A movie before bedtime. The Aug. 6 sleep out at the old city hall sponsored by a host of organizations, including the Beachhead, attracted about 75 who slept out in support of the homeless. Unlike the usual night for homeless people, the event featured 24-hour bathrooms at Beyond Baroque and a few sleepers brought along their camping tents. The Sleep Out attracted a number of TV trucks who gave good publicity. However, several participants/observers told the Beachhead that much was missing. No speakers laid out a plan for future protests, nor were there demands for government action to end homelessness. No sign-up sheet was circulated to keep in contact with the obviously motivated sleepers.
Meanwhile a real struggle for survival goes on every night on Ocean Front Walk as more and more victims of the economy sleep on cold concrete. A court order protects those sleeping on the sidewalk from police harassment. Federal judges have ruled that homeless people have the right to sleep out since there are not enough beds to house them.
On Ocean Front Walk, there are homeless people seeking out the protection of numbers and others who are paid by vendors to spend the night staking out their selling space. Not shown in this photo is the general trashy condition of the west side of the Walk, which the city has been slow in cleaning up.