of people experiencing poverty and homelessness in our communities.
August 2009 from WRAP [Western Regional Advocacy Project]
Click HERE for WRAP’s website!
In this issue you will find an invitation to help us update Without Housing, our great new interactive virtual exhibit Hobos to Street People, and an article about what WRAP is doing to fight back against the criminalization of poverty.
The data in Without Housing is now four years old and needs to be updated to remain relevant. An anonymous major donor has covered a large part of the reprinting costs, but we still need funding to update the data, rework content to reflect new developments in DC, add new artwork, carry out a distribution and media plan, and, very importantly, to translate it for a Spanish language version.
In collaboration with California Exhibition Resources Alliance and Design Action Collective, WRAP has launched Hobos to Street People: Artists Responses to Homelessness from the New Deal to the Present.
Like the powerful traveling show put together by WRAP lead artist Art Hazelwood, this virtual exhibit chronicles and contrasts two epochs of mass homelessness through social justice artwork. The Timeline shows federal policies on housing and homelessness from 1929 to 2008.
The notion that local governments can protect downtown business interests from having to witness the realities of poverty by simply criminalizing the presence of poor people harkens back to the days of Jim Crow, Anti-Okie laws, and almshouses.
But from Portlands Sit-Lie law to Berkeleys Public Commons for Everyone to LAs Safer City Initiative to San Franciscos, business-directed, but voter-opposed, homeless court, we are seeing a resurgence of the premise that public space is the purview of the business community, and that the only people that have any right to that space are those seen as potential customers or condo tenants.