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Tiny But Tough-Love Tour of Shame to Demand Opening Up Motel Rooms for Shelter Now !
by Robert Norse (rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com)
Friday Apr 10th, 2020 9:54 PM
In an Easter Sunday sweep through the City by car, several of us will gather (safely in our cars or at 6' distance with protective gear) 2 PM at Laurel and Front St. We will distribute survival gear and provisions to folks outside around the City and conduct an educational tour of shame to counter the rosy fabrications of Sentinel and city/county officialdom.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
The health and well-being of our entire community--not just those outside.

WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?
No provision is being made to broadly activate motel rooms for folks outside generally and vulnerable asymptomatic folks specifically. They are far down on the priority list issued by the County coming after the visibly sick, the COVID-19 positive, and those in contact with those found to have COVID-19.

CROWDED CONDITIONS--A BAD "SOLUTION"
Homeless people are still being crowded into single room shelters such as the Salvation Army petri dishes at Laurel St., the Vet's Hall, and the Armory (not to mention the Paul Lee Loft and the Page Smith Community House). They are not being provided the necessary single rooms to stop the transmission of the virus as recommended by the CDC.

This is NO solution but in fact an evasion and continues the unhealthy practices that the Salvation Army has been following for the last few months.

NO ANSWERS FROM OFFICIALS
Those asking have received no answers regarding how many vulnerable but asymptomatic individuals are currently shelter-in-place in hotel rooms. Nor where they are housed if they are housed at all.

This is not the kind of situation where we can sit things out and hope for helpful action. Nor, given their wretched track record, can we put stock in the hopes that government officials are accurate in their optimistic predictions.

WARNING SIGNS FROM SAN FRANCISCO
The government's current no-shelter-for-the-homeless-until-they-get-sick plan endangers all of us. We can read about its consequences in San Francisco: https://www.sfexaminer.com/news/explosive-catastrophe-70-test-positive-for-covid-19-at-sf-homeless-shelter/?

ROSY REPORTS PROVIDE NO RELIEF
While Jessica York's feel-good story (https://www.santacruzsentinel.com/2020/04/09/covid-19-santa-cruz-county-homeless-shelters-expand-in-spacing-location/) mentions a thinning of the shelter population, there is still no basic change from the dangerous everyone-in-one-room approach.

The "alternate care" sites noted in York's https://www.santacruzsentinel.com/2020/04/06/santa-cruz-county-prepares-to-relieve-pressure-from-hospitals/ story are quarantine areas for what to do after the lightning has struck. Jason Hoppin specifically states "you can't isolate there".

All the categories mentioned by Jessica make NO mention of individual rooms and are all congregate centers. There residents can, will, and probably have already exchanged viruses regardless of 6' distances, gloves, etc. San Francisco has already abandoned this approach, under pressure from some of the Supervisors there, though apparently too late: (https://blog.sfgate.com/inthemission/2020/04/02/covid-19-san-francisco-to-prioritize-placing-some-homeless-street-dwellers-in-hotels-after-much-coaxing/.... https://abc7news.com/health/coronavirus-sf-hotels-for-homeless-quarantine-nurse-hiring-blitz-sfpd-enforcement/6029751/, https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/California-Oakland-hotels-homeless-COVID-19-15137881.php ).

ONE RULE FOR THE RICH; ANOTHER FOR THE POOR
Telling housed people to shelter-in-place and isolate themselves, and crowding homeless people together is a stark contradiction. It simply treats homeless people like disposable trash to refuse to provide them the options that those in houses do. It is also near-sighted stupidity of the highest order, in not recognizing that the consequences will be a spread of the virus to the housed, and the resulting overtaxing of hospital facilities for everyone.

HONK FOR HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES...
...if you see our caravan driving by. Or join us, if you’ve a mind to.

TOUR OF TERROR OBJECTIVES
Some of our targets will be
....the bureaucrats who are withholding the state and federal money currently being hoarded to open up the hotel rooms
...encampments around the City who may need some of the supplies we can offer
....the wretched and under-serviced portapotties and rudimentarly bathrooms (most closed) that homeless people are expected to use
....motels and hotels--to determine their vacancies, rates, and availability.

SAFE PROTEST
As for the safety of our protest doing it from vehicles safeguards participants, observers, and targeted officials while maintaining the pressure. What is NOT safe is to allow the current oblivious crowding to continue, whether the excuse be to "save money", "save space for later", or to "wait things out".

We also hope to have a video journalist with us to document what we discover on this journey.

Gather at the new Food Not Bombs meal site at Laurel and Front next to the S.C. Community Credit Union at 2 PM on Easter Sunday (April 12).

Bring food, tarps, blankets, and other items of survival gear.

Bring video equipment or cellphones.

Bring yourselves.

The lives you save may be yours and those of your friends.
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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Relevant News Accountsvarious media (posted by Norse)Saturday Apr 11th, 2020 8:30 AM
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