[Hpn] Sacramento's nascent tentcity requires Dignity's help

Tent City tentcitypdx@yahoo.com
Wed, 19 Feb 2003 16:07:22 -0800 (PST)


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Thanks for this information, Paula, and I pass it along to all our crew here and encourage strongly that everyone get those letters in to Mayor Fargo and the Sacramento City Council.

I'll write a letter to the editor of the Sacramento News & Review and ask that everyone else among the Dignity Crew so inclined also do so.

We strongly support SHOC's effort to build a tentcity in Sacramento and stand in strong solidarity with our brothers and sisters there.

Jack Tafari, chairman 

GOALS AND MISSION 




Our mission is to develop a self-governing prototype camp for people experiencing homelessness and to secure favorable relations with police and the public. Our vision is to use the prototype to set up further camps and pass legislation to make them legal. This was just a simple mission statement we all agreed on, though we all hold many missions and visions that will undoubtedly be shared and supported by each other. 


We would like to form this camp legally. We are tired of running and hiding. We would like to live in a way that encourages us to better our lives and be allowed some shelter, no matter how meager. With a bit of that kind of stability, we will be more apt to acquire jobs and housing. 


We will explore the possibilities of getting permits for city, county, or state land. We have also considered searching for a private property owner willing to host us. We have hope that one of these options will prove effective and that we will not need "civil disobedience" any longer. 


We will stress keeping the location clean, protected from erosion and environmental degradation and will require having a suitable method of sanitation. Since it is not realistic to think that every member will come in environmentally conscientious, we will develop an environmental handbook, educational materials and activities. 


Members of a group like this may gain confidence, social skills, sharing of knowledge, pooling of resources and work loads, and many other benefits, if engaged. We will hold meetings at least every week where members will be strongly urged to attend so they may help make decisions to keep informed about community issues. We anticipate other groups to form for different interests. Committees and work groups should be formed to accomplish tasks and purposes. We will plan other activities that inspire community participation. 


A very important participation is from the community at large. Educating the public about the need will come much from media coverage during the beginning. Other interactions with the public would help bridge the gaps that are so prevalent between economic groups today. Our experiences, so far, show us that this project will be very effective in engaging people of all walks of life to become involved in working for the betterment of our whole community. 


Overall we hope to be of benefit to our community, instead of a burden. 

RULES AND GUIDELINES FOR CAMP 


WE HOPE TO MAINTAIN A CLEAN, SAFE, HEALTHY AND EARTH FRIENDLY ALTERNATIVE TO HOUSING. ALL MEMBERS SHOULD BE WILLING TO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS GOAL. 


WE WILL PROVIDE OUR OWN 24 HOUR SECURITY. 


In order to promote the common good of all members of this community, it has been agreed that these basic rules and guidelines should be followed: 


q No drugs or alcohol on premises or within the surrounding neighborhood. 


q No violence to self and others. No verbal intimidation. Resolve conflicts in creative and peaceful manner. 


q No weapons allowed in the camp. (However necessary tools for survival will be permitted.) 


q No noise or disturbances after 10 PM or before 10 AM 


q Respect the rights and privacy of fellow campers. Please do not remove property that is not yours. 


q We promise to protect the environment and keep all trash picked up. You are responsible for maintaining your campsite and the area surrounding it. 


I have read, understand and agree to these rules and guidelines. I understand that if I break any of these rules or donít follow any of these guidelines, I may be asked to leave. 


Name (print)_________________ Signature ___________________Date________ 


Include any information you feel is important for us to know (medical condition, emergency contact, etc.) 

Camp will not discriminate against race, age, gender, sexual preference, nationality, religion or any other group. Families will not be separated.
CURRENT PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES We continue to meet as a group every Thursday. During the week we continue our planning and preparations. We contact community members and organizations for the purpose of gaining support, participation, information and gaining a larger base of allies. 
We are researching and compiling environmental science information for guidelines to avoid any environmental degradation. We consult with professors of the environmental science department at UC Davis and CSUS. A graduate student from UC Davis participates at all meeting and will do soil samples, mapping and researching from his UC Davis resources many issues we need to be concerned with. We were referred to someone working with ECOS that may help with identification of native plant species. Also, we have a nature guide reference book. There will be continued participation in SHOCís river cleanup project. We will get Forestry Service guidelines for maintaining trails. 

We are researching and soliciting assistance from businesses and individuals in solving sanitation problems. (We will have that problem somewhat resolved if and when we find a location where "recreational" vehicle dwellers may be included in the camp.) We have researched gray water disposal and treatment options and will contact a business that would pick up gray water.

We are accepting donations of blankets and tents and are close to acquiring a large community tent.

We are collecting and documenting reports of incidents and problems those experiencing homelessness must contend with without the protection of a legal place to sleep and their lack of access to emergency shelter and housing.

We will work on press releases and continue to develop media relations.

We will form and train a volunteer security team in order to provide 24 hour security for the camp. We will research Neighborhood Watch guidelines. 

Research and classes will be attended to gain knowledge and experience in subjects related to the success of this project.

We will update our contacts with progress we make and enlist their further involvement. We will work to further expand the scope of community support by contacting church groups, community organizations, musicians, services, veterans organizations and individuals. We may lobby city council members. We will make an appointment with a co-housing resident for education on community development. Womenís Economic Agenda Project will come from Oakland in January or February to give us training on organizing and other subjects. We will expand our membership to include more people of similar needs and who are willing to commit to the responsibilities involved.

As many of us have been involved in for some time, we will continue to educate the public about the need for a safe and legal place to sleep. We will pass out flyers and organize events and activities intended to bring attention to the needs of this community. We will network with other organizations, locally and nationally, to further this goal. 


PROBLEMS, NEEDS, ISSUES ADDRESSED 


There is a growing number of homeless people, not only in Sacramento, but throughout North America. Rents have risen and continue to rise at a rate disproportionate to wages. As people become unable to afford rents and become homeless, communities are unprepared to provide enough emergency shelter beds or other options for these people. Without this capacity, poverty has become more visible. This heightened visibility may have promoted business interests, investment land owners and other offended citizens to prompt city and county governments to take care of the problem by whatever means. Without either the financial resources and/or political will to solve this problem at it's root, cities all over the nation have developed public policies and laws against the very victims of this crisis, not in an effort to solve the problem, but in an effort to hide the problem. It has become against the law for a person to sleep outdoors, even if they have no other options.* EVERYONE NEEDS A LEGAL PLACE TO SLEEP! 


There have been some positive effort to address these problems, such as the recent passing of the State Housing and Shelter Bond and the creation of many committees formed to come up with action plans. Most plans and funding hope to bring about positive effects within 5 years. EVERYONE NEEDS TO LEGALLY SLEEP TONIGHT! 


Dangers are many for those who must sleep outdoors. They are more vulnerable to hate crimes, rape and other violent crimes. Exposure to cold and rain, without proper survival gear could jeopardize their very lives. Often bedding becomes wet. Often proper gear and medicines are confiscated by police or stolen by clean up crews and scavengers. Another danger comes from being taken to jail for the crime of sleeping or for the crime of possession of "camping paraphernalia" with intent to use (seriously, it's in the camping ordinance). WE NEED A SAFE PLACE TO SLEEP! 


Criminalization of homelessness makes it difficult to be assured of a good nights rest, without being woken up by police or security and told to move along or be taken to jail. (Often ID is taken by police and never returned). Being in jeopardy of loosing all survival gear, possessions are minimized, excluding work cloths, tools of trades, tents, changes of clothing, etc., so that they may be packed up each day. WE NEED STABILITY! 


Environmental degradation is being caused by many amongst the homeless population, as it is also being caused by many people living indoors, many manufacturers, governments, etc.. All homeless people are being blamed and punished for the littering and environmental damage that only some people are actually guilty of. Who's to blame? Who is more guilty, the homeless or the non-homeless? That is not the point. WE ALL NEED TO LEARN TO LIVE IN A MANNER THAT SUSTAINS LIFE ON EARTH AND PROMOTES DIVERSITY. WE NEED TO LEARN HOW TO DO THIS BY BEING INVOLVED IN COMMUNITY, SHARING KNOWLEDGE, WORKING TOGETHER TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS.... 

*There is a low estimate of 2--4,000 homeless people in Sacramento, with a maximum of 400 Shelter beds, most of these beds reserved for special populations, most beds available only after waiting on long lists.
HISTORY AND MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS 

Before our first camp committee meeting, some members participated in many Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee activities, focusing on homeless issues, civil rights and affordable housing advocacy. In May of 2002 we attended the Right to Sleep Summit in Santa Cruz, attended by representatives of four self-governed tent communities from Seattle, Portland, Santa Cruz and Isla Vista. We learned much from these people who have been successful at what we seek to accomplish in our own way in Sacramento. These representatives had gained great confidence, knowledge and insights to share. June 2002 one member attended a civil disobedience workshop at a North American Street Newspaper Association conference that outlined how to organize a tent city action. May of 2002 began an End the Sleeping Ban in California walk from San Diego that ended in Sacramento on July 10 to ask Governor Davis for protection from the cities' sleeping bans and a rally. Some of our members were taken to jail for remaining on the capitol lawn after the rally. Charges were dropped. Though we were unsuccessful in getting the Governorís protection, we succeeded extremely well in educating the public that we were being denied the right to sleep. The event, also, engaged allies who are now working on this problem with us. 


At our first camp committee meeting an attorney taught us about consensus decision making, legal preparedness, solidarity and we committed to become trained as affinity monitors for future events that may involve large groups of people. There was discussion about forming a tent community as a possible action to bring attention to the public about the need for homeless people to be able to legally sleep. This idea had been considered by some members for some time to be inevitable. 


We discussed what work would be needed in preparation. We would need much community support, environmental knowledge (and especially the sanitation issues), several good possible locations, media contacts, and to agree on basic rules and guidelines. We formed a basic mission and vision statement. We determined members that attended regularly would become the core group to be trained as team monitors and a lead monitor was selected. This group would create policy and make decisions through consensus. In September we formed a community outreach committee, a Camp Pollock committee, and an environmental committee. 


We contacted many UC Davis and CSUS professors from the Environmental Sciences Departments to find someone willing to consult with us on environmental issues. We received much positive responses. Several professors invited us to contact them any time we had questions. A graduate student from UC Davis joined our group and arranged to get credits for his participation. A professor has suggested the possibly of a geology group helping. We have scouted out some locations with the UC Davis student. He is preparing maps, researching history of locations and analyzing the geography. 


We have contacted many community members and organizations and have received very positive responses. They have offered much support, knowledge and participation. We have many supporters that work for Loaves & Fishes. A staff member recently gave us training in how to help maintain a safe and non-violent atmosphere. The Sacramento Tree Foundation taught us how to plant native species. Many housing advocates have been supportive of us, knowing from their work the lack of alternatives. A staff writer from a local newspaper attended one of our meetings and plans to attend more for the purpose of writing an in depth article when our plans are actuated. On January 6, 2003 a great article appeared in the Sacramento Bee about the city denying our application. Then on January 16, 2003, the Sacramento News & Review ran an editorial urging the city to approve a tent village in Sacramento. An attorney has attended most of our meetings as a legal advisor and shares his knowledge about other issues, as well. 


Recently we approached the Boy Scouts of America - Golden Empire Council about using Camp Pollock for a pilot project camp. They were very understanding of our situation and agreed that forming a tent city was a worthy and needed project. They were unable to accommodate us, though they invited us to contact them for advice. Several weeks later we applied for a permit to camp at Muir Park with the Sacramento Department of Parks and Recreation. The Director of Operations and Park Safety Patrol Coordinator met with us to discuss other options besides Muir Park. The permit was officially denied so we submitted a permit application for a location those at the meeting recommended as a suitable site. That permit was also denied. 

We use consensus for decision making. This method assures, not only that everyone is happy with a decision, it has proven to be responsible for making better decisions. 

What you can do to help 

q Tell the mayor and city council members you support the tent city. Urge them to end the laws against homeless people. 

Mayor Healther Fargo (916) 264-5300 hfargo@cityofsacramento.orgDist 1 Ray Tretheway (916) 264-7001 rtretheway@cityofsacramento.org
Dist 2 Sandy Sheedy (916) 264-7002 ssheedy@cityofsacramento.org

Dist 3 Steve Cohn (916) 264-7003 scohn@cityofsacramento.org
Dist 4 Jimmie Yee (916) 264-7004 jyee@cityofsacramento.org
Dist 5 Lauren Hammond (916) 264-7005 lhammond@cityofsacramento.org

Dist 6 Dave Jones (916) 264-7006 djones@cityofsacramento.org

Dist 7 Robbie Waters (916) 264-7007 rwaters@cityofsacramento.org

Dist 8 Bonnie Pannell (916) 264-7008 bpannell@cityofsacramento.org 




q Donate items: sleeping bags, blankets, tents, camp heaters, portapotty, food, gray water disposal container, tarpsÖ.. 


q Volunteer to help 


q Ask friends and neighbors to support us, have tolerance and support a change in city policy toward the homeless population. 

Visit Portland, Oregonís Dignity Village website for information about a successful tent city established December 2000.

www.dignityvillage.org 


For more information on homelessness visit these websites: 


SHOC 

http://users.cwnet.com/shochome 

National Coalition on Homelessness
www.nationalhomeless.org 

Tent CityIn
Sacramento 
Contact information:

Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee
1321 North C Street, P.O. Box 2430Sacramento, CA 95812
(916) 442-2156 fax (916) 442-2851

email: shoc_1@yahoo.com



 




"No one should question the faith of others, for no human being can judge the ways of God."

                             H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I
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<P>Thanks for this information, Paula, and I pass it along to all our crew here and encourage strongly that everyone get those letters in to Mayor Fargo and the Sacramento City Council.</P>
<P>I'll write a letter to the editor of the Sacramento News &amp; Review and ask that everyone else among the Dignity Crew so inclined also do so.</P>
<P>We strongly support SHOC's effort to build a tentcity in Sacramento and stand in strong solidarity with our brothers and sisters there.</P>
<P>Jack Tafari, chairman </P>
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=11 width=624 border=0>
<TBODY>
<TR>
<TD vAlign=center>
<P align=center><A name=s1content></A><B><U><FONT size=2>GOALS AND MISSION</B></U></FONT> <BR><BR><BR></P><FONT size=2>
<P align=left>Our mission is to develop a self-governing prototype camp for people experiencing homelessness and to secure favorable relations with police and the public. Our vision is to use the prototype to set up further camps and pass legislation to make them legal. This was just a simple mission statement we all agreed on, though we all hold many missions and visions that will undoubtedly be shared and supported by each other.</FONT> <BR></P><FONT size=2>
<P align=left>We would like to form this camp legally. We are tired of running and hiding. We would like to live in a way that encourages us to better our lives and be allowed some shelter, no matter how meager. With a bit of that kind of stability, we will be more apt to acquire jobs and housing.</FONT> <BR></P><FONT size=2>
<P align=left>We will explore the possibilities of getting permits for city, county, or state land. We have also considered searching for a private property owner willing to host us. We have hope that one of these options will prove effective and that we will not need "civil disobedience" any longer.</FONT> <BR></P><FONT size=2>
<P align=left>We will stress keeping the location clean, protected from erosion and environmental degradation and will require having a suitable method of sanitation. Since it is not realistic to think that every member will come in environmentally conscientious, we will develop an environmental handbook, educational materials and activities. </FONT><BR></P><FONT size=2>
<P align=left>Members of a group like this may gain confidence, social skills, sharing of knowledge, pooling of resources and work loads, and many other benefits, if engaged. We will hold meetings at least every week where members will be strongly urged to attend so they may help make decisions to keep informed about community issues. We anticipate other groups to form for different interests. Committees and work groups should be formed to accomplish tasks and purposes. We will plan other activities that inspire community participation.</FONT> <BR></P><FONT size=2>
<P align=left>A very important participation is from the community at large. Educating the public about the need will come much from media coverage during the beginning. Other interactions with the public would help bridge the gaps that are so prevalent between economic groups today. Our experiences, so far, show us that this project will be very effective in engaging people of all walks of life to become involved in working for the betterment of our whole community.</FONT> <BR></P><FONT size=2>
<P align=left>Overall we hope to be of benefit to our community, instead of a burden.</FONT> </P><B><U><FONT size=2>
<P align=left>RULES AND GUIDELINES FOR CAMP</B></U></FONT> <BR></P>
<P align=left><A name=h1_46_1content></A><I><FONT size=2>WE HOPE TO MAINTAIN A CLEAN, SAFE, HEALTHY AND EARTH FRIENDLY ALTERNATIVE TO HOUSING. ALL MEMBERS SHOULD BE WILLING TO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS GOAL.</I></FONT> <BR></P><I><FONT size=2>
<P align=left>WE WILL PROVIDE OUR OWN 24 HOUR SECURITY.</I></FONT> <BR></P><FONT size=2>
<P align=left>In order to promote the common good of all members of this community, it has been agreed that these basic rules and guidelines should be followed: </FONT><BR></P>
<DIR><FONT face="WP Greek Century" size=2>
<P align=left>q</FONT><FONT face="Times New Roman"><FONT size=2> <B>No drugs or alcohol on premises</B> <B>or within the surrounding neighborhood.</B></FONT> <BR></FONT></P><B><FONT face="WP Greek Century" size=2>
<P align=left>q</FONT><FONT size=2><FONT face="Times New Roman"> No violence to self and others. No verbal intimidation. Resolve conflicts in creative and peaceful manner.</FONT></B></FONT><FONT face="Times New Roman"> <BR></FONT></P><FONT face="WP Greek Century" size=2>
<P align=left>q</FONT><FONT face="Times New Roman"><FONT size=2> <B>No weapons allowed in the camp. (</B>However necessary tools for survival will be permitted.)</FONT> <BR></FONT></P></DIR><B><FONT face="WP Greek Century" size=2>
<P align=left>q</FONT><FONT size=2><FONT face="Times New Roman"> No noise or disturbances after 10 PM or before 10 AM</FONT></B></FONT><FONT face="Times New Roman"> <BR></FONT></P>
<DIR><B><FONT face="WP Greek Century" size=2>
<P align=left>q</FONT><FONT size=2><FONT face="Times New Roman"> Respect the rights and privacy of fellow campers. Please do not remove property that is not yours.</FONT></B></FONT><FONT face="Times New Roman"> <BR></FONT></P><B><FONT face="WP Greek Century" size=2>
<P align=left>q</FONT><FONT size=2><FONT face="Times New Roman"> We promise to protect the environment and keep all trash picked up</FONT></B><FONT face="Times New Roman">. <B>You are responsible for maintaining your campsite and the area surrounding it.</B></FONT></FONT><FONT face="Times New Roman"> <BR></FONT></P></DIR><B><FONT size=2>
<P align=left>I have read, understand and agree to these rules and guidelines. I understand that if I break any of these rules or donít follow any of these guidelines, I may be asked to leave.</B></FONT> <BR></P><FONT size=2>
<P align=left>Name (print)_________________ Signature ___________________Date________</FONT> <BR></P><B><FONT size=2>
<P align=left>Include any information you feel is important for us to know (medical condition, emergency contact, etc.)</B></FONT> </P><FONT size=2>
<P align=left>Camp will not discriminate against race, age, gender, sexual preference, nationality, religion or any other group. Families will not be separated.</P></FONT>
<H1 align=center><A name=h1_46_2body></A><U><FONT size=2>CURRENT PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES</U></FONT> </H1>
<H2 align=left><A name=h1_46_2content></A><A name=h2_46_1body></A><FONT size=2>We continue to meet as a group every Thursday. During the week we continue our planning and preparations. We contact community members and organizations for the purpose of gaining support, participation, information and gaining a larger base of allies. </FONT></H2>
<P align=left><FONT size=2>We are researching and compiling environmental science information for guidelines to avoid any environmental degradation. We consult with professors of the environmental science department at UC Davis and CSUS. A graduate student from UC Davis participates at all meeting and will do soil samples, mapping and researching from his UC Davis resources many issues we need to be concerned with. We were referred to someone working with ECOS that may help with identification of native plant species. Also, we have a nature guide reference book. There will be continued participation in SHOCís river cleanup project. We will get Forestry Service guidelines for maintaining trails. </FONT></P>
<P align=left><FONT size=2>We are researching and soliciting assistance from businesses and individuals in solving sanitation problems. (We will have that problem somewhat resolved if and when we find a location where "recreational" vehicle dwellers may be included in the camp.) We have researched gray water disposal and treatment options and will contact a business that would pick up gray water.</FONT></P>
<P align=left><FONT size=2>We are accepting donations of blankets and tents and are close to acquiring a large community tent.</FONT></P>
<P align=left><FONT size=2>We are collecting and documenting reports of incidents and problems those experiencing homelessness must contend with without the protection of a legal place to sleep and their lack of access to emergency shelter and housing.</FONT></P>
<P align=left><FONT size=2>We will work on press releases and continue to develop media relations.</FONT></P>
<P align=left><FONT size=2>We will form and train a volunteer security team in order to provide 24 hour security for the camp. We will research Neighborhood Watch guidelines. </FONT></P>
<P align=left><FONT size=2>Research and classes will be attended to gain knowledge and experience in subjects related to the success of this project.</FONT></P>
<P align=left><FONT size=2>We will update our contacts with progress we make and enlist their further involvement. We will work to further expand the scope of community support by contacting church groups, community organizations, musicians, services, veterans organizations and individuals. We may lobby city council members. We will make an appointment with a co-housing resident for education on community development. Womenís Economic Agenda Project will come from Oakland in January or February to give us training on organizing and other subjects. We will expand our membership to include more people of similar needs and who are willing to commit to the responsibilities involved.</FONT></P>
<P align=left><FONT size=2>As many of us have been involved in for some time, we will continue to educate the public about the need for a safe and legal place to sleep. We will pass out flyers and organize events and activities intended to bring attention to the needs of this community. We will network with other organizations, locally and nationally, to further this goal. <BR></FONT></P><B><U>
<P align=center><FONT size=2>PROBLEMS, NEEDS, ISSUES ADDRESSED</FONT></B></U><FONT size=2> <BR></FONT></P>
<P align=left><FONT size=2>There is a growing number of homeless people, not only in Sacramento, but throughout North America. Rents have risen and continue to rise at a rate disproportionate to wages. As people become unable to afford rents and become homeless, communities are unprepared to provide enough emergency shelter beds or other options for these people. Without this capacity, poverty has become more visible. This heightened visibility may have promoted business interests, investment land owners and other offended citizens to prompt city and county governments to take care of the problem by whatever means. Without either the financial resources and/or political will to solve this problem at it's root, cities all over the nation have developed public policies and laws against the very victims of this crisis, not in an effort to solve the problem, but in an effort to hide the problem. It has become against the law for a person to sleep outdoors, even if they have no other options.* EVERYONE NEEDS A LEGAL PLACE TO SLEEP! <BR></FONT></P>
<P align=left><FONT size=2>There have been some positive effort to address these problems, such as the recent passing of the State Housing and Shelter Bond and the creation of many committees formed to come up with action plans. Most plans and funding hope to bring about positive effects within 5 years. EVERYONE NEEDS TO LEGALLY SLEEP TONIGHT! <BR></FONT></P>
<P align=left><FONT size=2>Dangers are many for those who must sleep outdoors. They are more vulnerable to hate crimes, rape and other violent crimes. Exposure to cold and rain, without proper survival gear could jeopardize their very lives. Often bedding becomes wet. Often proper gear and medicines are confiscated by police or stolen by clean up crews and scavengers. Another danger comes from being taken to jail for the crime of sleeping or for the crime of possession of "camping paraphernalia" with intent to use (seriously, it's in the camping ordinance). WE NEED A SAFE PLACE TO SLEEP! <BR></FONT></P>
<P align=left><FONT size=2>Criminalization of homelessness makes it difficult to be assured of a good nights rest, without being woken up by police or security and told to move along or be taken to jail. (Often ID is taken by police and never returned). Being in jeopardy of loosing all survival gear, possessions are minimized, excluding work cloths, tools of trades, tents, changes of clothing, etc., so that they may be packed up each day. WE NEED STABILITY! <BR></FONT></P>
<P align=left><FONT size=2>Environmental degradation is being caused by many amongst the homeless population, as it is also being caused by many people living indoors, many manufacturers, governments, etc.. All homeless people are being blamed and punished for the littering and environmental damage that only some people are actually guilty of. Who's to blame? Who is more guilty, the homeless or the non-homeless? That is not the point. WE ALL NEED TO LEARN TO LIVE IN A MANNER THAT SUSTAINS LIFE ON EARTH AND PROMOTES DIVERSITY. WE NEED TO LEARN HOW TO DO THIS BY BEING INVOLVED IN COMMUNITY, SHARING KNOWLEDGE, WORKING TOGETHER TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS.... </FONT></P>
<P align=left><FONT size=2>*There is a low estimate of 2--4,000 homeless people in Sacramento, with a maximum of 400 Shelter beds, most of these beds reserved for special populations, most beds available only after waiting on long lists.</FONT></P>
<H1 align=center><A name=h1_46_3body></A><U><FONT size=2>HISTORY AND MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS</U></FONT> <BR></H1><FONT size=2>
<P align=left><A name=h1_46_3content></A>Before our first camp committee meeting, some members participated in many Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee activities, focusing on homeless issues, civil rights and affordable housing advocacy. In May of 2002 we attended the Right to Sleep Summit in Santa Cruz, attended by representatives of four self-governed tent communities from Seattle, Portland, Santa Cruz and Isla Vista. We learned much from these people who have been successful at what we seek to accomplish in our own way in Sacramento. These representatives had gained great confidence, knowledge and insights to share. June 2002 one member attended a civil disobedience workshop at a North American Street Newspaper Association conference that outlined how to organize a tent city action. May of 2002 began an End the Sleeping Ban in California walk from San Diego that ended in Sacramento on July 10 to ask Governor Davis for protection from the cities' sleeping bans and a rally. Some of our members were taken to jail for remaining on the capitol lawn after the rally. Charges were dropped. Though we were unsuccessful in getting the Governorís protection, we succeeded extremely well in educating the public that we were being denied the right to sleep. The event, also, engaged allies who are now working on this problem with us. <BR></P>
<P align=left>At our first camp committee meeting an attorney taught us about consensus decision making, legal preparedness, solidarity and we committed to become trained as affinity monitors for future events that may involve large groups of people. There was discussion about forming a tent community as a possible action to bring attention to the public about the need for homeless people to be able to legally sleep. This idea had been considered by some members for some time to be inevitable. <BR></P>
<P align=left>We discussed what work would be needed in preparation. We would need much community support, environmental knowledge (and especially the sanitation issues), several good possible locations, media contacts, and to agree on basic rules and guidelines. We formed a basic mission and vision statement. We determined members that attended regularly would become the core group to be trained as team monitors and a lead monitor was selected. This group would create policy and make decisions through consensus. In September we formed a community outreach committee, a Camp Pollock committee, and an environmental committee. <BR></P>
<P align=left>We contacted many UC Davis and CSUS professors from the Environmental Sciences Departments to find someone willing to consult with us on environmental issues. We received much positive responses. Several professors invited us to contact them any time we had questions. A graduate student from UC Davis joined our group and arranged to get credits for his participation. A professor has suggested the possibly of a geology group helping. We have scouted out some locations with the UC Davis student. He is preparing maps, researching history of locations and analyzing the geography. <BR></P>
<P align=left>We have contacted many community members and organizations and have received very positive responses. They have offered much support, knowledge and participation. We have many supporters that work for Loaves &amp; Fishes. A staff member recently gave us training in how to help maintain a safe and non-violent atmosphere. The Sacramento Tree Foundation taught us how to plant native species. Many housing advocates have been supportive of us, knowing from their work the lack of alternatives. A staff writer from a local newspaper attended one of our meetings and plans to attend more for the purpose of writing an in depth article when our plans are actuated. On January 6, 2003 a great article appeared in the Sacramento Bee about the city denying our application. Then on January 16, 2003, the Sacramento News &amp; Review ran an editorial urging the city to approve a tent village in Sacramento. An attorney has attended most of our meetings as a legal advisor and shares his knowledge about other issues, as well. <BR></P>
<P align=left>Recently we approached the Boy Scouts of America - Golden Empire Council about using Camp Pollock for a pilot project camp. They were very understanding of our situation and agreed that forming a tent city was a worthy and needed project. They were unable to accommodate us, though they invited us to contact them for advice. Several weeks later we applied for a permit to camp at Muir Park with the Sacramento Department of Parks and Recreation. The Director of Operations and Park Safety Patrol Coordinator met with us to discuss other options besides Muir Park. The permit was officially denied so we submitted a permit application for a location those at the meeting recommended as a suitable site. That permit was also denied. </P>
<P align=left>We use consensus for decision making. This method assures, not only that everyone is happy with a decision, it has proven to be responsible for making better decisions. </P></FONT><B><U><FONT size=6>
<P align=left>What you can do to help</B></U></FONT><FONT size=2> </P></FONT><B><FONT face="WP Greek Century" size=2>
<P align=left>q</FONT><FONT size=2><FONT face="Times New Roman"> Tell the mayor and city council members you support the tent city. Urge them to end the laws against homeless people.</FONT></B><FONT face="Times New Roman"> <BR></FONT></P></FONT>
<H1 align=left><A name=h1_46_4body></A><FONT size=2>Mayor Healther Fargo <A name=h1_46_4content></A>(916) 264-5300 </FONT><A href="http://us.f113.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=hfargo@cityofsacramento.org"><U><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>hfargo@cityofsacramento.org</U></FONT></A></H1><FONT size=2>
<H1 align=left><A name=h1_46_6body></A><FONT size=4>Dist 1 Ray </FONT><FONT size=3>Tretheway (916) 264-7001 rtretheway@cityofsacramento.org</FONT></H1>
<P align=left><A name=h1_46_6content></A>Dist 2 Sandy Sheedy (916) 264-7002 ssheedy@cityofsacramento.org</P>
<P align=left>Dist 3 Steve Cohn (916) 264-7003 </FONT><A href="http://us.f113.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=scohn@cityofsacramento.org"><U><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>scohn@cityofsacramento.org</U></FONT></A></P>
<H1 align=left><A name=h1_46_7body></A><FONT size=2>Dist 4 Jimmie Yee (916) 264-7004 </FONT><A href="http://us.f113.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=jyee@cityofsacramento.org"><U><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>jyee@cityofsacramento.org</U></FONT></A></H1><FONT size=2>
<P align=left><A name=h1_46_7content></A><B>Dist 5 Lauren Hammond (916) 264-7005 </B></FONT><A href="http://us.f113.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=lhammond@cityofsacramento.org"><U><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>lhammond@cityofsacramento.org</U></FONT></A></P><B><FONT size=2>
<P align=left>Dist 6 Dave Jones (916) 264-7006 </B></FONT><A href="http://us.f113.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=djones@cityofsacramento.org"><U><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>djones@cityofsacramento.org</U></FONT></A></P><B><FONT size=2>
<P align=left>Dist 7 Robbie Waters (916) 264-7007 </B></FONT><A href="http://us.f113.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=rwaters@cityofsacramento.org"><U><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>rwaters@cityofsacramento.org</U></FONT></A></P><B><FONT size=2>
<P align=left>Dist 8 Bonnie Pannell (916) 264-7008 </B></FONT><A href="http://us.f113.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=bpannell@cityofsacramento.org"><U><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>bpannell@cityofsacramento.org</U></FONT></A><B><FONT size=2> <BR><BR><BR></P></FONT><FONT face="WP Greek Century" size=2>
<P align=left>q</FONT><FONT size=2><FONT face="Times New Roman"> Donate items: sleeping bags, blankets, tents, camp heaters, portapotty, food, gray water disposal container, tarpsÖ..</FONT></B><FONT face="Times New Roman"> <BR></FONT></P></FONT><B><FONT face="WP Greek Century" size=2>
<P align=left>q</FONT><FONT size=2><FONT face="Times New Roman"> Volunteer to help</FONT></B><FONT face="Times New Roman"> <BR></FONT></P></FONT><B><FONT face="WP Greek Century" size=2>
<P align=left>q</FONT><FONT size=2><FONT face="Times New Roman"> Ask friends and neighbors to support us, have tolerance and support a change in city policy toward the homeless population.</FONT></B><FONT face="Times New Roman"> </FONT></P><B><I>
<P align=left>Visit Portland, Oregonís Dignity Village website for information about a successful tent city established December 2000.</P></B></I>
<P align=center></FONT><A href="http://www.dignityvillage.org/"><U><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>www.dignityvillage.org</U></FONT></A><FONT size=2> <BR></P><B>
<P align=center>For more information on homelessness visit these websites:</B> <BR></P>
<P align=left><A name=h7_46_1body></A><B><U>SHOC</B></U> </P>
<P align=center><A name=h7_46_1content></A></FONT><A href="http://users/"><U><FONT color=#0000ff size=2>http://users</U></FONT></A><B><FONT size=2>.cwnet.com/shochome</B> <BR></P>
<H1 align=center><A name=h1_46_8body></A></FONT><U>National Coalition on Homelessness</H1></U><FONT size=2>
<P align=center><A name=h1_46_8content></A>www.nationalhomeless.org <BR></P>
<H3 align=left><A name=h3_46_1body></A></FONT><I><FONT face="Lucida Sans" size=7>Tent City</H3></I></FONT><FONT size=2>
<H6 align=center><A name=h3_46_1content></A><A name=h6_46_6body></A></FONT><FONT face="Lucida Sans" size=7>In</H6></FONT><FONT size=2>
<P align=center><A name=h6_46_6content></A></FONT><FONT size=7>Sacramento</FONT><FONT size=2> <BR><B><I>Contact information:</P>
<P align=center>Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee</P></B></I></FONT>
<H5 align=center><A name=h5_46_3body></A><I>1321 North C Street, P.O. Box 2430</H5></I><FONT size=2>
<H4 align=center><A name=h4_46_1body></A></FONT><I>Sacramento, CA 95812</H4></I><FONT size=2>
<P align=center><A name=h4_46_1content></A><B><I>(916) 442-2156 fax (916) 442-2851</P>
<P align=center>email: shoc_1@yahoo.com</P></B></I>
<P align=center></FONT></P></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><FONT size=2>
<P>&nbsp;</P>
<P><A name=10></A></P></FONT><BR><BR>"No one should question the faith of others, for no human being can judge the ways of God."<br><br>                             H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I
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