KALW news features two segments on Street Spirit as part of the "#sfhomelessproject" special coverage of homelessness including interviews with Street Spirit Reporter Daniel McMullan, Vendor Alando Marcell Williams, and Editor Terry Messman.
Unfortunately, homeless and low-income individuals can face legal problems simply by itting on a curb. In addition to these stressful occurrences, legal problems can arise with public benefits as well. These as well as countless other problems contribute to the unique legal troubles of the homeless and low-income population.
“Shame!” “Shame!” cried a man in the back of the Capitol’s largest, packed committee room. The vote was not yet tallied, but it was clear: The Homeless Bill of Rights was failing. A sergeant-at-arms escorted the man from the room. Other protestors replaced him.
With one in five children needing food stamps to survive, the recession is far from over, and the federal minimum wage needs to increase to become a living-wage. Instead, Democrats and Republicans are joining together for another attack on the safety net and Social Security, in the name of austerity.
“Dave has been constant, like a rock, offering the welcome, free food — and basic human kindness to everyone,” said Susan Werner. The message for all who are hungry and homeless, and who need not just food and shelter, but love and support, is that Dave Ferguson’s spirit continues to live.
“We take care of our own but in Santa Cruz, ‘our own’ includes the entire community. This meal has always been about community and we will continue to keep this tradition of service to the homeless community alive as long as there is one vet to keep it going.”
At the first action against the condo development, Guillermina Castellanos, a mother who lives in the Mission, said: “This building they want to build, it won’t be for our families. It will be for another class of families that have money. We don’t have sufficient money to pay for these condominiums.”
“I really feel that if we move forward without full and adequate funding of our mental health system, this may be leading to a false hope of safety in our neighborhoods,” said Eric Mar. “And I worry that there’s a danger of further stigmatizing people with mental illness.”
The U.S. Court of Appeals sent a strong message across the nation that cities cannot attempt to make homelessness illegal by making it impossible for homeless people to survive by staying in their vehicles. Countless homeless people have been forced to use their vehicles as a shelter of last resort.
“In my mind, this is displacement,” said Nick Kamura. “It’s just not getting to the root of the problem, and the problem is people living in their vehicles, and they’re being criminalized for it.” The migration of vehicularly housed people after the ban’s initial phase signifies a failure in homeless policy.
“I’m just simply baffled by the idea that people can be without shelter in a country, and then be treated as criminals for being without shelter,” said Sir Nigel Rodley. The U.N. Human Rights Committee condemned the criminalization of homelessness in the U.S. as a violation of international human rights.
Homeless people may use the 311 telephone system to reserve a bed for up to 90 days, using a unique identifying number to determine their spot on a waitlist. This method aims to move homeless people away from lining up at resource centers before they open, sometimes by sleeping outside overnight.