PROTECT THE PROPERTY OF THE HOMELESS
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- San Jose, the Capitol of Silicon Valley and one of the riches communities in the history of human kind, has a homeless population of around 4,000 people.
- Given the lack of available housing, treatment programs and shelters, many of these individuals are forced to sleep on the street, in cars and along the creeks and freeway right of ways throughout the city and county.
- Multiple times each day there are sweeps of these areas. Generally this results in the removal and destruction of all the property that these, the poorest people in our community have. Sleeping bags, tents, clothing, ideas, family pictures, cell phones, etc are collected and thrown into a compacting garbage truck, leaving the homeless without any protection from the weather day and night. Their efforts to change their situation are crushed and they must begin to put together, the basic necessities again.
- The courts have ruled that the property of homeless can not be indiscriminately removed and disposed of. There are guidelines for noticing, collecting and storing this property so that it can be retrieved. The policy in San Jose is both grossly inadequate and largely ignored by the teams conducting the sweeps. Those responsible for overseeing the cleanups either don't care or have been instructed to ignore the existing guidelines.
We, members of San Jose Catholic Worker, HOMELESS, and hundreds of volunteers struggling to assist the homeless request that:
- the current sweeps be stopped immediately.
- decision makers meet with the homeless and homeless advocates to develop a process that protects the rights and property of the homeless.
- provide for independent monitoring of sweeps to insure proper procedures are followed.
- institute a retrieval process that is both reasonable and feasible given the limited access the homeless have to cell phones, internet and transportation.
- explore alternatives which will protect public water ways and other areas while improving the living conditions of those on the streets.
Today: San Jose Catholic Worker is counting on you
San Jose Catholic Worker needs your help with “MAYOR SAM LICCARDO: PROTECT THE PROPERTY OF THE HOMELESS”. Join San Jose Catholic Worker and 404 supporters today.