Protected By Our Lady of Guadalupe

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May 23, 2016

I was out at the encampments today checking in with folks. Things down on Cesar Chavez looked pretty much the same as last week, but people reported SFPD came today and told them they are doing sweeps early tomorrow morning. The cops were threatening to arrest anyone who was still there in the morning, but they are threatened on a regular basis and never really know when sweeps will actually happen. There were no longer ‘notices to vacate’ posted. The thing that was out of the norm was that people reported Caltrain had engineers with them today scoping things out so they may be putting fences up.

 

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Cops Shot & Killed a Homeless Man Today…

This is a picture of Br. Damien walking in a vigil for Luis Demetrio Gongora Pat, the man who was experiencing homelessness and ended up getting shot and killed by the police this morning. Behind him is a line up of police on motorcycles who followed us while we marched. Continue reading

“Move Along!” To Where?

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Outreach- January 19, 2016

Last night the storm kept waking me up… and I was sleeping inside my apartment. I kept thinking about all the folks without shelter. The City hasn’t been opening many of the El Niño emergency shelters… and when they do they haven’t been informing 311 which is the system established to inform folks about resources and shelters. It makes no sense.

Went on a rain soaked outreach shift today checking in with folks after the storm. Everyone and all of their belongings were drenched! I noticed a lot of people were barefoot or wearing soaked socks. Continue reading

Criminalization of Their Mere Existence

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Today has been a very wet and chilly day… I was drenched and walking around in wet shoes due to crosswalks being flooded.

I just called 311 and asked about getting an El Nino emergency shelter bed and they referred me to the Interfaith Winter Shelter… but it was after 8 PM when I called and they are limited to 100 beds so it’s probably already filled to capacity… especially in the rain. Continue reading

Interview: LGBT Youth and Homelessness

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I was asked to write an article (Q&A) on LGBT youth homelessness for a Catholic website…  Interview: LGBT Youth and Homelessness

“Quality of Life” laws…

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I don’t normally post pictures of people I encounter on the street, but I think people need to see this to understand what I’m talking about.

This man is a senior… has a physical disability… and is homeless. What he is doing here… sleeping next to his wheelchair… is against the law. Since he is sleeping he is at risk of getting a $100 citation from police and even at risk of going to jail. These are called “quality of life” citations because his existence as a poor person is infringing on the “quality of life” of those around him who aren’t poor.

Keep in mind there is only 1 shelter bed for every 6 people experiencing homelessness.

It’s shameful that this takes place in a City with such obscene wealth…. in a city named after St. Francis. This isn’t limited to San Francisco though… it’s happening across our nation. It’s shameful that this man is hated in our community because he is homeless. It’s shameful this man is marginalized from our churches because he is homeless. Homelessness is NOT a choice!

Okay… end of rant.

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