Akron City Councilwoman Margo Sommerville asked me to call her today because she felt I was being too negative. I tried to reach out to her but I couldn't get her. This is what I wrote to here:
Hi Councilwoman. I tried you a couple times this morning. But your mailbox is full.
I really only have one issue: we need alternative shelter solutions for all homeless people in Akron and particularly men. As you know, the Haven is the only shelter for men here. One size fits all solutions don't work for any humans, much less, homeless humans. The Haven is good. But the requirement of 3 Christian church services a day, no curtains on the toilets and showers, and intense congregate living don't make it possible for all people to live there... not to mention all the people who are banned from there.
Sanctioned tent villages and tiny house villages are going up all over America because homelessness is increasing. And now with the moratorium ending on evictions, we are going to see a significant increase in homelessness.
I want to shelter people at zero cost to the city in tiny houses and tents. But now I'm facing administrative penalties by the City of Akron for doing so. The way we treat homeless people in Akron and America is a crime against humanity.
I am not going to go through the process of requesting a conditional use permit again. I did that and you voted against it. I don't trust that the Akron government has any interest in actually dealing with our homeless crisis. If you are genuinely interested in working on this issue I need to see real action on the part of the government to help the Akron citizens living on our streets year-round.
Until then I will be doing my direct action protests by sheltering a few people on the Houseless Movement property and other direct action activities.
Thank you for your time.