Mirage of Relief: the Sobering Truth about San Francisco’s Social Services

San Francisco has the illusion of social services.  Like some jesting phantom, they taunt us with a never-ending promise of relief.

A light post image of a blonde woman looking up to the sky on Bryant street in the South of Market district reads: “SF Marin Food Bank – The face of Hope“; the web page of the Glide church has an orange heart around their name next a montage of smiling faces with bold letters that read: “I Am GLIDE: a radically inclusive,

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SEIZURE OF HOMELESS ARTIST’S PRINTS AN EXHIBIT OF INJUSTICE BY CITY

Ronnie Goodman, a 58-year-old homeless artist, was arrested near the Redstone Building on 16th and Mission streets when he jumped on a Department of Public Works truck to retrieve 50 linocut pieces he created — and the rugs and boards he shelters himself with — that City workers seized.

Initially, he was charged with felony vandalism and illegal lodging for the September 15 incident, but those charges were later dropped for a lack of evidence.

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I’M BIG……I’M BAD……..I’M A BID!!

Patrolling and controlling our public spaces— sidewalks, streets and parks— Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are privatizing our downtowns and main thoroughfares. Our public spaces are becoming corridors and shopping centers that are welcoming consumers with open arms and excluding everyone else. Most particularly impacted by this emerging trend are the houseless communities, who are seeing these areas to rest and sleep, free from harassment and criminalization, shrink.  

BIDs have been growing significantly across the United States.

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Safer Inside: A Community Demonstration

It would be easy to miss, with Prop C in full swing, with political candidates talking about their “solutions to the biggest challenges facing the city today”, with successive mayors intensifying the criminalizing sweeps of our friends and family on the streets… But San Francisco is making radical steps – leading the country, in fact – with the first ever demonstration model of a safe injection site in the United States.

“Safer Inside: A Community Demonstration” took place in the last week of August,

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH OR THANKING THE SLAVES FOR MAKING AMERICA GREAT?

For many people, especially Black people, the month of February signifies the annual celebration of Black History Month/African-American Heritage Month.  February is designated as a time to recognize African American achievements and contributions to America. One notable consequence is the hero worship of a handful of prominent figures.  What’s more, this celebration of Black achievement particularly tends to be sanitized, and this selective representation is often at the expense of erasing a rich legacy of individuals,

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Violent Threats Posted on Tents at Mission Camp

On Friday afternoon a handful of Mission District residents experiencing homelessness found shockingly violent threats taped to their tents. The typed notices referred to the campers as “JUNKIE MOTHER F***ERS” and warned that they would be the targets of vicious attacks if they were still present in the area after sunset that night.

The sign itself contained shockingly violent language, threatening “IF YOU ARE STILL HERE AFTER DARK TONIGHT, the hunters will become the hunted.

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The U.N. Investigates Poverty and Human Rights in San Francisco

Dec. 15, 2017

by T.J.Johnston

The topic of homelessness is often addressed as an economic, health, or safety issue. But a special investigator from the United Nations came to San Francisco on December 6 to hear from community members with a take not often heard from officials in the U.S.: the human rights of homeless people.

 

Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights,

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Are Homeless People “Service Resistant”?

I just love the language used to describe homeless people: Drunk, crazy, helpless, ad nauseum. It’s also shrouded in industry-specific terms like “experiencing substance abuse issues.”

Alphabet soup of acronyms that only a handful of insiders know. My all-time favorite though is “service resistant.” Google the term. There is no definition for it except when applied to the homeless. Common sense leads one to conclude that there is a whole army who resist services.

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San Francisco’s “High Disgust Sensitivity” To Homelessness

Raise your hands if you’re in favor of housing homeless people and programs that make it possible.

Now, raise your hands if you support laws imposing bans on sleeping outside or panhandling.

Chances are, in this scenario, you’d see the same set of hands raised favoring both approaches to homelessness. According to a pair of political scientists, that’s not unusual.

Scott Clifford of the University of Houston and Spencer Piston of Boston University studied this phenomenon of dueling impulses by commissioning a public opinion poll.

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Littering Fine Could Increase to $1000 in Dolores Park

On any sunny Saturday, hundreds of people fill the Mission’s Dolores Park with their friends, pets, music—and their trash. Current anti-littering laws do little to combat this latter phenomenon, as on most days, police officers in Dolores Park can be seen standing at the top of the hill, surveying the park for violent or egregious misconduct but doing nothing about the wrappers, cigarettes, bags, and other refuse being left by the park’s attendees. While the officers watch along the perimeters,

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