Stop Hoarding Hotel Rooms- Press Statement by Houseless & Housed Californians Against California "CoronaCamps"


Tiny - Posted on 06 April 2020

Press Contact: Leroy Moore, Lisa Tiny Gray-Garcia (510)-435-7500 - email: poormag@gmail.com
 
Houseless Peoples and Advocates Stand Together Against "Camps" For Homeless Californians While Motel and Hotel Rooms are Hoarded and Sit Empty 
 
From Santa Cruz to San Francisco (and all across this nation) government agencies who receive millions of dollars to "help homeless people"  are warehousing unhoused people in cold, unsafe convention halls, parking lots or abandoned buildings, while thousands of motel and hotel rooms are hoarded by greedy corporations owners and sit empty
 
"I was stopped by police three times yesterday asking me what i was doing on the street," said John Randall, unhoused Pvoerty Skola reporter for POOR Magazine's RoofLESS radio. 
 
"We need to place vulnerable unhoused people in hotel rooms now. Time wasted is lives risked." said Jennifer Friedenbach, Director of Coalition on Homelessness
 
"Many privileged people have never experienced this in their lifetimes, however, people with disabilities, especially us who are houseless, have experienced this over and over, how government and even some in our communities have time and time again left us behind in times of emergencies from hurricane Katrina to the earthquake in Puerto Rico.  Just as the New Orleans Superdome became a terrifying place for a lot of people who  became homeless today in San Francisco, the mayor is opening up indoor camps. This is why we need solutions from and by the people like Homefulness of Poor Magazine, said Leroy Moore, Co-founder of Homefulness - a homeless people's solution to homelessness and Krip Hop Nation.
 
" Why would i ever go to camp?  As a houseless Black woman, i have no trust in the government," said Marcia C - houseless poverty skola reporter for POOR Magazine
 
The Bay Area and all of California is home to some of the largest homeless communities in the country, yet local governments have provided little to prevent the spread of coronavirus among homeless people and are now coming up with a fascist response that is analogous to incarceration or internment camps, while houseless folks in cities like Berkeley and San Francisco face increased police harassment for not: sheltering in place.
 
"These Camps will kill us if the police don't first harass us to go in them... the terrifying actions of politricksters like San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Governor Newsom and Justin Cummings of Santa Cruz, as well as wealth-hoarding and land-stealing corporate hotel and motel owners all working in tandem to perpetuate dangerous scarcity models of not enough will result in the death of thousands of us poor and houseless people,"  said Lisa "Tiny" Gray-Garcia, formerly houseless Co-founder of POOR Magazine and Homefulness and author of Criminal of Poverty : Growing Up homeless in America
 
Unhoused communities are more likely to struggle with medical fragility, disability and/or  have health conditions including HIV, Heart Disease, and Diabetes, making them extremely vulnerable during global pandemics. 
 
Advocates and houseless people across California have been struggling with increased polcie harassment for walking, sleeping or living while houseless in public for years and and now with the implementation of these "Coronacamps" the police interactions have become more violent and dangerous.
 
"Indoor camps as currently fashioned will not prevent the spread of COVID-19. It, in fact, does the opposite. It places people in close quarters with inadequate sanitation opportunities including bathroom and isolation areas when Californians have been ordered to shelter in place. It does not provide, per the Governor’s charge, “a door with a key that locks.”...said Carol Fife, Director ACCE and Moms4Housing Organizer.
 
"All of our health depends on each other right now, and hoarding money and empty hotel rooms means more of us will die. This virus is making it more clear than ever before that our decision to prioritize private property over our friends and neighbors who have been evicted and displaced is a matter of life and death, and the city is choosing death. " said housed member of POOR Magazine's Solidarity Family- a coalition of conscious people with race and class privilege who radically redistribute hoarded resources to support unhoused Black, Brown, Indigenous and Poor people across Turtle Island 

As a contrast to the government scarcity model politricks, acts of vioent wealth-hoarding of land and resources is POOR Magazine’s Homefulness Project, The United Front Against Displacement Self-Help Hunger Program, East Oakland Collective, The Disability Culture Club, HomiesEmpowerment, Community Ready Corps, Consider the Homeless and other very grassroots organizations all across the Bay Area that have been doing daily Mutual aid redistribution efforts to unhoused and very low-income housed or marginally housed indigenous refugees, providing supplies of gloves, masks, hand sanitizers and more to people who have no way of affording or even attaining these crucial survival supplies. All of the agencies are accepting donations of supplies and resources to continue this urgent work.

"We are the ones in the trenches fighting this war against a virus with the poor people while those “in power” continue their behavior of protecting the dollar " Barbara Brust, Consider the Homeless in Berkeley

We stand with the houseless people in California demanding the human right to be housed. There are more abandoned houses, hotels and dorm rooms than homeless people. No house less person should die from a preventable death. House the people now., said Cheri Honkala- Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign and Poor Peoples Army Philadelphia, Penn

 
"It is criminal to imagine a world where we have empty hotels, empty buildings, and we say we are concerned about Covid-19, but refuse to open them up to our unhoused neighbors. These hotels that do not open their doors should be boycotted and shouldn't allow to operate if they are not willing to be our community's keepers at an emergency time such as this." Dr. Cesar A. Cruz, Co-Founder, Homies Empowerment
 
"I am terrified of dying on the streets, but more scared of what will happen in these modern-day concentration camps, said Papa G-, elder houseless poverty skola from East Oakland 
 
“We know that in San Francisco, one out of two unhoused neighbors are over 50 years old, with the majority being Black and Brown people. Many many have disabilities and are most vulnerable to not surviving a covid19 exposure. As much as the Bay Area is famous for creating disability rights, the city of San Francisco has an ugly history of regarding disabled people as expendable, ticketing people on the street and forcing people into warehouses to be kept out of sight. It’s scary that between this death camp and the push for conservatorship, Mayor Breed’s plan for unhoused elders and disabled people hasn’t changed much from the high days of San Franciscan eugenics society so likes to feel removed from.” Stacey Park, Disability Justice Culture Club member
 
"Our cities have hundreds, probably thousands of hotel rooms standing empty. These must be made available through a partnership between hotel owners and government, for people who are unhoused. It is irresponsible and heartless to crowd unhoused people into convention centers with insufficient sanitation possibilities and no way to social-distance. No human being is disposable, and they should never be warehoused, Nichola Torbett, POOR Magazine Solidarity Family member
 
"If we dont go into them we will be arrested, period," said Able, youth houseless poverty skola reporter from North Oakland.
 
“With thousands of vacant hotel rooms available, Mayor breed has decided to forego recommendations of social distancing and instead socially concentrate thousands of people in indoor warehouse camps, beds placed a few feet from one another. In one of the richest cities in the world, Mayor Breed shows that wealth disparity looms over the pandemic prioritizing the rich at the great expense of our collective health.”-Rebecca Ruiz --

Co-sponsors of this statement include HomiesEmpowerment of Oakland  POOR Magazine's Homefulness Project- the SFBayview Newspaper, -East Oakland Collective Self-Help Hunger Program, United Front Against Displacement, POOR Magazine's Solidarity Family,KRIP HOP NATION, Consider the Homeless, and SAC SOUP,.To reach any of the speakers for a comment please email poormag@gmail.com

 
 

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