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Indybay Feature
Sat Aug 11 2001 (Updated 04/05/07)
Homes Not Jails Occupies 170 Fell Street
Homes Not Jails
Homes Not Jails occupied a vacant SF building at 170 Fell Street from Sunday, August 12 - Monday August 13. On Monday, riot cops stormed the squat and arrested nine people. The squatters were charged with trespassing and released. Watch a video made by one of the squatters documenting the first night at the school. The building is owned by the SF Unified School district, and has been abandoned since 1989. This particular building could easily house over 100 people (close to the number of homeless people who died on the streets last year). The squatters were demanding that the city make the property available for them to renovate it and live there. The squatters were also calling for legislation to require that ALL surplus city property be made available immediately for housing.
Photos of Fell Street Squat: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

While thousands of people are forced to live on the streets and while over 100 hundred families are turned away from shelters every night, there are dozens of city owned buildings which are vacant and have been declared "surplus" by the city's Real Estate Department. Each of these buildings could be renovated cheaply via sweat equity and turned into permanent affordable housing.

Homes Not Jails was formed in 1992 to advocate for the use of vacant and abandoned housing for people who are homeless. With people literally dying on the sidewalks in front of vacant buildings, housing advocates, homeless advocates, and people who were homeless came together to find ways to utilize vacant buildings. Video of 1993 HNJ Squat. | Food Not Bombs | Plumbing Your Squat (video) | Know Your Rights (audio)
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