thought this email had interesting points

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Posted by Sadie from ? ( on Friday, July 11, 2003 at 4:19PM :

... about life in the U.S. Has nothing to do with Iraq, but it's probably something that everyone could stand to be more aware of. have a nice weekend, all.
Press Conference Sponsored by the Homeless Power Project
To Express Concern of the trend to criminalize the homeless

Monday, 12:30pm, Loaves and Fishes of the Holy Name Catholic Church

521 Woodland Street, East Nashville. Easiest Parking on Main Street Side between 5th & 6th Avenue. Use Church Parking Lot. Sign says: Holy Name Parish Center

WHERE: Holy Name Catholic Church, Loaves and Fishes Building

WHEN: This Monday, July 14th, 12:40


Jonathan Zirker, Formerly Homeless, Homeless Power Project Organizer

Shonda Roberts, Formerly Homeless Woman who lived in her car.

Rev. Don Beisswenger, Retired Presbyterian Minister

Jane Boram, Episcopal Peace Committee

Dozens of homeless and formerly homeless will be joined by the broader

Nashville Community to oppose the proposed METRO Council Ordinances 1507 and

1508, sponsored by Councilman Ludye Wallace. Councilman Wallace has rethought the effects of the ordinance and has verbally agreed to withdraw these ordinances. We applaud his responsiveness to his community. The press conference is to express concern about the continued trend to criminalize the homeless. The proposed ordinances specify:

“C. It is unlawful for any person to inhabit a motor vehicle as a place of

dwelling within the area of the metropolitan government.” , and,

“C. It is unlawful for any person to enter an abandoned motor vehicle for

the purpose of sleeping, resting, or inhabiting. For purposes of this

subsection, “abandoned motor vehicle” is defined as the term is defined in

Section 12.08.210.”

The Homeless Power Project, homeless and formerly homeless in Nashville, is

clear that these ordinances would provide struggling individuals and

families with the one home they don't need- jail. According to the National

Coalition for the Homeless, a national study of formerly homeless people

found that the most common places people who had been literally homeless

stayed were vehicles (59.2%) and makeshift housing, such as tents, boxes,

caves, or boxcars (24.6%) (Link et al., 1995).

John Zirker, a formerly homeless man shares, "People staying in cars are

often in a short-term jam and may be back on their feet with a place stay in

weeks or even days. Prohibiting and charging individuals and families for

staying in the only shelter they have will only make their situation more

difficult, this law will further criminalize regular people for being poor."

Shonda Roberts, formerly homeless woman who previously lived in a car for two years, states: “We are citizens of a free country who are required to pay taxes, we pay for parking, we are allowed to drive our cars to work, to participate in paying for parking and taxes. When a government makes it illegal to sleep in a vehicle that an individual had paid for on the street, that an individual has paid taxes to help pave, or in a lot that an individual has paid to have a space, then that individual ceases to live in a free country.”


2) Contact Councilman Wallace and THANK HIM for his commitment to withdraw Ordinances 1507 & 1508 because they hurt poor people.

Councilman Ludye Wallace: (615) 742 0033 &

3) Bring Signs to Press Conference for self or homeless individual.

Don’t Punish the Poor

Chronic Injustice not Chronic Homelessness

Homelessness is NOT a Crime

For our homeless friends:

A Car wasn’t my first choice

Where should I go?

If I had a house, I would sleep in it.

-- Sadie
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