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February Cleanup Helps Houseless Residents Avoid City Scrutiny

On February 19, the monthly river cleanup was held in the Greenfield neighborhood and was focused on an area that is frequented by houseless people and low income individuals. Our last visit to this particular location drew the attention of two police officers, who watched DSA clean up trash from their squad cars while the comrades braved the freezing temperatures to do right by their community. The weather was warmer this month and we had quite a few more volunteers.

In total, we collected 79 lb. of recycling and 75 lb. of trash!

Why is this important?

Local organizing partners suggested this location in January due to their awareness of how the city polices areas where garbage buildup occurs or anything that is deemed “unsightly”. This allows the city to criminalize houseless folks by using the knowledge that if houseless people are residing in an area and that space has no accessible garbage can, then the garbage will be left on the ground or in other convenient locations. This allows the city cause to involve the police and forcibly evict the residents from the closest thing they have to calling a home. By keeping these areas clean, we not only make the space a more comfortable living environment but also eliminate the reason that the city might use to involve police.

Interested in joining our next cleanup on March 19? Sign up here!