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.
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!
The ‘Homeless Bill of Rights Sleep-In Action’ was a beautiful, powerful and inspiring experience… and yet at the same time heartrending. Bear with me (if you want)… I write to process my thoughts and I decided to share this one. Continue reading →