Join KZFR 90.1FM Peace and Social Justice host Robert Jones as he welcomes Bill Such, Patrick Newman, and Chris Roff to discuss the new reality of homelessness in post-Camp Fire Chico. Who among the homeless are “worthy” or “unworthy” of our aid and compassion? Click here to listen to this compelling discussion.
Former Jesus Center Executive Director Bill Such and CFOTS Founder Patrick Newman to appear on KZFR radio tomorrow
The aftermath of the Camp Fire is forcing Chicoans to confront the issue of the “worthy” versus “unworthy” poor. Join former Jesus Center Executive Director Bill Such and CFOTS Founder Patrick Newman in discussion with Robert Jones on the Peace and Social Justice show, KZFR 90.1FM, tomorrow (Friday), December 14, from noon to 1pm.
If you’re not near a radio, you can tune in online or on your smart phone here:
Chico Friends on the Street founder Patrick Newman was named a Chico News and Review “Local Hero” of 2018. The paper notes that “Newman and his allies…do a lot for the city’s down and out,” highlighting the fact that “over the course of the past nearly three years, they’ve collectively handed out somewhere in the range of 7,000 bagged lunches, hundreds of blankets and sleeping bags, and hundreds of boxes of clothing and toiletries.” By his own admission, Newman does not claim to be offering permanent solutions to Chico’s homeless problem. Rather, “[h]is efforts are to offer a counter-narrative to the criminalization route the city has adopted. The main goal—even with the food distribution—is to make it clear that homeless folks have a right to exist.” Read the full story here. Bravo Patrick!
CFOTS members Angela McLaughlin and Patrick Newman joined host Robert Jones, July 13, 2018, on KZFR’s Peace and Social Justice program to discuss McLaughlin’s recent essay in the Enterprise Record, the work of Father Greg Boyle, and the tension between love, charity, and social justice activism.
New research from UCSF explores the causes of homelessness in California. According to the author of the study, Prof. Margot Kushel, “[s]ome assume that homelessness is so common on the West Coast because people move here when they become homeless, but data do not support this. Most people experience homelessness close to where they lost their housing….Instead, the high rate of homelessness can be attributed to the lack of affordable housing…”
Read the entire piece here (5-minute read): Why there are so many unsheltered homeless people on the West Coast
CFOTS members Angela McLaughlin and Patrick Newman join host Robert Jones on KZFR’s Peace and Social Justice program. They discuss the successful disruption of the most recent Chico City Council meeting, the homeless hatred from the authoritarians over at of Chico First, and talk about future CFOTS campaigns. Listen now!
We urge you to show up on Tuesday, June 5th at the Chico City Council and make your voice heard. The meeting begins at 6pm, and is located on 421 Main Street (enter on 4th Street).
Chico Friends on the Street is back on the radio, on KZFR’s Without a Roof:
Without a Roof, May 16th
Patrick Newman and Prof. Robert C. Jones discuss the systemic aspects of poverty and homelessness with host Guillermo Mash. (Starts at 9:25 mark).
Without a Roof, May 30th
North State Voices columnist and CFOTS member Angela McLaughlin discusses the renewal of Sit-Lie, and the importance of showing up on June 5th (2:51 mark).
Patrick Newman and Prof. Robert C. Jones dismantle Chico First’s 10-point plan against the homeless (7:48 mark).
Thanks to Guillermo Mash.
Note: Station technical errors caused the loss of the first seven minutes of the broadcast.
The following letter appeared in the Chico Enterprise-Record on April 15, 2018:
Letter writer Rob Berry quotes my comments from the floor of the City Council in an effort to further his campaign against the homeless — and against those who stand in solidarity with them. However, Berry fails to cite the central message of my remarks, intended to highlight the ugly and hateful statements of Berry’s group.
At the March 20 council meeting, members of Chico First systematically and maliciously disparaged, demonized and dehumanized Chico’s homeless, referring to them as “vagrants,” a “criminal element,” a “problematic lot” and a “poison” to the community. The group even compared homeless people to wild animals and aliens from “Star Wars.” That exhibition was disgraceful.
The honorable solution to homelessness is housing and social services. Short of that, the next best thing concerned citizens can do is affirm the homeless by standing in solidarity in the public space (the only space they have) and to protest laws criminalizing poverty. Hiding the homeless in “navigation centers” or jails is a form of erasure and disempowerment — acts that carry the scent of authoritarianism, which should be of grave concern to those who cherish the Bill of Rights.
Lastly, I would like to note how overjoyed I was to read Berry’s description of my actions as nothing more than a “Power to the People” campaign. “All Power to the People” was the slogan of the Black Panther party. A greater compliment I cannot imagine. I can only hope my actions would have made Huey Newton and Bobby Seale proud.
— Robert C. Jones
The following letter appeared in the Oroville Mercury-Register on April 9, 2018:
After years of criminalizing homelessness in Chico, and the problem only growing worse, our mayor now wants to double-down by making it illegal to feed the hungry in public spaces. Modern Christian practice forced me to seek spiritual comfort elsewhere long ago, yet my values remain largely consistent with the teachings of Jesus, who himself shared much wisdom with so many other radical humanitarians representing all the great religions of the world.
If he remains in good standing while seeking always to pamper the powerful and punish the poor, then Chico Mayor Sean Morgan’s denomination must teach from a different book than my Bible school did. Money grubbing varieties of Protestantism that exalt pastors with luxury while impoverishing the flock are all too familiar, but the mayor looks too comfortable for that tradition. Which church lets you call yourself one of them from a prominent elected office, while so thoroughly opposing all of Jesus’ admonitions on social justice?
Adding to my theological confusion are those Chico Friends on the Street folks. Some of them are almost certainly heathens, but they’re acting suspiciously Christian, out there helping and hanging with our unsheltered neighbors every week in the plaza. I know for a fact a few of them refuse to consume any animal products and some might even think critters have rights of their own. If they’re taking the scriptural principle of mutual responsibility a little too far, does that make them atheists or saints?
— Dan Everhart