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Indybay Feature
Fri Oct 12 2012 (Updated 10/14/12)
World Homeless Day Occupation in San Francisco
Fri Oct 12 2012 (Updated 10/14/12)
Homes Not Jails and Allies Occupy Vacant Building in the Castro; Twenty Arrested
On October 10th, Homes Not Jails and their allies occupied a building in the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco in solidarity with the 3rd annual World Homeless Action Day. The action began with a rally in Dolores Park, followed by a march to the occupation site. Homes Not Jails reclaimed the vacant space in an attempt to provide housing through direct action and protest the criminalization of homelessness. The building at 531 Castro Street has sat vacant for 5 years after landlord and business owner Les Natali allegedly used the Ellis Act to evict the tenants who had been living there. San Francisco police arrived and arrested twenty people, most charged with burglary, conspiracy, and vandalism and bails set at $325,000.

In San Francisco, it is believed that at least 10,000 people are homeless, yet there are an estimated 35,000 vacant “housing units,” city wide. In response to it being illegal to sit-and-lie on a sidewalk, sleep in a car, or inhabit vacant buildings, the group Homes Not Jails organized themselves and will continue “to take to the streets to and take direct action” by occupying vacant buildings until their needs are met. World Homeless Day was started three years ago.

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2011 World Homeless Day Feature: Homes Not Jails Occupies 600-Unit Vacant Building In SF
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