House keys Not Sweeps
Houseless people often live in communities or “encampments” for their safety and well being. Belongings and community are neccessary for survival, but private and public agencies have deemed both these things illegal and are aggressively and violently policing, sweeping, harassing and attacking our houseless neighbors. They are evicted from their encampments and their life preserving belongings are repeatedly stolen. These cruel and unnecessary acts are an extraordinary waste of resources and cause serious harm. Clearly our governments are not choosing the real solutions to homelessness– human rights, livable incomes, healthcare, jobs, or a reinstatement of federal affordable housing funding. Thirty-seven years after the advent of contemporary homelessness, it is time this country realize that we will not disappear nor cease to exist. We are demanding our rights and fighting like hell for ALL people to be treated with the dignity and respect ALL people deserve.
- End the practices of sweeping encampments, towing vehicles, and stealing and destroying belongings and structures houseless people create to keep themselves and their communities safe from the elements.
- End the criminalization of houseless people, without justifying other types of criminalization, by ending the practices of move-along orders, harassment, ticketing and arresting houseless people for existing outside.
- Immediately halt government support of the hate and violence perpetuated by vigilante groups.
- Create and fund access to sanitation and hygiene infrastructure that adequately and quickly responds to the growing number of houseless people.
- Create and fund a full array of health care treatments, including harm reduction resources that appropriately respond to the needs of poor and houseless people.
- Create affordable housing units for poor and houseless people, providing adequate funding for the development and maintenance with long term subsidies.
- Overturn unjust policies and procedures that deny access to deeply affordable housing based on economic status and lived experiences of extreme poverty including homelessness.
- Stop all revenue collection and public funding of BIDs.
- End all funding of and support for hostile architecture that limits people’s ability to access and utilize public spaces.
- Address homelessness and poverty from a multi-issue social justice perspective.
- Overturn laws aimed at removing poor and homeless people from public space.
- Connect current laws targeting today’s poor and homeless people to historic civil rights abuses such as Sundown Towns and Anti-Okie laws.
- Build power by prioritizing the needs of people living on the streets and inspiring and empowering poor people’s resistance.
- Immediately restore Federal affordable housing funding to comparable pre-1980 levels – prior to the advent of the current mass homelessness – with adjustments for cost of living increases.
- Support the human right to housing by creating new affordable, appropriate, and accessible housing and honoring people’s right to self-determination in respect to creating their own housing.
- Remove bureaucratic and other obstacles preventing people from escaping homelessness.
- Create clean, safe, decent, healthy spaces where unhoused community members can live in peace.
- Promote groups advocating for and practicing alternatives to calling the police in response to crises.
- Create a database of publicly owned land to enable more socially just and equitable use that deliberately and intentionally reduces homelessness.