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Related Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | Health, Housing & Public Services View other events for the week of 10/10/2013
Sanctuary Camp Community Awareness Forum
Date Thursday October 10
Time 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location Details
Santa Cruz High School Theater Auditorium
Event Type Panel Discussion
Organizer/AuthorBrent Adams & Stacey Falls
Emailsantacruzsanctuary [at]
Homelessness is certainly a problem in our community and not everyone agrees with how to deal with it. When we look closely, we realize that countless millions of dollars are being spent on the problem indirectly with no benefit or help to anyone.
We've researched other areas where a new approach is showing much benefit for very little money.
We'd like to share what we've been finding with you.

If you'd like to help us with this event, please attend our next campaign meeting Wed. Oct. 2, 6pm RCNV 612 Ocean St. Santa Cruz
Added to the calendar on Friday Sep 27th, 2013 9:01 PM
§Coffee Talk with Brent Adams
by Brent Adams Sunday Sep 29th, 2013 12:42 PM
If you have questions about this project or would just like to see if I really exist at all, then please come and meet me and lets talk about this..

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Razer Ray
Monday Sep 30th, 2013 2:03 PM
I certainly won't. The idea that homeless people somehow need mental heath services more so than the typical Santa Cruz middle class psychopathic commuter is offensive, along with Brent's "Clean Camp Pledge" that paints displaced workers along with everyone else as 'needle dropping riverside defecators'.

All ANY Homeless person needs, that isn't already available here, is a place to sleep.

If you can't do that SIMPLE thing, and you don't seem able to even conceive of an idea that doesn't involve mental heath services and vigilante 'security' and government 'grants'... You can't do ANYTHING.

Get this... Seattle and Portland have a MUCH HIGHER POPULATION of homeless who are NOT transient. What you want is a piece of the "Grant" pie for something pretty much useless to homeless or transients in Santa Cruz and a waste of money, but your idea will garner money for you to purloin, just like you purloined the remnants of "Occupy" funds when all that was left of Occupy were your cohorts, to buy a video cam, for your personal use.

Brent, you're simply dishonest, and we all know it.
by brentugly
Monday Sep 30th, 2013 2:36 PM
Your comment shows clearly that you don't know what is specifically being proposed, what the mechanism for enforcing rules is, what MHCAN's role is or isn't and what our funding will look like.

Why make such statements that put you in an attack mode when you're just shooting in the dark? Razor Ray, You clearly have an axe to grind and you don't seem to mind that as we're trying to help some portion of the homeless population to have a safe space, you're fighting against it based on a couple things you read on a flyer. You're actually hurting the people you pretend you're speaking up for.

As for funding. We're seeking to be self-supporting with community donations for our first Pilot camp. We're seeking no government funds. We must maintain proper accounting as now we're receiving help with 501c3 shelter sponsorship.

As for Occupy money, all money was voted on through a laborious Consensus General Assembly model. I never asked for money for a camera but I did receive funds for a cable. I requested and received funds for flyers and other. I spent 6 months solid producing the Occupy Santa Cruz Documentary...
Your claims and attacks fall short and show you to be an absurdly petty and angry person bent only on the self-gratification of the attack..

when you use the word "we" you do so quite disengenuously because this campaign to create a safe sleep sanctuary for people has an enormous amount of support.

I ask you, what are you doing to help the situation.. ..... ..... and I mean anything besides your vitriol filled, yet hollow, rants here?

..... anything...
by Camp Garbage
Monday Sep 30th, 2013 9:08 PM
I find that even when the desire to communicate is genuine we may fail because, although all of us yell at each other from time to time, the louder we get, the less the other party "hears" our heartfelt messages.

Recently Portland, OR homeless activists have been struggling with opposition to Dare 2 Dream Too, the two-year old homeless-run encampment in downtown Portland.

I found the two articles below interesting and something to consider when looking over the Santa Cruz situation.

“Dream” Move Challenged by Ugly Reality of Class Politics
September 30, 2013

Story and photos by Pete Shaw

The Portland City Council will be hearing testimony this Thursday, October 3, as it considers granting Right 2 Dream Too a permit to continue its work helping people without housing at a new location. The group is planning a move from West Burnside to NW Lovejoy Court and NW Station Way, under the ramp of the Broadway Bridge. At its Burnside home R2DToo has not only served as a rest area for people without housing, but has also proved a pivotal transition point in many people’s lives for nearly two years.

According to an R2DToo press release, the Dreamers have “as a community” approved the move that will provide “a roof over our heads (the off-ramp itself), a paved lot for wheelchair users, a quieter location, and of course, the economic relief provided by the cancellation of more than $20,000 in fines.”
At a press conference held on September 9, R2DToo and City Commissioner Amanda Fritz announced they had reached an agreement regarding R2DToo’s future. During the press conference, Fritz recognized the great success of R2DToo’s model, which includes 71 Dreamers finding new housing and 73 getting jobs, all without public funds. The Bureau of Development Services further acknowledged R2DToo’s important role on September 26, when BDS Director Paul L. Scarlett confirmed that the zoning for R2DToo’s new home should be classified as a “Community Services use.”

However, other forces within the city are saying, “Not In My Backyard.” In particular, the NIMBY contingent includes the Portland Business Alliance (PBA)–which has opposed R2DToo from the moment it set up its rest area–and the Pearl District Neighborhood Association (PDNA). On September 12 the PDNA allocated $10,000 from its “rainy day fund” to take legal action against R2DToo’s move, and the PBA has come out against the relocation.

In an article in the Portland Business Journal, Real Estate Daily editor Wendy Culverwell noted “a coalition that includes Hoyt Street Realty, Williams & Dane Development Co. and Ziba Design” wants to blow up the deal between R2DToo and the City, and also wants “to stop being painted as wealthy developers unconcerned with homelessness.”

As part of the effort to show that concern, Culverwell wrote about how Hoyt Street Properties has an agreement with the city that “calls for it to set aside at least 30 percent of the 2,700 residential units it plans to build for low-income residents.”

This is a red herring. The people served by R2DToo are not low-income residents. They are people without housing and little to no income. The people who work at Hoyt Street Properties, as well as those with the PBA and other business interests, may well be compassionate individuals who care about those without housing. But as part of a company whose sole concern is making profit, their concern for people without housing is to get them as far away as they can from their business interests.

Later in the article, such truths come forth. Greg Close, president of a real estate consulting firm representing Ziba Design, said, according to Culverwell, that “the camp will chill property values, hinder leasing efforts by design firm Ziba and others and depress rents by as much as 15 to 25 percent.” Close also said property owners might sue to recover their losses. Another person from the business community expressed worries about how a “homeless camp across the street could in theory harm” the Marriott Hotel set to open in the Spring.

Right 2 Dream Too has lasted because it has been effective in organizing people who understand there is something fundamentally wrong with denying shelter to people without housing. For some, that understanding is based on something as beautifully simple as compassion for a fellow human. For others, it is a belief that the innate value of a person is always greater than the price placed on a piece of land. So far, it has been the coming together of a community of people who have proven more powerful than the money mustered by the likes of the PBA and the PDNA.

Wherever you may stand within that spectrum, come out to City Hall and let your voice be heard. For nearly two years, the Dreamers have been effectively treated as non-legal persons, and despite protestations to the contrary, the business community’s support for various permutations of sit-lie laws has shown its rhetoric regarding its concern for people without housing has been hollow for much longer than R2DToo’s existence.

This week marks a pivotal day for R2DToo and all people without housing, as well as for those who value people over profit. The PBA and the PDNA will be sure to have many representatives there. Where will you be?

Testimony will take place at City Hall–1221 SW 4th Avenue– on October 3 from 2 to 5:30 PM, with a second session beginning at 6 PM.
For more information see:
- See more at:

Class Warfare, Compassion Emerge at R2DToo Hearing; Move Hangs in Balance

October 5, 2013
photo by Paul

Story by Pete Shaw

Since Right 2 Dream Too (R2DToo) and the City of Portland came to an agreement in July to move the rest area for people without housing to a spot in the Pearl District, those opposed to the move have been trying to walk a tightrope. On the one hand the opposition is worried about falling rents, diminished property values, and safety and on the other they want to avoid the NIMBY label and being perceived as soulless creatures who do not care about the plight of those not so fortunate as themselves. But in case anyone thought the breast beating of the business community and the leaders of the Pearl District Neighborhood Association (PDNA) had some measure of authenticity to it, that misguided notion should have been put to rest at City Hall around 7:15 pm, on October 3rd.

The 91st person to give testimony before the City Council regarding R2DToo’s move asked for a moment of silence in memory of people without housing who have recently died. Most people in the chamber rose and bowed their heads in respect. Approximately 12 people who had already testified against the move remained in their seats against the back wall. In that moment–when even a shred of common decency would have gone a long way–their farce was exposed.

On this October 3rd, during the course of over four hours of testimony, about 100 people spoke in favor of or in opposition to the move. The difference in the language between the two sides was striking. The business and Pearl people spoke the language of fear, as well as the callously indifferent language of bottom lines and lost profit opportunities. They were cold and bloodless, expressing compassion only for themselves.

The first six speakers were from Station Place Tower, which stands near where R2DToo will move, and they all sounded the safety alarm, warning of the Mongrel Hordes at the gates. “How long before someone sneaks into a warm building or steals a purse?” “Now walking to the Amtrak or the Greyhound will be more daunting.” “Those of us on limited income cannot afford to keep moving just so we can find a safe place to live.”

A few opponents tried out the human angle. One woman trotted out information about “pigeon guano” and its dangers, inclusive of CDC handouts for the commissioners regarding how to properly clean it. The fungi within the guano would be dangerous to the people of R2DToo, she said, as it accumulates under the bridge. In what seemed an attempt to embarrass Commissioner Amanda Fritz and cast aspersions on her competence, the woman asked–since she was formerly a nurse–if Friz could properly pronounce the name of the fungi. The commissioner gracefully replied, “I was a psychiatric nurse.”

Some other people tried the health card, but the pigeon guano was about the last appeal opponents made on grounds that had a slight veneer of humanity. It was fascinating to witness people expressing so much interest in making sure bird crap is treated properly, but have no problem treating their fellow humans like shit. That point was hammered home by Tequilam, who has not had housing for almost two years, when he chastised opponents of R2DToo’s move. “For people to say they are worried about health concerns,” he said, “when you were walking over me, did you care then? You should be goddamned ashamed of yourselves.”

Shame was hard to find, although it was on occasion placed upon the houseless and their supporters. One member of the business community said, “Their argument is one of class warfare, and I find it offensive.” He also said that calling R2DToo a “community service”–a term of importance to the city code, and one sanctioned by Paul Scarlett, director of BDS–is “intellectually dishonest at best and a bald faced lie at worst.”

Greg Close, president of a real estate firm representing Ziba Design, shared his pain as well. “You have created class warfare…you are making me feel great apprehension in speaking on behalf of my friends economically.” Close later told a story about a chiropractor friend who was going to lose her business if R2DToo moves in nearby. A person in the crowd noted it was no small irony that Close and the other opponents were actually creating business for chiropractors by trying to put their boots on the necks of the houseless, or as Close referred to them, “These people.”

Process and code were constantly called into question. Patricia Gardner, President of the Pearl Neighborhood Associaiton noted that the purpose of the city code is to “create certainty and safety for everyone,” although she failed to elaborate on the certainty and safety in the lives of people who lack housing. At one point developer Homer Williams looked like he was about to burst into tears because he might be unable to use money and its attendant influence to get his way. It may have been the only genuine moment of emotion by anyone opposed to R2DToo’s move.

Finally, there were the outright rude, even cruel. Nothing says hate like telling people their lives are not as valuable as parking spaces, a judgment offered up in both qualitative and quantitative terms. Despite all evidene to the contrary, R2DToo was also called “a failure” and it was implied that all the Dreamers are “ex-convicts and sex offenders”. One speaker compared R2DToo to a nuclear dump and then wandered down some dystopian alley in the Pearl where children, who “pick stuff off the sidewalks,” fall prey to an outbreak of hepatitis.

MY THOUGHTS: Portland's 2 year old Right 2 Dream Too homeless-run encampment in downtown Portland, established without benefit of permission and maintained since the Occupy movement, is now engaged in an interesting struggle to move to another site. What's important for Santa Cruz is the realization that the old adage "ask forgiveness, not permission". Power must precede permission--particularly dealing with entrenched interests and fears This is so whether such bigotry-in-power wears the protective Progressive camouflage of comforting pro-homeless rhetoric a la Don Lane & Micah Posner or the straightforward "cut off the enablement" cruelty of the Robinson-Comstock-Bryant majority. Portland homeless activists and writers understand this quite clear in their neck of the woods.

The idea of safe campgrounds (many of them, homeless-run, and voluntary) is an obvious, even essential, one when the reality of affordable housing is simply flimflam at the moment. People create them themselves whatever the depredations of The Clean Team, the sweeps of the SCPD, the prattlings of Rangers and Hosts, the brutality of Deputies, or the legal absurdities of the Sleeping Ban, PC 647e, & the curfews and closings.

What alienates many (myself included) are Brent's cyclothermic outbursts denouncing potential allies who have questions and disagreements. These occur with depressing regularity. Perhaps that just the cost of passage on this difficult road.

Another concern is the apparent willingness to put local human survival and dignity on hold until the Gang of 7 at City Council gives the go-ahead. With the aim of not offending or alarming "the silent majority" or whatever. This attempt to please the hopeless Council and elements further to the right have warped the campaign and frequently set him against activists he was previously allied with.

I will say that the objective of homeless survival camps is a positive and broad one (say as compared with Pleich's apparent overriding objective of gaining higher office).

This strategy is exactly the opposite of how even the limited campgrounds up in Portland (including the historic Dignity Village of a decade ago) were established. It has also led Brent to repeated denunciations of activists who support protests (like myself) and even the homeless protesters themselves--partially as part of his apparent anxiety at unnerving "the broader Community", partially because of the "if you're not with me, you're against me" strategy.

Brent's energy, skill, and creativity as an advertising man--organizing colorful and "safe" looking campaigns for Sanctuary Camp are impressive. His willingness to take real risks at different points and his real work as a documentarian is right on. I continue to look forward to his street reports, his willingness to question police abuses, his impressive organizing skills, and hopefully his ultimate vindication as one of the Santa Cruz Eleven.

But portals, plastic tags, potlucks, and pretty flyers can't substitute for the actual creation of camps. A good first step is to support those who have done so and are being treated like trash by the police. Or at least to recognize the protest camps are not something to be denounced, the activists who support them not to be discredited, and perhaps their persistence something that can be used as pressure to ultimately create a more long-term permanent camps here.

Prior campaigns like Sherry Conable's Coalition for a Safe Place to Sleep (1990). her New Brighton Beach plan of 1996, and Silva's Safe Sleeping Zones (2000) failed because they depended strongly on support and permission from sympathetic Council members. They ran scared when the shit began to fly from the usual business and residental NIMBY's.

It's inspiring and instructive to remember Frederick Douglass's timeless advice as he fought slavery 175 years ago:

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress...If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening...It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm the whirlwind, and the earthquake."