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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Police State and Prisons

Survival Behaviors and the Criminalization of Homelessness in Santa Cruz California
by Ryon Hoffmann
Friday May 2nd, 2014 12:33 PM
This is a case study on the survival behaviors associated with the homeless and an analysis of the criminalization of the homeless in the city of Santa Cruz.
Abstract
This is a case study on the survival behaviors associated with the homeless and an analysis of the criminalization of the homeless in the city of Santa Cruz. In this analysis the Santa Cruz municipal code and ordinances, along with central coast archived news publications and editorials are examined in an effort to answer the following questions: 1) Does the City of Santa Cruz utilize legislation to criminalize homelessness in their city and 2) How is the legislation enforced? Statistical data supplied by Applied Survey Research (ASR) will be examined to answer the questions about the size, nature, and overall cause of homelessness in Santa Cruz. This study reviews the efforts and laws that criminalize homeless activities associated with homelessness nationally. I discuss the different theories for criminalization that apply to the homeless. This case study found that public policy has created laws that penalize, and criminalize survival behaviors of the homeless in Santa Cruz California. Applied Survey Research data indicated that homelessness in Santa Cruz is largely a homegrown issue and that the size of the homeless population is growing, while the demographics of ethnicity are shifting.

Read or download the entire text of the article here: http://www.academia.edu/5201213/Survival_Behaviors_and_the_Criminalization_of_Homelessness_in_Santa_Cruz_California
by Leigh Meyers
Saturday May 3rd, 2014 1:46 PM
Noticing the only topical chapter is titled: "Social reality of crime". Because Homelessness implies criminality right?

I SERIOUSLY DOUBT this study refers to the non-construction of reasonably priced housing or abject failure of the city to develop ANY JOBS besides ones that could be filled by college students or transient 'cubie dwellers'. Transient students and office workers write off a large portion of their housing at tax time... residents can't, and there is no relief in affordable housing creation thanks to the city's pandering to developers. Co-housing is the big thing now. No affordability required, and the city is apparently complicit in that process. The new co-housing at Walnut Commons was sold to the council's plannijng department as "Co-housing for middle class families" and within a month of the project's start, the sign on site lost it's mention of "Families", without of course ANY NOTE TAKEN by the city and it's so-called 'planning department"

The city has also reneged on the well-being and security of it's citizens by it's abject failure to create jobs that are capable of paying the artificially inflated rents (except of course security jobs, positions filled by people WHO GENERALLY, BY MY OWN SURVEY OF ONES I'VE SPOKEN WITH DO NOT LIVE IN SANTA CRUZ) considering there is scant to no full time work, most of the work in the city (AGAIN, BY DESIGN) is part-time facework performed by the HUGE student population that trades shifts as necessary and is left unavailable to local youths

The city's collusion with property development interests to make all that so IS A CRIME, and HAS CAUSED THEIR OWN HOMELESS "PROBLEM" LEADING TO DISENFRANCHISEMENT AND CRIMINALIZATION as a "solution"... the city's Hegelian, and absolutely intentional, 'set-up'.

Regarding the downvote for "Peer-reviewed... Expecting someone ensconced in the institutions of technocratic education to write a paper derogatory of that technocratic arrangement favoring THEIR jobs and housing is hoping beyond hope.
by Observer
Saturday May 3rd, 2014 6:10 PM
It's not the city's responsibility to create private sector jobs. That is up to the private sector to do. The city can help through the planning process-through reduced or no fees at all, or by pre zoning appropriate properties. But going out and forcing employers to come to Santa Cruz-that's not for the city to do.
by Leigh Meyers
Monday May 5th, 2014 11:14 AM
The city sets an agenda that causes certain types of jobs to be created and YOU ARE FUCKING FULL OF SHIT 'observer'. Don't hand me that libertarian load of crap.

The city has certainly created A LOT of private security jobs that didn't exist previously. Just yesterday a private property False alarmer at a LOCAL BUSINESS that will go un-named told me directly he couldn't make the rent with his gardening job so he took that one but he hates it, and during PeaceCamp a fellow I used to telemarket with was sent by false alarm to lord over us at city hall. He brought a lawn chair, and was more empathic to the demonstrators than the company.

The job wasn't his style, like facework sales work isn't everyone's style, and eventually he had no choice but to move away.

The unchecked AND PLANNED development of facework businesses that pay shit wages has also PROFOUNDLY undermined Santa Cruz economy and society. The city gloats over it's bond ratings propped up by (quote from city council) a "flexible labor market".

That MEANS low wage DISPOSABLE employees. Typically college students that care about the job just as much as the job cares about them.

The city council thought that way of propping up their bond rating was just fine with them because they DO NOT WANT people who can't pay the artificially inflated housing costs living here anyway.

I'd explain how and why those housing costs are artificially inflated if you're a local resident, but NOT if you're a student or transient office worker but I suppose you're also jackass enough to claim the city has no control over the kind of housing that gets built.
by Observer
Tuesday May 6th, 2014 7:01 PM
The City establishes general land use through its general plan and zoning ordinance. However the market, not government, ultimately determines what's built. Unfortunately the service sector has become the largest segment of the US economy-that translates to retail, nail pounding new buildings, and other types of generally low paying jobs. Heavy manufacturing left the US a long time ago for places like Mexico.

Bottom line is, the City can't force a particular business or type of business to locate in SC if it's not to the business's advantage to do so. Some California cities offer reduced or no fees or tax breaks, and have assembled land to lure a company to come to town. With the demise of redevelopment, land assembly has become difficult.

SC is a college/tourist town, which means its primary employers will be service providers-hotels, restaurants, the Boardwalk, bars, other retailers, and UCSC. Unfortunately most service industry jobs are extremely low paid. In my part of the state, a job paying more than $10 a hour is considered to be a good one. The majority of people in my community make close to minimum wage, and roughly 60% of the residents receive some sort of public assistance.
by G
Wednesday May 7th, 2014 9:38 AM
As someone so informed, you must be aware of them, their economic impact, their purposes, and their legal immunities.

There are rumors that FTZ even exist in the USA!? :O

Maybe if FTZ were ended your neighbors, homeless or not, might be offered more than minimum wage jobs.
by Observer
Wednesday May 7th, 2014 11:07 AM
The equivalent to FTZs in California are Enterprise Zones. EZs are currently looked upon with disfavor because, supposedly, they have not delivered on their promises of creating new, well paid jobs. Most studies suggest EZs are, instead, a form of corporate welfare. In my community, there was a serious discussion about a year or two ago of abolishing the EZ program locally. The legislature may be considering changes also.
by @
Thursday May 29th, 2014 12:19 AM
Globalization is behind US homelessness.
Tariffs alleviate globalization.
by Ryon Hoffmann
Monday Jun 30th, 2014 7:21 PM
The main points that I was making in my Capstone was simply that even in liberal municipalities such as Santa Cruz, Ca are not above utilizing legislation as means of regulating behaviors of those who the deem unfit. This is simply a form of social conflict that occurs between groups of opposing interests. In order to regulate the survival behaviors of the homeless they (the dominant class) craft laws that restrict and criminalize those behaviors that they deem deviant. By criminalizing specific behaviors and criminalizing the locations and times where other behaviors can be performed we in essence deny the homeless a the right to self-preservation and areas of self-representation. In essence we are criminalizing homelessness. I do not feel that the homeless should be able to do anything they want. I feel that the homeless deserve the right to behave as the rest of the community by obeying the laws and ordinances that are past in our community. Though what I also believe is that before we can make illegal even things that make sense such as "No public urination and deification" we must provide safe, reasonable, and reliable alternatives such as 24hr public bathrooms located around town. Such as the Public Loo System I recommend in my paper. To conclude, I argue that the the County of Santa Cruz does have serious structural issues such high rent and low salary jobs, and not enough employers. In my opinion based on the results from Applied Survey's Research Census in 2014 this has caused homelessness in Santa Cruz County to sky rocket and has caused the City of Santa Cruz to deal with a influx of homeless that migrate from other parts of the county to be closer to the better services in the city.