---HOT nourishing VEGAN soup for free
---COLD, HARD FACTS for the public to ponder in the Christmas season
Every year, the Homeless Persons Health Project issues a report documenting those who have died on our streets while homeless.
Inclement weather, violence, suicide, overdose, and disease take their toll each year. In 2008, 20 homeless people died on our streets. Earlier in the day at the Homeless Service Center at 115 Coral St., a 10 a.m. ceremony will mark the Homeless Deaths of 2009.
HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) feels the harsh laws of the City have contributed to homeless hardships and violate basic human rights.
The DOWNTOWN ASSOCIATION backed ordinances which expand forbidden zones. These zones severely restrict where one may sit, beg, play music for donations, or set up a political table.
Homeless people who are targeted for enforcement, can neither afford the fines, nor fight the banishment they represent. Ill health, depression, isolation and death are the result.
HUFF deplores that the City of Santa Cruz in conjunction with the Downtown Association, has systematically destroyed the physical, mental, emotional, and social health of homeless people by making the following innocent behaviors illegal:
--- to stand, sit, or socialize in a downtown parking lot or garage unless specifically parking or retrieving a car or bike (and then only for 15 minutes).
--- to sit, beg, play music for tips, or set up a political table within 14"of a statue. The City setup a for-profit art gallery on public property with the intent to eliminate peaceful public assembly near these statues.
--- to smoke anything on Pacific Ave, Beach St, the Municipal Wharf, and the entire length of W. Cliff Drive. Homeless people report being cited selectively.
--- to park longer than 20 minutes in the 3-Trees Parking Lot on W. Cliff Dr
The City has used public funds to launch civil suits against homeless people on behalf of anti-homeless downtown merchants.
The City spent over $5000 needlessly to move the planter railing outward in front of the New Leaf Market in order to prevent sitting.
The City has removed bench after bench so that seniors, disabled folks, and poor people are unable to find a place to sit down on Pacific Ave.
The City has made 95% of the Pacific Ave. sidewalks a "forbidden zone" for sitting, sparechanging, tabling, or performing. 100% of sidewalks in all other business districts are now forbidden zones.
The City Council has bypassed both the Downtown Commission and the Parks and Rec Commission to jam these anti-homeless laws through with little public scrutiny and close other public spaces targeting homeless survival sleeping.
STILL ILLEGAL AFTER ALL THESE YEARS:
--- to sleep at night anywhere out of doors or in a vehicle with few exceptions in a city with shelter for less than 10% of its homeless population
--- to use a blanket between 11PM and 8:30AM out of doors
--- to set up a survival tent against the cold and rain on any public property.
The political table HUFF will be setting up will be less than 14" from The Tom Scribner Statue--and hence illegal if it weren't for the "free-speech" zone located there
For more information call: (831) 423-HUFF
To get HUFF e-mail, contact rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
More on this subject on Free Radio Santa Cruz at 101.1 FM (http://www.freakradio.org
) Sundays 9:30 AM - 1 PM, Thursdays 6-8 PM.
More info on recent anti-homeless activity downtown:
"WARNING SIGNS" http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/12/16/18632781.php?show_comments=1#18632839
"Downtown Association Holiday Parade" http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/12/08/18631869.php
"After 15 Months, Drum Circle Defenders Case Resolved" http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/12/04/18631446.php?show_comments=1#18632701
Join Us Singing Out Against Stupidity on December 22nd !