Sacramento, CA

Sacramento Street Medicine calls on local leaders for healthcare and housing, not sweeps

Robert J Hansen
Letter of support for Housing is Health Care march on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.Courtesy Sacramento Street Medicine

Sacramento, Calif. -- Robert J Hansen

A letter of support and call to action has been released by Sacramento Street Medicine (SSM) for a Die-In at City Hall on June 8 at 5:30pm.

SSM behan operations in 2019 and provides high-quality, patient-led medical care to people experiencing homelessness.

SSM, health care providers, and the community will hold a rally, march, and “doctor die-in” demonstration to bring awareness to the county public health order ending on June 15th, 2021 according to a press releas.

“We believe housing is healthcare. Our ask is simple: Stop the sweeps and displacement of encampments until everyone has a safe place to stay.” Executive Director Anthony Menacho, MPAP, PA-C said.

Within the letter, a local group of concerned medical professionals are warning of the consequences of lifting the Public Health Order would have on Sacramento’s unhoused populations.

The group of health professionals either work directly with people living outside or believe in their rights to care and safety.

“We are asking that the County and the City halt the displacement of encampments, especially after the public health order is lifted on June 15th, until safe space is available for everyone,” the letter said.

The County and the City can choose to provide care to people outside, rather than choosing the option of moving them along, often when there is nowhere to go according to the medical professionals.

“We challenge you, as the leaders of our community, to consider how the chosen action of encampment displacement leads to poor personal health outcomes, poor public health outcomes, and ultimately, the deaths of people living outside,” they said.

According to the letter, people who have been provided housing through these motel programs in all probability will be displaced back onto the street due to the lack of housing in Sacramento.

They conclude that the safest, healthiest, and the most humane option is to continue to provide non-congregant housing and not displace people until more housing is available.

“We cannot afford to lose the positive health equity gains that have been made in the last year,” the letter said.

Directory of Advocacy for Loaves and Fishes, Joe Smith, said the city is already seeing a displacement of folks before the health order has even been lifted.

“Join me and @sacstreetmed for a rally, march and die-in,” Smith said via Twitter, “Time for peaceful yet powerful action.”

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Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Focused on holding elected officials, police and the courts accountable to the people throughout the greater Sacramento area.

Sacramento County, CA

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