Monday, September 22, 2008

Stop human rights abuses on skid row

2 Years
18,000* arrests
No new housing

Stop the city's crackdown on poverty, homelessness and mental illness from entering its third year.

Join us Sept. 25th. at 10:00a.m.on the corner of 5th. And Main Streets to tell the mayor we want housing and services, not jails.

• 750 arrests each month in a community that’s home to 13,000 people. These arrests have had no affect on violent crime in the area, but they’ve had a devastating and lasting affect on poor, homeless and mentally ill people living downtown.
• 1,000 misdemeanor citations each month for “crimes” such as crossing the street against a flashing red hand. When a poor or homeless Skid Row resident can’t pay the fine, the citation turns to warrant and leads to arrest.
• Thousands shut out of federally-funded housing and food programs. When people return from jail, their criminal record forces them to live on the street, where they cost taxpayers $100,000 each year as they circulate through emergency rooms and jails.
• $6 million each year for 50 additional uniformed officers and as many undercover officers to police a 50-square block area. That’s about equal to the amount the city “invests” in homeless services for the entire year. Over two years, that money could have been used to get 750 people off the streets and into housing with support services.
• Thousands of cases in an overburdened court system. Drug cases involving no more than $5 in crack cocaine are clogging up a court system that has a difficult time finding space and resources for murder and rape trials.

We cannot police out way out of homelessness. It’s inhumane, expensive, and completely ineffective.
On Sept. 25, we will demand an end to the discriminatory policing and call for housing and services for the poor, homeless and disabled residents of Skid Row.

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