Homes Not Jails Action

Theo Emery (temery@igc.apc.org)
Thu, 23 Jan 1997 10:26:49 -0800 (PST)


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!!!!DON'T FORGET!!!!!!!!!Save the date!!!!!!!!!DON'T FORGET!!!!!!!!!Save the date!!!!!

****Homes Not Jails Action on Saturday, January 25th*********

A friendly reminder from your friends at Homes Not Jails that we are having an action on Saturday, January 25. To protest the government's treatment of the poor and the homeless, we will occupy a vacant Boston building in an effort to demonstrate the hypocrisy of those who claim we lack the means and resources to care for the most vulnerable citizens in this city and this nation. We are calling this an OPEN HOUSE for the HOMELESS, where we will display to the public the realty which banks and the government are maintaining for the purpose of real estate speculation. This is a very exciting protest in a time when such action is desperately needed. Governor Weld is suddenly making overtures toward boosting services for the poor, the elderly, and the homeless, but the announcements of funding hikes in the state budget should be more of a reason, not less, for all of us to turn out on the issue of housing and poverty--Weld lost the Senatorial race because he didn't pay enough attention to working class and poor people's issues, and for him to now come to defend those groups is cynical at best. Remember that new state funding for some of the programs comes from Federal block grants allocated for those purposes, not from Weld's largess. PLEASE JOIN US!

**Saturday, January 25, 1997** **Meet at noon rally in Copley Square with music, speeches, and puppetry, followed by a festive march to the building site.**

WHY ARE WE ASKING BOSTON ACITIVSTS TO JOIN US IN THIS ACTION?

The winter of 1997 promises to be harsh one for the 6000 homeless children, men, and women in Boston. There are only 2600 shelter beds in Greater Boston shelters, yet despite an increase of 400 beds after last winters' overcrowding, shelters reached capacity on December 1, two months earlier than last year. On January 1, some 500 Massachusetts residents with drug and alcohol addictions were dropped from SSDI rolls; many will likely end up on the streets, in shelters, or in prison. And the cuts have not ended. In February, up to 6500 Massacusetts adults will lose their food stamps, and by August, another 6000 disabled childlren and 30,000 legal immigrants could lose benefits because of Federal cuts. All are in danger of homelessness. There were 23,000 empty housing units in Boston in 1996, almost 9% of the city's total housing stock. But homeless and poor people are far more likely to see the inside of a prison before they glimpse the insides of one of those empty units. WIth the number of incarcerated Americans approaching 1.5 million--a cost of $2.5 billion each year--the prison industry is the fastest-growing area of housing in the US today, giving the US the dubious distinction of having the largest prison population in the world. Homes Not Jails believes that unless we have a participatory movement of homeless and poor people to force our city, state, and federal government to use the resources at their disposal--resources that by right, the citizens of this country own and deserve to control--to serve the needs of the poor, the homeless, and the hungry, then there will only continue to be senseless disposal of property and resources for the benefit of the few.

For more info, call HNJ at 730-9675.

Remember, you only get what you are organized to take.

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