The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey / nshockey.express@gmail.com
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

World homeless day

Homelessness awareness and program availablity were presented to City College students by guest speakers (left to right) national photographer Francisco Dominguez, Thomas Wells form Mather Community Campus, Director of State Ground and Sister Libby Fernandez, Executive of Loaves and Fishes. Tony Wallin|[email protected]

You see them in the parks, on the bus benches, laying on stairs and standing on street corners. Some try not to look at their faces, but the face of a homeless person is more than what lies on the outside.

The Cultural Awareness Center at City College held World Homeless Day on Oct. 10 to promote awareness of homelessness in the Sacramento area and the organizations that try to help them.

Francisco Dominguez, a national photographer who started his activism at City College during the mid ’80s as a student, introduced the event by showing photographs of the homeless in the area and their current living situation.

“If you are poor and you don’t have a house, you are very vulnerable to law enforcement,” Dominguez said when showing a photograph of a sign reading “House Keys not Handcuffs” from a protest a year ago in San Francisco.

Sacramento has an ordinance against people camping in undesignated areas for more than 24 hours, according to the Sacramento Bee. Local organizations such as Loaves and Fishes and Safe Ground are fighting to provide shelter for the homeless so that this is no longer an issue.

Sister Libby Fernandez, executive director of Loaves and Fishes who attended the event, says she began volunteering very young back in 1985.

Fernandez says that the homeless population has seen an increase because of the economic situation and have began seeing a lot more families with children at the shelters.

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After Tent City, a homeless city of tents in Sacramento that made national news, closed, Safe Ground was formed so people could find a place of safety free from harassment, according to Steve Watters, director of Safe Ground who attended the event.

“People come together, they camp together, live together, cook together, eat together, sleep together and take care of each other. It is a community,” Watters said.

City College student Thomas Wells said he suffered from substance abuse and ended up homeless himself. Through the Mather Community Campus, he was provided a shelter and employment training for two years.

Wells says that you never know who the person next to you is and what they’ve been through, but believes that these programs really help.

After shoplifting for his daily survival, Wells said he is now 16 months sober and proud to say he no longer shoplifts.

“I love who I am today,” Wells said. “I look at myself in the mirror and smile.”

He is not the only person out there who has changed their ways and come a long way.

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