Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Concern re L&F confiscation of homeless people's property

Email sent 12/27/08


There is a level of concern about Loaves and Fishes intent this weekend to confiscate homeless citizen's property. This would be a most curious thing in light of the lawsuit L&F is nobly pursuing, Lehr v Sac'to, that aims, in part, to gain compensation from the city/county for confiscating property belonging to homeless folk.

As you should know, a couple of park green hats are determined to make more room in day storage, and to do this they appear to be intent to go forward with the implied threat of having property that was not picked up that was in the shed disappear from the shed.

I believe that Loaves & Fishes has a responsibility to act lawfully. I believe that Loaves & Fishes has a responsibilily to respect people's property. I believe that Loaves & Fishes should go through a series of proper steps -- just as any ethical, law-abiding storage business would have to -- before it moves or disposes of the property of American citizens.

Tom Armstrong
cc: M. Merin

Email sent 12/31/08

Libby, Mr. Merin,

I am extremely disappointed to find out this morning that Loaves & Fishes is proceeding injudiciously -- that its Friendship Park employees have confiscated homeless citizens' property and are enacting an abrupt change in policy that is very probably unlawful.

I am very disappointed that Loaves & Fishes employees remain unempathetic to the problems and hassles that many homeless people have to deal with.

As you should be aware, Libby, there are no available lockers at the Park now. People are being turned away by Natasha [I think her name is] until the 5th of January when, possibly, some lockers might come available.

At the cordoned-off Day Storage area and in the lunch-ticket line this morning, everyone was given a bright-orange slip which read "EFFECTIVE 1/1/09 ANY ITEMS LEFT IN DAY STORAGE OVERNIGHT WILL BE THROWN AWAY. NO EXCEPTIONS." This is a new policy, enacted abruptly -- without adequate notice.

It is my belief that Loaves & Fishes is acting inhumanely and unlawfully and -- in light of Lehr v. Sacramento -- hypocritically. Please, please, please slow down such that the good people who have put things in day storage will have an opportunity to find homes for their things. And please follow the law and have a heart.

-- Tom Armstrong