Homeless Activists March for Housing and Dignity in New Haven, Connecticut

Posted Nov. 8, 2017

MP3 Interview with Quentin Staggers, homeless activist, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

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On Nov. 1, about 100 homeless people and their supporters marched through downtown New Haven, Connecticut demanding housing and dignity. Although the New Haven spends more money than any other city in Connecticut on programs for the homeless and says its first priority is getting people into housing where they can deal with their other issues such as unemployment, addiction and mental illness, some of those marching complained of being abused by the police. Others described dirty over-crowded conditions in one of the city’s main homeless shelters.

Activists that day marched from a church that provides meals to City Hall and then to the state courthouse. Marchers stopped outside another church that is offering sanctuary to an undocumented immigrant -- before being welcomed by another church congregation for a full-course dinner.

Homeless activist Quentin Staggers who organized the "Housing, Not Jails" march in cooperation with the Connecticut Bail Fund, compiled a list of demands for the winner of New Haven’s Nov. 7 mayoral election. Demands include decriminalizing activities such as loitering and sleeping in public spaces, expanding and improving the city’s homelessness initiatives and ending the tax-exempt status of Yale University property. During the march, several people addressed the crowd, including Staggers -- who we hear in this segment recorded and produced by Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus.

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