“This is the only place in Eureka where people can sleep without being harassed by police.”
Tonight houseless people will, for the 13th consecutive night, be sleeping on the asphalt parking lot of Eureka’s City Hall. There is no other place to sleep in Eureka, free of charge, without being harassed or at high risk of abuse, ticketing, jail, or theft by the police. PEOPLE PROJECT has set up a tarp shelter and has been collecting donations of sleeping bags, mats, and warm gear for people who come through needing warmth and safety. Over the past 12nights at the tarp shelter on City Hall, rains have come, and the wind and cold have been ever-present. People using and maintaining the tarp shelter rely on a cooperative effort throughout the night to make sure that everyone there has a spot to sleep, warm gear, water, and something to eat. People work together each night to set the tarps up, and each morning to break them down for the day. Folks needing a place to sleep show up at all hours of the night.
PEOPLE PROJECT has long acknowledged that the City of Eureka and County of Humboldt have little to no interest in assuring that its poor and/or houseless residents are sheltered and safe despite government rhetoric claiming concern for “affordable housing” and “homeless services” and in spite of government-sought grants to provide such basic life-sustaining resources. Currently, the City of Eureka and the County of Humboldt are defendants in a lawsuit brought by PEOPLE PROJECT participants for civil rights violations against houseless people. [See https://peopleproject.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/people-project-lawsuit-to-end-the-politics-of-cruelty/%5D
Being that there is a deliberate policy of cruelty and criminalization against houseless people- a policy which includes physical and emotional abuse and deprivation of sleep by police- we know that there are several fronts on which we must continue to struggle:
While we organize together to expose and stop abuse against houseless community members by police, civilians, and businesses;
While we speak out about government plans, policies, and language that perpetuate low-intensity war against poor and houseless people;
While we fight in the courts to end the regular incarceration and other unconstitutional treatment of houseless people;
While we attempt to keep the only long term free meals from being shut down by the gentrifying forces of Humboldt County, and;
While we endure the deception and oppressive actions of agencies and individuals who chase grant money and job positions related to “homeless services”, but only trash and exploit houseless people in the process…
We must keep each other alive and protected, and attempt to restore and keep our dignity intact.
Signs displayed around the tarp shelter : “All Power to the People”, “Houseless People Are Hunted for Sleeping! Speak Out,” “Safe Sleeping Space,” “Dignity and Respect for All”
The PEOPLE PROJECT tarp shelter does not wait for grant money; it does not rely on paid employees and administrative costs; it does not force religion on participants; and it does not dictate what people should or should not be doing with their lives. The PEOPLE PROJECT tarp shelter is a grass roots, cooperative way of meeting an immediate need- shelter from the storm.
Please contact PEOPLE PROJECT either through phone, email, or a night visit to the tarp shelter at City Hall. PEOPLE PROJECT also has daytime meetings every Tuesday at Peoples’ Action for Rights and Community [PARC]. There is an ongoing need for sleeping gear, warm socks, jackets and sweaters, money for duct tape and other supplies, and volunteers to help throughout the nights.
Phone: (707) 442-7465 [number at PARC, Peoples’ Action for Rights and Community]
See the PEOPLE PROJECT blog https://peopleproject.wordpress.com/
for more info about weekly meetings
Short quiet videos
Video: from first morning
Video: Safe Sleep Zone
Video: ALL Power To The People