With a stack of newspapers in one hand and a microphone in the other, Charles Davis told a crowd in front of the Powell Street cable car turnaround that his entire livelihood is dependent upon the sales of the paper he carries, Street Sheet.
He has been without a home since he was 16. He is now 58.
The Coalition on Homelessness organized a sleepout for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week to shine a light on the ongoing encampment sweeps and the adult city shelter waitlist that has exceeded 1,100 people. Davis, dozens of other unhoused people and community allies gathered for the event at 5 p.m. Thursday as people left work and rush hour began.
“This is one of the biggest ways to inform the public because people have been stopping by asking what’s going on, so it’s going to make a real big impact on the community,” Davis told KQED.
Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness, said the group is in the planning stages for a ballot measure next November to secure an estimated $100 million primarily for housing, along with emergency services. It is exploring progressive funding methods, including taxing corporations that would receive a cut if the GOP tax bill passes.