[Hpn] FW: Rising Homeless Death Toll in Santa Cruz Prompts Daily City Council Offices Protest Council Offices Protest

coh coh@sfo.com
Fri, 22 Dec 2000 19:24:02 -0700


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From: "Becky Johnson" <wmnofstl@cruzio.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2000 09:21:58 -0000
To: "Street Spirit" <spirit@afsc.org>
Subject: Rising Homeless Death Toll in Santa Cruz Prompts Daily City Counci=
l
Offices Protest

Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom

309 Cedar St. PMB 14B =AD Santa Cruz, Ca. USA 95060

(831) 423-HUFF fax (831) 429-8529 e-mail Wmnofstl@cruzio.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, December 22, 2000

41 Dead in Santa Cruz County

Major Cause of Death: Homelessness

Santa Cruz, Ca. -- As friends, family, bureaucrats and social service
providers gathered and stood side =AD by =AD side with homeless people, Ken Col=
e
Ex. Dir. of the Homeless Services Center called for a reading of the names
of the homeless people who have died in the year 2000. The list was longer
than ever. 41 names of homeless people known to have died in the streets, o=
r
in cars, from trauma, from suicide, and especially from overdose. Last year
19 names were read.

The names were predominantly male. 34 men to 3 women. 30 were under the age
of 60. 6 were under age 30. Of the list, 18 were found out of doors or in a
vehicle, while half died in a nursing home, hospital, shelter, or some othe=
r
temporary residence. While the list is to date, the most comprehensive
compilation of mortality statistics from an epidemiologist=B9s perspective, i=
t
is most certainly an undercount.

According to a summary prepared by the Homeless Persons Health Project the
data on homeless Deaths from Dec 21, 1999 to Dec 20, 2000, "The data
available from this process at this time are most certainly incomplete.
Housing status at the time of death is not well documented or always easily
determined."=20

Information was gathered from nurses, social workers, homeless service
organizations, medical providers and homeless individuals. The County Healt=
h
Services Agency epidemiologist and the Public Administrator=B9s office
compiled death certificate data. 41 names were read, however 37 is the
official, verified death toll for one year on the Streets of Santa Cruz.

Included among the dead are the names of "Boxer" Billy Denson, who many
claim, died of hypothermia in his wheelchair under a carport on Nov. 11th.
The Santa Cruz County Coroner=B9s office has not yet given a cause of death.

"At least 23 of the deaths are what we call preventable," said Becky Johnso=
n
of HUFF. "These include the 11 deaths from overdose, 8 deaths from chronic
substance abuse, 3 deaths from trauma, and 2 suicides. Some of the deaths
from cancer and HIV were also premature as living on the streets undoubtedl=
y
shortens life." HUFF has been sponsoring a Coffee Klatch and Tag Team
Teach-in at Mayor Tim Fitzmaurice=B9s office since December 4th.
"Criminalization of homeless people for the act of sleeping and for coverin=
g
up with blankets has got to stop. The law is an abuse of human rights!" sai=
d
Nzane, an elderly homeless man in a wheelchair who has joined the Sit-in.

Santa Cruz has an estimated 1500 homeless people and shelter for 160. It
also has a law, which makes it illegal to sleep between the hours of 11 PM
and 8:30 AM anywhere out of doors or in a vehicle. Using blankets during
those hours is also illegal. The Sit-in has been lobbying Mayor Fitzmaurice=
,
Santa Cruz=B9 first Green mayor, to change the law. The platform for the Gree=
n
Party of California specifically calls for the end of Sleeping Bans
statewide. The Mayor=B9s only response so far has been to demand the
protesters leave the public waiting area on threat of arrest or lawsuit.

Those wishing to join the Sit-in may come to room #10 at Santa Cruz City
Hall=20

809 Center St. Santa Cruz, Ca.

10 AM to Noon, 1 PM to 3 PM

or call Mayor Tim Fitzmaurice at (831) 420-5020



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FW: Rising Homeless Death Toll in Santa Cruz Prompts Daily City Coun=
cil Offices Protest



----------
From: "Becky Johnson" <wmnofstl@cruzio.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2000 09:21:58 -0000
To: "Street Spirit" <spirit@afsc.org>
Subject: Rising Homeless Death Toll in Santa Cruz Prompts Daily City= Council Offices Protest

Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom

309 Cedar St. PMB 14B =AD Santa Cruz, Ca. USA 95060

(831) 423-HUFF fax (831) 429-8529 e-mail Wmnofstl@cruzio.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, December 22, 2000

41 Dead in Santa Cruz County

Major Cause of Death: Homelessness


Santa Cruz, Ca. -- As friends, family, bureaucrats and social service provi= ders gathered and stood side =AD by =AD side with homeless people, Ken Cole Ex. Dir. of the Homeless Services Center called for a reading of t= he names of the homeless people who have died in the year 2000. The list was= longer than ever. 41 names of homeless people known to have died in the str= eets, or in cars, from trauma, from suicide, and especially from overdose. L= ast year 19 names were read.

The names were predominantly male. 34 men to 3 women. 30 were under the age= of 60. 6 were under age 30. Of the list, 18 were found out of doors or in a= vehicle, while half died in a nursing home, hospital, shelter, or some othe= r temporary residence. While the list is to date, the most comprehensive com= pilation of mortality statistics from an epidemiologist=B9s perspective, it is= most certainly an undercount.

According to a summary prepared by the Homeless Persons Health Project the data on homeless Deaths from Dec 21, 1999 to Dec 20, 2000, "The = data available from this process at this time are most certainly incomplete.= Housing status at the time of death is not well documented or always easily= determined."

Information was gathered from nurses, social workers, homeless service orga= nizations, medical providers and homeless individuals. The County Health Ser= vices Agency epidemiologist and the Public Administrator=B9s office compiled d= eath certificate data. 41 names were read, however 37 is the official, verif= ied death toll for one year on the Streets of Santa Cruz.

Included among the dead are the names of "Boxer" Billy Denson<= /B>, who many claim, died of hypothermia in his wheelchair under a carport o= n Nov. 11th. The Santa Cruz County Coroner=B9s office has not yet given= a cause of death.

"At least 23 of the deaths are what we call preventable," said Becky Johnson
of HUFF. "These include the 11 deaths from overdose,= 8 deaths from chronic substance abuse, 3 deaths from trauma, and 2 suicides= . Some of the deaths from cancer and HIV were also premature as living on th= e streets undoubtedly shortens life." HUFF has been sponsoring a Cof= fee Klatch and Tag Team Teach-in at Mayor Tim Fitzmaurice=B9s offic= e since December 4th. "Criminalization of homeless people for the act o= f sleeping and for covering up with blankets has got to stop. The law is an = abuse of human rights!" said Nzane, an elderly homeless man in a= wheelchair who has joined the Sit-in.

Santa Cruz has an estimated 1500 homeless people and shelter for 160. It al= so has a law, which makes it illegal to sleep between the hours of 11 PM and= 8:30 AM anywhere out of doors or in a vehicle. Using blankets during those = hours is also illegal. The Sit-in has been lobbying Mayor Fitzmaurice, Santa= Cruz=B9 first Green mayor, to change the law. The platform for the Green P= arty of California specifically calls for the end of Sleeping Bans state= wide. The Mayor=B9s only response so far has been to demand the protesters lea= ve the public waiting area on threat of arrest or lawsuit.

Those wishing to join the Sit-in may come to room #10 at Santa Cruz City Ha= ll

809 Center St. Santa Cruz, Ca.

10 AM to Noon, 1 PM to 3 PM

or call Mayor Tim Fitzmaurice at (831) 420-5020

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