Imagine a city in the United States where funding priorities are directed at housing the homeless, not criminalizing them. Imagine a government that honors human rights activists as upholders of the country’s noblest traditions, not targets and harasses them. Imagine a city where the death of even one homeless youth would be unthinkable, and the arrival of winter marks a time of celebration for all, not dread for those who sleep in the cold streets.
On Tuesday, December 21, 2010, Homeless Memorial Day, the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN) and Picture the Homeless, New York City – both members of the Campaign to Restore National Housing Rights – will host events to draw attention to the devastating impacts of the social exclusion of poor and homeless residents and reflect on ways to organize cities that meet the needs of all.
- LA CAN will hold a press conference to release a human rights assessment of Skid Row’s Safer Cities Initiative, an intensive policing effort that has had devastating impacts on the community’s low-income and homeless residents. LA CAN will also highlight police retaliation against one of their community organizers and share an urgent appeal submitted to the highest international authority on human rights defenders. Press conference: Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters, 1st and Main Streets, Downtown LA, 8:30 am. Human Rights Assessment report will be posted on December 21, at 7:30 am: cangress.wordpress.com.
- Picture the Homeless will hold a memorial service for homeless people who never received a memorial service, with a special focus on homeless youth. Interfaith Memorial Service: Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Sq. S., Manhattan, 6-7:30 pm; refreshments and fellowship: 7:30-9 pm.
LA CAN, cangress.org, works to ensure that people dealing with poverty have voice, power, and opinion in the decisions directly affecting them. Picture the Homeless, picturethehomeless.org, is founded and led by homeless people organizing for social justice. The Campaign to Restore National Housing Rights, restorehousingrights.org, is a national coalition of grassroots groups and housing rights organizations around the country calling on the US government to fulfill its human right to housing obligation and ensure decent housing for all.