First They Came for the Homeless (FTCftH) decries the loss of yet another life on the streets of Berkeley – ‘Body of homeless woman found near Berkeley High’, reported in Berkeleyside 1/15/17. People without shelter and without hope is the mark of a failed society, one that will likely fall even further over these next four years as tolerance and compassion continue to lose ground to bigotry and mean-spiritedness.

FTCftH will be holding a press conference, followed by a 24-hour vigil commencing at 5:00 PM, Tuesday, January 17th on the grounds of Berkeley’s New City Hall in memory of lives lost needlessly – in Berkeley, San Francisco, in Portland, OR, Denver, CO and all across the country.

Mike Zint, an organizer with FTCftH, said

“A tent is not a permanent solution. Housing is. But with no housing available, a tent in a sanctioned tent city would provide shelter, storage, security, privacy, and most importantly, stability. And stability is what will help the most. Give people time without harassment, hours, abuse, or rules that don’t fit in with life.”

FTCftH once again calls on the City of Berkeley to stop using police to terrorize homeless people, to stop confiscating the possessions they need to survive, and to stop dismantling the small, supportive communities they establish. Protecting and serving means all the people of Berkeley, not just the housed. In the absence of a place to call her own, would a tent and companions have saved this woman’s life? We don’t know. COULD a tent, companions and shared food saved this woman’s life? We think that’s a good possibility.

For more on our thoughts on homelessness please see

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