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Some Things You Should Know About 'Safe Ground'

Flyer to be distributed at the Safe Ground rally at City Hall on Dec 29 at ~2pm:

Some Things You Should Know
About 'Safe Ground'

written by Tom Armstrong
of Sacramento Homeless blog

Since "Safe Ground" and the organizations that sponsor it – Loaves & Fishes; Francis House; and SHOC (which is, itself, sponsored by the Sacramento Housing Alliance) – are all nonprofits that frequently seek donations from the public, you should be made aware that specific political beliefs, that carry national aspirations for change in America, are the core of the so-called Safe Ground Movement.

To the local media's discredit the politics that infuse much of the homeless-help industry in our metropolis is not told to the public. I believe this is so because the media fear the damage that might result to several charities who certainly direct the great majority of their effort to doing vital good work: saving the most disadvantaged of Sacramento citizens from utter destitution. I am a bit sympathetic with the Bee, SN&R and other local media who shirk their responsibilities to the public – to be truth-seeking and courageous, leaving to the public what is to be made of the news – for these reasons.

But nowadays things are getting mighty strange in Homeless World Sacramento and it is time that Sacramento businesses and individuals were fully apprised how some of their homeless-charity donation dollars are likely to be spent.

Tenets of the safe ground political movement are expressed in the online newspaper People's Tribune [], identified by several online sources1 as the publication of the Communist Labor Party of America (or what's left of it). Here, central elements in the movement:
  • There needs to be a revolution in America to overturn capitalism as the basis of the economy.
  • Technological advancement needs to be stopped since it displaces manual labor.
  • Jobs must be guaranteed for all.
If you search the archives of People's Tribune2 you will find that a great many of the articles and features of the online publication are written by Cathleen "Cat" Williams, an attorney with Mark Merin's organization, who is an uncredited force with the Sacramento Housing Alliance and SHOC. Ms. Williams is centrally involved in SHOC's weekly safe ground meetings, two of which I have attended, and in a Homeless Power Forum3 held in Loaves & Fishes' Delaney Center last October. Ms. Williams and her husband, Mark Merin, have hosted fundraisers for SHOC in their Sacramento home.

The meetings I attended were filmed (by Costa Mantis in two instances and, in the case of the Power Forum, by another fellow). I say to you that they were certainly centrally all meetings intending to indoctrinate homeless people with the principles of communism – without use of the "c" word.

Further, homeless people who attend weekly safe ground meetings, hosted by SHOC, are taught that they must think in terms of rights they are entitled to and must demand – rather than in terms of responsibilities they should shoulder.

I have written4 the Boards of Directors of Loaves & Fishes and Francis House urging that they disconnect the safe ground effort/campaign/movement from any national political aspirations, but they do not do so.

I personally support the initial, now-lost goals of safe ground: to secure a parcel of land where homeless people can legally camp. I cannot support safe ground as it is now constituted, as a tool of a failed political ideology that, whenever it "succeeds," leads inevitably to totalitarianism.
1 See;; and


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