Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Demonstrators Demand Santa Cruz Provide Hotel Vouchers for the Homeless

Community members in Santa Cruz organized a "physical distancing" protest on April 20 to demand the City and County of Santa Cruz provide hotel vouchers for the homeless during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The demonstration was organized following California Governor Gavin Newsom's statements made during a press conference on April 18 that cities and municipalities that are blocking the State's effort to provide hotels for the homeless will be "judged" by history.

Newsom declined to name the specific cities that were not accepting funds, but he had strong words for them. “I just want to encourage those cities that are blocking efforts like this to consider themselves in the context of others…to consider their actions in the context and annals of history," Newsom said. “They’ll judge themselves, not just be judged by others, by the extent they help the least among us.”

Demonstrators in Santa Cruz, some with fixed housing and some without, spaced themselves out along Ocean Street at the "Welcome to Santa Cruz" sign. They held signs that read: "Newsom, Look at Santa Cruz," "Our City is is refusing to give motel rooms to the homeless," "Santa Cruz Supervisors, City Council, Stop Blocking Project Roomkey," "Motel Rooms Now to Stop Covid-19," "San Jose is Doing it," "Renters & Homeless Unite for Justice," "Everyone Needs Housing No Matter What," "Provide Motel Rooms Not Just for the Sick," "Where Did the Money Go?" "I Need A Safe Place, Where are the Motel Vouchers?" and "Where are Governor Newsom's Promised Buildings and Camps?"

Organizers of the demonstration included members of Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs, the Santa Cruz Chapter of the California Homeless Union, and Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom (HUFF).

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