Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Housing and Homelessness Conference and Solidarity Campout being planned

Homeless Action! Meeting
Monday, Dec 28, 9:30 - 11 am
First United Methodist Church
1551 Montgomery, Santa Rosa

Yesterday the Winter Action Committee met and agreed to
plan a day-long Conference and Solidarity Camp Out in
Santa Rosa during the 2nd or 3rd week of January.  The
Winter Action Committee is motivated by the pain and outrage
we feel as our sisters and brothers face the wet and cold
of another winter outside.

The conference will cover both the housing crisis and homeless
issues.  Please come to the Homeless Action! meeting next
Monday (see above) to plan something that can make a difference.

Yesterday, Francisco "Paco" Cano coordinated the cooking
of 120 burritos at what he says is the best Mexican restaurant in
Santa Rosa, Los Arcos, 1971 Marlow Rd.  A bunch of us
picked them up in 5 cars and offered them to homeless people.

Here's what happened for my car: Enrique, Aceilla and I had
ten burritos.  We took a long, rainy, beautiful walk along the
Joe Rodota Trail at Stony Point and found one guy.  Then
we went to a underpass at 9th street (7 people) and an
underpass off South A.  We could have handed out 6-7 more in
that area.  People were happy to get them.

"it's warm," said one woman in surprise as she stood in the
rain with her cigarette.

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for Homeless Action!


Monday, December 21, 2015

Adrienne Lauby, December 2015

Hi Everybody,

Yes... it's cold outside.
Yes... it's raining.

Yesterday, I ran errands among the crowded parking lots
and roads filled with holiday-makers.  There was a man
with his sleeping bag and other stuff on the sidewalk
outside the Rohnert Park Dollar Store. The contrast was
even sharper than usual.

I pulled over to give a woman holding a sign some cash
and she leaned into my window.  "Thank you for stopping,"
she said with so much joy and gratitude, it was shining off
her face.

1)  Emergency Winter Action
2)  Homeless Memorial Day
3)  January Homeless Action! meetings
4)  Camp Michela
5)  A Multitude of Volunteers
6)  Notes, Homeless Action! December 14 meeting

1)  People came to the last Homeless Action! meeting filled
with pain and outrage, knowing that thousands of humans
in our county are living outside in winter conditions.  We
decided to Do Something.  We're meeting tomorrow morning
to make plans.

Special Winter Action! Committee meeting (& burrito delivery)
Monday, Dec. 21, 11 am
First United Methodist Church
1551 Montgomery, Santa Rosa

Burrito Delivery
Monday, Dec. 21, 1 am
Los Arcos, 1791 Marlow Rd. Santa Rosa

120 fresh hot burritos for the homeless will pour out of this
restaurant.  Many of us volunteered to take them out to
individuals and campsites.  This is a gift from Francisco
"Paco", the owner of the restaurant and volunteers
Paco recruited.

2) January Homeless Action! meetings
Jan 11, 9:30 - 11 am
First United Methodist Church
1551 Montgomery, Santa Rosa

January 25, 9:30 -11 am
Wellness & Advocacy Center
3400 Chanate Road, Santa Rosa,

3)  All this work is somewhat coincidentally falling on
Homeless Memorial Day and the Winter Solstice.

As you know, approximately 30 people die outside every
year in Sonoma County.  Whether they die of homelessness,
(that is, because of violence, exhaustion, heat or cold) or
because being homeless exacerbates existing illnesses --
these deaths are a tragedy.  15 cities in California are doing
official events.

4)  Camp Michela put out a Secret Santa list for its residents
and the list was quickly filled -- with extras.  Having a public
encampment gives us a way to connect with homeless individuals
to show our concern.  We could use many more of these interim

The Friends Meeting House is still considering allowing the
camp to locate on their property near Guerneville and Marlow.
Some one falsely credited the camp with bringing "more homeless
people downtown" and making a neighborhood "less safe."
Although these charges are unproven and more than a little
ridiculous, they seem to be slowing the decision.

If you know Quakers, thank them for considering this commitment
and encourage them to move forward.  A secure location will
lift a lot of stress from the campers' shoulders.

5)  We need a multitude of volunteers to help homeless people
get through the winter.  Here's a few things that have come
my way recently.  If there's no other number by the task, I'll
hook you up.  795-2890

a)  The West County Community Health Center needs help
to drive homeless people to appointments and other necessities.

b)  The Living Room could use a couple of people to play with
and watch over children so their homeless moms can get a

c)  Catholic Charities needs volunteers for warming centers
on cold and rainy nights.  Hand out coffee, talk to people,
help with a welcoming smile, set up and take down the canopy,
tables, chairs etc.

d) We had a pretty strong system that took end-of-the-day
deli food and other grocery store items to the people in the
Safe Parking Program.  Because a key person moved on to
other things, we've lost the ability to provide an evening meal
to these folks.  If making use of wasted food is your passion,
there's small and large tasks here.  Call Alan Hahn 795-3891

6)  Notes, Homeless Action! December 14 meeting

Solomon, a resident of Camp Michela, talked about the Camp.

Gregory, a member of Santa Rosa Together, explained the
meetings they've convened to plan 25 conversations on
homelessness in Santa Rosa next May and June.  They expect
to reach 300 people and bring everyone's concerns together in a
city-wide meeting.  They hope to affect local politicians, challenge
stereotypes and allow for complaints to be aired.

David reported on an informal conversation with Santa Rosa's
chief of police.  This piggy-backed on the work Gail did a few
weeks ago to discover how many tickets are being given for
sleeping in cars within the city limits.

In 2015 there were 115 citations issued for camping on private
property, 111 citations for camping on public property (this may
include sleeping in vehicles), 42 citations for lying/sitting to
obstruct, and 6 for camping in a city park.  

We discussed Homeless Memorial Day and Jen offered to
make flyers we can hand out.  We made plans with Paco
to deliver his burritos on Monday.

Linda reminded us that the housing crisis is the
over-arching problem.  The problem includes the homeless
and the potentially homeless.

This was a lively discussion and led to scheduling a meeting
tomorrow (the next Monday).  Jackie, David, Sam, Danielle,
Linda, Gregory, Anita and Paco said they wanted to be
involved in something to raise the issue of winter suffering.
(see above for details)

Why are people left outside?
The J.C. and other parking garages would provide a roof.
Buildings on Chanate hospital property are sitting empty.
Do motels have vacancies?  The fairground has multiple

Happy Holly Daze.  May you be healthy and surrounded
by love.