Category Archives: Homelessness

As The Cold Weather Descends…

As the cold weather descends, we at the Amistad Catholic Worker invite you to join in an urgent work of mercy…

Almost two years ago, a movement for justice, human rights and refuge for the homeless began at our table here at Amistad; a campaign called “Where, Then, Shall We Go?”  which brought together a strong coalition of concerned citizens, both homeless and housed. It started as a response to proposed legislation being scheduled for deliberation at New Haven’s Board of Alders, which would have imposed a 10pm curfew on the New Haven Green, along with the City’s enforcement of its seasonal policy of closing the overflow shelter, sending more than a hundred additional people to New Haven’s streets on a nightly basis.  Through several months of action which included marches on City Hall, press conferences, meetings with Mayor Harp, the claiming of unused public land as places of refuge for people with nowhere to go, and denouncing city development plans which failed to address the dire need to increase the low income housing stock, we were able to expose and decry several intolerable realities in our city that still need to be changed.  Among these realities:

  

  1. Not only are there not enough shelter beds to accommodate the entire homeless population in our midst, but the City has no intention of either acknowledging or addressing that obligation.  As we were literally told at Mayor Harp’s office in July 2014, the City has no answer to the question: “Where, then, shall we go?”
  2. Economic reality in our city and state- namely, the vast shortage of jobs that pay a living wage- combined with dwindling housing subsidies an uptick in gentrification plans which leave the poor behind, have created a permanent underclass of people in our urban centers who will remain homeless on any/every given night.  As long as these conditions persist, efforts to find scarce apartments for people who are currently homeless, while crucial and necessary, will never eradicate homeless.  Only systemic change can achieve that.
  3. IN NEW HAVEN, THERE IS NO PLACE FOR A PERSON WITHOUT SHELTER TO GO WHERE THE LAW PROTECTS THEM FROM ARREST, HARASSMENT, OR EVICTION. The failure of New Haven to provide adequate shelter, combined with it’s refusal to recognize the right of homeless people to take refuge, together, on unused public land, effectually criminalizes homelessness.
  4. The United Nations Universal Declaration On Human Rights has expressly condemned policies and laws that are currently enforced in cities throughout the United States, including New Haven, that criminalize homelessness.

Many who share the table here at Amistad have, on their own initiative, assumed leadership roles in the “Where, Then, Shall We Go” campaign, exposing the hardships that homeless people in New Haven face by having their legal status constantly jeopardized.  Regrettably, their efforts have not yet resulted in a commitment from the city government to implement even the simple policy changes which would decriminalize their homelessness.  On the contrary, it has come to light now that some in positions of power in our city are renewing their pursuit of legislation imposing a curfew on the Green.

In light of this continuing and intolerable situation, we’ve begun a community project meant to respond to the immediate needs of our friends who now face another harsh Winter on the streets, in the way, on the margins, and quite probably entangled in the criminal justice system.  Through the grace and diligence of volunteers from several area churches, a large (16’x16’) wooden platform has been built aboveground in the backyard of the Amistad house of hospitality.  Now we want to raise a shelter around that floor, one that is sturdy, insulated, environmentally responsibly built, and welcoming to friends and strangers in need of emergency hospitality. 

Can you help?  We’re looking for friends to join us on Saturday, November 7, at 9am, to begin this project.  If you have any particular skills related to building things, this would be most welcome.  We also need to raise at least $1000 to cover the building costs.  Please contact us if you’d like to be involved.  (To make a donation, checks can be made payable to Amistad Catholic Worker, or you can go to our website and use the Paypal donation button:  amistadcw.wordpress.com).

Thank you.  Peace and Blessings….

The Amistad Catholic Worker

203 Rosette Street, New Haven, CT, 06519

amistadcwh@yahoo.com; (203)415-5896

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This week at Amistad

BREAKING NEWS: Proposed anti-homeless park ordinance withdrawn!!

On January 28, Corporation Counsel Victor Bolden told the New Haven Register that he was considering seeking leave to withdraw the legislation. (Read more here.) On January 29, New Haven Alderwoman Jessica Holmes told us in a public meeting that any new legislation should come from a working group where homeless and low income people and those who work with them are represented.

This is a step in the right direction, but it is only the beginning! We have made it clear that any conversation about the New Haven Green needs to center the voices and needs of homeless and low-income people. The time is now to move that conversation forward and talk about the kind of inclusive, economically just community that we are really trying to build.

This Wednesday, join us for lunch on the Green as we model that community. We will raise our voices in song, bless and break bread together, and provide a space for people to speak out about their experiences. Together, we will begin to dream and practice the beloved community and true justice that our campaign against this ordinance has been trying to create.

>>>WEDNESDAY/MIÉRCOLES 2/5/14 12:00PM @New Haven Green<<<

Sing-In, Soup-Up and Speak-Out: Defending the New Haven Green and Building Power for the People – details here./Canta, almorza, y movilízate: Defendiendo el New Haven Green y construyendo poder para el pueblo – detalles aqui.

EVERY WEEK/TODAS LAS SEMANAS

M-F/L-V – Breakfast/desayuno 7:30-8:30AM, Lunch/almuerzo 12:00-1:00PM

W 9:00AM – AmEN (Amistad Emancipation Network) meeting to discuss the proposed amendments to the New Haven park ordinance, and their implications for those experiencing homelessness. Reunión para discutir las propuestas de enmienda a la ordenanza parque New Haven, y sus implicaciones para las personas sin hogar.

W 6:00PM – evening prayer/oración de la tarde

Th/J – 9:00AM Bible study/estudio Bíblico; 9:30-11:00AM Give & Take/Dar y Recibir

F/V – 5:30PM @Gourmet Heaven, 15 Broadway – Boycott Gourmet Heaven/Las manifestaciones contra Gourmet Heaven

Su/D – 2:00PM @Trinity Church, New Haven Green – Chapel on the Green, followed by lunch/Capilla en el Parque, seguido de un almuerzo

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This week at Amistad

“The legal battle against segregation is won, but the community battle goes on.” – Dorothy Day

WEDNESDAY/MIÉRCOLES 1/29/14 12:00PM @Amistad Catholic Worker House – Lunch with Jessica Holmes, chair of the New Haven aldermanic legislation committee/Almuerzo con Jessica Holmes, presidente del comité de legislación de los concejales de New Haven.

SATURDAY/SÁBADO 2/1/2014 11AM-5PM @New Haven Public Library, Wilson Branch, 303 Washington Ave. – Screening of “The Hill,” a documentary about our neighborhood. Find more information here./Proyección de “The Hill”, un documental sobre nuestro barrio. Encuentre más información aquí.

EVERY WEEK/TODAS LAS SEMANAS

M-F/L-V – Breakfast/desayuno 7:30-8:30AM, Lunch/almuerzo 12:00-1:00PM

W 9:00AM – AmEN (Amistad Emancipation Network) meeting to discuss the proposed amendments to the New Haven park ordinance, and their implications for those experiencing homelessness. Reunión para discutir las propuestas de enmienda a la ordenanza parque New Haven, y sus implicaciones para las personas sin hogar.

W 6:00PM – evening prayer/oración de la tarde

Th/J – 9:00AM Bible study/estudio Bíblico; 9:30-11:00AM Give & Take/Dar y Recibir

F/V – 5:30PM @Gourmet Heaven, 15 Broadway – Boycott Gourmet Heaven/Las manifestaciones contra Gourmet Heaven

Su/D – 2:00PM @Trinity Church, New Haven Green – Chapel on the Green, followed by lunch/Capilla en el Parque, seguido de un almuerzo

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Filed under Amistad events, Homelessness, resistance, Rosette Street Ramblings, Uncategorized

Proposed anti-homeless park ordinance

New Haven Corporation Counsel Victor Bolden has introduced amendments to the New Haven Park Ordinance  that will criminalize the downtown homeless population.  Among other things, the legislation will apply opening and closing hours to the New Haven Green and make “camping, cooking, open flames, sleeping overnight and/or erecting tents or other shelters on the Green” and other parks ticketable offenses. Such changes will be seriously detrimental to people who call the Green their home.

The Legislation also includes provisions that will make events in New Haven parks cost-prohibitive for community groups by forcing organizers to pay for permits and police protection.

Please join us in opposing this abominable proposition. Call your alders and encourage them to vote AGAINST these Park Ordinance amendments. We also have a petition on change.org – your signature will help us send the message that we, the citizens of New Haven, will not stand for the criminalization of our homeless brothers and sisters. Sign the petition here.

PRESS:

New Haven Independent: Activists Set New Haven Green Proposal on Fire

New Haven Register: Plan for New Haven Green Riles Advocates for Poor

(Pre-press conference Register article: New Haven Green Events Requiring Police May Cost Organizers)

Yale Daily News: Activists Fight Proposed Green Regulations

NBC Connecticut: Board of Aldermen Considers Changes to Park Ordinance

News8: Proposal Targets New Haven Park Goers

FOX News Connecticut: Proposed New Haven Park Ordinance Controversy

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Filed under Homelessness, resistance, Uncategorized