This weekend Airbnb held its first-ever conference for hosts in San Francisco. Inside, executivesrestated the company’s goal to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Outside, local cops allegedly shoved housing activists who were protesting Airbnb’s role in the eviction crisis, confining demonstrators into a “free speech” pen.  …. Read more HERE

“Airbnb Open” Protest/Music Performance by Candace Roberts 22 Nov 2014 from Peter Menchini on Vimeo.

Oinky Oinky Oinky … this little piggy went to market and guess how much out of Goldman Sachs $34B piggy bank it was able to scrape up to help the homeless in San Francisco this Thanksgiving? Just guess … $833 … Let them eat garbage!

“Airbnb Open” Protest 22 Nov 2014 from Peter Menchini on Vimeo.

Better Homes and Gardens – San Francisco’s Mission District in 2000 … footage from ground zero for the dotcom bomb and the epidemic of evictions that resulted … Precursor to the latest project Better Homes and Gardens Today - thank you Christopher Statton for editing!

Artists Christopher Statton and Megan Wilson are creating a limited edition of 300 sets of “Home” signs to benefit three organizations -  The Gubbio Project, the Coalition on Homelessness, and At The Crossroads that are working to help ease the suffering of those living on the streets, treating people with dignity, respect and love, and being at the forefront of changing the inhumane policies that have been enacted to criminalize and punish those who are already faced with such overwhelming challenges.

The signs are available for purchase for $100/pair. The purchasers receive one sign and the other sign is donated to one of the three partner organizations to use as they see best fit (e.g. the Gubbio Project will place them on the pews of St. Boniface Church). Purchasers will also be provided with more information on each of the organizations and how they can further help.

All of the proceeds will be divided evenly and go to these critically needed organizations.

Signs can be purchased online at our Website: HERE!

  • There are only 1,300 shelter beds in San Francisco and, according to the January 2013 homeless count, 7,350 people are without homes. And while the City reports vacancies in the shelters each night, 2 out of 3 people seeking shelter are turned away.
  • Places to rest during the day legally are equally as difficult to come by. In the past 12 years in San Francisco, 167,074 citations were given out for sleeping and sitting in public (San Francisco Municipal Court). Each citation carries a fine of $100. An unpaid or unresolved ticket goes to warrant in 21 days, and the fine doubles. Accumulated warrants can result in incarceration and denial of affordable housing.
  • In 2014, a United Nations panel deemed the Sit/Lie ordinance a form of human rights abuse.
  • A 2012 report released by San Francisco’s City Hall Fellows found that San Francisco’s Sit/Lie ordinance has been unequivocally ineffective, citing that the reported citations were issued to the same 19 offenders, who were reported as chronically homeless and incapable of paying the $100 fines.
  • One of the most overlooked, yet greatest health risks for the homeless is the lack of sleep. San Diego-based blogger and self-proclaimed “chronic homeless man” Kevin Barbieux, who writes under the name The Homeless Guy states in the articleHomelessness and the Impossibility of a Good Night’s Sleep by Hanna Brooks Olsen in the August 2014 issue of The Atlanticthat “Without a doubt, sleep is the biggest issue for homeless people …homeless advocates are always focused on what are believed to be the root causes of homelessness, and providing the basics of food shelter and clothing to those who do without, and although those things are important in their own way, they don’t affect homeless people with the intensity that sleep does (or the lack thereof).” Additionally, acute problems such as infections, injuries, and pneumonia are difficult to heal when there is no place to rest and recuperate.
  • Another critical health concern for the homeless is the growing rate of hate crimes. Over the past 15 years, the National Coalition on Homelessness (NCH) has recorded 1,437 incidents of crimes committed against the homeless by housed individuals. In 2013 alone, the NCH became aware of 109 attacks, 18 of which resulted in death. The highest percentage of attacks (30%) took place in California. It is important to note that people experiencing homelessness are often treated so poorly by society that attacks are forgotten of unreported. This reality worsens when one considers that many violent acts against homeless populations go unreported and therefore, the true number of incidents is likely to be substantially higher.

All people, especially those who are living on the streets or have mental health or substance abuse issues, are worthy of respect, dignity, and loving kindness.

Essay by Claire Bain

ATA Blog
Published October 28, 2014

Megan Wilson and Christopher Statton are in ATA’s display window, painting hundreds of signs with one word on them: “Home.” Black letters and a flower spell out the word in English or other languages, each on a solid color background. Sold in pairs for $100, one sign goes to the purchaser; the money and the other sign goes to one of three homeless service organizations. They could have just painted a bunch of signs in their studio and put them up for sale, but they chose instead to perform the production of the signs in the window. More than fundraising, they are organizing, raising awareness through outreach, providing information, and holding the City accountable for its human responsibility. And they are accomplishing all of this by subverting the tools of commercial language. Read more HERE.

Directed by Avery Yu and Haley Jensen
Released September 2014

MI CASA NO ES SU CASA tells the story of a rapidly evolving neighborhood: San Francisco’s Mission District. Stripping down the word “gentrification” to its literal and interpreted meanings, this film addresses the multifaceted perspectives of the issue. Through interviews with long time residents, politicians, professors and community activists. Mi Casa No Es Su Casa gives us a snapshot into this vibrant neighborhood and the complicated politics of its newfound popularity.

Interviews with Megan Wilson, Erin MC EL, Roberto Hernandez, Christopher Statton, Miriam Zuk, Jean Yaste, and David Campos.

Mutiny Radio
October 24, 2014

Christopher and I talking with Diamond Dave about Better Homes & Gardens TodayHERE

Sverige Radio – Swedish Radio

Program by Emelie Reosenqvist
Aired Monday, October 13, 2014

When 23-year-old newly rich tech workers moving to the Latin working class district of The Mission in San Francisco and lyxrenoverar housing rights, not greet their neighbors, but please slafsar itself tacos for $ 1 and on the spot offers SEK 30 000 in monthly rent for a small one – brought the wrath of the neighborhood.

Not only because thousands of people are likely to be evicted, but also against flipping. Against the lack of interest in culture, against the gap that arises between rich and poor, artists and IT entrepreneurs.

Gentrification can in many ways be likened to colonization, like cultural workers of The Mission.

At the same time, how far from the radical ideals that characterized San Francisco is really the new IT entrepreneurs and tech industry?

What are the opportunities for artists and cyber-entrepreneurs must comply to meet? Will San Francisco continue to be a place of curiosity, diversity and radical thinking?

A program of the meeting or not meeting between the art technology and capital – and about who actually owns a city’s soul.

Program includes interviews with Megan Wilson and Christopher Statton

Listen to full program HERE.