On Friday afternoon several dozen people gathered outside the unassuming Palms Motel in Oakland, CA with signs reading “Housing is a Human Right” and “Hotels Not Graves.” Inside, Stefani Echeverría-Fenn, an adjunct classics lecturer who herself was formerly homeless and has lived in the neighborhood for 11 years, has chained herself in the bathroom of a small room. She has been demanding that the City of Oakland offer hotel rooms where she has helped set up for her unhoused neighbors at the intentional encampment at 37th Street and Martin Luther King,
Friday, May 8th
I went out to the encampment at what they call Fulton Mall today — the area on Fulton Street surrounded by the Asian Art Museum, the San Francisco Main Library and the Civic Center Plaza; As outreachers at the Coalition on Homelessness, we’ve been spending a lot of time there over the past week and a half. Today, things got lively! It has been extremely challenging getting straight answers, but I feel like we started getting some today.
A plea for survival during COVID-19
“Like anybody, I would like to have a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will.”
-Martin Luther King Jr. on April 3, 1968, the evening before he was assassinated.
These final prophetic words of Dr. Martin Luther King,
Press release: SAN QUENTIN PRISON PROTEST West Gate, Saturday May 9 @ 11AM
A car caravan demonstration to demand protection from the deadly COVID-19 virus for prisoners is set for Saturday, May 9th. Cars will assemble at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal parking lot at 10AM. The caravan will begin at 11AM driving up Sir Francis Drake Blvd. to the West Gate of San Quentin State Prison. They will be protesting prison authorities who are leaving the most vulnerable people—prison inmates in overcrowded conditions—in danger without basic protections and unable to enact physical distancing.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic due to COVID—19, the viral disease that is affecting many countries throughout the world. As a result, LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning) communities all over the United States are facing challenges, especially those who are homeless. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation published a research brief recently that indicates that 17% of LGBTQ people lack health coverage, 1 in 5 LGBTQ people live in poverty,
Doctors, public health experts call for testing and housing all shelter residents in hotels
Yesterday, California experienced its most widespread outbreak of COVID-19 in any homeless shelter to date where nearly half of 144 shelter residents tested positive. For some perspective, the outbreak in this single shelter of 70 shelter guests comprises 8.5% of all positive cases in San Francisco, which total 857 as of Saturday.
When looking back on the lead-up to this catastrophe we see a series of policy missteps that got us here.
UPDATE: Our coverage of this outrageous plan prompted a shift for the city. Get the latest coverage HERE
A look inside the new Moscone Center congregate “Shelter”
While hundreds of advocates have been desperately contacting Mayor London Breed imploring her to place homeless people in hotel rooms and vacant units, it seems she has her own plan for addressing poverty during the pandemic: opening indoor camps to further concentrate vulnerable people.