsibility of rather being dead than corrupt. Patience be with us all. David Arthur Johnston Victoria, BC, Canada Home page: Journal of the Occupation of St. Ann's Academy (Victoria, BC, Canada): Crimes of Necessity- (from filmmaker Andrew Ainsley. Very comprehensive.) *fair use*
Canadaian blog- Sleeping Human Rights- The Right to Sleep
11 years ago
Canadian Blog "Another year has passed and the situations facing homeless people on the streets of Victoria remain horrific. 109 people died while living homeless on the streets of Victoria in 2007, this statistic is based on the number of funeral services held at ‘Our Place’ which is the primary drop-in center in downtown Victoria. On average, 2 homeless people died every week in Victoria in 2007, up slightly from 106 deaths in 2006. In February 2007 the ‘Homeless Needs Survey’ counted 1242 people as homeless or unstably housed and at risk of becoming homeless. In December the ‘Mayor’s Task Force on Breaking the Cycle of Mental Illness, Addiction and Homelessness’ announced that 1550 people were considered to be homeless on the streets of Victoria. These two research projects cost taxpayers approximately $500,000 and used up thousands of volunteer hours. The conclusions are documented in two massive documents that simply state that homeless people need homes. They call for action but to date none has been forthcoming from any level of government. In October the Victoria Steering Committee on Homelessness launched a website to help inform the public about ways to help the homeless through action: In October the Vancouver Island Health Authority attempted to close Laurel House, a drop in center for people living with mental illness, but faced fierce opposition from members, a house occupation, and outrage from the general public. Closure was suspended for six months. Many of these people are on the brink of street life. VIHA cut down 30 endangered Arbutus trees in order to prevent homeless people sleeping under them, and were fined by the City of Victoria for destroying the endangered trees. The Needle Exchange, run with funding from VIHA, was evicted from its downtown location. The City of Victoria and the Attorney General of British Columbia have worked hard throughout the year to keep a constitutional issue from being heard by a BC Supreme Court Judge. The question is whether the public has the right to sleep outside on publicly owned land when there is no other place to sleep due to a lack of affordable housing or emergency shelter. The point being that jailing people for sleeping when there is no other place to sleep is against the human rights and freedoms as defined by the Canadian Constitution. The City of Victoria has not responded to a Judge who wants a firm definition of the word 'abode' in the context of its use in a city bylaw which prohibits sleeping outdoors, or for that matter sitting, standing, lying, and squatting on public space. The mayor has ordered police to post signs stating “No Loitering, Camping, Soliciting, or Trespassing” at stores all over the downtown core. Legally, these signs take the onus off the property owner or store manager to formerly launch a complaint and allow police to act on their own to remove people from private property. Using the ‘chattel’ bylaw Mayor Allan Lowe and the Council of Victoria have mandated that the City Police force take backpacks away from street people. Any belongs that are set down on sidewalks or streets are confiscated and a fine must be paid to reclaim the item. Hundreds of homeless people have had backpacks, blankets, foam, tarps, and other items taken away. In April, with a great deal of media spin, Premier Gordon Campbell announced that the province of BC spent $80 million towards low income housing, protecting 996 affordable housing units by buying 15 buildings in Vancouver, Victoria and Burnaby. However, these units were all occupies and no new housing was made available for homeless people. $250 million has been set aside to building affordable housing but no housing construction has begun and the money has not seen the light of day. In May Premier Gordon Campbell increased his own salary by 54% with an increase of $89,000 on top of what he already makes. All MLA’s increase their wage by %29 although the minority NDP, unable to stop the bill from passing, donated their wage increase to charity. Victoria’s apartment vacancy rate is 0.5%, one of the lowest in Canada. The minimum rent for a bachelor suite is $500 per month, if you can find it and more likely around $650. 2 bedroom apartments are a minimum of $1000. Welfare in British Columbia is one of the lowest in the country at $235 for support of a single person with $375 maximum for shelter. The highest rate of income assistance is for a 2 parent family with children at $401.06 support and a maximum rent of $820. British Columbia has the highest poverty rate in Canada. Posted by Ancient Clown at 7:44 PM " *fair use*
Settling on the homeless status quo?
11 years ago An agreement to allow sleeping on the sidewalk during certain hours is good, but the city should commit to housing them, too. October 12, 2007 It is natural to want to put the most positive spin possible on this week's homeless settlement, which allows people to spend their nights on public sidewalks almost anywhere in the city of Los Angeles without being rousted by police. Frustrated advocates, policymakers and observers grasp at any hint of forward momentum after years of official ping-ponging between approaches to the problem. Treat the homeless with dignity and let them get help at their own pace -- by allowing them to camp out near food service businesses and residences? Crack down on crime -- by sweeping the streets and compelling the mentally ill, the drug-addicted and the destitute to move to some other part of town? So there is some appeal to the agreement, under which the Los Angeles Police Department agrees to stop enforcing, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., the city law against sleeping on sidewalks. All bets are off once the city opens 1,250 units of permanent supportive housing -- units that put roofs over the heads of a few of the city's most desperate people while providing the drug treatment, mental health services and job counseling meant to keep them from drifting back to the street. Unlike earlier settlement proposals, it avoids unfairly placing the responsibility for putting up the homeless on the eastern part of downtown that has become known as skid row. Still, the settlement carries a very distinct whiff of status quo. An agreement that puts an end to legal wrangling is fine, as far as it goes. But there is little here that actually moves the city toward getting homeless people housed. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the city's policing of the homeless in the first place because it is both cruel and preposterous to arrest someone for sleeping outside when that person has nowhere else to sleep. The settlement provides no deadline for completing those 1,250 units, and city officials have the option of simply accepting the long-term non-enforcement of the sidewalk ban if supportive housing falls off the city's priority list. It's not part of the agreement, but City Council President Eric Garcetti stuck his neck out and said those units will be completed within three years. That's an important commitment because it keeps the city on track toward housing its homeless as a long-term solution. Los Angeles cannot tolerate hundreds and thousands of people living on its streets -- for the welfare of the homeless and that of the rest of the city. *fair use*
11 years ago

 perhaps a good gift for homeless all over would be Hamocks ...easy to install betwen two trees.

11 years ago

if you want to read the article please click the link.

I wonder how high the salary was that was paid to the architects of such wonderful "no sleep park benches"...? enough to help at least a couple ofneedy  people into a real  bed .

Public Benches turn anti Homeless..everywhere
11 years ago

Tokyo's Ueno Onshi is the oldest park in Japan, designated by the Japanese Cabinet in 1873. A favorite spot for cherry-blossom viewing, it is also home to museums, art galleries, a library and a zoo -- one of only a few combined cultural precincts of its type.

While simply walking around this large park is enough to give anyone a good workout, there are relatively few benches, and visitors should assume that they won't be able to find a seat. Even if you are lucky enough to find one, however, you probably won't feel like sitting there for more than a few minutes on account of the unusual shape of the benches.

The bench in the photo below, for example, has a sturdy steel partition in the middle of it, meaning the user has to sit up straight. The seat also slopes down so one has to brace one's feet against the ground to stop falling forward.

Other benches in the park are too short to lie down on (see below, left). In some cases, there are protrusions placed on what might otherwise become a makeshift bench at one-meter intervals to prevent people from stretching out and getting too comfortable

For the answer to this, we must understand that Ueno Park is also famous for something else. If one ventures into the middle of the park, one will find a cluster of blue tarpaulin tents, belonging to the homeless people who reside permanently in the park. Here they sleep, cook on gas stoves, wash their clothes with the park taps and even keep cats and dogs. According to the Tokyo Bureau of Construction, there were over 150 tents in December 2005. It is said that if one counts those homeless people who don't pitch tents but rather bring pieces of cardboard into the park at night to sleep, there can be over 300 people sleeping in the park on any given night.

A 2005 government survey found that there are 25,000 homeless people in Japan. It is said that 5,000 of these live in the greater Tokyo area. While people become homeless for different reasons, unlike in Western Europe, the main reasons for homelessness in Japan are not unemployment, divorce, drugs.This was not restricted only to Tokyo: Osaka, now the city with the biggest homeless population, was converged upon by laborers from around Japan to lay the infrastructure for the 1970 Osaka Expo, and Yokohama began serving as a labor market immediately after the end of WWII for dockworkers who loaded cargo for the U.S. Army. These workers were all behind-the-scenes players in Japan's rapid economic growth. As casual laborers from this period -- discarded when industries were restructured -- make up many of Japan's current homeless population, the average age of the Japanese homeless people is 55.9 -- higher than elsewhere .

In all the large parks in central Tokyo that once functioned as markets for casual laborers and now serve as beds for the homeless we can find the same kind of benches as in Ueno Park. These benches are actually designed to drive homeless people away, and were introduced by metropolitan and civic authorities in response to complaints from citizens. While fitting benches with partitions is the most popular way to stop people from sleeping on them, there are many variations on this theme, such as using arm rests, placing protrusions along the edge of grass verges, or even using one-person seats instead of benches. The bench in the photo below may appear to be of modern design, but because of its tubular construction one risks sliding off if not careful.

One should be especially careful if drunk at the time! Made of stainless steel, the benches are hot in summer and cold in winter. The Toshima-ward parks office, which oversees Ikebukuro West Park, home to this bench, describes the bench as "designed to keep with the modern image of the area while at the same time not allowing homeless people to loiter.

11 years ago
Fair Use
11 years ago
Al Seib / LAT
WARNING: LAPD Officers Mike Coblentz, left, and Guadalupe “Shep” Ruvalcaba tell 58-year-old Tyrone Victor Valiant that he needs to reduce the sidewalk space taken up by his tent on 6th Street.
L.A., homeless advocates reach deal on sidewalk sleeping
11 years ago The homeless can sleep on L.A. streets from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. with certain restrictions. By Steve Hymon and David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers October 11, 2007 Even as Los Angeles officials announced Wednesday that they were settling a lawsuit with advocates for the homeless over a city law that prohibits people from sleeping on sidewalks, downtown Councilwoman Jan Perry vowed to pursue a law that would forbid such camping. The legal settlement involves a 2003 lawsuit brought by skid row residents who complained they were being arrested for sleeping on sidewalks, despite having nowhere else to go. Under the new deal, the homeless can sleep on sidewalks from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. anywhere in the city as long as they do not block access to doorways or driveways or completely block the sidewalk. If a homeless person blocks an entrance or the sidewalk, police first must issue a warning and then give the person time to move. Until now, police were allowed to remove the homeless from sidewalks in neighborhoods outside downtown, although they rarely have done so. Under the settlement's terms, the city can enforce its overnight sidewalk sleeping ban only if it builds 1,250 units of supportive housing for the homeless, with half those units downtown. City officials said such action was unlikely to take place for at least three to five years. The lawsuit was brought by six homeless people who alleged that the city's enforcement of the sidewalk sleeping ban was harassment. But the deal drew criticism from downtown business leaders because it allows sidewalk sleeping to continue. "People eat, live, sleep and defecate in the same place on our sidewalks -- what's good about that?" said Estela Lopez, executive director of the Central City East Assn. Perry, who represents most of the 50-square-block area known as skid row, resisted efforts last year to settle the lawsuit. The difference this time around, she said, was the provision allowing the homeless to sleep overnight anywhere in the city, not just in skid row. "I felt that whatever applied to this community should apply to all communities in Los Angeles," said Perry, who called the settlement a "decent outcome for now." But Perry said she wants to create a new anti-camping ordinance that could withstand a challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union, which helped argue the case against the ban. Ramona Ripston, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California, said her group would oppose any anti-camping law. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in April 2006 that the city was woefully short of overnight shelter space and said arresting a homeless person for sleeping on the sidewalk was "cruel and unusual punishment." Judges also wrote in their decision that Los Angeles' sidewalk sleeping law was more restrictive than those in most other cities and amounted to criminalizing homelessness. Both the city and homeless advocates agreed to ask the appeals court to vacate its decision. If the court declines, the settlement will be negated. Since the 9th Circuit's ruling, the Los Angeles Police Department has been enforcing the ban only during the day. Ripston said the settlement would force the city to build supportive housing where the homeless can receive treatment for problems that led them to live on the streets. "Like all settlements, it's not perfect," Ripston said. "But it's a case that started with a request for shelter beds. We're getting a lot more than we asked for." The council unanimously approved the settlement Tuesday in a closed-door meeting, a move that infuriated downtown business leaders who had followed the issue for years. Carol Schatz, president and chief executive of the Central City Assn., said that the council pursued a "stealth" strategy that would leave downtown to cope with the brunt of the homeless crisis. "It's impossible to believe that they really wanted our input," said Schatz, whose group represents developers and business interests. For one businessman, the settlement also raises the prospect that the homeless will increasingly spread beyond skid row, bounded by 3rd, 7th, Main and Alameda streets, and begin setting up tents and boxes on sidewalks in front of downtown's increasing number of late-night restaurants, as well as the newly opened Ralphs supermarket and Staples Center. "How would you like people setting up tents in front of your house with no bathroom facilities? It's going to be a health hazard," said Peter Zen, the owner's representative for the Westin Bonaventure Hotel. "And every morning, after they clear out their tents, who's going to clean up after them?" The LAPD last year increased the number of officers deployed to skid row. Police Chief William J. Bratton said that effort had greatly reduced crime there but also had pushed homeless to other parts of the city. *fair use*
Exactly, Mark- as witness the following article
11 years ago Lack of sleep may be deadly, research shows September 24, 2007 06:39:50 AM PST People who do not get enough sleep are more than twice as likely to die of heart disease, according to a large British study released on Monday. Although the reasons are unclear, researchers said lack of sleep appeared to be linked to increased blood pressure, which is known to raise the risk of heart attacks and stroke. A 17-year analysis of 10,000 government workers showed those who cut their sleeping from seven hours a night to five or less faced a 1.7-fold increased risk in mortality from all causes and more than double the risk of cardiovascular death. The findings highlight a danger in busy modern lifestyles, Francesco Cappuccio, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Warwick's medical school, told the annual conference of the British Sleep Society in Cambridge. "A third of the population of the UK and over 40 percent in the U.S. regularly sleep less than five hours a night, so it is not a trivial problem," he said in a telephone interview. "The current pressures in society to cut out sleep, in order to squeeze in more, may not be a good idea -- particularly if you go below five hours." Previous research has highlighted the potential health risks of shift work and disrupted sleep. But the study by Cappuccio and colleagues, which was supported by British government and U.S. funding, is the first to link duration of sleep and mortality rates. The study looked at sleep patterns of participants aged 35-55 years at two points in their lives -- 1985-88 and 1992-93 -- and then tracked their mortality rates until 2004. The results were adjusted to take account of other possible risk factors such as initial age, sex, smoking and alcohol consumption, body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol. The correlation with cardiovascular risk in those who slept less in the 1990s than in the 1980s was clear but, curiously, there was also a higher mortality rate in people who increased their sleeping to more than nine hours. In this case, however, there was no cardiovascular link and Cappuccio said it was possible that longer sleeping could be related to other health problems such as depression or cancer-related fatigue. "In terms of prevention, our findings indicate that consistently sleeping around seven hours per night is optimal for health," he said. *fair use*
Sleep deprivation is a form of torture.
11 years ago
Inadequate sleep has also been found to be a factor that can lead to heart attacks.
Santa Cruz- Greg Canada's sleep trial
11 years ago
Via email- from Yahoo HUFF group (Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom) Craig Canada Sleeping Ban Trial 1:30 PM 9-25 Dept. 1 at 701 Ocean St. Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 17:50:46 -0700 Canada, according to this goes back to trial at 1:30 PM on Tuesday September 29th (tomorrow). I haven 't reached him by phone, but that seems to be the case. It seems pretty outrageous that Craig is going to have to mount another necessity defense and round up witnesses (his star witness Linda Lemaster is ill) to prove exactly the same case again. It seems clear that Judge Denine Guy seems to be trying to make it hard for him so as to "encourage" him to disappear or abandon marijuana medication. I encourage folks to show up and support him (don't know if I'll be there). I include a fuller description below from his blog. There was a full story on his trial in the August issue of Street Spirit, compliments of Linda Lemaster, which I'm trying to have posted on R. Norse From Craig Canada's blog at palmsprings I had another trial for sleeping Friday and was intending to post about it here anyway. The long and short of it is the trial (no lawyers) is continued Tuesday afternoon at 1:30. The judge tried to call Page Smith when I told her about the emails my mother received and forwarded to me. I had to go to court again Friday for sleeping tickets. One ticket was dismissed when the issuing officer didn't show. I was required to prove my innocence, that there was no legal alternative, on the other. The judge refused to accept that the ticket was before July 6th, when I was found not-guilty of four tickets per The Necessity Defense. I was the last case, and was in court until it closed at 4:30pm. The judge asked me what had happened in the mean time, and if I had made any attempts to get housing. I related the various events, including that my mother had emailed everyone she could think of and got responses from the city manager and Page Smith, among others. The City Manager's office was surprised their social services refused housing and services to medical marijuana patients (after all I've gone through to raise the issue) but that since the contract for services from the county it isn't their jurisdiction. Page Smith who refused me housing twice, told my mother I could get on their list... ...which I never did. I mentioned the ongoing conversation with 'greaves' and 'beach bum' and that there would be no where for me to medicate. The judge called Page Smith, and continued the trial until Tuesday. I assume the verdict will be based on what Page Smith says, and whether or not I can present evidence that I had no legal alternative. I expect to be found guilty because I didn't spend every waking moment applying for housing. The judge also asked me about my finances, and my credit. I had my mail with me and my credit card statements and told her I was $7,000 in debt, mostly from buying motel rooms to sleep legally. I what I thought was a confirmation for a 'pre-application' for housing turned out to be an application for housing in another county, in Hollister and San Juan Bapista, a different county. From the Santa Cruz housing authority. I hadn't actually looked at the application, and the judge asked me to read it, and when I realized it was in another county I said, "They might as well send me to Nazi Germany". I don't know whether she will accept 'evidence' Tuesday. I was left with the impression that a lot depends on what Page Smith says. *fair use* Will also post in Santa Cruz Homeless Community Aid group
Santa Cruz- Fall Campaign against the Sleeping Ban
11 years ago
Via email- Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2007 12:16:29 -0700 Subject: [huffsantacruz] Bookshop Protest Sunday 2 PM to Feature Plumbers Title: Fall Campaign against the Sleeping Ban--Come Catch Coonerty at Bookshop Santa START DATE: Sunday September 09 TIME: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Location Details: 1520 Pacific Avenue in front of the Bookshop Santa Cruz in downtown Santa Cruz Event Type: Protest Contact Name Robert Norse Email Address rnorse3 [at] Phone Number 423-4833 Address 309 Cedar PMB #14B Santa Cruz, CA 95060 We press on with the campaign to contact the inaccessible Vice-Mayor Ryan Coonerty, manager/worker at the Bookshop. We'll urge shoppers to talk with Coonerty, suggesting their dollars will go elsewhere if he continues to back laws that criminalize the poor, like the City's Sleeping Ban. Featured: Guerrilla theater involving panhandling plumbers and justice-seeking janitors, who are volunteering to clean-up the mess at City Hall and at Coonerty's bookstore. Coonerty has accused the protesters of "creating a climate" where his bathrooms are vandalized. Coonerty, in his three years as Councilmember, has still not opened up a 24-hour bathroom. We will also be discussing and preparing for a potential Sleep-Out at City Hall at the first Council meeting of the year on Tuesday, September 11th. If it happens, the Sleep-Out will coincide with anti-war protest as Congress ducks its obligation to stop funding for the war. See for more details of the ongoing Coonerty protest. Gear up for Halo® 3 and get a $25 Best Buy gift card. It’s our way of saying thanks for using Windows Live™. Get it now! __._,_.___ -- Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom - Santa Cruz w. e. p. 831-423-HUFF *fair use*
Violence makes homeless sleepless, too, continued
11 years ago
After that year is over, residents can sign a lease for permanent affordable housing. The rent is 30 percent of the their income and the rooms have a bathroom and a small kitchen area. Rahn said that there is no minimum income and that the complex's housing is considered very low-income. Due to the lack of affordable housing outside of the complex, the program offered at 50 Washington Square has few openings. "There is always a waiting list," Mullen said. By Andrew Martin *fair use* Copyright © 2003, The East Bay Newspapers
Violence makes homeless sleepless, too
11 years ago
East Bay, RI East Bay Newspapers Thursday, September 6, 2007 Two homeless men explain why their nights are sleepless The threat of violence is why these two homeless men spend their nights walking the streets instead of sleeping. "I heard gunshots the other night," Joseph Coite, who has been homeless for five years, said. Gene Gardell, who Coite called a veteran at 40 years on the street, said that if you're going to sleep at night, you have to be creative. "You can't sleep out in the open at night because you have these little thugs walking around who will smash a bottle over your head," Gardell explained. Coite said that his only option is to rest during the day wherever he can. He's napped in the graveyards and parks around the Broadway area. "Anywhere it's safe," he said. Formerly a house builder, Coite said he was forced to live on the streets when his leg blew-out. He also has problems with his lungs because of asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. Now that Coite is on disability, he said that it is impossible to find a place to live in Newport,where he grew up. He added that no one will hire him because of his health problems. Gardell said that he has been on and off the streets since he was 13 years old, when he would run away from home. He also grew up in Newport and said that he played tight end for the Rogers High School football team. Although he has had jobs including dishwashing and roofing, Gardell explained that he inevitably ends up back on the street. "It becomes a lifestyle," Gardell said. He continued to say that some people can change and get off the street while others cannot. For many, he said, being homeless is "a way of life." Gardell and others in his situation have become like a small community. "Our family is the homeless," he said, explaining that many homeless people are no longer close with their immediate families. Many of them look out for each other, he added. In regards to the meetings that have taken place about problems associated with the homeless, Gardell said that it's a few individuals who have brought this to the public's attention. He added that the police know who the ones causing the problems are. "The cops should worry about our behavior," Gardell said. "If we're doing something wrong than it's a different ball game." He went to say that he truly appreciates the work that Officer James Winters of the Community Oriented Policing Unit has been doing. "Jimmy's been looking out for us for years," he added. Officer Winters started the Community Housing hotline 30 years ago. One night, Officer Winters found Gardell sleeping under a porch on Spring Street. Gardell said that he ended up spending the night in a motel room thanks to Officer Winters. In Newport, one of the main options for homeless people looking for a place to sleep is the emergency McKinney Homeless Shelter in the 50 Washington Square complex. Coite said that he's no longer welcome at the shelter because he "had it out with the people there." Programs offered at 50 Washington Square The complex at 50 Washington Square, which is sponsored by the Church Community Housing Corp., offers several options for the homeless who are looking for assistance. Property manager Christina Rahn called the system a "step-by-step process." First, there is the emergency McKinney Homeless Shelter located on the bottom floor. There are 19 beds for men in dormitory-style rooms. The six women's beds are located on another floor of the building. Meals are not offered there, but there are small donations made every so often, according to the shelter's program director, Vicki Newbold. The decision to not offer meals was because organizations like the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, Salvation Army and Trinity Church offer them. Newbold said that there is no limit to how many nights people can sleep at the shelter. "It's all based on behavior," she said. "You have to be pretty disruptive to be barred." The number of people in the shelter fluctuates, but it is typically at 50 percent capacity, Newbold said. People occupying the shelter can stay in the rooms from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. There are daytime hours as well. CCHC Executive Director Stephen Ostiguy has said at the meetings, however, that budget cuts by the state might end the day program. Shelter residents and/or those hoping to fix their substance abuse issues can then enter into transition housing. If the person has a problem with alcohol or drugs, he or she is sent to a detox center such as SSTAR Detox Central in Providence. That doesn't happen that often, according to social worker Connie Mullen. She said that the last time someone went to a detox center was over a month ago. The challenge with those centers is the ability to find a bed, because many are at fully capacity. Another step is finding a job, which can also be difficult for some of the people. Mullen said that the program tries to help. For example, some residents have been sent to local parking lots to work as an attendant as well as to St. Paul's Thrift Shop. Once the residents enter a transitional room, which has beds for two people, they are given their own keys, a later curfew and access to a kitchenette. There are six male rooms and two female rooms. These residents can stay there for up to two years before moving up in the program, according to Newbold. She added that the transitional housing is typically full. "That's part of the reason why the shelter is usually not full," Newbold explained. The next step of the housing program is moving upstairs to the apartment side of the building, which was the Armed Services YMCA until the 1980s. Residents there take part in a one-year evaluation in single occupancy rooms. (more)
rats! those plywood homes sound like a good step up..
11 years ago
wish I could've seen the engineer's plans for them, Cal!!
The right to sleep
11 years ago
This is an abomination!  When I was in Houston, home of the Beast (George H.W. Bush), an engineer came up with some inexpensive plywood rooms for the homeless to sleep in, and they wouldn't let him build them because they didn't have running water or toilet facilities.  At least a small plywood room with a lock and key would keep them safer and out of the weather for the night.

Love, Hope, Peace, & Christ Be With You,


Sleeping ban illegal
11 years ago August 21, 2007 Sleeping ban illegal As a core member of the sleeping ban ordinance protest, I would like to clarify our goal: 1. We are not asking for money or resources, only the right to sleep between the hours of 11 p.m. and 8:30 a.m., which are normal sleeping hours for all humans. 2. The sleeping ban causes mental, physical and emotional harm to those who try to stay awake all night to avoid a $95 sleeping/camping ticket; are criminalized by being unable to pay a sleeping/camping ban ticket and begin "hiding out" in the woods or bushes; existing mental and physical problems are greatly compounded by those living outdoors or in an unsafe place. 3. Of course, other laws regarding littering, public drinking and disruptive noise should continue to be enforced. 4. Those living in vehicles are marginalized yet often independent; homeless only due to the lack of affordable housing for many years. In conclusion, the sleeping ban in unconstitutional according to the 9th Circuit Court decision, Jones v. Los Angeles. It violates the basic principles of democracy and freedom. Donna Deiss Advertisement Click to learn more... Santa Cruz *fair use*
Not Guilty: That was the verdict on all four counts of sleeping
11 years ago Name: palmspringsbum Location: Santa Cruz, California Sunday, July 08, 2007 Not Guilty That was the verdict on all four counts of sleeping. I didn't feel very victorious and I suspect that the fact that the ACLU was going to jump on it if I lost had a lot to do with the outcome; that it was a simple cost-benefit analysis. A number of people showed up, which I wasn't expecting, and afterwards I remembered that in my first trial ten years ago I realized that I was convicted, to a large extent, because there were no friendly faces in the audience for the judge and the jury to see. When I was attacked by the prosecution, there were no shocked, incredulous, dismayed, sympathetic faces for the judge and jury to see of people who knew me. They were all afraid of being arrested, possibly in the courtroom but most likely they would be placed under surveillance and entrapped. Or raided. I almost hesitate to publish that, but it was true. There were a number of people who not only showed up, but put a lot of time and effort into helping me. A member of the umbrella organization for homeless services in the county showed up to testify on my behalf. The judge, who gave me a bottle of water, stated it was her testimony that was the deciding factor. She said it made all the difference. Linda Lee Masters One of the officers who testified that I did not ask where I was supposed to sleep recanted. I think it was Robert who prompted me to request the recording that enabled me to catch a policeman lying on the stand. Kate Wells, Robert Norse, Becky Johnson, Bernard, Linda, and another lady showed up on my behalf. And there could have been one or two more. More or less in the middle, at the point where the issue of a letter from homeless services came up, I had to medicate. My hands started shaking and... ...the judge declared a recess, I went outside, smoked a bowl, bummed a cigarette from Kate as mine were locked in the courtroom, and we resumed at 3:15pm. I put Linda on the stand to testify about the policy, county wide, regarding medical marijuana patients. I presented as evidence recommendations for the time in question, and offered recommendations going back several more years. The recording of my being thrown out in the rain was entered as evidence and evidently, upon hearing it, the judge blistered someone's ear and got the officer in the court-room to be re-examined by me, at which point he recanted his earlier testimony. I was able, with a lot of help from a lot of very bright and dedicated people, to satisfy a 'necessity' defense myself, in front of a judge. I suppose that is a victory, of sorts. The gist of my defense was that sleep is a biological necessity, that sleep-deprivation is torture, that there is NO accomodation for me through homeless services or any other HUD/federally subsidized housing, that I am a bona-fide medical marijuana patient, and I believe I demonstrated that cannabis is a critical medical necessity for me. That could have some very interesting legal implications. And some very interesting practical ones. One thing that occurs to me is that if they're smart, the homeless will get medical marijauna recommendations. Most of them qualify, particularly if you consider 'harm reduction' medicinal use. posted by palmspringsbum | 10:22 AM *fair use*
"Let Our People Sleep!" Sunday July 1 2 PM in front of Bookshop Santa Cruz
11 years ago
Santa Cruz, California (via email) Title: Sweep Away the Sleeping Ban: Sign Up Sunday in front of Coonerty's Bookshop START DATE: Sunday July 01 TIME: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Location Details: 1520 Pacific Ave. in front of the Bookshop Santa Cruz Santa Cruz's MC 6.36.010a makes it illegal to fall asleep in your vehicle or on any public property 11 PM - 8:30 AM. 1500-2000 people are homeless each night with space for only 40 of them in the City's walk-in emergency shelter program. About 50 citations (fine of $90 each) are given out each month. Homeless property and survival gear is regularly destroyed in Chief Ranger Wallace's raids. Vice-Mayor Ryan Coonerty supports this law and has declined to review the federal court's Jones decision in Los Angeles which has prompted the LAPD and the San Diego PD to citing homeless people at night for "sleepcrime", given the shelter emergency. Come and help us put together a similar lawsuit in Santa Cruz. We will be tabling for homeless plaintiffs, soliciting funds, and seeking supporters. We will also be asking attorney, Vice Mayor and constitutional teacher Ryan Coonerty--who is a worker and co-owner of the Bookshop Santa Cruz--to address this issue. Tabling in search of plaintiffs for a federal lawsuit against the Sleeping Ban Added To The Calendar On Friday Jun 29th, 2007 6:31 PM _______________________________________________ -- Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom - Santa Cruz w. e. p. 831-423-HUFF Yahoo! Groups Links To visit your group on the web, go to: *fair use- please network- SLEEP is a necessary human activity!!*
Homeless man leaves boy asleep at Denny's
12 years ago Denise-Marie Balona | Sentinel Staff Writer Posted May 1, 2007 A stressed-out homeless man who abandoned his girlfriend's 4-year-old son at a Denny's restaurant in Daytona Beach early Monday said he never feared for the boy's safety. "I looked around the crowd of people that were there, and I saw families. I trusted the waiter to watch after him," Nathan Siebrasse said in a telephone interview from the Volusia County Branch Jail hours later. Employees at Denny's called police after Siebrasse, a fortune teller who calls himself Wizard and was dressed in a purple robe, stepped outside for a smoke and never came back as the boy slept inside a booth. Child-welfare advocates said Siebrasse placed the child in extreme danger. "There are all sorts of things that can happen to an unsupervised 4-year-old," said Nancy McBride, the national safety director for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va. Siebrasse said he couldn't take the pressure and figured somebody else at Denny's would be a better, temporary caregiver. "My stress level was just at peak, dangerous levels," said Siebrasse, 29. "I was so tired, and he was hungry, and I didn't make money that day." Siebrasse and his small family -- his girlfriend of three years and her young son -- have been homeless the past couple of months. The family members lost their home in Arkansas in a fire and moved to Daytona Beach, Siebrasse said. The boy's mother has been hospitalized the past few days with Crohn's disease, a chronic-bowel disorder, and is undergoing tests for cancer, he said. She could not be reached for comment. Siebrasse was supposed to take care of the dark-haired youngster. But he decided about 3 a.m. Monday, after a plate of bacon and eggs for him and a cheeseburger for the boy, that he no longer had the patience or money to do that. So the man dressed in a purple velvet robe and matching glittery hat, who makes a living reading palms and tarot cards for $10 and $20 on the beach, waited for the boy to fall asleep and then disappeared. Daytona Beach police said Siebrasse left behind a notebook, in which he wrote a note saying he couldn't take care of the boy and offering his name and the mother's whereabouts. Daytona Beach police tracked him down at Halifax Medical Center, where he had gone soon afterward to visit his girlfriend. It was the second time in days a caregiver abandoned a child in Volusia County. Last week, DeLand mother Jennifer Peltz was arrested on charges of negligent treatment of a child after police said she left her infant daughter at a day-care center for two days. Anything could have happened to the boy Siebrasse left behind, said McBride, with the child-advocacy group. The boy could have wandered into the street, or he could have been picked up by a stranger. Siebrasse didn't see the danger. "I don't think that way. I see the glass as half-full, not half-empty," he said. Siebrasse said he knew he would get in trouble for leaving the boy, who he said has mild autism. But he thought someone else could do more for him -- at least temporarily. Police said the boy, slightly sunburned with beach sand on his red sweat shirt and beige pants, appeared to be in good health. He was in the custody of the state Department of Children & Families but waiting for his grandmother to arrive from another state. Siebrasse remained in jail Monday afternoon on $10,000 bail on a charge of child neglect. A Florida criminal-background check on Siebrasse, who previously lived in Florida, showed mostly misdemeanor charges several years ago, including possessing a fictitious drivers license and one felony charge of failing to appear in court. Two misdemeanors eventually were dropped, though the status of another and the felony were unclear Monday. DCF officials called the abandonment unusual. Although there are times when caregivers are at the end of their ropes, they normally reach out to authorities for help. Siebrasse should have done that, said Lotta Mapp, a department spokeswoman. "This little boy, thankfully, was left where people got him the help he needed," she said. The 24-hour diner on International Speedway Boulevard was abuzz all day with news of the little boy left behind. Claudia Anderson, a Denny's waitress for 10 years, said she had never seen anything like it. "It's just unbelievable because all of us have children," said Anderson, a mother of three. Denise-Marie Balona can be reached at or 386-851-7916. *fair use* Harmony- you're exhausted, stressed, out of money, no place to go.. with a child. Although I don't excuse Nathan's negligence and abandonment of the child, I sure do understand how it came to happen. Exhaustion, stress and desperation will sometimes lead to extremely poor decision making. People need to be able to sleep. They need shelter. They need to eat. We need solutions.
Cabrillo College Homelessness Event Saturday April 21st 12:30 PM
12 years ago
via email: Matt Marks, a homeless activist who did a lot of work fighting the Scotts Valley anti-homeless no-camping ordinance, will be doing a workshop Saturday April 21 at Cabrillo College, described below. Check it out. Title: Social Justice Conference: Imaging Change/Shaping the Future--Homelessness START DATE: Saturday April 21 TIME: 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM Location Details: Cabrillo College, Room 411 Event Type: Conference Contact Name Matt Marks Email Address boshyfizz [at] Phone Number Address The Social Justice Conference runs all day from 9 AM through 5 PM with poetry, workshops on Discrimination (Room 510), Sexual Harassment (Room 406), Environmental Justice (Room 515), Gangs(Room 506), Information as a Social Justice Issue (Room 512), Mexican Social Movements (Room 411), Military vs. Educational Spending (Room 508), Latinos Speaking Out (Room 410) in the morning. Lunch and tabling in front of the theater building at noon. Afternoon Sessions include Social Justice at Cabrillo (Room 512), Racism from Multiple Perspectives (Room 410), Tyranny and Trafficking in Southeast Asia (Room 406), Gnags (Room 506), the Hip-Hop Controversy (Room 508), Legacy of Martin Luther King,Jr. (Room 513), Women's Issues (Room 510), and Homelessness, Room 411. The Homelessness segment of the Conference will review the Santa Cruz City Sleeping Ban, other laws that criminalize homeless people, and an activist response to them. Speakers from HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) and the HRO (Human Rights Organization) will be present, http://www.h... Added To The Calendar On Friday Apr 20th, 2007 10:15 PM Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom - Santa Cruz w. e. p. 831-423-HUFF Yahoo! Groups Links To visit your group on the web, go to: *fair use- please network where appropriate*
Sleeping is a Human Right
12 years ago Saturday, February 10, 2007 Sleeping is a Human Right WHAT RIGHT DID YOU LOOSE TODAY People fail to see the ramifications of laws such as the Sleeping Ban has on everyone’s civil and human rights. People who have preconceptions about the homeless will support such laws out of pure ignorance or bigotry. People in power such as City Council members pander to merchants who blame the poor for their business woes - because having poor people in site of their establishment is somehow harming their business. The continued flow of money and consumerism has become more important then human life, and the basic rights we are all supposed to equally share in. Every time we allow a right to be taken away from any class of people we are destroying our own rights. By allowing the government to make and keep such laws we only open the door for more. Criminalizing the act of sleeping would seem a joke. People have to sleep and will regardless of what law is in place. The problem is telling someone they cannot sleep because they are poor, or because the have no house, is paramount to having “Colored Only” drinking fountains. Cities across the country are now passing laws against feeding people who are homeless, or simply poor. We cannot allow our government to tell us who, when or where we can feed any human being. Do people really want laws criminalize you from feeding another human being when they are hungry? Do we want laws that tell a certain class of people they cannot sleep – at night? Here is Santa Cruz we do, or at least the City Council does, and we all know this is from pressure from business. It seems protecting business and anything revolving around money comes first, even to human life or the Constitution of the United States. Passing such laws only promote poverty. Such laws will never address the issues between merchants and the homeless, nor will it pave a path towards helping people get out of poverty, on the contrary -- it keeps people in poverty. The fact is, people have to sleep. They will break this law out of simple need and many will get tickets and some go to jail. These tickets often go unpaid which leads to warrants or now, your unpaid ticket may be given to a collection agency, altering your chances of ever getting an apartment because your credit is now shot, you could not afford to pay a fine for SLEEPING. On the absurd notion that someone out there does follow the night time sleeping ban, we would have to assume this person stays up all night long and sleeps all day. They have no way to apply for a job, make a phone calls of any meaning, get food, contact social services or conduct any real work towards improving their life, let alone the next 24 hours. They are also exposed and vulnerable at night as they stay awake. Then, at 8:30am they can sleep, sort of. There are many other laws that make it difficult to curl up in a blanket anywhere at anytime. Then there is the fact that most of the food programs, all social services etc. operate in the daytime. It seems to me, if the City really wants the homeless to sleep in the day and walk around all night, then social services should be open at night and the shelters should be for daytime sleeping only. Then we should go a step further and have homeless only bathrooms, drinking fountains, and oh yes, to the back of the bus for the lot of them. This is the message the Sleeping Ban sends. Its time we send a message to the City Council and DEMAND an end to the Sleeping Ban, we are no longer asking. posted by Realist at 2:19 PM | 1 Comments Links to this post *fair use*
12 years ago
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POOR Magazine
12 years ago
Poor Magazine

POOR is a nonprofit, grassroots, arts organization solely supported by grants, donations, and Community Support Membership. Any and all contributions are appreciated and urgently needed. POOR's many projects and programs are made possible in part by support from The Catholic Campaign For Human Development, Schwab Family Foundation, Friedman Family Foundation, A cultural Equity Grant From the San Francisco Arts Commission, The California Arts Council, The Rainbow Grocery Collective, The Creative Work Fund, The Themis Fund of The Tides Foundation, Media Alliance and all of our Community Support Members and Donars

POOR magazine works on a sliding scale distribution basis - We distribute all of our CD, Books and Magazines for free to very low and no-income communities.We are able to do this by selling our publications and Community Support Memberships to organizations and individuals who are able to afford them. In this way, by purchasing a membership or making a contribution you are creating change in the lives of poor and oppressed communities locally and nationally, i.e., a $100.00 membership or contribution to POOR purchases six free memberships for very low and no-income folks and/or supports the Po Scholar Fund which trains very low-income youth and adults in journalism and multi-media or supports the publishing of a POOR Press Publication for a very low-income literary or visual artist, as well as other projects.
POOR Magazine: Our Human Right to Sleep- continued
12 years ago
I asked Mayor Dean how many homeless people are there in the City of Berkeley? "I have always been told that at any one time there are a thousand people who are homeless in the City of Berkeley. We are not able to provide that number of beds every single night -- that's for sure. But we provide more beds in this community than any other community in Alameda County. I've always supported that, and I think that if we need to increase those services -- let's do it. We need to be humane to people; we need to be compassionate to people, but we shouldn't pass moratoriums on 647(j). I don't think that's the way to go. I think our Police Department -- when they find a problem -- need to be careful and sensitive towards people and offer them an alternative. Say, for example, if a person is sleeping in the park. They should say, �Look, we have a bed for you in the shelter or we have vouchers,� or whatever it is that we have at that time." I responded to Mayor Dean that the possibility of the police offering a homeless person an alternative does not exist since there are more people than there are beds, according to what I had just heard. She responded by stating that, "Well, sometimes it is." Over 100 homeless people and allies flooded Berkeley City Hall on the following Tuesday, April 24th, to express to the entire City Council their grievances over the lack of beds and services and the aggressive enforcement of 647(j) by Berkeley cops. Their signs and chants occupied every molecule of space in the chambers and hallways on that evening. It was a night on which the substratum of the tradition of Berkeley would ring loud. A night on which a victory would resound throughout Berkeley and the state of California. It was night on which the very fabric from which America had been built -- poverty and hope � would buck up and force a vote on the Compassionate Treatment resolution. After every testimony was registered with the Council and a lenthy debate by councilmembers, the councilmembers provided the people of a gentle nature an oasis of the sort unique only to the City of Bereley. Just as Lisa Gray-Garcia had stated at the outset two weeks earlier, the first part of the battle had been won. The victory on Tuesday night sets a statewide precedent in the compassionate treatment of homelessness. It requires that police make enforcement of California Penal Code 647(j) a low priority. Furthermore, it provides that people who sleep outside are given two warnings before being arrested for lodging, and that arrests must be initiated by a citizen complaint rather than the volition of a cop. The resolution also calls for a commitment to the human and civil rights of homeless people, and refers multiple programs for study by the city manager, including detoxification facilities, daytime respite care, rainy-day vouchers, increased locker space, and a legal advocacy clinic for homeless pepole � which Mayor Shirley Dean and I discussed during our interview. Discussions of the resolution ended with a commendation by Councilmember Kriss Worthington of the courage and resourcefulness of the homeless people who organized themselves to support the resolution. "�.It has been many years since Berkeley�s City Council Chambers have been overrun and completely occupied by homeless people standing up for their rights," concluded Councilmember Worthington. *fair use*
POOR Magazine: Our Human Right to Sleep- continued
12 years ago
Will the Compassionate Treatment resolution pass at the next Berkeley City Council meeting or will it be voted down? I went to the Mayor of the City of Berkeley to inquire about the chances of the City of Berkeley scaling back on the vigorous enforcement of homeless people. The bright smile of the receptionist compensated for the absence of light due to compliance of the Governor�s conservation plan on the top floor of Berkeley City Hall. High above the problems of the common people in a renovated City Hall, I observed the bijou, fashioned from steel in the shape of a harp, mounted on the wall, as I entered into Mayor Shirley Dean�s office. "I�ve fallen in love with it because its musical," explained Mayor Dean of the clock glossed over with oil and acrylic the small hand of which was on the five and the big hand rested on the three.. I sat in a chair next to the chair in which she sat at the conference table as I noticed the two impressive leather seats between the end table at the northeast corner of her spacious office. The mayor was of sober humor and maintained a strong face as she explained her concerns about the Compassionate Treatment resolution. "A moratorium means you can't cite an arrest under section 647(j). That is a moratorium on the criminalization of sleep within Berkeley City limits and instructs the Berkeley Police Department not to cite or arrest any homeless individual for sleeping on public property in Berkeley and refers to the City Manager and to the budget process funding for detox, day time respite care, rainy day vouchers, share proposal and storage." "That is what is before us. Now we have been sent some material from a group called The People's Rights Committee. They have sent us a summary for what is called 'Honoring the Right to Bed and Sleep.' There are also some other materials that are different from the resolution that is before the Council -- although its similar, it is also quite different," continued the mayor. "So, one of the things that immediately needs to be clarified is, what is before us? They refer to the Resolution from Councilmember Worthington, as well. It is pretty unclear, for example, what are the: 1) Share Proposal -- It is not defined here at all. it just says, 'Share Proposal.' -- that we are supposed to refer this to the City Manager and the budget process; 2) Rainy-day Vouchers -- I assume this is a voucher to stay in a motel or a hotel during the rainy season. We already do that; 3) Day-time Respite Care -- Again, I am not quite sure what they are referring to; and 4) Storage Units -- I believe we already provide this," concluded the mayor of her concerns about the resolution set forth by Councilmember Kriss Worthinton for low priority in enforcement of 647(j). I asked Mayor Shirley Dean how she had interpreted the proposal by Councilmember Worthington and her thoughts? "Now if they are talking about increasing these services, then we should know what the proposal is. There is nothing here that talks about what those things mean. So, this is not a very well written 'thing' that we would just pass because there are so many questions about what does it mean. What are we doing if we pass it? So, I am surprised that it got put on the Consent Calendar. the Consent Calendar is supposed to be reserved for items that are 'non controversial,' if you will, and for which there are very few questions. There is likely to be a lot of questions about this simply because there is not enough material here given with the item," concluded a disappointed Mayor Shirley Dean. I commented that based on her questions about the document drafted by Councilmember Worthington that a lot of information was omitted and that she was not satisfied with the proposal as it was written, but not dissatisfied with sympathizing or supporting a low priority in the enforcement of homeless people in terms of citations? "I think that it is a sad situation when a person has to sleep outside, and I would like this city to provide sufficient services so that doesn't have to happen....I do not like the idea of a moratorium on 647(j), mainly because it is the State Penal Code and there are times when you don't want a big encampment of people," stated the Mayor about the attitude of her constituents of Berkeley.. Mayor Dean stated that 647(j) was divisive because it prohibits a person from sleeping in both private and public. I asked her about the public aspect of 647(j)? "Well, again I think that depends on what the circumstances are. If you had an individual who falls asleep on a bench -- daytime or nighttime -- I don't think that that person should be arrested. But if you've got 50 people who are sleeping in the park or in the building that is afire -- we've had that in Berkeley -- then I think, again, the police ought to say 'move on, let's go to a shelter, let us bring you to a shelter, let's provide you with transportation to bring you to a shelter.' We can't have this. It upsets citizens. It makes everybody angry. It makes it very difficult to go to people and say we need your tax money to pay for services to provide to people. They get angry and will say, �No.� I don't think that that is the way you solve this problem," were the language and theory that the mayor had used to impugn the proposed Compassionate Treatment placed on the City Council Consent Calendar. (MORE)
POOR Magazine: Our Human Right to Sleep- continued
12 years ago
"This is a two-pronged campaign," stated Neumann, as we walked away from the voices that blared spoken words about the atrocities of homelessness. "We are attempting to repeal California Penal Code 647(j) in Municipal Court and instruct the Berkeley Police Department to set low priorities in its enforcement of lodging laws..." Just as Neumann had stated, the second campaign -- to instruct the Berkeley Police Department to set low priorities in its enforcement of lodging laws -- was launched on the front lawn adjacent to the Berkeley Municipal Court before the mayor of Berkeley and every member of the Berkeley City Council, on Tuesday, April 17, 2001. An item was placed on the Berkeley City Council Consent Calendar by Berkeley Councilmember Kriss Worthington, who, during adolescence, also experienced homelessness. The item, entitled "Compassionate Treatment of Homeless, calls for the City of Berkeley to adopt a resolution supporting compassionate treatment of homeless people in Berkeley (using the dictionary definition of compassion -- not the President's [definition of compassion]). As I entered into the building for the Tuesday, April 17th, 7:00 PM, hearing on the Compassionate Treatment of Homeless, I was turned back along with scores of other people. When I flashed my press badge, the Sheriff's deputies pointed to the crowd atop the second floor that had been backed up to outside the hearing room. There were other reporters being turned back along with me because of the extremely large crowd that the Compassionate Treatment item on the agenda had attracted. After a couple of homeless insurgents discovered the news agencies that I represented, they directed me on a course that circumvented the usual path to the Berkeley City Council hearing. As I entered in the session on the second floor, the executive director of Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency, B.O.S.S., boona cheena, had just begun to testify on behalf of the Compassionate Treatment item. "We are asking for a resolution which includes homeless families and children and homeless single men in this city as a priority -- that their rights have to be protected," stated an emotional cheena. If the second phase of the full-scale assault by the coalition of civil rights agencies, the Compassionate Treatment resolution, is successful and the City of Berkeley approves a low priority in enforcement of lodging laws, then the cops of Berkeley will no longer be authorized to issue citations to people who sleep in public. Instead, the Berkeley police will probably have to learn to issue citations to automobiles that exceed the speed limit or citations to people who bully other people. I asked the Berkeley City Attorney, Manuela Albuquerque, about the consequences of a successful Compassionate Treatment resolution? "We have the power as a city to set law enforcement priorities and to determine that enforcement of lodging laws would be a low priority -- the lowest priority. There are a finite amount of law enforcement resources in the city. The city can determine what is the order of priority to utilize those. The police have discretion. They do not have to enforce every law every time and they exercise that discretion every day. So the city could determine as a matter of policy that certain laws would be very low priority to enforce. I asked the City Attorney if the City of Berkeley is currently using high priority in enforcement in lodging laws? "Lodging is not a high-priority item but my understanding from the police is that it is basically done on a complaint-driven basis. When there is some problem that is being caused," stated the City Attorney." Item number 34, Compassionate Treatment of Homeless, did not get an opportunity for discussion on that evening at the City Council hearing because items like zoning appeal, regulation of street events and block parties, transportation demand management, and solar energy had been given a higher priority. "It certainly appeared to many people in the audience that some people were trying to filibuster and just talk, talk, talk and not move on to the next items on the agenda....We could have easily finished two more items last night, but they talked so much that it was midnight and people wanted to go home," stated Councilmember Worthington about the disappointment of not having his item heard on that Tuesday afternoon. I asked Councilmember Worthington who he thought was primarily responsible for the Compassionate Treatment item not being heard at the Berkeley City Council Meeting? "Certainly, the Mayor has the most influence over controlling the Council meeting and pushing it in the right or wrong direction because she chairs the meeting. Obviously, if it were something that she wanted to get done, she would have pushed it ahead and made sure that it got done," stated Worthington, who has had an emotional connection with people who don't have anywhere to live for most of his life. I asked Councilmember Worthington how he got involved with the coalition of agencies that have launched this two-pronged assault and, in particular, Ken Moshesh? "I was visiting a student program called SHARE where they have homeless people come once a week. I heard there about people who said they had been getting arrested for lodging. Listening to that and hearing it from other people, I came to the conclusion that this isn't just happening to one person," stated Worthington. (MORE)
POOR Magazine: Our Human Right to Sleep
12 years ago A legal challenge and mass demonstration by activists and homeless citizens against california's penal code 647(j) aka, The Lodging Laws Kaponda Tuesday, April 24, 2001; The conductor nosed the two-toned train of metallic coaches beyond the obscure perimeters into the lighted Berth of the terminal. I disembarked at the Berkeley station. Ascending the escalator, I watched as an image of a set of handcuffs loomed large as the words beside it informed the rider that whoever lifts a fist during a verbal dispute with a station agent would go to jai. As I went through the turnstile, I observed that Berkeley Patrol Car No. 596 was posted and prepared to enforce any allegations of assault by a B.AR.T.. agent. I walked two blocks west on Center Street to the scene of a live assault that was staged at high noon on the front lawn of the Berkeley Municipal Court. A coalition of civil rights organizations had launched a full-scale assault on a California statute. "Ain't no mistake about it, folks!" stated Lisa Gray-Garcia as she fired the opening salvo of a concerted campaign to repeal California Penal Code 647(j). "Challenging the constitutionality of the lodging law is to attempt to actually change the situation for poor and homeless people across the country. This is precedent setting. If we can make this happen, we are going to help poor folks who are victims of economic and racial cleansing all across this crazy nation....So, that is what we are her to fight," concluded Gray-Garcia of POOR Magazine, under a bright, warm sun that lit up the faces of the activists, lawyers, elected officials, scores of homeless men and women, and the Sheriff's deputies with incredulous stares on that 12th day of April. Cities across America are using lodging laws to declare war on innocent citizens who camp beneath the serenity of twilight. Over 23,000 homeless people were swept into oblivion by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani using its infamous statute. In California, a law that has been on the books since 1872, California Penal Code 647(j), has been revived to force people out of sight. According to this statute, a person is guilty of disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor under this law, for lodging outside. The California Penal Code 647, section (j), reads as follows: Who lodges in any building, structure, vehicle, or place, whether public or private, without the permission of the owner or person entitled to the possession or the control of it. The idea to challenge the old California statute was born out of the frustration of a denizen of the City of Berkeley. Ken Moshesh was given a citation for lodging outside on October 27, 2000. After three months, on January 18, 2001, Moshesh was again aroused from his sleep and arrested for the 10-27-00 citation that had gone to warrant. Ken Moshesh, a former University of California at Berkeley Professor, spoke to the crowd whose fury was expressed by raised fists. "This is not just another homeless person railroaded through the courts and sent to jail," stated Moshesh, as the gapes of Sheriff's deputies were noticeably conspicuous for the first time. "But this time something different is going to happen. And the different thing will be that instead of [Berkeley police] challenging people outside in their cracks and crannies where they sleep, because there is no place else to sleep, instead of [Berkeley police] challenging them while they attempt to hide and get their 40 winks, we are going to challenge the antiquated 647(j) lodging law that gives law enforcement the authority to follow us around and declare us illegal when, in fact, there administrative personnel have not been able to deal effectively with the problems on homelessness here in Berkeley," concluded Moshesh as he was saluted by a person with a placard with the words "People are Sleeping in Bushes in the Richest Nation in the World" The task to which Garcia, Moshesh and the coalition of agencies have committed is not only formidable, but, if successful, unprecedented. It entails a challenge to invalidate California Penal Code 647, section (J). The constitutional challenge will be lodged in the Berkeley Municipal Court on Thursday, May 17, 2001. Gregory Syren, the Public Defender who has agreed to represent Ken Moshesh. Similar challenges to overturn this statute that is used to criminalize homeless people have been lodged in the past but were waylaid, I asked Pat Wall, an attorney with the Homeless Action Center, what the likelihood of a constitutional challenge was at the Municipal Court level? "....Since the Public Defender has taken the case, it will set a powerful precedent for other homeless people who are cited for 647(j) violations and send a message to both police and the office of the District Attorney that they need to stop charging people with that lodging law....because its unconstitutional....We think the chances of this [overturning the statute] happening are very good," stated Wall. Osha Neumann, of Community Defense Incorporated, an organization that advocates for civil rights issues of homeless people, explained to be that the war will be waged on two fronts. According to Neumann, who also directs a clinic for homeless street youths through the ecumenical chapter for the homeless, (MORE)
12 years ago

"Becky Johnson at protest demanding Santa Cruz City Attorney Barisone recommend that the City Council direct the police to cease and desist violating the constitutional right of homeless people to not be ticketed for sleeping when there is no legal shelter available, and to mitigate the legal liability risk to the taxpayers of this city precipitated by continuing this policy in the face of Federal Court decisions against such enforcement in parallel situations. Last year, Barisone's private sector firm received over $1 million dollars from the city of Santa Cruz for various services. Barisone also serves as the contract City Attorney for the City of Capitola, as well as several other local government entities and private sector clients as well. fair use for humanitarian purposes

Demonstrate Against the SLEEPING BAN Friday @ Barisone's Office!
12 years ago
SANTA CRUZ- Demonstrate Against the SLEEPING BAN Friday @ Barisone's Office! by Becky Johnson ( becky_johnson222 [at] ) Tuesday Dec 19th, 2006 9:19 AM DEMONSTRATE AGAINST THE SLEEPING BAN FRIDAY at CITY ATTORNEY JOHN BARISONE'S OFFICE! 333 Church St. at NOON In April of 2006, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Los Angeles camping ordinance was "cruel and unusual punishment" in that it criminalized Sleeping and using blankets at night. MC 6.36.010 (section a) a.k.a. the Sleeping Ban outlaws sleeping at night between 11:00PM and 8:30AM ANYWHERE out of doors or in a vehicle, but ONLY AT NIGHT, the time when people customarily sleep. City Attorney John Barisone is well-aware of the 9th Circuit Court's decision yet is STILL advising the City to continue enforcement which is putting the City at risk of a major lawsuit and continues to treat homeless people cruelly in a City with inadequate shelter.* HUFF has documented that the City continues to cite and arrest homeless people in Santa Cruz for sleeping or staying warm with a blanket at night in defiance of a ruling they don't like. John Barisone is negligent by failing to inform the City Council of the liability of further enforcement. Should a homeless person DIE (as Robert Wagner did in front of the Mayor's office in December of 2004) while being denied the ability to sleep or stay warm, the City is likely to face a costly wrongful death suit and the scorn of future visitors for being such an inhumane City in a shelter emergency. DEMAND THAT BARISONE ACT TO SUSPEND ENFORCEMENT UNTIL SUFFICIENT SHELTER IS AVAILABLE!! HUFF, the HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION, & Humanity for Homeless are sponsoring the demonstration. Please call 423-HUFF for more information. * Vice-Mayor Ryan Coonerty recently confirmed in a letter to HUFF on Dec. 10, 2006 that the City of Santa Cruz has inadequate shelter for its homeless population. *fair use*
Canada- group studies impact of sleep deprivation on homeless
12 years ago
CA- Group studies impact of sleep deprivation on homeless.
Guilty of Being Homeless in America: Sleepless on Skid Row
12 years ago
Only in a case like this, where the disparity of power between the homeless and the state/private power cabal is so stark, can a figure like Bratton seem docile, even moderate when compared to a frothing zealot like LA City Councilman, Dennis Zine who said he is, "uncomfortable" with arresting the homeless only during daylight hours and not while they're sleeping at night, warning it, "sets a terrible precedent. Are we going to say you can commit any type of crime if it's a certain hour?" Zine would have us believe that little to no distinction exists between having to sleep on the sidewalk and recognized crimes like murder, rape, or robbery. It's disturbing to hear an elected councilman not only disregard the Law in the Court's holding, but also reality, as voiced by homeless city constituent, "Edward Jones, a plaintiff in the original ACLU lawsuit who still lives on Skid Row," lamenting LAPD's draconian, class cleansing tactics, saying as the Court did, "I am out here because I can't afford to live anywhere else." As Henry Brooks Adams once said; "Practical politics consists of ignoring facts." Establishing Priorities and Striving for Greater Justice in Society. Of course there's nuance, but this article details one clear case on how power operates in a pure capitalist society, I think. In a just society, the one we pretend to operate in, outside the shackles of private power, the City Attorney's office would seek to meet the Court's requirements fairly by advising Villaraigosa and Bratton (LAPD) to recognize the constitutional right of Robert to sleep without sanction. Villaraigosa would then move immediately to honor his previous pronouncement of giving top priority to "improving skid row by increasing housing and improving homeless services," by perhaps proposing the unthinkable; Allocation of greater funds from the city budget to marginally renovate one of the many abandoned area where houses as a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, and vocational training center; clearly an act of betrayal towards his masters in "development and business interests." When personal freedom is blatantly violated to make way for increasing concentration of wealth, the least privileged among us are typically the first to suffer. Events like those detailed in this article serve as an ominous warning to those who value fairness and justice as well as those who at the least are interested in their own well being and can see beyond the moment. We cannot expect the least powerful alone to effectively wage a struggle to secure our future and create a just society. It will take members of the privileged class, like me, to participate in the struggle. It is critical to recognize that more is required of us than empathy and honesty. We must also strive to free ourselves from the bondage of indoctrination that most of us suffer, to some degree anyway. The first step is to tear ourselves away from calculated distractions and trivial pursuits like fashionable consumption. After all, we can think clearly when we really want to, as when our immediate best interests are at stake. The question then becomes, whether we have the courage and humanity to make the personal sacrifices necessary to forge a more just societyfor everyone. Gregory Afghani is a writer based in Southern California. He can be reached at: Citations: All quotes are from the two Los Angeles Times articles below, unless otherwise noted, as from the three remaining sources. A Tuesday, September 19, 2006, Los Angeles Times article entitled, Plan Would End Homeless 'Tent Cities,' by Richard Winton. A Wednesday, October 4,, 2006, Los Angeles Times article entitled, LAPD Arrests Skid Row Campers, by Richard Winton & David Pierson. Edward Jones vs. City of Los Angeles, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, December 6, 2005. KCAL, Channel 9 News: Evening Broadcast, Wednesday, September 20, 2006. Central City Association of Los Angeles website. *fair use*
Guilty of Being Homeless in America: Sleepless on Skid Row
12 years ago
Winton returned on Wednesday, October 4, 2006, with yet another mendacious front-page article titled, LAPD Arrests Skid Row Campers, brilliantly trivializing a rather serious scenario that would have been accurately titled, LAPD Breaks Law, Arrests Sleepers. As a loyal propagandist for those in power, Winton would probably have us believe the additional 3 words would be cost prohibitive. Winton specializes in the art of distorting information then presenting it in a deceptive manner. Take for example the Court stating; "Recently, it has been reported that local hospitals and law enforcement agencies from nearby suburban areas have been caught 'dumping' homeless individuals in Skid Row upon their release," citing a newspaper article dated Sept. 23, 2005. Now consider the following passage by Winton, nearly a year later in, Plan Would End Homeless 'Tent Cities,' on Sept. 19, 2006; "a flurry of legislation in Sacramento aimed at reducing the 'dumping' of homeless people downtown and beefing up law enforcement." Carefully removed are the police and medical personnel culprits of the "dumping," who's "beefing up" is made to suggest law enforcement presence as a mitigating rather than, in actuality a documented aggravating factor of Skid Row's problems. A reader may overlook Winton's slight of hand or forgive it as a highly coincidental, yet innocent mistake, until one learns who the author of the article cited in the Court's case, nearly a year earlier was; none other than Winton himself (co-authored by Cara Mia Demassa) and titled, Dumping of Homeless Suspected Downtown. It's deplorable, though it makes complete sense as Winton's focus in the most recent article was to almost exclusively advocate the rationale of both state and private power, curiously excluding community activist voices on behalf of the homeless, ACLU excepted. Instead, Winton relies heavily on privileged elitists like the CEO of the CCEA, Estela Lopez, to make patently absurd denunciations of the homeless, without refute or investigation before publication. This is the type of systematic agit-propaganda that has become all too common in the liberal free press. It is disconcerting for those interested in honest journalism, not public relations pamphlet's for powerful interests. Winton deserves congratulation for an impressive effort in cynical manipulation that even Joseph Goebbels would surely be proud of. A Fairy Tale Ending for the Privileged Class: LAPD Violates the Law as the Public Watches, Witness to an Instructive Lesson in Recognizing Power. The record is crystal clear; the Court struck down the anti-camping ordinance as unconstitutional, saying "the LAPD cannot arrest people for sitting, lying, or sleeping on public sidewalks in Skid Row." The ACLU, LAPD, and Villaraigosa agree to eliminate the Court's ruling with a business friendly compromise, which was then summarily rejected by the LA City Council, or CCA who is "known as the Voice of Business in City Hall," because homeless people sleeping on public property is "unacceptable." Villaraigosa and Bratton immediately moved to distance themselves from their previous stance in support of the compromise with the invaluable help of local media propagandists like Winton. Bratton moves at once to serve his propertied masters as "The LAPD on Tuesday (October 3, 2006) escalated its crackdown on skid row's homeless encampments, for the first time in months arresting transients for sleeping on the streets." Backed not by law, but a strained legal opinion issued by the LA City Attorney, interpreting the Court's ruling as applying only to camping at night. Delgadillo's opinion takes a tenuous leap, undoubtedly based on the Court's overarching rationale, that as long as the numbers of homeless exceed available shelter beds, enforcement of the anti-camping ordinance is unconstitutional. It is illuminating that instead of interpretation that seeks to meet or surpass the Court's requirements for ensuring constitutionality, Delgadillo's opinion seeks to limit its application. Remarkable, when we consider the Court's criticism of the anti-camping ordinance as, "one of the most restrictive municipal laws regulating public spaces in the United States." The Court was careful to craft only a narrow holding in favor of the ACLU, but refuted many common homeless stereotypes, noting that "14% are victims of domestic violence." Thus, only a city attorney that's part of an "incredibly powerful team. Building on a strategic vision and solid relationships with key business and government leaders," would promote such a labored reading of the Court's holding. Delgadillo's opinion was immediately implemented as Bratton celebrated the difference his additional 50 officers made in class cleansing Skid Row, callously but accurately stating, "This isn't about arrests. This is about changing behavior. If you control behavior, you can change an area for the better," an important and illuminating confession we would all be well-served to understand intimately. Arrests are made for criminal behavior, not for natural behavior for which there is no other option, an obvious truth the Court confirmed in stating; "Undisputed evidence in the record establishes that at the time they were cited or arrested, Appellants had no choice other than to be on the streets." "If you control behavior," the behavior of having to sleep to survive, which is of no concern to Bratton & Co., you "can change an area for the better." Indeed, class cleansing "can change an area for the better" especially when, "the focus on skid row has also coincided with a boom in residential development downtown with luxury lofts and condos," which is why Bratton is busily directing his forces in Skid Row, doing his best imitation of a cross between Slobodan Milosevic and a construction site foreman. (MORE)
Guilty of Being Homeless in America: Sleepless on Skid Row
12 years ago
Expertly carrying out his expected role of mouthpiece for the propertied class, Winton sees no reason to research, investigate, or challenge Lopez's old fashioned gambit of fear-mongering, absurd on its face. Instead, he simply fills space in the article with statistics detailing the growing number of homeless on Skid Row, meaningless unless the mere existence of homeless people, is by itself, a cause to take action against them. Carol Schatz, CEO of the Central City Assn. (CCA), who's website introduces the commercial cartel as a "business membership organization representing over 450 businesseswhich worksto market and revitalize Downtown L.A. CCA's strong policy leadershipeconomic development and marketing resources, have proven to be an incredibly powerful team. Building on a strategic vision and solid relationships with key business and government leaders." Schatz minces no words and gets straight to the point, proclaiming; "Any settlement that leaves people living on the street in filthy conditions and permits chaos from 9 to 6 (a.m.) every night in one critical area of the city is unacceptable." Schatz sends a clear message to her lapdogs in state power; Any outcome recognizing the constitutional right to sleep without sanction, is "unacceptable" to the CCA, who employ genuine Orwellian doublespeak on their website, proudly boasting of having "taken the lead on issues from development reform to affordable housing to homelessness," a most peculiar statement, at least for anyone who appreciates logic or honesty. So it was that on Wednesday, September 20th, the Los Angeles City Council voted to reject the compromise over the endorsement of its own public figureheads. The council's vote ensured more suffering for Robert and other poverty stricken, powerless, and sleepless folks who call Skid Row home, but power has spoken, thus acceptance of the compromise is "unacceptable;" unfortunately that doesn't sufficiently satisfy the appetite of the powerful for wealth. The rules dictate that any outcome must include the transfer of all social risks to the state in order to assure maximum private gain. The hope that "the LAPD would be given more sweeping powers," in the "fight against crime" to "clean up" Skid Row, must be realized. The power elite are fully aware that arrests of homeless people for sleeping on the sidewalk adds social cost by further burdening a criminal justice system already at its limits, serves no legitimate crime fighting purpose, misappropriates public safety funds and police resources, and would never be tolerated if the police were targeting anyone other than the least privileged among us. No matterit is demanded by the elitists and faithfully delivered by state power, who just previous to the vote by the LA City Council, were singing the praises of the compromise; a reckless and premature posture considering the declaration of the business elite that the, "CCA is known as the Voice of Business in City Hall," a disconcerting statement, if even that were the actual limits of their influence, as the subsequent televised performance of Villaraigosa and Bratton, followed by Bratton's immediate move to "crackdown on campers," made devastatingly transparent. Reaching deep into the Orwellian memory hole and recalling Mayor Villaraigosa's previous pledge on, "improving skid row by increasing housing and improving homeless services" as a top mayoral priority, we see a truly remarkable duplicity, only possible in a culture where Villaraigosa is aware, as we should be, of the pervasive dominance of the private/state power syndicate. What "Compromise" Plan? LA Media & State Power Co-Star in a Magnificent Display of Mendacity as they Inverse Reality! At a hastily arranged press conference a few hours after the council's vote to reject the compromise plan favored and heavily advocated by Mayor Villaraigosa and Chief of Police Bratton, an Oscar worthy production ensued. First up was Bratton, who just recently said, "I hope they decide to vote in favor of this (compromise)," calling it "crucial." Obviously suffering from a severe bout of amnesia, Bratton now was squarely of the mindset that the council's rejection was proper, vowing to diligently "fight crime" and "clean up skid row," knowing City Attorney, Rocky Delgadillo's office was tirelessly working to undermine the Court's ruling in furtherance of business interests, especially in the wake of the council's vote to reject the very compromise he thought was "crucial" to pass. Too deeply in awe of the shiny metal trinkets affixed to his uniform, reporters let pass a crucial opportunity to ask Bratton an obvious question; Who does the arrest of sleeping homeless people on the sidewalk protect? The answer is abundantly clearprivate power. Next came Mayor Villaraigosa, who triumphantly took the podium, confident there would be no critical challenge from an allied media, and there wasn't, to his two-fold hypocrisy: fraudulent pronouncements to help the homeless while working feverishly to undermine them, as detailed, and backing of the city council's summary rejection of the one-sided compromise plan he was intimately involved in crafting and advocating. Instead, Villaraigosa engaged in a cocksure, self-righteous invective about the need to "enforce the law," declaring that all members of the community need to respect the law or be held accountable, boastfully adding (in paraphrase), "if the chief, I, or anyone else breaks the law, we would be held accountable," knowing as an attorney, that he and the chief had already broken the law, as Judge Kim R. Wardlow noted in the Court's unambiguous holding. To no one's surprise, Villaraigosa's glaring absurdity went without refute and not likely to be the subject of a response by the oft-described liberals of the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board. (MORE)
Guilty of Being Homeless in America: Sleepless on Skid Row
12 years ago
Across town in City Hall, at the extreme dovish end, in the office of the Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, where previous pronouncements made to appeal to voters, of "improving skid row by increasing housing and improving homeless services" as a top mayoral priority, have been ineffectual. The Court's ruling, quoting a "City officials' own words" that, "the gap between the homeless population needing a shelter bed and the inventory of shelter beds is severely large," exposes Villaraigosa's not so "top mayoral priority." The Court also revealed that while the "homeless population has increased (at annual rate of 10%), the availability of low income housing in Skid Row has shrunk." What's ultimately most revealing is that Villaraigosa's politically opportunistic utterances, though ringing substantively hollow, were sufficient to trigger the endemic paranoia of the propertied class and with good reason, as we are about to see The Much Heralded, So-Called "Compromise" Plan. Though the Court ruled in favor of the ACLU, Robert, and the otherwise voiceless community of homeless people on Skid Row, declaring sleeping to be legal, thus arrest for such to be illegal, effectively preventing the LAPD from enforcing the anti-camping ordinance as Bratton's frustrations mount, the parties entered into mediation to "settle their differences," a euphemism in this context meaning private power demands service of their business interests, via "compromise," another euphemism meaning a superficial veneer, by way of agreement, to minimally satisfy the Court's ruling, while addressing what really matters. The ACLU seemingly would have nothing to gain in a compromise, except that the Court's ruling is only as effective as the compliance to it by police and local officials, who have plenty of discretion at hand and a secure leash around the their collar, bound in subservience to the privileged ones. After several months of mediation addressing business interests, details of the compromise plan began to surface. "Sources said" the compromise permits the homeless to sleep on the sidewalk, provided they are not "within 10 feet of any business or residential entrance" and only "between the hours 9 p.m. and 6 a.m." Notably, the plan transparently limits constitutional rights the Court seemingly upheldthat absent sufficient shelter services, enforcement of the anti-camping law is a violation of the 8th Amendment. The organs of state power, now within reach of eliminating the Court's ruling, pressed for immediate ratification of the compromise plan. Bratton revealed his impatience, stating, "Wednesday (September 20th) will be very crucial. I hope they (LA City Council) decide to vote in favor of this." Mayor Villaraigosa's office was also in heavy favor, while LA City Councilman, Jack Weiss went further, declaring, "If the ACLU and LAPD have reached an agreement, it would be foolish for the council not to follow suit," warning that additional time to seek successful judicial appeal by the city officials would hamper LAPD's efforts to "enforce the law on skid row. That would be disastrous." Like Bratton, Weiss ignores the law, or at least hopes tosince an important aspect of the compromise is to request the Court to set aside the ruling, eliminating it from the law, forbidding its use to decide subsequent cases. Weiss understands perfectly from what master's hand he feeds, ominously warning of "disastrous" results, as he perceives the benefit of quick passage. Conveniently left without comment is the resultant suffering of Robert, detriment to the constitution, and violence to the Court's ruling, matters of little to no concern for an obedient public (private) servant like Weiss. Though decidedly favoring the private/state consortium by eliminating the Court's ruling, not to mention Robert's survival options, the compromise received endorsement from all parties to the controversy, with the exception of the explicitly rigid demands of private power, not to be over-looked. Enter The Invisible Hand: 3rd Party Interference. Our system, whether within or without the institutional structure, gives rationality to those with privilege in their endeavor to concentrate wealth without restraint, a lesson we would be well-served to recognize. To eliminate any resistance to their goals, certain rigid but fairly straightforward rules must apply; there can be no moral or legal impediment to acquiring profit through increasing concentration of wealth. Winton describes the predictable reaction of the propertied class to the compromise, writing "Downtown development business interests were immediately skeptical of the plan. They had hoped the LAPD would be given more sweeping powers." The actual reaction is more direct and enlightening. Estela Lopez, the CEO of the Central City East Assn., an organ of big business, decried "such rules (set hours allowing the homeless to sleep on the sidewalk) would set a dangerous precedent and worsen crime and filth in the area," a claim for which she produces no evidence, not only because none exists, but because she knows Winton will not ask and why would he? Lucky for her, Winton doesn't concern himself with such trivial issues as evidence. Only after one considers whose interests Lopez is advocating, can her remark warning that any legal recognition of a transients' constitutional rights, be understood in the proper context, as posing a truly "dangerous precedent." (MORE)
Guilty of Being Homeless in America: Sleepless on Skid Row
12 years ago October 11, 2006 Guilty of Being Homeless in America Sleepless on Skid Row By GREGORY AFGHANI The measure of personal freedom in society, to a great extent, can be demonstrated by its treatment of the least privileged citizens. Recent events in Los Angeles provide an instructive case in recognizing power, and a stark illustration of where we continue to head as a society, not a trivial matter, if we demand to live in a just societyfor everyone. Meet Robert Lee Purrie: Sleep Criminal, Guilty of Being Homeless! Robert Lee Purrie has lived on Skid Row, long a decrepit and neglected area of downtown Los Angeles, and "home to the largest contingent of homeless people in the western United States," including Robert for the last "four decades," where he "sleeps on the streets because he cannot afford a room in [a single room occupancy] hotel and is often unable to find an open bed in a shelter." According to a September 19, 2006, Los Angeles Times front-page article, entitled, Plan Would End Homeless 'Tent Cities,' by Richard Winton, Robert was cited twice by Los Angeles police for the heinous act of sleeping on the sidewalk, before he was arrested by police officers in 2003. The City of Los Angeles, recognizing Skid Row as a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts, enacted an "anti-camping" ordinance criminalizing the act of "sitting, lying, or sleeping on public sidewalks." For Robert's act of sidewalk sleep crime, the unquestionably honorable judge in the case, meted out a sentence of, ironically: one night in jail -- mercifully suspending the remaining 12 months, then compounded the irony with insult, dutifully imposing a fine of $195 in restitution and attorney's fees on a man who, lest we forget, can't afford a single night's stay in a downtown hotel slum. Obviously, this jurist has a keen sense of justice and heartfelt compassion. No doubt to ensure that Robert understood the seriousness of his indiscretion, LA's finest dispensed yet more callousness, discarding the tools of Robert's criminal enterprise: his blankets, cooking utensils, and tent. Procedural History: the Federal Court, the U.S. Constitution, ACLU, and Robert Lee Purrie vs. the Good Guys in the State/Private Power Consortium. Trespass, the crime of entering upon, to sleep or otherwise, another's private property without permission, having long been established, the police and business elite in Los Angeles, using the anti-camping ordinance, attempted with stark clarity to openly declare sleeping on public sidewalks off limits, leaving the already weary homeless with a literally impossible choice: Remain perpetually awake, upright, and constantly on the move or be harassed, criminalized, incarcerated, monetarily sanctioned, and pilfered of what little personal property they may own. On behalf of Robert and five other sleep criminals, the American Civil Liberties Union, in their customary subversive effort to uphold the annoying constitutional rights of the voiceless, powerless, and now sleepless, filed suit in a federal appeals court and in April 2006, the Court ruled in favor of the ACLU and the camping confederates, stating that, "the LAPD cannot arrest people for sitting, lying, or sleeping on public sidewalks in Skid Row." Writing for the 2-1 majority, Judge Kim M. Wardlow held that a lack of homeless shelter beds made enforcement of the anti-camping ordinance, prohibiting homeless people from sleeping on the streets, tantamount to a violation of the 8th Amendment clause barring cruel and unusual punishment. Establishment reaction to the Court's ruling is instructive. On the hawkish end, LAPD Chief of Police, William Bratton said the case had stymied his department's effort to "fight against crime" and "clean up skid row." Predictably, Winton showed impressive journalistic restraint, devoting no analysis to the obvious question of how police are any less able to enforce the law, simply because the homeless would be unchallenged for sleeping on the sidewalk. During sleep, we are led to believe, is when most crime occurs. A cynic may point out that Bratton is absolutely correct in his assessment, given his perception that sitting or sleeping in public, is by definition, a "crime," a direct contravention to the Court's holding, known also from the case forward as the law. Thankfully, Winton leaves nothing to logical deduction as he relents with, "the focus on skid row has also coincided with a boom in residential development downtown with luxury lofts and condos rising on the fringes of the district," a revealing concession he cleverly positions as a concurrent overlap, borne of happenstance perhaps, thus not within the state/private power association, surely. We see at once what Bratton's primary concern in the "fight against crime," is. He is stymied by his definition of crime, not crime as we understand it, but sleeping, like all people need to do whether they can afford shelter or not. Bratton worriedly proclaims, "if we wait two more years, the area will be gone," in a suddenly desperate desire to "clean up," a euphemism in this context for state transgression in blatant violation of individual rights. For Bratton, the law is an obstacle to his institutional charge of faithfully serving the interests of the privileged class. (MORE)
San Diego Police Change Stance On Public Sleeping
12 years ago Updated: October 23rd, 2006 01:11 PM EDT MAUREEN MAGEE The San Diego Union-Tribune City Attorney Michael Aguirre has stopped locking up homeless people who have been cited for sleeping in public -- a change in protocol that comes amid a growing debate over whether the citations are unconstitutional. Aguirre eased prosecution guidelines to comply with a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in April. It found that a Los Angeles ordinance barring sleeping on sidewalks was illegal because the homeless outnumber shelter beds. The local policy change was made shortly after Mayor Jerry Sanders and Police Chief William Lansdowne harshly criticized Aguirre's plan in September to impose a moratorium on the sleeping citations during certain hours in specific areas of the city. The proposal was part of an effort to settle a lawsuit filed in San Diego federal court two years ago that is similar to the Los Angeles case. Meanwhile, the mayor and Police Department appear to be reconsidering their position that sleeping in public should remain illegal at all times. They also support Aguirre's effort to eliminate jail as a punishment for sleeping in public, so long as the homeless are offered assistance from local programs. The City Council is to discuss the matter Monday at a meeting that will focus on homelessness. Aguirre is preparing an opinion that could lead to a settlement in the lawsuit. Included in it would be a proposal to virtually eliminate illegal-lodging citations from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. "I have to comply with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals," Aguirre said. "But I want to make clear that all other crimes are being prosecuted -- public drunkenness and disorderly conduct ... " However, the law allows for flexibility. "If we see any tent-city situations, we could re-evaluate," Aguirre said. "There may be some areas in Mission Beach, for example, where we still need to ticket." At a meeting yesterday, Aguirre met with representatives from the Police Department and the mayor's office. They appear to be close to reaching consensus. "Criminalizing the homeless is not the answer. We have never just gone out there and made arrests," said Assistant Police Chief Bill Maheu. "There are times when you need to be able to enforce at night, and I think we would have that ability." He said halting nighttime ticketing would have little effect, because most of the approximately 2,000 illegal-lodging citations issued every year occur during the day. Sanders' spokesman, Fred Sainz, said changes being proposed by Aguirre would "avoid further litigation." Although the City Council won't take formal action on the issue during Monday's meeting, support for a moratorium is mounting. City Council President Scott Peters said allowing for safe-sleep hours would be a "reasonable solution." "Looks like there is a pretty good chance that illegal-lodging tickets may be deemed unconstitutional," said Peters, adding that he wants to avoid a court order that could impose an all-out ban on citations. The American Civil Liberties Union sued Los Angeles on behalf of several homeless people. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, found the city's ordinance barring sleeping on sidewalks was "cruel and unusual punishment." The Los Angeles City Council last month rejected a compromise that would have established safe-sleep zones to settle the lawsuit. It voted instead to appeal. The 9th Circuit deferred its ruling pending court-ordered mediation. In 2004, a lawsuit was filed in San Diego on behalf of nine homeless people who were ticketed when all local shelters were full. The lawsuit seeks to stop police from issuing the citations when shelters are full. A judge rejected the city's request to dismiss the case, basing its decision on the ruling in the Los Angeles case. The debate over how to address the city's homeless problem is far more complicated than deciding whether to ticket them for sleeping on sidewalks. San Diego, like other cities, is looking to make drastic changes in how it treats homelessness. That could mean providing permanent housing for the chronic homeless. The City Council will vote Monday on the United Way of San Diego County's plan to end chronic homelessness, which includes permanent housing in lieu of the revolving door of shelters, hospitals, jails and treatment centers. The plan has been years in the making and has the blessing of Sanders and police. Social-services providers are divided. It would require coordination from county administrators who oversee services for the homeless. The goal is to offer permanent housing and services for the chronic homeless and to prevent others from becoming homeless. Supporters believe the approach would free space in transitional shelters for less-severe homeless people, and save money that would have been spent on the chronic homeless in a never-ending stream of services. Homeless discussion The City Council is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Monday at Point Loma Nazarene University, 3900 Lomaland Drive. Copyright 2005 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy *fair use*
see thread
12 years ago
Guilty of Being Homeless in America: Sleepless on Skid Row
Sleeping Bans in California & the Jones Decision, continued
12 years ago
At least for now, forget about gauging the values or detriments of the local ordinance; the fledgling law went on the books only last week. But if relief seems at all apparent, it’s because San Luis Obispo lacks condensed commerce by design—a state of affairs taxing on the soles of shoppers living in a car-to-Segway-to-escalator culture. So for the hefty masses of irked retailers and shoppers demanding available public seating, the ordinance proves welcome, if not terribly overdue. To say nothing of retail atmosphere. “The process even this far has been quite frustrating for folks downtown,” city councilman John Ewan says. “It’s important to remember, we’re not talking about the homeless here; we’re talking about panhandlers.” Fortunately, for the ordinance’s many supporters, the precedent in Los Angeles is far from established, as advocates, nervous the Ninth's ruling may dissolve, are reluctant to move to anything new. ∆ Send your comments on this story to *fair use*
San Luis Obispo's Weekly On Sleeping Bans in California & the Jones Decision
12 years ago Transient ruling aftermath In the wake of the Los Angeles decision, coastal California’s creative transient laws hang in the balance. BY PATRICK M. KLEMZ On May 2, 1983, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California state statute requiring anyone found loitering to provide identification to approaching law enforcement officers. The plaintiff in the case was Edward C. Lawson, an intelligent, dreadlocked black man with a penchant for taking late-night constitutions through San Diego’s most affluent neighborhoods. Following an eight-year string of failures in lower courts, the suit first saw the light of day in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. CAMP ON Oft-maligned urban camping bans might soon draw the attention of homeless advocates in other tourism hubs, but the streets of San Luis Obispo remain free from specific overnight restrictions .PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER GARDNER The Ninth vindicated Lawson’s crusade, ruling the statue’s use of the word “loitering” was unconstitutionally vague. When the Supreme Court agreed, it prompted the disarmament of an oft-alleged instrument of civil rights abuse and, as collateral damage, law enforcement’s only card to play against panhandlers. For a long time, transient legislation in California sat in limbo. Eventually an outcry from shoppers, retailers, and the tourism industry started to caress the ears of municipal policymakers, many of whom leaped at the opportunity to champion for local businesses. The stage was set for transient legislation to re-emerge in creative manifestations, and a veritable hodgepodge of prohibitions sprung up all over the state. Last month, the Ninth struck again with a landmark decision deeming one such transient caveat unconstitutional. It ruled that, so long as Los Angeles lacks adequate shelter space, its outdoor sleeping ban amounted to cruel and unusual punishment against the homeless—a breach of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. Among its many effects, the decision bent public interest lawyers toward seeking violations of the Eighth Amendment as a new modus operandi. Los Angeles announced May 3 its intent to appeal the case to the Supreme Court. “It’s a pretty tight decision, but we only need one good case to break the whole thing open,” homeless advocate Kate Wells says. But even if the Supreme Court upholds the ruling, the friends of California homeless still face a minefield of challenges. For one thing, precedents could prove hard to translate from case to case due to fundamental differences in the way violations are determined. Los Angeles has outlawed street sleeping, but other bans might prohibit more specific practices, such as camping within city limits. “There are nuances to every law,” Wells says, “but, really, the result is the same.” Inferred intent aside, determining where the precedent will fall for each and every ordinance involves a great deal of guesswork. “I’m sure most cities are reviewing their ordinances with the aim of remodeling them after ones cited positively by the courts,” Monterey city attorney Debra Mall says, referring to laws upheld in Portland and Santa Ana. In San Luis Obispo, a time, place and manner restriction imposes a one-hour limit on anyone using a bench within a 24-hour period. While the law equally affects everyone using the bench, the homeless, or transients among them, bear the brunt of the mandate. Popular among retailers, the ban nevertheless raises questions over its alleged inequity, and whether it will hold up under a challenge? San Luis Obispo City Attorney Jonathan Lowell says he “strongly feels the city’s prohibition is narrower in scope than that of Los Angeles” and will survive Eighth Amendment scrutiny. The SLO law applies only to benches and (unlike L.A. or other cities with urban camping bans) doesn’t explicitly outlaw sleeping on the street. “We were simply looking to balance the rights of everybody who uses the benches,” Lowell says. But he isn’t the only city attorney confident the local ordinance would survive a theoretical challenge. “The L.A. law is the most broad-sweeping of any ordinance of its type in the country,” explains John Barisone of Santa Cruz. “I haven’t recommended any action to our city council.” For once, homeless advocates agree; likewise pointing out the flagrant generality of the overturned ordinance. “It was just, all around, an incompetent effort to criminalize homelessness,” Monterey-based activist Moira LaMountain stresses. Although nowhere near as draconian in its transient dealings as Los Angeles’ war on Skid Row, San Luis Obispo—like so many cities with transient ordinances—possesses one characteristic critical to the Ninth’s decision: an obvious lack of shelter space. “It’s perhaps a little bit better here than in L.A.,” Lowell admits. It certainly couldn’t be any worse. (MORE)
Homeless Can Sleep On Church Steps
13 years ago Homeless Can Sleep On Church Steps by J. Grant Swank, Jr. Jun 1, 2006 Some wanted the homeless sleepers wiped clear of the church front. The church said No. Church folk stated that Christians of that particular congregation were more than willing to share their property with the homeless, including their front steps. Therefore, the judge sided with the believers. Consequently, now one can find police refraining from dragging off the homeless from the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York City. However, the judge did conclude that such persons were not to block the sidewalk. Christians look upon the homeless as ministry opportunities, providing them with nourishment and medical attention when needed. Further, in the church basement there is a small space for sleeping some of the poor, but not as large a space as the congregation would like. Nevertheless, they are pleased that the judge has permitted them their continued caring for persons on the church front steps, according to Anne Pessala of Religion News Service." Continue reading this article below A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of a prominent New York church that sued to allow homeless people to sleep on its steps and sidewalk. The April 27 decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a lower court ruling that allows Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church to continue offering shelter on its steps to New York's homeless population. "In November 2001, the City of New York told the church it could no longer allow homeless people to sleep on its property as it had for the past two years. City officials said the outdoor site constituted an illegal shelter and argued city shelters were better equipped to aid the homeless." This is one time when the Christian community bonded with the American Civil Liberties Union to obtain legal permission to care for the homeless. Working together, the parishioners were delighted when a federal judge informed police authorities to quit raiding the steps. Police could no longer forcibly remove the homeless from the steps. The Christians informed media that they were thankful for the ruling as a "strong defense of religious freedom" which permits believers to see through "an important part of the ancient Christian tradition of offering hospitality to the poor and to strangers." Copyright © 2006 by J. Grant Swank, Jr. *fair use*
13 years ago City Limits WEEKLY Week of: May 30, 2006 Number: 537 CORRUGATED CRIMINALS Court says law is clear: sleeping in a cardboard box is a crime. > By Gabe Ponce de León In a quiet May 18th decision, a federal appellate court ruled that a controversial Giuliani-era policy that made it a crime for homeless people to sleep in city parks was constitutional. By a 2–1 margin, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the city’s policy of arresting homeless people for sleeping in cardboard boxes in city parks. The suit revolved around the question of whether the city’s use of an obscure ordinance originally intended to prevent illegal dumping provided a clear standard for police to follow. “We are pleased that the court recognized that the city must balance its need to keep public order with the needs of homeless individuals,” said Alan Beckoff of the New York City Law Department. The case was brought by Augustine Betancourt, who was arrested in Collect Pond Park in Lower Manhattan on February 28, 1997. Betancourt, an Army veteran, had been sleeping in a tube assembled from three cardboard boxes. He was held for 24 hours before prosecutors dropped the charges against him. When he met a lawyer at a soup kitchen’s legal clinic, Betancourt decided to challenge the law under which he was arrested. His suit contended that the regulation—which mainly prohibits abandoning or stripping cars in public streets—was improperly applied to punish the homeless as part of former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s “quality of life” initiative, launched in 1994 to combat a wide range of street crimes including prostitution, panhandling and drug sales. “Any reasonable person reading the law in its context cannot help but think it was misapplied to the homeless,” said Douglas Lasdon, executive director of Urban Justice Center and one of Betancourt’s lawyers. The dispute pivoted on whether Section 16-122(b) of the New York City Administrative Code, which makes it unlawful “to erect or cause to be erected…any shed, building or other obstruction” in public places, was unconstitutionally vague. Judge John S. Martin Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York heard the original claim and found that the statute was not vague. Second Circuit Judges Amalya L. Kearse and Ralph K. Winter upheld his ruling. Citing the dictionary definitions of “erect” and “obstruction,” they affirmed that a citizen could reasonably ascertain that sleeping in a cardboard box was against the law. In dissent, Judge Guido Calabrese described the code as an “impenetrable law that could be read to allow police officers to apply the ordinance almost however they want against virtually whomever they choose.” “Betancourt’s cardboard tube placed on a park bench,” he added, “was no more of an obstruction than his prone body alone.” Lasdon suggested that the issue may now be moot because city seems to have stopped aggressively targeting the homeless. “I have no evidence that the Bloomberg administration is using this provision today,” he said. “Giuliani was doing whatever he wanted with homeless people, regardless of the law. I think Bloomberg has been more sensitive to the rights of the homeless.” But other advocates were not convinced. “Our sense is that there have not been dramatic differences [between the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations] with regard to the street homeless,” said Patrick Markee, a senior policy analyst for the Coalition for the Homeless, though he conceded that the Bloomberg Administration's public tone was “less aggressive.” The New York City Police Department refused to provide City Limits with statistics on how many people had been arrested using the anti-dumping ordinance. Before mounting the appeal, Betancourt reached a $15,000 settlement with the city over an unreasonable strip search claim stemming from the same arrest. Betancourt, who now lives in supportive housing, has not yet decided whether he will seek to appeal the case to the United States Supreme Court, Lasdon said. —Gabe Ponce de León *fair use* Harmony- This subject also has to do with this thread in HCRCL: Criminalization of Homelessness
website "Where are you sleeping tonight?"
13 years ago
Where are you sleeping tonight?
Cal- Council fears homeless statute too tough
13 years ago Posted on Thu, May. 18, 2006 Council fears homeless statute too tough RICHMOND: Ordinance that bans sleeping in public areas violates ruling made by 9th Circuit Court By John Geluardi CONTRA COSTA TIMES As a result of a recent federal court ruling, some City Council members fear Richmond's controversial homeless ordinance may be too tough and have asked that it be reviewed. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month that cities cannot enforce any laws that broadly ban sitting, lying or sleeping in public unless there are available shelter beds. The ruling challenges Richmond's no-camping ordinance, which makes it illegal to sleep in public areas including parks, parking lots and streets. On any given night, Richmond has an estimated 293 unsheltered homeless, the largest number in the county, according to Contra Costa Health Services Homeless Program. Currently the city has about 85 emergency beds, all of which are occupied most nights. The imbalance means that Richmond could be vulnerable to lawsuits if the city continues to enforce its no-camping ordinance, said Elisa Della-Piana, an attorney with the San Francisco-based Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights. Councilman Jim Rogers, who voted for the ordinance in 2001, said he called for its review because of the circuit court ruling. "That case made it clear that we do not have a legal ordinance," he said. "We need to have an ordinance we can enforce and in order to enforce it, we need to have a legal number of beds." Mayor Irma Anderson sent the ordinance back to the public safety committee, where it will be reviewed for possible amendments. Anderson, who was a strong supporter of the ordinance, said she would like to see data on how it has been enforced. "There is an assumption that we are putting people in jail," she said. "I would like this discussion to include the chief of police so he can give us some data about the number of people arrested." Richmond's no-camping ordinance is much more severe than the Los Angeles statute, which was challenged in last month's circuit court case, Della-Piana said. Richmond's ordinance goes beyond Los Angeles' by outlawing sleeping in cars and carrying camping equipment in public areas. "This is law is so broad it covers people sitting in a park with a backpack," Della-Piana said. "Basically it's a tool to harass anyone who is homeless in public spaces and it's unconstitutional." Richmond Vice Mayor Maria Viramontes, who was the only council member to oppose the ordinance in 2001, said it should be repealed. "The federal court has already thrown it out," she said. "The only reason for us to keep it would be to make a statement, and we should really think about what that statement is." Contact John Geluardi at 510-262-2787 or at *fair use*
Law penalizing homeless rejected
13 years ago Posted on Sat, Apr. 15, 2006 Law penalizing homeless rejected L.A. MUST FIRST PROVIDE SHELTER, PANEL RULES By Robert Jablon Associated Press LOS ANGELES - The city cannot arrest homeless people for sleeping on the sidewalks until it provides enough beds for the thousands who lack shelter each night, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling that permitted the city to enforce the law at will. The panel said the ordinance violates the Constitution's Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment because the people who break it have no choice. ``I think the homeless have just found shelter with the federal courts. I think it's a brave and courageous decision,'' said Mark Rosenbaum, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. He said the ruling is unique in the nation. ``There's never been a case that a community may not criminalize homelessness,'' he said. The ACLU sued the city and Police Chief William Bratton in February 2003 for enforcing the law in downtown's Skid Row -- an area with the nation's highest concentration of homeless people. A federal judge dismissed the case after finding the ordinance penalized conduct, not a person's homeless status. Friday's ruling reversed that decision and sent the case back to the lower court ``for a determination of injunctive relief consistent with this opinion.'' Earlier this month, a blue-ribbon panel suggested building 50,000 housing units as a way of ending homelessness throughout Los Angeles County within a decade. The ACLU's Rosenbaum said such efforts are ``a step in the correct direction.'' The suit originally was filed on behalf of six homeless people who were cited or arrested under the law, and Rosenbaum said he was trying to contact them Friday to tell them the news of the appellate ruling. It was unclear whether the city would decide to appeal the appellate ruling. ``We are in the process of reviewing our options,'' said Contessa Mankiewicz, spokeswoman for the city attorney's office. The law carries a fine of up to $1,000 and a six-month jail term. The city had argued it was a necessary crime-stopping tool in a city where an estimated 48,000 people are homeless on any given night. *fair use*
Dignity Village News, cont'd- Right to Sleep Summit
13 years ago
Paradise's Templeton is still struggling with charges stemming in part from his unreconstructed authoritarian style with dissident camp members. He and two others are still appealing their "camping" convictions from a police spoiling operation of August 3 when "Homeless Service Officer" Seiley spread tickets and fear through Camp Paradise, though there was no legal shelter anywhere else. Commissioner Irwin Joseph rubberstamped the police department's harassment policy by striking down the "necessity" defense. Irwin claimed the homeless had alternatives but failed to mention any. Santa Cruz HUFF [Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom] organizer, Bernard Klitzner hoped to see a revitalized summer campaign against the Sleeping Ban in Santa Cruz emerge from the conference--a movement that would spark action in other cities. Thomas Leavitt announced his intention to return to the Green Party to demand a process for holding Green Party-endorsed Councilmembers like Fitzmaurice and Porter accountable for betraying their commitments. And locally,1000-2000 homeless faced another night of shelter space for less than 40 of their number after the April 15th closing of the Armory roused no response from a City Council more intent on arresting homeless activists than generating solutions. "They can pick us off one by one," commented one Summiteer, "but they'll have a real hard time getting all of us, if we all come to town." Hope and indignation may be the road to dignity and security for homeless communities in three states. For more info contact HUFF at 831-423-4833, HUFF-UCSC at 831-427-0270 or Green Party activist Thomas Leavitt at 831-425-3646. Or go to . *fair use* Dignity Village Contact
Dignity Village News:Right to Sleep Summit
13 years ago Right to Sleep Summit As this issue goes to deadline (5-4), activists from up and down the Coast gathered at the House of Santa Cruz Green Party insurgent Thomas Leavitt for a Santa Cruz Right to Sleep Summit. Their objective: to end Sleeping Bans in three states and support protective encampments like Santa Cruz's Camp Paradise, Portland, OR's Dignity Village, Seattle's Tent City III, and Isla Vista's Camp Home Sweet Home Nancy McCradie of Santa Barbara's Homes on Wheels reported that Mayor Marty Bloom has joined their Board to actively a first-of-its-kind RV park which will serve hundreds (about half that City's "rubber tramp" population). "The ground-huggers [those without vehicles] are next, " promised McCardie. Pioneered by former Santa Barbara Public Defender head Glen Mowrer has effectively busted the City's sleeping ban and its broader camping ban for those in vehicles using the Necessity defense, ratified at the appellete level in the Ridley-Cooper cases and at the state level in the Eichorn decision . Offering twelve-hours in a church with a forced sermon just simply isn't good enough pretext to roust those whose only affordable housing is their vehicle. Coming up next is to challenge local anti-homeless "thou shalt not sleep" by arguing state law takes precedence. And the state "anti-lodging" law 647j is under attack in Sacramento and Berkeley. In Sacramento, SHOC (Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee) firebrand Clifford Crooks called for a Sleep-In at the Sacramento State House with homeless families. "The Sleeping Ban is a Hate Crime" shouted "Protest" Bob Hansen. "In an election year, Davis will not risk the shame of enforcing this law if he is effectively challenged," said Crooks.,Berkeley, B.O.S.S. (Better Opportunities Through Self-Sufficiency) activist Michael Diehl is organizing protests and a prospective Rainbow encampment in the wake of last year's City Council victory. There, when more than a hundred supporters showed up at two successive meetings, the Council required City police to have one complaint and give two warnings before moving on those sleeping outside. J.C. Orton of Knight on the Streets Catholic Worker in Berkeley reported on the struggle to serve free food to the homeless and hungry in Oakland. There, turncoat "progressives" Oakland Mayor "Brown-Out" Jerry Brown and Council woman Nancy Nadel allowed the West Oakland Neighborhood Association to drive away Jim and Joyce Parkhurst's 2 1/2 year old Peralta Catholic Worker daily 7:30 a.m. food-serving operation. East Bay Food Not Bombs is moving in to take up the slack, according to Street Spirit, a monthly homeless paper. FNB has been serving "illegally" in San Francisco and Santa Cruz for the last decade or longer and kept the meals coming because of its willingness to go to jail if necessary in the face of city refusal to grant permits. North of Santa Barbara in Isla Vista, the newest "Camp Paradise"-style encampment--Camp Home Sweet Home (aka Teepee Village) stands strong against new threats of "hide out or get out" . Formed after bureaucrats ignored homeless deaths, it has uncovered a law enforcement scandal--where police have been ticketing homeless for years using a non-existent law. When the Parks and Rec District hastily convened to cover the gap with a new law, Guitar Dave, Jenny Jett and others mobilized massive community support, the District nearly passed a law that would have explicitly allowed sleeping in a park. That proposal was narrowly defeated 3-2; the new law prescribes warnings rather than tickets and mandates a 12-hour stay-away. In San Francisco, the Coalition on Homelessness is giving workshops on how to fight 647j, taking police to small claims court, and mobilizing against an election-year "trash the homeless" plan to gut General Assistance floated by Supervisors "Gruesome" Gavin Newsom. San Jose Food Not Bombs has turned back another gentrification assault on St. James Park and continues to serve food there every Saturday. A dozen residents of Portland, Oregon's Dignity Village [DV] have come down to powwow with its "sister city" encampment Camp Paradise in hopes of forming stronger bonds and helping others to join hands and circle tents. DV, now a year and a half old, got "legalized" after "illegally" refusing to disperse, but is still struggling to get back into a more accessible location. Courts there ruled the entire City Camping Ban unconstitutional, but, reports Street Roots reporter traveling with DV, the City's anti-homeless are coming up with a series of twenty-first century anti-loitering laws--Title 14. Seattle's Tent City III, the oldest of all the self-run clean-and-sober encampments, has six representatives. They recently beat back a City attempt to stop churches from hosting their tents with massive fines. Meanwhile in Santa Cruz, Camp Paradise is still waiting to hear back from Parks and Recreation Czar Jim Lang on a proposal for a two-week conservation-and-camping project in the San Lorenzo Benchlands. Instead of decriminalizing sleep for Santa Cruz's 1000-2000 homeless or carrying through on a commitment to find an alternate legal site for Camp Paradise, City Council passed a face-saving unusable proposal. It would allow 15 people to do a 2-week project if they jump nine separate insurance and security requirements--hurdles not required by state campgrounds. (more)
The ‘right to sleep’?David Arthur Johnston,Victoria,BC-Canada
13 years ago The ‘right to sleep’? Stepping towards social justice. Exposing the tryanny of the ‘crown’. All movement exists by the grace of God (therefore pride IS a lie). You have no beginning. Patience be with us all. The story, thus far: I don’t use money (as it, unavoidably, supports a prideful construct). I sleep outside (primarily in Beacon Hill Park, at least until this adventure). In the months leading up to the end of 2003 the number of ‘deterrent events’ was increasing with condescending and threatening police and grounds-keepers hunting out sleepers, and the application of ‘bum-away’ (undiluted fertilizer- ground up fish) on known sleeping spots. Added with the winter conditions, my fatigue brought with it a consideration that my innocence was not being ‘presumed of’ in my ability to sleep conscientiously. So, I was inspired to take issue. On January 16th, 2004, I began a campaign of occupying the grounds of St. Ann’s Academy (what is now the provincially owned offices of the Ministry of Advanced Education) in an attempt to get arrested for sleeping in a ‘public-access’ area (as there is no such thing as ‘public property’) so as to challenge the ‘crown’ and get a judge to make a ruling on the ‘right to sleep’; to make an official and public statement acknowledging that it is unlawful to wake a conscientious sleeper on ‘public access’ property. Though, instead of being given ‘due process’ (which, apparently, is a right) the powers that be intensified their ‘move-along’ tactics. Some of the more notable being the fifteen nights in city cells, 6 times being driven out of city limits, the 20 consecutive nights that the province hired a security guard with the express purpose of not letting me sleep (standing above my head with a flashlight in my face, clapping hands, saying things like “If you just hit one of us, Mr. Johnston, you would expediate the situation, etc…) and a number of blankets and a couple of very nice flutes stolen. In mid-October I began constructing single-sized cardboard houses (tidy and out of the way- took about 2-3 hours to make each night- they tore it down every morning). After about the 10th one I was inspired to remind them that I was there and, instead of leaving it ‘as is’, I threw it all over their backyard (inviting a littering ticket). Mayhaps, this was the catalyst that lead to the arrest on Nov. 4th, and subsequent conviction, on Dec. 21st, of ‘Mischief’. Telling the judge that I would not sign a condition to ‘no go St. Ann’s’, the judge gave me one, anyway. I did not sign and returned that evening. On Sunday, March 20th, 2005, I was released from jail after serving 20 days (losing 23 pounds- I do not eat in jail) for the 6th breach of that condition. I will be returning to St. Ann’s to breach for the 7th time on Monday, March 28th, 2005, around 9:30- 10ish PM. I will face a judge the next morning in the courthouse. Up until now I have been pleading guilty, though now, seeing my accusor as a fraud, I will not be pleading anything. I believe this action deserved of support, though of what kind all I can say is meditating on patience brings the wisdom to maintain our true sanity. In love and truth, David Arthur Johnston Victoria, BC, Canada - Journal of the Occupation of St. Ann’s Academy- *fair use*
Homelessness is not a crime
13 years ago
Ontario IndyMedia- How YOU can help determine the RIGHT TO SLEEP
13 years ago How YOU can help determine the RIGHT TO SLEEP by David A. Johnston How YOU can help determine the RIGHT TO SLEEP - First and foremost think on patience because the task at hand is monumental. Seemingly, not something that petitions, nor politicians, are going to remedy. The root of the problem lies in the ‘crown’s’ inability to presume innocence (indicated by it’s sanction of ‘across the board’ prohibition). As it stands, it is illegal to sleep outside on public access properties (there is no such thing as ‘public property’) and anyone who does so faces the indignation of the system of governing that people pay taxes to (it is interesting to note that this system apparently would rather not prosecute those who’re not afraid to be prosecuted. Relying, instead, on tactics of abuse and torture). After almost a year and a half of campaigning to have the RIGHT TO SLEEP determined (to have a provincial judge acknowledge that a person can sleep and be conscientious simultaneously and therefore make a ruling that on all provincially ‘owned’ public access properties it is lawful to act as a conscientious member of the public may), one conviction and seven breaches later we’ve come to a head. On Sept. 23rd, 2005 in courtroom #202 (BC Provincial courts, Victoria) at 2:00 PM the court will have one last opportunity to prove itself a just body. Some ideas for what you can do: -spread the news. -help by simply showing up at the trial and other ‘like’ events. -support those who can act where you may not be able to. -acknowledge the corruption of the ‘crown’ and pull support from it. -humbly and politely give no authority to the police (not fearing prosecution or death). -desire justice, meditate on patience and follow your own inspirations. -and when the tent-cities bloom love them, cause a lot of deluded people are going to hate them and they, sometimes, may seem, very much, like the front lines of a war... thank goodness for patience... It is good. Have no worry because each of our sanities is dictated to by our acknowledgement of truth (A.K.A. persistent belief in a lie makes one crazy). This is why good always wins. Patience be with us all. For more info contact me (David Arthur Johnston) at- Journal of the Occupation of St. Ann’s Academy (Victoria, BC, Canada)- Interactive Documentary on the ‘Right to Sleep’- *fair use*
The Right to Sleep (website) (Canada)
13 years ago
The Right to Sleep It's illegal to sleep outside! IS THAT OK WITH YOU? The fact is we don't have to go to a third world country to help the misfortunate or observe the problems our culture creates. Poverty and Homelessness is a fact. It is against the law to sleep outside on public property in Canada. Victoria has one of the largest number of people sleeping outside in Canada. It also has some of the toughest legislation to deal with what police and private security companies consider to be a threat. They have criminalized sleep. Sleep is a necessity of life - without it we can not survive. Police and security guards have the authority, (or claim they have the authority) to wake a peaceful sleeper on public property and order them to go somewhere else. One of the major flaws with this power is that there is not a single inch of property in all of Victoria where it is legal to sleep outside. It is a catch-22 - if you do not own or rent private property, it is against the law to sleep and each night hundreds of homeless people in Victoria must break that law in order to exist. *fair use*
The Right to Sleep in Public -- and Homelessness
13 years ago
The Right to Sleep in Public -- and Homelessness (audio) The Right to Sleep in Public -- and Homelessness Talk of the Nation, December 20, 2004 · Is sleeping in public a constitutional right? Several homeless people in San Diego say it is. And they are filing a class action lawsuit to prove it. Guests: Robb Hess, deputy managing director, City of Philadelphia Maria Foscarinis, executive director, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty
The Right to Sleep
13 years ago
| Hot!
Recognize, Defend and Guarantee the Natural Right to Sleep "LEGALIZE" THE RIGHT to SLEEP! Every night thousands of people don't know where to go to sleep. Sleep they have to, eventually, and in order to get some rest they are forced to trespass, for which they are frequently penalized. The homeless trespass where-ever they go most of the time, in fact. When they move from place to place (they cannot well be denied that--all "normal" people do that) they are somewhat safe. However, when it comes to trying to get some rest (which "normal" people do at their residence they own, or at places that they rent), they become conspicuous, an object of scrutiny, and unless utterly inured to their predicament, they are made uncomfortable. As a result of all this, the homeless rarely, if ever, get a proper rest. Even for the few, who go to spend the night in an "emergency (a state of existence that for some is protracted to the day they die) shelter", the place, usually, is not designed with providing comfort to them in mind. Those who, out of choice, or out of necessity, have to spend the night outdoors, have to hide from being found by either the law enforcers, or other desperate people who prey on the weaker ones, and there are fewer and fewer places to hide. Not getting proper rest becomes a way of life. One's senses become dulled, one's judgment suffers; tired people make fewer wise decisions, and it is a short distance from being a trespasser to being a criminal and/or a substance abuser. Who had not any problems with the law, or was not a substance abuser before becoming homeless, has a far greater opportunity to become so when tired, and not being able to think clearly. It is a conclusion that requires no great wisdom to make that the society, as a whole, does not benefit from having any of its members not being able to make sensible decisions about their lives. It should also be wholly unnecessary to point out the great advantages of having a society of people who are able to get a rest needed for their functioning well. Mistakenly, many people think that the right to sleep is implicit; that it is a right that does not have to be legalized. Many think so, till they find out otherwise, either first-hand by becoming homeless, or becoming awakened to the needs of others (a less and less happening occurrence). Sadly--it feels indecent to point out a truth--but there are such that benefit from others' misery, undoubtedly, otherwise how could such an injustice (a thing very obvious to a sane mind) persist? Why not follow reason and legalize the right to sleep? Imagine a society where everybody had an explicit right to rest! It would be a beginning of a new, saner era. CREDIT and DEDICATION © - "ModelEarth"; re-producing of the above is permitted only without changing of the content. *fair use*

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