5:45pm

Wednesday, August 20th

In front of City Hall

image cc flickr user pbo31

Over the past weeks our servings have dramatically increased in size as our city continues to cut necessary programs for the homeless and low income workers.

We are worried that the city’s current approach on homelessness is inadequate and instead of providing concrete or effective solutions there are a growing number of programs that are only for show, or that
unfairly criminalize, punish and drive people out of  sight or out of town.

A beautiful ‘victory garden’ was built in front of city hall, but like a number of initiatives (especially those championed by our mayor) it is more for press than meaningful community benefit.

In this case the garden is temporary and at a cost of $180,000 (though sponsored by a private group), while the nearby Heart of the City Farmers Market, a critical and much needed source of healthy food in the tenderloin and south of market neighborhoods has fought for it’s survival and against massive rent increases pushed by the mayor and real estate department.

We agree with the garden in spirit (one organizer says “If people want to eat out of the garden, and they need to eat a piece of lettuce, that’s fine with me,”) and think that many of the groups behind it are doing beneficial community work but we want more substance. Enough with theatrics, resolutions and press conferences, San Francisco needs concrete support for permanent, healthy and accessible food for residents of civic center/tenderloin neighborhood and other low-income communities.

There are many other examples: The budget deficit has lead to cuts and strain on shelters, non-profits and other social services in the city.

http://www.
sfbg. com/blogs/politics/2008/06/interfaith_demonstration_chall. html

One way the gross removal of homeless assistance programs has taken place is by not giving nonprofit workers livable wages:

http://www.beyondchron.org/articles/San_Francisco_Budget_Ignores_Nonprofit_Workers_5801.html

The so-called Community Justice Center is moving forward and many fear it will only further criminalize homeless folks in the civic center, tenderloin and SOMA area.

Evictions and heavier police presence continue in Golden Gate Park (http://www.
examiner. com/a-859407~Dozens_evicted_from_Golden_Gate_Park. html
).

SF rents continue to rise and more and more folks are having a hard time
making it in the city as the economy is weaker and meaningful work is more difficult to
come by. Between 2002 and 2006, those earning between 150-200k grew by 50%, over $200,000 by 40%, those making under $49,000 dropped by 8%.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/06/22/MNJJ10NPSK.DTL&hw=low+income+leaving+san+francisco&sn=003&sc=599

—–

We are bringing these issues to the attention of the politicians and our community by bringing Food
Not Bombs out to City Hall. We welcome everyone to come take part in this protest and invite people to bring food and messages of their own experience in solidarity!

We would love to hear your thoughts. This may become an ongoing event. ~ Wednesday FNB

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