SWEEPS this week began with Bayaud and Kalamath on Tuesday 4/6. This traumatic displacement began earlier than the posted scheduled time of 6:30am and began an hour earlier at 5:30am and with no DOTI Supervisor Adam Abeyta present. In fact, all 3 SWEEPS this week had this in common. Approximately 14 people were traumatically displaced at this location. We once again saw tents (homes) destroyed for needles, etc. When DHOL asked who made that determination, DHOL was told that the Supervisor (who was not present) is the one who makes that determination.
The next day, the SWEEP at Colfax and Broadway had the fence pushed out into Broadway, creating unsafe conditions for morning pedestrians. Approximately 25 people were traumatically displaced. We saw 9 tents destroyed. The SWEEP began an hour earlier than the notice stated and Supervisor Adam Abeyta was again not present.
On Thursday 4/8 at the SWEEP at 16th and 17th, Grant and Sherman we saw privacy fencing for the first time. This made documenting the city’s actions much more difficult. Again, the SWEEP began an hour earlier than the notice stated and Supervisor Adam Abeyta was absent. Approximately 50 people were traumatically displaced.
SWEEPING people does not work! It’s traumatic for the residents but it is also traumatic for the workers! We are starting to see this at SWEEPS with new personnel present and some higher ups moving to other departments. At the Homeless Advisory meeting, city representatives stated that it costs $7200 per year/per unit in services. This is due to trauma. We are causing more trauma and ensuring the need for future expenditures such as these because of SWEEPS!! This whole system is fiscally irresponsible with taxpayer money. Last year, we saw an uptick in SWEEPS recording 34 SWEEPS last year (and during a pandemic!!) The sweep at 16th and 17th , Grant and Sherman was the 25th SWEEP since January 1st. A new all time high. SWEEPing people doesn’t work!
We fight onward towards Rights, Dignity and Housing…