A hundred or so people participated in the action at City Hall on the eve of Human Rights Day in support of city aid for three requests by advocates for the homeless people of Fresno. The overnight campout on the lawn in front of City Hall was a success in many ways. A good number of homeless people from various parts of Fresno showed up for the event. Some I knew from years back, some were new faces—all were good people.
Of our three requests—for trash bins, portable toilets and fresh drinking water—we hope to at least have a trash bin in place at the Santa Clara and E street encampment by the time you read this. Of course, that assumes that the City of Fresno will allow a solid waste manager to provide the service.
Homeless advocates, along with advocates who are homeless, came from as far away as Sacramento, San Jose, Merced and San Francisco in support of this Human Rights Day event and to join the Fresno advocates and supporters of the action to request that the City of Fresno provide trash bins, portable toilets and fresh drinking water at the homeless encampments in downtown Fresno as mandated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Participants brought food, blankets and clothing as donations for the homeless people who attended the event. Our Fresno crew did a wonderful job supporting the event, not only with their attendance but also by contributing food, clothing and blankets. Kelly Brokert coordinated the blanket drive, bringing in enough blankets for all the homeless people attending the event who needed them. Fresno’s Food Not Bombs supplied food for everyone. Our compliments to Donna Lopez, who cooked for more people at once than she ever had before.
The speakers included Sandy Perry of San Jose, Tracie Rice-Bailey of Sacramento, Dr. Salvador Sandoval of Merced and the Central Valley’s most prominent newspaper editor, Fresno’s Mike Rhodes, editor of the Community Alliance newspaper. The premier speaker was Ashley Stark, a young lady who at the age of 18 became homeless.
Gloria Hernandez nearly completed a simulation house made with 3,000 ice cream sticks representing the 3,000 homeless children enrolled in the Fresno Unified School District before security stopped her saying she was defacing city property. David Alvarez and his Native American crew of drummers and speakers were also in the house. Alvarez did an excellent job of blessing the ground that we occupied that night.
Not one police officer bothered us as we climbed into our sleeping bags and/or tents for a night’s sleep on the Fresno City Hall lawn. I slept on top of the hill on the City Hall lawn, and the three or four times I awakened through the night, it was a beautiful sight to see people from all walks of life, from homeless people, Native Americans and people who are well off, sleeping together in total peace. Even the several dogs who shared the night with us were in peace.
The “PARK SIDE CREW,” a small group of Homeless People who reside in Roeding Park unanimously agreed to start our own Lawnmower and Landscape business. What we are asking from those who can is old lawnmowers, weed eaters and any kind of garden tools that you may be able to donate to the business.
Old lawnmowers and weed eaters that do not work are wanted also. We have the skills to refurbish them.
Our intent is to make a little money and show those who need to be shown (the City of Fresno) that we, although homeless, are functional and can hold our own with a jump-start.
PLEASE HELP US MAKE THIS
A SUCCESSFUL MISSION.
CONTACT PERSON: AL WILLIAMS
CONTACT NUMBER: 559-647-7165
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org