A Room for a Home Part 1

Image description: Andrew Dertien sits with his two children by the window, and appears to be reading aloud from a kids book. Each child holds a book as well.

I work seven days a week. I barely get by. I have no health insurance. I didn’t bother paying income taxes last year. For many of us, life inside America’s broken economic system is slavery. If that term seems exaggerated to you I’d venture to guess you haven’t been where I’ve been.

My two young children live with me three nights a week in a residential hotel in a high crime area in San Francisco.

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Sweeps: Unnecessary response to poverty

Last Month, Mayor Mark Farrell announced a new crackdown on unhoused people seeking shelter. Mayor Farrell declared, “The tents are a public safety hazard for the people living in them, and for the residents of San Francisco”.

Absent from this crackdown are any sensible solutions to the issues afflicting our city’s poorest residents. These crackdowns are nothing new; mayor after mayor has felt the need to push this false “tough love” doctrine and Farrell is no different.

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Santa Rosa Homeless Shut Down City Hall on May Day, “Workers Struggle Has No Borders”

International Workers Day kicked off in Santa Rosa behind the Dollar Tree store which had been home to 140 homeless campers until a massive eviction hit two weeks prior. The camp had originally been a sanctioned campsite, but had swelled since horrific fires forced many from their homes and former camps.

Several hundred demonstrators gathered to show their solidarity with homeless campers before marching to the Hilton Hotel where the unionized hotel workers were demonstrating.

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Mothers Take Action

Many of us honored our mothers this past mother’s day by acknowledging the sacrifices they made raising us, how much work they put in to ensure that their children had the best lives possible. Mothers of homeless children feel a special pain worrying that their children will not flourish. In the daily struggle to survive, motherhood requires strength and bravery that those who live inside cannot begin to imagine.

In light of an astonishing upswing in the number of homeless children experiencing homelessness,

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Homeless Women Say #MeToo

In the age of such movements as “MeToo” and “Times Up,” we have seen a shift in the national discourse around sexual violence.  However, even with the forward progress of these movements there is still one population that has been largely ignored and distanced from the mainstream narrative.  Homeless individuals, particularly homeless women, are one of the most vulnerable populations when it comes to sexual harm, yet their stories are largely ignored. It is important that as a society we start to center these stories and take a look at the prevalence of violence experienced by individuals who are homeless.

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