3 or 4 phases, phase 2 started last night, 3 starts today.
Phase 1 complete: 150 single men run out of days in the shelter on March 10th. They will only be let into shelter if it is less than 20 degrees or there is “extreme weather”, definition of that, unknown.
We’re still trying to figure this one out, and it is a new SURPRISE! issue we hadn’t planned on. The Capitol Police have apparently formed a task force to rid the square and outer square area of homeless people sleeping outside. Yeah, just when 150 men were booted on the streets by the woefully underfunded shelter system, the streets are booting them elsewhere. Last night, the sergeant walked up to a sleeping person and kicked them, without warning, seemingly randomly. Witnessed by several people. Lovely gentleman on the State Police Force, eh? They are threatening tickets and arrests. Not sure what the tickets are for or how much, but it will mean that people are spending nights in jail – several if it is the weekend, at $80 a night that you and I will be paying for. Why? Who decided this was a priority at this moment?
County is kicking the Occupy Madison people out of Token Creek – after transporting all their belongings, against their will to this area, they are now refusing to help bring their belongings back to town. Simultaneously, they are threatening to throw out anything they leave behind, regardless of the law. Biggest issue there is things are frozen in the ground and we can’t move them. Including the tents.
Meanwhile, the City is threatening to ticket a private property owner and the campers if they move to a private piece of land because they will be violating the zoning code. It could cost Mr. Vang up to $11,340 and I can’t quite figure out how they would fine the campers or what they would be facing, but I guess we will know when the tickets are issued.
Mr. Vang has filed an appeal with the Zoning Board of Appeals, because, well, there is no place to legally camp according to the zoning code and this is, after all, more than ever, a protest.
Successful warming shelter closes, losing all its momentum in building relationships and helping people to take steps to get off the streets. Excellent article here.
WHAT TO DO
Phase I Donate to or volunteer with Feeding the State St. Family (Tami), ASO (Autonomous Solidarity Organization), Madison Homelessness Initiative (Donna), Bethel Lutheran Church (Mark or Pastor Allison), First United Methodist Church (Karen) or Food Not Bombs - because they are the ones that end up picking up the slack. Longer term solutions, or for camp needs donate to Occupy Madison Inc. (please specify if donation is for camp, otherwise it will go to finding a more permanent solution)
Phase II Meeting tonight in hallway between the front and back bar at The Fountain (122 State St.) 5:00. Bring cameras and video equipment if you have it. Also, email your state legislators and ask them why this is happening.
Phase III Bring pallets, wood, tents, food, a helping hand with moving, smiles, etc. They are starting moving today at noon. 3600 Portage Road is the new location, should be arriving there by 1:00. When you see the porta-potties you will know you are there. Donations here (please specify if the donation is for camp or to help pay fines for Mr. Vang.) Watch for details on fundraising to help Mr. Vang pay the fines. Let your elected officials know that instead of donating to their campaigns, you are donating here.
Phase IV Email (or better yet call) county board supervisors and County Executive Joe Parisi and ask them why if there is money in the budget for a new building, they haven’t found one yet, its been 5 months they have known about this, why will it take another 8 months to get a place up and running?
Email or call your elected officials and ask them when there will be a legal place for people to go and what they are doing to help with March Madness.
State - Legislators
City – email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or individual alders
County – email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or individual supervisors
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