POOR ‘tours’ the Tenderloin demanding housing and reparations for 500 houseless San Franciscans facing motel evictions

Stolen-Land-Tour-flier-111620-by-POOR, POOR ‘tours’ the Tenderloin demanding housing and reparations for 500 houseless San Franciscans facing motel evictions, Local News & Views

by Poor News Network


Join us on Monday, Nov. 16, at McAllister and Hyde at 3 p.m. as we launch a Stolen Land-Hoarded Resources tour through the Tenderloin district of San Francisco and propose a Land Back proposal to UC Hastings and the mayor for Houseless San Franciscans to build our own solutions to our homelessness. Read more about the tour below.

Evicting evicted people in San Francisco

To present the “Transition Plan” to the SF Board of Supervisors for pushing houseless people out of the Shelter in Place (SIP) motels begrudgingly granted by the mayor in San Francisco, aka the violent eviction of thousands of already houseless, mostly Black and Brown and disabled people back to the street in a pandemic in the middle of winter, again the “experts” aka “staff” members of the Kafka-eque Department of Homelessness were called up to present a series of CONfusing powerpoint slides that softly, graphically outlined one of the most violent poltrickster acts against houseless people in the Bay Area to date.

“The numbers don’t make sense,” said Joe Wilson, almost in tears, executive director of Hospitality House in San Francisco and a fellow poverty skola who was one of the few people “invited” to speak who has actually missed a meal, as my Mama Dee would call it.

Homefulness-group-photo, POOR ‘tours’ the Tenderloin demanding housing and reparations for 500 houseless San Franciscans facing motel evictions, Local News & Views
On a typical day at Homefulness, the POOR family shares food and opportunities to change the world, building the power of the people.

While Joe spoke, the 15 houseless people who I stood with in Frisco shivering in the night cold at a RoofLessRadio gathering of tents and houseless folks already evicted from motels they were placed in – ‘cause this is already happening! – were brought to tears, literally, and as another “expert” spoke, Rhonda from the camp asked, “Why didn’t they call me in to speak, or you, Tiny, or any of us? Who are these people? Except for Joe, how can any of them even begin to understand what this means to us?” 

No more About Us Without US!

And of course Rhonda was right. Every time these cities, which literally receive millions of dollars to “manage our homelessness,” legislate and criminalize our mere existence, they NEVER, and I do mean Never, name, ask or invite poverty skolaz in to speak about our own lives and most importantly our own solutions. I call this abusive, othering, violent process, “About Us Without US” and to this we poverty skolaz say “No More!” And I don’t mean the meager public comment one or two minutes we barely get granted if we are able to keep the zoom connection on or wait for hours at a meeting.

“People are terrified, Tiny,” said Couper from House the Bay, another powerful group of houseless poverty skolaz and housed allies, who are constantly naming the problem and the solution in San Francisco. “Folks don’t know where they are going to go, and so many have already been evicted too,” Couper, an unhoused street medic concluded on the RoofLESS Radio segment on Po Peoples Revolutionary Radio last week, speaking about the evil evictions, a segment which also included Del Seymour from Code Tenderloin and other youth and elder poverty skolaz who have struggled with homelessness our whole lives.

All-out-against-Encampment-Mgt-Plan-at-Oakland-City-Hall-1120-by-PNN-1400x1050, POOR ‘tours’ the Tenderloin demanding housing and reparations for 500 houseless San Franciscans facing motel evictions, Local News & Views
POOR is all out against the Encampment Management Plan, taking the stage in Oscar Grant Plaza in front of Oakland City Hall. Nevertheless, the plan was unanimously approved by the Oakland City Council, including the progressive members. – Photo: Poor News Network

POOR Magazine, which is a poor and houseless peoples-led movement which has been lifting and manifesting our own poor people-led solutions for 22 years and is currently building a homeless people’s solution to homelessness we call Homefulness, wrote the “Poverty Scholarship” textbook to end the ongoing About Us Without Us War, trying to insert actual poor and houseless peoples in our own futures, in the use of resources, in the solving of our problems. And yet the confusion continues on both sides of the Bay.

Are houseless and poor builders building homes experts in building homes for houseless and poor builders?

As we poor and houseless people try to build homes in Oakland, we are repeatedly stopped by what I affectionally call the “permit gangsters,” i.e, the insanely expensive permit fees and costs charged for building all new housing projects. The fees are affordable to the huge billionaire housing developers that usually build housing, but those fees, in addition to the exorbitant costs of materials, etc., have caused us to spend over 10 years to literally even finish 10 units of housing for ourselves and fellow houseless families and elders. 

Thanks to our vision and work we realized we had to actually propose a different way to the city, so that many poor and houseless and landless peoples in movements like ours could launch and finish building projects and so we reached out to our conscious comrades Rebecca Ruiz and Bobbi Lopez, who was an aide in Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan’s office, who did in fact write a powerful version of our vision which is now set to be on calendar in January 2021. 

The funny-not funny, thing is when we spoke to a couple of the council people’s offices about getting it on calendar and presenting it, they never thought to include us, i.e, the homeless and poor visionaries who dreamt of the project, because the idea that poor and houseless people can be the experts on our own lives is bizarre to people who NEVER see poor and houseless people as skolaz. One of the aides incredulously said to me, “Oooh, that’s an interesting idea,” when I proposed it to her. 

At the end of the day the struggle continues, and we hope that some of the new legislators in Oakland can see beyond the rigid and unjust notions of who is an expert and what makes a skola in any subject. Does studying poverty at Stanford make you a poverty skola? Does reporting on homelessness for your journalism degree make you a homeless skola? 

Does getting a degree on disability, make you a disability skola, Does writing a thesis, going to different exorcized locations in the Global South as a missionary or translator, or working in social work or getting appointed to the Department of Homelessness make you an expert on poverty? 

Does being part of an anthro-wrongology expedition in some indigenous lands anywhere on Mama Earth make you an indigenous ancestor skola? Does leading a research paper on incarceration, race, poverty or criminalization make you an incarceration skola? 

We incarcerated, disabled, poor, indigenous and homeless youth and elders say we are the experts in our own struggles and our own solutions. What these positions do show, is that you had channels of racial, financial, organizational access, privilege, time, love, a roof over your head, clothes on your back and shoes on your feet that enabled you to write extensive essays, fill out extensive applications and get in good colleges and jobs and study, write, research and speak about us without us, while we continue to be criminalized, incarcerated, evicted and hated. 

To all of you privileged speakers about us without us, no hate, no harm, no foul, only love, we have all been lied to about access and poverty and privilege so instead we offer an invitation to come thru to the next session of Peopleskool January 30/31, but also a dire and emergent demand to give-back stolen land, resources, decision-making power and mics to us poor people who MOST definitely have a voice, ideas and solutions.

Houseless and formerly unhoused people will tour the Occupied Village of Yelamu, aka San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, where UC Hastings hoards Mama Earth while people sleep on the street and the mayor plans to evict over 500 homeless folks from the motel rooms she begrudgingly granted them. 

Join the Stolen Land-Hoarded Resources Tour through the Tenderloin on Monday, Nov. 16. At 3 p.m., our first tour stop will be at UC Hastings, on the street corner at McAllister and Hyde. 

The Stolen Land-Hoarded Resources Tours, loosely based on the Bhoodan Movement of India launched by Vinoba Bhave, who walked through India asking wealthy “land owners” to gift their land to landless peoples, will be sharing a similar vision with SF poltricksters, academic land-stealers and wealth-hoarders who are planning to evict over 500 houseless, mostly disabled, majority Black and Brown elders who are currently residing in motels onto the freezing San Francisco streets on Dec. 21, four days before Christmas.

“This is another example of London Breed’s absolute hate for poor and houseless San Franciscans,” said Wanda P, one of the houseless elders currently residing in a motel who was given notice to leave on Dec. 21.

“We evict you, London Breed!” said Leroy Moore, disabled, formerly houseless co-founder of Homefulness and Krip Hop Nation. 

“Mayor London Breed begrudgingly granted motel rooms to houseless San Franciscans because of the global pandemic. She never meant for any houseless people to be housed permanently and the only reason we were in these motels in the first place is because it’s dangerous to be unsheltered in a pandemic,” said Tommy P, a currently unhoused San Franciscan resident who was already evicted from a motel room in San Francisco.

“Academic institutions like UC Hastings have ‘bought’ over two blocks of the Tenderloin district in Occupied Yelamu, (San Francisco), sued the city for its ‘homeless problem’ and hired private security to ‘sweep’ houseless residents off the streets around ‘their’ buildings, which is why we are proposing that UC Hastings give back one of these hoarded buildings to houseless residents of the Tenderloin so they can build their own housing like the Homefulness model and the mayor cease and desist all evictions until permanent housing is secured,” said “Tiny” Gray-Garcia, formerly houseless co-founder of POOR Magazine and a resident and co-builder of Homefulness.

“Leadership requires making space for everyone. In a time of COVID on Winter Solstice, Mayor Breed is attempting to turn people out onto the streets without a plan in place – creating the further dehumanization of people by not acknowledging them as fellow human beings. During this eight months of shelter in place, the leadership had time to create an alternative to the hotel vouchers, if they truly wanted to “fix” the problem. 

“No new shelters or housing for no-income and low low income people have been built. There is no plan. That’s the worst kind of Grinch, the mentality that was taught out of colonization. 

“Colonization created poverty, greed and homelessness. Fascism creates laws that throw away other human beings, and UC Hastings is acting just like the royalty and gentry who use laws to sweep away human-made conditions. Breed and Hastings Law School are on the wrong side of history. Leaders should create a better way for ALL – not create more destruction,” said Corrina Gould of Indian People Organizing for Change.

There is a war being waged against the homeless in San Francisco and the Tenderloin is on the front line of that battle.

On this tour, poverty, indigenous and disability skolaz will be sharing actual solutions to homelessness, not more hate and evictions, like the medicine of the BankofComeUnityReparations Homefulness Housing Fund, funded by folks with hoarded wealth that enables poor and houseless people to “purchase” stolen Mama Earth so they can build their own self-determined housing and healing villages modeled after the Homefulness Project in Oakland.

“We come courageously, upholding our ancestors’ birthright; we come in peace offering the medicine of redistribution of stolen land and hoarded resources. Asé,” said Aunti Frances Moore, formerly houseless Black Panther, founder of the Self-Help Hunger Program and co-founder of Homefuness.

“I live in the Tenderloin and I witness the despair of homeless human beings every day trying desperately to eke out some type of an existence in this unsympathetic city! It seems as if the billionaire Ron Conway has mesmerized Mayor Breed with his money and influence. There is a war being waged against the homeless in San Francisco and the Tenderloin is on the front line of that battle. Get off your butt and join us! Dare to struggle, dare to win, all power to the people,” said Malik Washington of the San Francisco Bay View newspaper.

We invite ALL fellow land liberators, reparators, CONfused but conscious wealth-hoarders, media producers, poverty skolaz, houseless folks, advocates, revolutionaries. UC students and community to join us. As with all the previous tours, we will be launching with All Nations Prayer for Ancestors and Mama Earth.

The concept of Homefulness and ComeUnity Reparations is explained in the recently released publication, the “Poverty Scholarship Book.” An article explaining the Bank of COMEUnity Reparations is here.

Herstory of the tours

This powerful nationwide tour was launched in 2016 in the stolen village of Yelamu (San Francisco’s Nob Hill and Pacific Heights neighborhoods) and has so far “toured” wealth-hoarder enclaves such as SillyCon Valley, Beverly Hills, The Hamptons, Park Avenue and the Main Line of Philadelphia, to name a few.

This tour through stolen indigenous land and the neighborhoods of the very rich is led by First Nations Ohlone Warrior Corrina Gould, Poverty Skola Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia, fellow race, disability, indigenous skolaz from POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE, and Leroy Moore from Krip Hop Nation. Co-sponsors so far include The Self-Help Hunger Program and the Idriss Stelley Foundation.

“We homeless, working-class, caged and criminalized, disabled and First Nations people are peacefully crossing the visible and invisible lines that separate us poor folks from the ‘very rich’ to ask them to begin the healing, change-making process of decolonizing, redistributing and reparating their stolen and/or hoarded, inherited wealth and/or land,” explained Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia, formerly houseless co-founder of POOR Magazine and author of “Growing Up Homeless in America” and the upcoming “People’s Textbook: Poverty Scholarship: Poor People Theory, Art, Words and Tears Across Mama Earth.”

Two models that homeless and First Nations folks are presenting is the poor people-led self-determined movement called Homefulness in Deep East Oakland (Huchuin Ohlone Land) as well as launching Homefulness movements in every city where unhoused and First Nations people dwell as well as the Sogorea Te Land Trust, which is a Native woman run land trust based in the land of the first peoples who lead it.

Co-sponsored by San Francisco Bay View newspaper, Krip Hop Nation, Indian People Organizing for Change and more to come.. For organizations who would like to co-sponsor, join us, speak or walk with us. Please email poormag@gmail.com or just show up at McAllister and Hyde streets at 3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 16.

Oakland update

“To discuss the Encampment Management policy, we will bring in the department staff members who designed the plan to present their powerpoint,” announced the clerk of the Oakland Board of Supervisors. This announcement launched what felt like hours of bureaKRAZY-speak on a proposed piece of legislation implementing apartheid of houseless people in Oakland. 

As the “staff” droned on and the powerpoint, with graphs and numbers representing people’s lives and intense poor people hate colonized the Zoom room, 19 houseless and formerly houseless Oakland youth and elders at Homefulness and Deecolonize Academy and hundreds of others impacted directly by this hate watched helplessly, hoping to get a word in edgewise, while struggling to keep our outdoor, cheap phones on, our shaky wifi connections connected, our tents from being taken by DPW and private security, our car-homes not towed, our blankets and clothes dry, warm, stay in a lighted area even though we had no electricity, our batteries charged and SIM cards un-full and in a line to get something warm to eat. 

Several housing and politrickster “experts” and painful hours later, this evil plan was unanimously approved by the Oakland City Council, including yes votes from the so-called progressive ones.

Read more about issues of poverty and race written by the people who face them daily at POOR Magazine/POOR News Network, www.poormagazine.org and www.racepovertymediajustice.org. Email poormag@gmail.com