On August 6 the City Council of the City of Palo Alto, California passed an ordinance which makes it a crime to sleep in your car. This represents yet another attempt to criminalize poverty and homelessness in this country. If you are found sleeping in your car (which you own) you will be fined up to $1000 (which you probably do not have because you are homeless) or sentenced to jail (in a state with an overcrowding of prisons so bad that the US Supreme Court has ordered it to release inmates).
My mother was homeless and lived in her car for quite some time. Before she was able to obtain a vehicle she was on the streets. She was robbed in broad daylight while trying to get some sleep on the beach, she came to me with blisters as big as rocks on her arms from sun exposure, and she could not get good enough sleep to enable her to even attempt to try and get out of her situation. If people cannot sleep in her cars, where can they sleep? They will get tickets for sleeping on the concrete or in parks as well. Where can they go??
This ordinance is inhumane, illogical, and just plain ridiculous. Please sign this petition to urge the City Council to reverse this ordinance and put its resources towards other things such as the provision of shelter, food, clothes, mental health services, and rehab, for homeless individuals; not their criminalization. It is not a crime to be poor. Thank you.