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Indybay Feature
Successful Opening of Warming Center Program
by Brent Adams
Saturday Jan 3rd, 2015 9:41 PM
On New Years Eve, nearly 60 people found warm shelter on a 28 degree freezing night. It was the 2nd night ever for the Warming Center Program which hosted 100 people over its inaugural two night opening.
wcp_indy_floor_pads.jpg
During the 10-day cold snap of 2013, it became apparent that hundreds of people sleep outside when it freezes, while numerous large halls and auditoriums remain locked closed.

How can it be that in an area of such affluence, with more nonprofits and community groups than one can count, we don’t have a program ensuring that people who sleep outside by the hundreds have a warm place to rest when it freezes? Exploring the nature of this inexplicable void, one finds concern but very little public will to change the situation. We have an office of Emergency Services that issues freeze warnings for pets and outdoor plants, but not for human beings who sleep outside. We have a Winter Shelter at De Laveaga Park that maxes out at 100 people, leaving many in the cold. There has been much talk of “public safety,” strewn syringes, and even permanent supported housing for some, all the while people are facing certain hypothermia and even death in our midst. It’s easy to point fingers, blaming city and county governments and the large nonprofits and aid organizations for not addressing this problem. At some point the individual who realizes this great need and what little is being done about it, must step up and do something.

The Warming Center Program was created to provide a warm place to sleep on the coldest nights of the year. Programs such as this are of little interest in warmer months but much work and preparation has gone into it. Plans and Protocols were written, floor pads were purchased, a link with the 211 Emergency Hotline was established and a small community of support has begun to grow around the program through meetings and a fundraiser. The big missing link, as with any such location-based program, is available floor space.

On December 30 and 31, with forecasts below freezing, the Center had its inaugural opening. Calvary Episcopal stepped up to provide the needed hall, a dozen people volunteered for overnight monitor shifts and 100 blankets were donated in a 24-hour period. A van was rented to shuttle people from Homeless Services Center and to cruise the area searching for people needing shelter. On the first night we served nearly 50 people and on the second night we hosted nearly 60, who snoozed warmly and peacefully. It was immediately apparent that this center was necessary as people arrived shivering and grateful. One couple had called 911 because they felt like they were experiencing hypothermia and were directed to 211, which in-turn directed them to the WCP. We sent the shuttle out to pick them up at 1am.

We offered hot drinks, fruit and pastries and everyone left warm and content, despite the need to close the center by 6:30am while it was still dark and cold out because of previously scheduled meetings in the hall. The program will need more halls and auditoriums to choose from in the case that one or another site location is booked for an event. We’ll also need to expand the program beyond its 32-degree Temperature Threshold to 34 degrees or more, even though that means opening twice as many nights. Ideally, public safety workers and all community residents will know about the program, so they can direct people in need to a warm place to be on the coldest nights of the year. We ask for the community at large to support this project with volunteer hours, blankets and monetary donations. We’re reducing the experience of hypothermia for people who sleep outside while saving money for much needed emergency services.
The Warming Center Program thanks all who donated to help purchase floor pads, those who donated blankets, Father Joel Miller of Calvary Episcopal, and the overnight monitors Raven Davis, Nancy Krusoe, Summer Vanslager (who donated the shuttle), Stacey Falls, Paula Leroy-antaki, Tom Bately, Kathy Adams, Jeremy Leonard, Shandara Gill, Jennifer Grant and Bryan Miller. We couldn’t have done it without you.
§100 Blankets
by Brent Adams Saturday Jan 3rd, 2015 9:41 PM
wcp_indy_blankets.jpg
We put the word out that we needed blankets and within 24 hours we had many people donating for a total of 100+ blankets.
§We had our Temperature Threshold on Dec. 30 and 31.
by Brent Adams Saturday Jan 3rd, 2015 9:41 PM
temp_forecast.jpg
We weren't excited that our Activation Alert based on the Temperature Threshold came on New Years Eve
but we were committed to doing a good job.
§12 volunteers showed up for the 2 nights.
by Brent Adams Saturday Jan 3rd, 2015 9:41 PM
wcp_indy_volunteers.jpg
We were worried that we would be under staffed, especially on New Years Eve, but we had plenty of help.
§
by Brent Adams Saturday Jan 3rd, 2015 9:41 PM
wcp_indy_setting_up.jpg
People got down to work readying the space.
§
by Brent Adams Saturday Jan 3rd, 2015 9:41 PM
wcp_indy_dec._31_sleep_men_s.jpg
One thing became immediately clear; many people who sleep outside and had faced the severely cold wind storm on December 30th, would fall asleep immediately.
§Women's Only side of the room
by Brent Adams Saturday Jan 3rd, 2015 9:41 PM
wcp_indy_dec_31_sleep_women.jpg
Women are extremely vulnerable in homelessness. It is important to create an extra layer of safety for them in shelter settings.
§
by Brent Adams Saturday Jan 3rd, 2015 9:41 PM
wcp_indy_jan1_sleep.jpg
People slept soundly and awoke with ease, for the most part.
§Cleaning the space for a 7am meeting.
by Brent Adams Saturday Jan 3rd, 2015 9:41 PM
wcp_indy_mop.jpg
One of the big jobs of the program is putting the space back into shape very quickly after people have awoken to get ready for the Early Risers AS meeting.
§
by Brent Adams Saturday Jan 3rd, 2015 9:41 PM
800_211_card_front_full.jpg
§
by Brent Adams Saturday Jan 3rd, 2015 9:41 PM
800_volunteers_needed.jpg
§Warming Center Program Plan and Protocols
by Brent Adams Saturday Jan 3rd, 2015 9:48 PM
warming_center_plans_and_protocols_dec.16_2014.pdf_600_.jpg
This Plan establishes the Warming Center Program and the Protocols that guide its operation.
§Warming Center MEETING Jan. 5 7pm Louden Nelson
by Brent Adams Sunday Jan 4th, 2015 3:43 PM
800_warming_meeting_jan_5.jpg
Now it's time to talk about what went right and what we need to improve the program. We'll also discuss our recent meeting with various county department heads, the Red Cross and county board supervisor John Leopold. Please attend if you care about this issue.
§To donate...
by Brent Adams Monday Jan 5th, 2015 1:24 AM
blankets_to_donate.jpg
WE NEED CLEAN BLANKETS
Please drop blankets off at 535 Spring St.
There is a donation box along the entrance driveway.

There are many other aspects of this winter-long program that are operating expenses.
We need your help to ensure that no one has to freeze this winter.

Donations:
Check payable to-
"Santa Cruz Sanctuary Camp"
Addressed to-
535 Spring St. Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Bank deposit:
Santa Cruz Community Credit Union
"Santa Cruz Sanctuary Camp"

Comments  (Hide Comments)

The City/County of Santa Cruz have more than enough HUD grant money to fund all the warming centers required to save the lives of every (disabled) homeless peep at risk of freezing this winter.

Why don 't they use the $$$: because the politicians and the bureaucrats don't care about (disabled) homeless peeps: this is a shameful blight on our nation. HUD can MAKE the locals save all the freezing (disabled) homeless peeps. Understand this: the government and the poverty pimps can't turn a buck off "warming centers": there's no profit motive to make it happen.

If I was Brent Adams, I would launch a community organizing and protest campaign showing the HUD grant numbers and calling out the uncaring leadership rather than playing nice-nice with them. I would take my case to the big media, all the way to the U.S. Senate demanding some compassion.

You have to break eggs to make an omelet. Nice people don't get anywhere with uncaring, obstructionist politicians. Did "Rattlesnake" Robinson, "Sidewalk Clutter" Pamela Comstock, "Rabid" Richelle Noroyan, "Scrooge" Cynthia Mathews and "Doofus" David Terrazas ever propose using the City's HUD block grant money for warming centers? What about HCD Director Carol Berg? NO. NO. NO...

Those NO's are thunderclaps telling us what side these peeps are on. Whose side do you think? They're on the side of anti-homeless bigots: classist Take Back Santa Cruz hate mongers and SCPD libeler Deputy Chief Steve Clark.
Can you imagine sleeping outside, even in a sleeping bag, in 40 degree weather and being told that the Warming Center is only open when it drops below freezing, 32 degrees Fahrenheit? Neither can I. Change your protocols right now to a 50 degree threshold and actively go after all the churches for blankets, food and volunteers and both churches and schools can provide sleeping space. UC Santa Cruz and San Jose State students should also be recruited to be volunteers, and both schools should provide warming centers. UC Santa Cruz has 17,000 students and San Jose State has 31,000 students. Both universities have lots of students and families of students who can afford to provide blankets and food as well and they should be asked to do so.
Great Job Brent Adams and friends.
Your hearts were in the right place and you helped a lot of ppl!

I hope that you can expand on your success to hope warming centers all winter long. Whenever it is raining or cold—not just freezing. Your warming center gave more comfort and heat to ppl than Santa Cruz's sick building, lack of heat Armory. This worth while cause shows a great success to be expanded on and repeated.

Let these 2 days be the beginning of a more compassionate Santa Cruz for all!!!
by Brent Adams
Monday Jan 5th, 2015 1:21 AM
warming_sentinel_story_headline.jpg
Yes, it's true. Indybay SCOOPS the daily rag once again. :)

ARTICLE COPIED FROM ONLINE VERSION 1/5/15 1:16AM
_________________________________________________________________
By Jessica A. York, Santa Cruz Sentinel
POSTED: 01/04/15, 7:05 PM PST

SANTA CRUZ >> The last days of 2014 brought with them below-freezing temperatures, conditions that struck the area’s homeless denizens the hardest.
Several dozen people were given emergency shelter this year, in an effort going above and beyond for the at-capacity shelter at the Homeless Services Center campus and its winter cold shelter at the National Guard Armory, open through April 15.

On the nights of Dec. 30 and 31, when forecasts called for temperatures to hit 32 and below, community members advocating for creation of the Santa Cruz Sanctuary Camp were able to put into action plans for a Warming Center Program.

Brent Adams, program administrator, said he and organizers thought they would still have time to gather needed supplies for the program, namely in the form of blankets. Nearly everything else, from foam floor pads to temporary shelter at local churches, had been secured. With the help of the United Way of Santa Cruz County, the public can even call the 211 hot line on freezing nights to locate the shelters.

“Last year, we wrote the planning protocols and this year we tightened it up,” Adams said of the warming center program. “A small group of activists with no buildings ... it’s kind of a daunting idea that all of a sudden we would open up a warming center on a freezing night.”

Adams and other volunteers coordinated with the Homeless Services Center to find out when their shelters were full and shuttling people to the warming center.

“I believe this is the first year they’re doing the warming centers in the way that they’re doing them now. I think they went really well. We were grateful to have them open as another resource,” said Homeless Services Center Executive Director Jannan Thomas. “I think it’s hard, because we know from the homeless point-in-time count that there are not enough shelters. It’s great to have some really short-term emergency places to keep people safe.”
Calvary Episcopal Church served as the warming center for nearly 60 people on two nights, with a handful of volunteers signing up each to set up the space, monitor it at night, then clean up the next day. The public donated 100 blankets in a 24-hour period, Adams said.

“Both nights were amazing,” said Adams. “A room full of people who normally sleep outside, it was so lovely to hear them snoring.”

Adams said program organizers’ goal is to get the warming center conversation started, then hand over the project to local government agencies, aid organizations and the faith community. In the meantime, Adams has authored a 16-page draft warming center program plan and protocol document that sets out parameters for the effort. He is also continuing to seek volunteers and donations of cash, blankets and floor pads. In the plan, Adams said that many of the 37 people who died homeless in Santa Cruz County last year faced hypothermia.

A “big tent” post-mortem meeting on the group’s inaugural shelter night is set for 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 5. Organizers will explore the idea of modifying the temperature threshold for the shelter above 32 degrees, and the logistics of finding enough shelter space and volunteers to man such a venture, Adams said.

For more information online, visit facebook.com/warmingcenter.

by Robert Norse
Monday Jan 5th, 2015 5:34 AM
...not to mention the 1500+ outside in the City Limits. MC 6.36.010a (the City's Sleeping Ban) does not exempt people inside buildings unless they are residences. Churches (as well as theaters, restaurants, office buildings, almost every non-home) are also "illegal places" to sleep after 11 PM in Santa Cruz--according to the Lords of Slumber--the ever-sleeping Santa Cruz City Council.
by Pat McGroin
Monday Jan 5th, 2015 8:00 AM
Robert, Brent had permission for the homeless to sleep there...that's the way the law works and there was NOTHING illegal about it. Brent did something positive and impacted a lot of the very lives you advocate for...yet you choose to cast a negative spin on Brent's achievement with misinformation. Allocating/organizing space, blankets, volunteers, etc. takes a lot more commitment, time, resources and energy than chastising your community from behind a placard. I respect what Brent did because he did it...successfully.
by John Cohen-Colby
(john.roncohen.colby [at] gmail.com) Monday Jan 5th, 2015 9:18 AM
Robert's point Ms. McGroin is that Brent's efforts have exposed Santa Cruz politician's and poverty pimp's position on all the freezing homeless people in this county: the government has the $$$ but they lack the necessary compassion — they're heartless when it comes to freezing (disabled) homeless people. We must:

1. Decriminalize homelessness and allow survival camping.
2. Get rid of the Homeless Services Center is it is now run because they violate the human, economic and civil rights of so many homeless people while serving themselves not the homeless community.
3. Get an honest accounting of all the $$$ available from all funding sources to house poor and homeless people in our community.
4. Open a community dialogue with the real stakeholders — poor and homeless people — about what they want. It's time we treat them as co-equal members of the community and listen to what they have to say without intermediaries.
5. Cut the poverty pimps out of the equation. They are just tax sucking parasites feeding at the public trough who could care less about poor and homeless people. They are cheats and moochers, not the poor and homeless!
6. Make way for the real doer's who have creative solutions and fresh ideas, not the failures with 50 years of failed policies.
7. Create alternative housing with cars, vans, RVs and Tiny Houses for sustainable off the grid communities and affordable ADUs.

That's a beginning Ms. McGroin. You're either part of the solution or your part of the problem. But first first you must have compassion for poor and homeless people. Do you?
by Robert Norse
Monday Jan 5th, 2015 9:45 AM
I wasn't criticizing the two nights of warmth that Brent and others organized. I think we need stronger action to secure this obvious life-sustaining need. My only criticism is waiting for permission while people freeze. In 1988, many of us sat in, were arrested, then charged (then acquitted) of trespass for occupation of an unused shelter (River St.) which opened months early because of the publicity we created. (See my account at http://huffsantacruz.org/streetsheet/street-shit-sheet-51-65%20%28February%2020th,%201988%20-%20December%2010th,%201989%29.pdf p. 63; more background at: http://huffsantacruz.org/streetsheet/street-shit-sheet-31-50%20%28September%2020th,%201988%20-%20February%2015th,%201989%29.pdf pp 138-139, 164)

As for whether it's illegal--yes it is: read the text of MC 6.36. Is that ridiculous and absurd? Yes. Should we ignore it and commend Brent and others for their work? Sure.

My point was to emphasize how hypocritical and arbitrary authorities are around this issue.

No, "permission" doesn't cut it when, more than 1000 are outside and police are hassling people every night and stealing bedding and clothing. Waiting for "permission" is cruel and unusual punishment, also highly unrealistic expectations of abusive and unresponsive authorities.
by Pat McGroin
Monday Jan 5th, 2015 9:55 AM
John, Robert is a big boy and can write his own posts without you. Robert's post wasn't even close to the translation you've imposed on him. He perpetuated the myth that sleeping is illegal in Santa Cruz and listed municipal code MC 6.36.010a as proof. The very law Robert cites, if you'd take the time to read it, lists several circumstances where sleeping, (camping), is perfectly legal by simply acquiring permission from the property owner/manager. That's what Brent did...and he was successful.

Read the law, John...it could not be more clear: http://www.codepublishing.com/ca/santacruz/html/santacruz06/santacruz0636.html
by Pat McGroin
Monday Jan 5th, 2015 10:12 AM
I've read the law many, many times. The camping law you cite is 6.36...yet you only quote 6.36.010 A, which is just one provision of the law that addresses public camping restrictions. Chapters 6.36.020 A-D and 6.36.030 A-D of that same law outline the terms of legal camping in Santa Cruz....all requiring permission.

You're very consistent with supplying links and data for your points...is there a reason you never supply a link for this law, Robert?

http://www.codepublishing.com/ca/santacruz/html/santacruz06/santacruz0636.html

Clearly Robert Norse doesn't have the same points as me and also misconstrued I was criticizing Brent Adam's efforts, which I wasn't.

That said, why won't you address my points Ms. McGroin, and my seven demands?

Thank you for engaging in an honest discussion about freezing (disabled) homeless people in the County of Santa Cruz.
by G
Monday Jan 5th, 2015 12:33 PM
"At some point the individual who realizes this great need and what little is being done about it, must step up and do something."

Thank you, Brent (et al), for doing something about it.
by Robert Norse
Monday Jan 5th, 2015 4:58 PM
The only sleeping permitted, according to the text of MC 6.36 is (a) "in public areas specifically set aside and clearly marked for public camping purposes"--NONE; (b) at "camping events authorized and permitted by the Santa Cruz City parks and recreation department"--DO YOU REMEMBER ANY?; (c) "camping events authorized by the city council in parks" (NONE THAT i'VE EVER HEARD OF); (d) in the rear yard or a side/front yard obstructed from view;

It's also okay (a) in vehicles inside a church parking lot (3 only); b) in vehicles inside a biz parking lot in non-residential area (2 only); and (c) in a vehicle for 3 nights out of a month in a driveway [FOR THE FEW WHO HAVE VEHICLES, WHO CAN FIND THE FEWER CHURCHES/BUSINESSES...AND FOR THOSE WHO LIKE TO HOP FROM DRIVEWAY TO DRIVEWAY EVERY THREE NIGHTS--IF THEY CAN GET "PERMISSION"].

There is NO authority or permit process provided to fall asleep after 11 PM "In, on or under any structure not intended for human occupancy". The phrase "human occupancy" in court cases past has been interpreted to mean, as I understand it, "a house or hotel". You can't "get permission" for that. It is simply barred under MC 6.36.010a(2).

Those in charge of private structures that are not "intended for human occupancy"--i.e. all non-residences--cannot "give permission" legally. The law is actually quite outrageous and invasive that way, but that's my understanding of how it's written (though not usually enforced).

I'd be surprised if I were wrong about this, but pleased if so. Since it would remove pretexts that have occasionally been used by police for removing people sleeping in buildings (including churches). I reported on one such instance several decades ago at the very same Calvary Episcopal Church which sheltered folks for two nights against the cold. See http://huffsantacruz.org/streetsheet/street-shit-street-1-30%20%28June%2030th,%201988%20to%20Sept%2015th,%201988%20plus%201985%20misc%29.pdf p. 83 Street Shit Sheet #21 August 20, 1988 "City Cops Violate Church Sanctuary; Sleepbuster Antics Take on Sinister Tone"

The entire old Interfaith Satellite Shelter Program from 1988 through about six or seven years ago--in so far as it operated in the city--operated without permits and "illegally". So does the current one, as far as I know.

No problem with that in so far as it expands shelter for those who need it. I'm also glad the police don't arrest every sleeper who sleeps illegally outside (though we might have a lot more response from the community to overturn the law if they did).

But let's not claim that there's some consistent provision in the law as written that allows this, or that the law is evenly enforced. There is one policy for the token shelter providers and another for homeless people outside who must make their own shelter or sleep where they can. .

I think it's important to be clear the kind of flagrant double standards city government uses denying the poor unequal treatment of the law and arbitrarily provided privilege to property owners. In some cases, this works in our benefit, but as a matter of principle and in general practice, it's outrageous and abusive.
by Robert Norse
Monday Jan 5th, 2015 5:04 PM
I think it's important to be clear the kind of flagrant double standards that city government uses to deny the poor equal treatment of the law and arbitrarily provide privilege to some property owners. Selective enforcement does benefit those sleepers (whether inside or outside) who are overlooked, but the law itself is obscene in principle and abusive in practice.
by never?
Tuesday Jan 6th, 2015 10:43 AM
MC 6.36(c)- I believe the annual AIDS/Lifecycle ride that camps in Harvey West Park overnight has a permit. Happening for over a dozen years now, 2300 riders this year, and you've never heard of it?
by Razer Ray
Tuesday Jan 6th, 2015 11:47 AM
america_is_1_at.jpg
They get the necessary permits, comply with the regulations, PAY A FEE FOR USAGE, and any nonprofit organization can do that.

This is the basis of the "Camp of Last Resort" plan being broached by Micah Posner's dad and orignially suggested by your truly whenm Brent first advertized his Sanctuary Camp pipe dream on Indybay a while back.

A fenced off space in a park open during the night and closed in the daytime with minimal facilities to meet H&S regs.
by Robert Norse
Thursday Jan 8th, 2015 9:49 AM
Yes, very rarely--permits may have been issued for annual events passing through town. Typically politically correct or mainstream events that provide commercial or propaganda benefits for local businesses and politicians.

But regular activity involving shelter or sleeping have not been issued permits for local folks.

Since this thread is about warming centers, local shelter, and destructive policies towards the homeless (and the possibility of the community changing these)--I think the point is clear. Santa Cruz law is simply designed to criminalize those outside who sleep--at the whim of the police (since uniform enforcement would result in filling 4-5 jails).

There are plenty of places warming centers could be set up. For that matter all kinds of buildings exist--including those stolen by criminal corporate banksters. The community simply has to find the will to change the rules and act on conscience and common sense rather than the playbook laid down by the wealthy and powerful.
by Razer Ray
Thursday Jan 8th, 2015 10:58 AM
RN: "But regular activity involving shelter or sleeping have not been issued permits for local folks"

I don't recall anyone has legitimately tried recently but I KNOW Karen Gillette did JUST THAT on private property by simply fulfilling zoning and H&S regs. Harassed in a number of ways but UNMOVED for quite some time.

If the city or county, THE PEOPLE ACTUALLY FUCKING RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WELL-BEING OF COMMUNITY MEMBERS, did it, harassment would be moot to counterproductive.


If Brent did it, they'd allow a known troublemaker from the night before stay again, to keep everyone awake all night, and fail to remove the person because "Codependence" and no legal way to do so.

That's what happened on the 2nd night of the Red Church warming shelter.

"Remember what happened to Jimmy (Klein)" is what shit-for-brains told me... Yeah the Armory kicked Jimmy out with NOT EVEN A BLANKET... Brent & co had PILES of them so his pitiful codependent plea is lame and an evasive way of stating they simply couldn't without causing a brawl.


Get my point Robert? Brent and his friends are intrinsically and technically incapable of handling the kind of security a mixed-bag-of-nuts (I'm the pistachio) needs to keep problems from arising and squelching those problems when they DO arise.

County or city operated... With BONDED SECURITY GUARDS OR A COMMUNITY SERVICE OFFICER, ,and as Micah Posner's dad suggests in his shelter of last resort plan, a CSW to act as intermediary.

PS> RN: "There are plenty of places warming centers could be set up. For that matter all kinds of buildings exist--including those stolen by criminal corporate banksters."

Are you suggesting a reopening of 75 River Robert?

You lead.
by Dr. John Cohen-Colby
(john.roncohen.colby [at] gmail.com) Friday Jan 9th, 2015 1:00 AM
You made some very valid points RR. Any community for poor and homeless people must be policed so it remains viable and retains strong community support. The powers that be — the City Council, the City staff, the "poverty pimps" and the Take Back Santa Cruz anti-homeless bigots — will jump on any disturbances to claim that poor and homeless people are unredeemable trash who are inherently irresponsible, who don't deserve financial support from tax dollars and who ultimately must be excised from the community altogether as "bums", "vagrants", "drunks", "addicts", thieves" and dangerous "mentally ill" people.

Worse, local law enforcement and anti-homeless bigots will plant troublemakers to justify their claims: I know from at least one example the Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) made a homeless tweaker into a secret informant to break up First Amendment protected protests by legitimate homeless protesters — one which my sister participated in and was targeted by this informant who claimed openly the SCPD protected her. The SCPD officers present refused to protect my sister from the attempted attacks by this tweaking informant who later confided in my client that she was indeed an SCPD secret informant. This is also why the SCPD and even City Attorney Barisone refused to file criminal charges against this tweaker, completely ignoring me. I was forced to file a color of law complaint with the FBI against Barisone and the SCPD officers involved: hopefully they'll all be appropriately punished.

Any community of poor and homeless people must be appropriately policed — preferably by the community members themselves because they have equity as stakeholders in the success of the community. Also there must be social services available to treat "mentally ill" individuals, addicts and alcoholics acting out. These individuals must be appropriately segregated from the larger community where they can work on their special issues with psychological support from trained social workers and trained community members.

Being codependent by sticking your head in the sand, or saying like Robert Norse that poor and homeless people should be allowed to do anything, is counterproductive and will ultimately destroy any viable community for poor and homeless people.

Email me to chat more about this since I plan to address it in the "off the grid" sustainable community of cars, vans, RVS and Tiny Houses I'm proposing the City fund with its HUD CDBG and HOME block grant money. I've been thinking about exactly what RR described and I know for my proposal that it must be effectively addressed.
by free the blankets
Wednesday Jan 14th, 2015 11:00 AM
it all turns on what "human occupancy" means in the code. churches have greater protection against local laws under the 1st Amendment and RLUIPA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_Land_Use_and_Institutionalized_Persons_Act

and of course there is always the necessity defense

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Necessity+defense

since there is an eminent danger of the homeless dying from the cold.

the city attorney is not going to prosecute, it will only expose the city to wrongful death law suits.
i am told that NONE of the homeless had a sleeping bag. i am also told that the city's parks and recs were confiscating hidden sleeping bags along the levy on the morning of jan 2.

brent found a weakness in the city's policy of inhumanity to the poor. he did not need permission or approval from city government. if he had waited for city approval, some of those without sleeping bags would have died from the cold on one of those nights.
by Razer Ray
Wednesday Jan 28th, 2015 10:16 AM
You were told wrong. I, and a majority of the people HAD sleeping gear albeit many chose to use the clean supplies available.

Another untruth being promulgated in the post is that "Everyone slept soundly for the most part".

See my comment above and note that when Brent and his volunteers 'intervened' with the 'offender', who had been 'tagged' as a problem the evening before but allowed to return, the gent started shrieking, waking EVERYONE up, and as previously stated, the volunteers were unable to remove him from the premises or convince him to remain at his sleep spot for the duration of the evening. Many of us nearby this person and elsewhere he wandered around the room during the night were unable to get undisturbed sleep.
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