Stolen Belonging: A Public Reclamation - Project Coverage and Pics of Action at DPW Operations Yard
AJ+ coverage of project and what we’ve exposed, including personal stories, sweeps, the whistleblower interview, the policies SFPD & DPW are breaking, and even the question of how one would seek justice if its they city stealing everything they own. DPW response: No comment.
Photos from our June 22nd action at DPW’s Operations Yard. Huge thanks to all who shared powerful words, music and stories. Nobody in attendance who had been swept in the last 90 days was able to recover their possessions, as expected. However, eleven folks filled out legal declarations, and we were able to hand out all 40 of our bags filled with tents, sleeping bags, tarps, hygiene kits, first aid supplies, flashlights and more. So much gratitude to those who donated!
NEW RELEASES: City As Thief and Breaking Interview Exposing SF’s Violations Against Homeless Residents
Episode 2: City As Thief - Witness SFPD and DPW violating a homeless resident’s rights during a sweep, a former DPW worker disclosing that they trash, steal, keep and sometimes even sell items they confiscate in the sweeps, and our efforts to help retrieve another resident’s belongings at the DPW Operations Yard where they’re required to bag, tag and store personal belongings for 90 days. Unhoused residents have a right to their belongings, to dignity, to decent housing, and to belong here.
Former DPW Worker Interview (Audio only. Full Transcript HERE) - SFPD and DPW are stealing and trashing houseless residents' survival gear and personal possessions in violation of human and constitutional rights, and often in violation of SF's own city policies. A former DPW employee discloses that some city workers are also selling or keeping these belongings and that they aren’t trained on proper regulations and procedures.
The above DPW/SFPD Homeless Property Information or “Bag and Tag” forms were acquired through a public records request. DPW and SFPD sweep residents all over the city and take their belongings every day. Thousands are impacted every year. However, their own records reveal that the city only logged approximately 60 ‘bag and tag’ forms in 2016, 70 in 2017, and 400 in 2018. Many of the forms aren’t fully completed and contain little to no information. They reveal early morning sweeps, and even the city confiscating medication at 5:40am. They also show innumerable instances where items are stolen out of the DPW operations yard or marked “not found.” See more examples here.
Stolen Belonging Episode 1: Recognize Our Humanity
The City of San Francisco is targeting houseless residents, stealing their survival gear, all of their belongings, and consequently, their ability to belong in the city. City resources should help people exit homelessness and secure truly affordable housing, not drive people further into poverty.
Our team interviewed residents across San Francisco who had survival gear and cherished personal belongings stolen by SF Police Department and Department of Public Works during the city's "sweeps." These thefts are in violation of human and constitutional rights, and also often in violation of SF’s own city policies. We will be releasing video episodes and/or photos with transcribed stories weekly starting May 22, 2019. Stay tuned and TAKE ACTION TO STOP THE SWEEPS!
This project is a collaboration between Coalition on Homelessness and Artist/Organizer Leslie Dreyer, working with Couper Orona, TJ Johnston, Meghan Johnson (aka Roadkill), Sophia Thibodeaux, Patricia Alonzo and Charles Davis - some the fiercest homeless advocates in San Francisco. Click here for more info about the project, and here for more info about our amazing team!