Updated: Sep 29, 2022
(From Left Tracey Mixon and Tyler Kyser with Coalition on Homelessness)
My name is A. Faye
I am a Lady of the Shelters.
I am a student and teacher of Life
In Indoor shelter living and Outdoor cardboard shelter living
I have met Hundreds of People
Most with Tragic Stories.
Jailhouse, Sickness . . . Mental and Physical
I am all alone
Yet not alone!
Sheltered in the Wings of Heaven!!!!
Faye Hicks Po Poet Laureate of POOR Magazine from Poverty Scholarship TextBook- poor people-led theory, art, words and tears across Mama Earth
“We got to do an investigative piece on that Care Not Cash shit, since they made it law now i can’t get a shelter bed at all” It was a cold day in San Francisco in 2004 when A. Faye Hicks, the Po Poet laureate of POOR Magazine, houseless, disabled elder walked into our ComeUnity Newsroom with the story of scarcity hell for houseless residents of San Francisco under the new LIEgislation Care Not Cash. Care NOT Cash was Gavin Newsom as a mayor’s campaign strategy to get into office literally using the class hate people have for our houseless bodies. The LIEgislation said that us houseless people had to “pay” for our shelter bed. He won and it happened, our HellFare crum was stolen to pay for said “beds”, but the funny part was, there were no shelter beds, so Yea, this horrible time flooded back to me as i learned more about the carceral state cloaked in soft neo-liberal codes that Newsom the governor is calling Care Court.
“Care Court is a terrifying lie,” Johnny Z, a houseless street skola and POOR MAgazine ROOFLESS radio reporter in occupied Yelamu (SF) who is studying this LIEGislation carefully as he does all things, Johnny Z does not have a PhD from some eugenicist named institution, but like me has a Phd in Poverty with a major in struggle. “It gives the power the state to decide who s crazy and who is not,”Johnny concluded
The Community Assistance Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Court is yet another anti-social work ( as i affectionately call it) lie built to incarcerate, treat, sweep and ultimately remove houseless bodies from the street. And oddly enough it also reaches even to housed people.
CARE Court targets unhoused people throughout the state, but can apply to housed people as well. Though promoted as applying to people with severe mental health conditions, (Don’t) CARE courts are extremely arbitrary depending on the person adjudicating or even deciding whether someone is mentally “fit or unfit” . The LIEgislation specifically reads Adults diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum or “other psychotic disorder” whom a judge finds lacking in judgment or likely to relapse could fall under its jurisdiction, according to the bill
“Newsom is running for president,” James Burch, a warrior truth-teller with Anti-PoLice Terror Project, who along with Paul Boden from Western Regional Advocacy Program spoke on PoPeoplesRadio about this terrifying LieGislation.
“This bill takes up all the air, all the money will go into the court system, and nothing to housing or treatment, “ Paul Boden un-packed what we he re-labeled SCare Court mess along with James Burch on Po Peoples Radio
“Newsom has put out a clear threat of vendetta against any legislator that doesnt pass CARE Court, your billsl won’t pass, and you will get nothing done if you dont vote for this…” said Burch at a CARE court teach-in organized by Coaltion on Homelessness and Anti-PoLice Terror Project on Thursday. He continued, “ and sadly they have all capitulated, with the exception of one, Ash Khanna, proving they are all full of you know what,” James concluded.
CARE Court will disproportionately impact BILPOC and LGBTQ communities with disabiities across California and pour millions into a new coercive civil court system….From a letter to Newsom on WRAPHome.org website from Disability Rights California
(They don’t) Care Court
Full of lies - that simply put
Incarcerates all of us poor
Settlers been pimping care since before they stole this land From care not cash to shelter plus care
Poverty pimps use care so much yu’d think they actually care… (excerpt from They DON’t CARE poem by tiny aka povertyskola
From Care not Cash to Shelter Plus Care to Continuum of Care to (they Don’t) CARE courts as i say in my poem, you’d think they actually CARE, but a krapitalist system by design doesnt have space for actual care. Actual care takes time, resources, love, hamster wheel stoppage, and interdependence. We live in a hyper-individualized society, mandating no time, no sharing, no caring, and constant separating/individuating. We call 911 for a well-check, to take care of our elders, our children, our trauma. We own MamaEarth and raise rent and evict people and then sweep, tow and incarcerate when they end up outside. We believe in the lies of private property and cult of individual success. Where is the room for care.
Then once we have evicted, removed, foreclosed and legislated love out of our communities, families and selves, now we dont’ want to “see” the failures of that highly flawed system. And it all comes down to what i call the Cult of Rehabilitation - the idea that everyone must be well and must be “fixed” Krapitalism is a hurting system that has left humans in its wake. Evictions, closure of poor people elder homes, CONservatorship, and foreclosures, not to mention low wage theft, gentriFUKation and a global pandemic thrown in for good measure, it is amazing that more of us aren’t walking around like my Aunti Carol, who after losing her home and her womb, had what wite - science called a Psychotic Break and was known as the, “the Screaming Woman”
She was “forced” into almost everywhere the state could force her into,from Camarillo State Hospital to John George in Oakland and this was on top of her womb being forcibly sterilized, like so many houseless, poor and disabled women of California in the 1970’s.
Later when me and my mama were arrested for living houselessly on the street, they tried to place my mama in a 5150 hold for being “distraught” that her care-giver, her daughter and the vehicle she was sleeping in was towed. The UC poLice “diagnosed” her mental fitness.?
The concept of “mental fitness” has always been arbitrary and rooted in racist, classist, ableist notions of who is “FIT” to see, live, speak or be seen. Beginning with the Ugly Laws, (which myself and Leroy Moore have done alot of WeSearch on for POOR Magazine, in addition to a powerful book by Susan Schweik of the same name), which in the late 1800’s and for many years after legislated the ability to be poor and disabled in public. Coming out of this we had the evil Mental Hospital system, which were forcibly sterilizing, incarcerating, operating on and killing poor and disabled people ALL the time.
And now we have the “sweeps” and the all the hundreds of gratuitous legislations that make it illegal to be sick, poor, disabled, addicted and houseless in public, to sleep in your own car and to sit on the street.
How about instead of spending literally millions of dollars building up an already bulbuos carceral system budget, incarcerating, adjudicating, moving and harassing poor and houseless people, maybe they could try listening to us poor and houseless people’s self-determined solutions. Solutions like ComeUnity Reparations, PeopleSkool, Poverty Scholarship Theory and Homefulness, which is right here in Deep East Huchuin, where we hold constant trauma support healing groups, where we integrate poor and disabled peoples-led solutions to hoarding and cluttering, and substance abuse, and trauma and violence and where we actually don’t believe or practice the settler lie of rent or state violence.
But i guess that seems like too much actual CARE...