Right to Rest: Compassionate Policy for People who are Unsheltered
The new APD policy, Standard Operating Procedure for Person's Experiencing Homelessness, has just been made public. The policy creates a 24 hour notice to evict on City property and less on private property and it seems some City properties for people who are unsheltered and have to camp due to lack of shelter.
Here is a copy of the policy: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1c0oXnGBBWkSKSEubokjph3CFAFxwcDi3/view?usp=sharing
This policy is unjust and cruel for two main reasons:
We do not have enough shelter available NOW (some 120-150 are living outside in our community). And soon Code Purple Shelter will be ending. The shelter at Ramada will be ending. This alone means that over 100 people in those shelters will come back to the streets at the end of March adding to the 120-150 people that are not currently in Code Purple shelters and are out on the streets. Where will these people go? The planning process for high access shelter has just been announced but planning takes time and actions based on planning take even longer.
The new APD policy focuses on enforcement for something people cannot help. If there is not shelter space, there is nowhere legal for people to be at night when they need to lie down and rest. This is poor public policy as it perpetuates the struggle rather than helping to solve it. Imagine being unhoused and having to constantly move day in and day out. How does anyone become stable in that situation?
There is an urgent need for a more compassionate policy! If there is not enough shelter, then the City must give an option where people can safely lay their heads at night.
Every human being has the right to rest. Rather than policing the problem, we are responsible for creating the solution.
Join us in calling on APD, our City Manager, and our City Council to end this policy and work to create a humane solution for the most vulnerable people in our City to be able to rest. Will you send a letter to them today?