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Thu Jul 7 2011 (Updated 07/08/11)Homes Not Jails Takes Hotel Sierra to Protest SF's 30,000 Vacant Housing Units
Thu Jul 7 2011 (Updated 07/08/11)Police Violence Doesn’t Stop Homes Not Jails Takeover in San Francisco
Homes Not Jails took over the former Hotel Sierra at 20th and Mission streets in San Francisco on July 4th. The Hotel Sierra has been vacant for nearly 20 years. Almost 50 rooms have been empty on the building’s second floor. The current owner of record, Ed Litke, made his money as a slumlord, according to Homes Not Jails. According to the US Census Bureau, San Francisco recently had over 30,000 empty housing units. The city’s estimated homeless population currently is 10,000. When, theoretically, there are 3 vacant housing units for every homeless person here, housing activists ask why not make them available for those who most need them?
The Hotel Sierra action began in the afternoon with a rally in Dolores Park of about 50 people, according to one organizer. “That quickly doubled, and then tripled, after the Brass Liberation Orchestra arrived,” the organizer said. Finally they marched right into the Hotel Sierra, which had its doors wide open. There was music, food, sunbathing on the roof, and dancing in the streets. Police reportedly assaulted and hauled away one man without provocation.
Homes Not Jails has been occupying empty buildings with homeless people in San Francisco and beyond since 1992.
Read More | Photos: 1 | 2 | Video
Previous Related Indybay Feature: Homes Not Jails Takes Empty Apartment Building Owned by Kaiser Permanente
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