Social Justice Forum Tackles Housing, Homeless Rights

Change is coming to San Jose this week. Or, at least, it’s trying to.

The third U.S. Social Forum will be held today through Sunday in the Washington United Youth Center. Activists and social justice advocates from across the West Coast will gather to discuss some of the Bay Area’s most pressing issues: housing and homeless rights.

Local organizations, including CHAM Deliverance Ministry, Legal Aid Society of Santa Clara, and Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County, are leading sessions on both issues.

CHAM is a front-line ministry working with the homeless, mentally ill, drug addicted and others. Founded in 1960, Legal Aid provides free, civil legal services to low-income individuals. Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County, around since 1987, works to protect and increase affordable housing stock, while educating the public and government officials about housing issues.

Today at 6pm, CHAM will lead a “March for Housing and Healing” from the Youth Center to City Hall.

“Silicon Valley’s persecution of the homeless is an international scandal,” wrote Sandy Perry, outreach minister for CHAM, in a call to participate in the march. “Its outrageous rents are crushing our service workers, seniors, disabled, and the unemployed.”

The following morning at 10:30am Thursday in Room 225 of the Martin Luther King Library, Affordable Housing Network will lead a workshop focused on the fate of San Jose’s homeless, post-destruction of the Jungle. Former Jungle residents will present their stories, and the group will discuss the intersection between human rights and homelessness.

From 1 to 5pm Saturday, attention will turn to housing, as Legal Aid, Affordable Housing Network and CHAM co-lead a tenants’ organizing assembly, “Whose Housing Is It Anyway?” at the Biblioteca Library.

Finally, CHAM will hold a special church service at 2pm Sunday in solidarity with the recent massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Although housing and homelessness are the forum’s special focus, workshops and breakout sessions will discuss everything from corporate personhood, to the Israel-Palestine conflict, police violence, militarism, sex workers’ rights, living wages, and global warming. Film screenings, art shows, open mics, and yoga workshops are also sprinkled throughout the weekend. The full schedule of events can be found on the forum’s website.

The first U.S. Social Forum took place in Atlanta 2007, inspired by the World Social Forum. It was followed by a 2010 Forum in Detroit. With the 2016 presidential election nearing, organizers felt it was time for a revival.

Two other U.S. Social Forums will be held this weekend, one in Jackson, Mississippi and the other in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The movement has six overarching goals, established in 2013 by the Forum’s National Planning Committee. Per their website, these goals focus on collaboration and strengthening local capacity in hopes to “create a space for social movement analysis, popular and political education, convergence, and strategic discussion.”

16 Comments

  1. Thank God these good folks are working for the poor and disabled. I know first hand (from my family) how hard it is to find a reasonable apartment if you are poor and disabled. It is Hell on earth for these folks.

    • Jill:

      You’re right. The apartments they expect you to live in in San Jose ARE unreasonable, You deserve something better.

      I suggest you look for something in Sea Cliff or Tiburon or Newport Beach. I know there are plenty of compassionate rich Democrats (Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Barbra Striesand) who would be more than happy to help you find something.

    • Your right Jill, California has become hell on earth for us tax payers. I’m moving back to New York.
      Are you coming along?

  2. “Silicon Valley’s persecution of the homeless is an international scandal,” wrote Sandy Perry, outreach minister for CHAM,…” We read just a while back in SJI that Santa Clara County alone spent and average of $520million A YEAR over the last decade on the homeless. That’s persecution??? Inane statements like that by Ms. Perry are a big reason why fringe groups with a seemingly laudable goal get so little respect from most folks.

    • > “Silicon Valley’s persecution of the homeless is an international scandal,”

      All the more reason why we can’t do this ourselves. We can’t be trusted.

      We need the help of Sea Cliff, Tiburon, and Newport Beach.

    • Oooops! My bad. My sloppy proofreading failed to catch the “0” that should not have been in the annual expenditure on the homeless figure.

      • $52 million. $520 million. No big deal.

        We’re borrowing it all from future generations anyway,

        We’ll just borrow more from the twenty-first century, and — if necessary — the twenty-second century.

  3. Article about homelessness accompanied by a photo of people demonstrating about climate change. ???

  4. By my count, the accompanying photo displays 15 social justice grifters, of which 4 appear to identify as black. Unclear if Rachel Dolezal is in the photo, in which case more then 4 would identify as black.

    This is a suspiciously high black representation and suggests to me that the social justice industrialists may be overrepresenting blacks among social justice grifters and thereby stereotyping them as more grifting-prone than the population as a whole.

  5. I just checked Zillow out. We can buy nice house’s in the Detroit, Michigan area starting at $1100. Taxes are $2500 a year for that same house and there are lots of them available.
    So I’m guessing with that kind of tax ratio Social Services should be much better there than in bad old San Jose.

    I suggest for our $520 million a year we could grub stake a lot of people, move a lot of jobs to a place that needs a lot of help. Before you know it San Jose east!

    • Well, San Jose did take over as the tenth most populous city in America from Detroit.
      Detroit population: 1980, 1,203,339; 1990, 1,027,974; 2000, 951,270 ;2010, 713,777.
      San Jose population: 1980, 629,442; 1990 782,225; 2000, 903,574; 2010, 945,942

      Google Detroit ghetto photos and see what you get for you $1,100.

  6. Oh, and speaking of “social justice”:

    Watchdog: IRS workers mistakenly erased tea party emails

    Jun 25, 3:33 AM (ET)

    By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER

    “WASHINGTON (AP) — Investigators are blaming mistakes by IRS employees — not a criminal conspiracy — for the loss of thousands of emails related to the tax agency’s tea party scandal.

    IRS workers erased 422 computer backup tapes that “most likely” contained as many as 24,000 emails to and from former IRS official Lois Lerner, who has emerged as a central figure in congressional investigations, according to IRS’s inspector general.”

    Ooooops. My bad.

    But it’s all right, folks. No Democrats were harmed by these 422 unfortunate mistakes.

  7. Maybe Hillary did it accidently when she was wiping clean her email State Dept. server so no-one would find out what really went on when US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and four others were killed in Benghazi in September 2012. On September 12, 2012, Obama said: “”Make no mistake – justice will be done.” Well, justice has yet to be done. Perhaps the IRS should adopt Hillary’s line when asked about the Benghazi deaths and our government’s response to the terrorist attack deaths in Benghazi a year later: “What difference does it make NOW?”

  8. Hillary not making the same mistake Nixon did, he should have burned the whole tape!
    Wonder what Wikileaks and the Chinese have of those E mail?