Women and Children First … or Every Man for Himself?

Don’t Wait Until We Break!

On Wednesday May 4, homeless and formerly homeless moms, children, and individuals converged on San Francisco’s City Hall to deliver one message, loud and clear: “Our mothers need housing.” The action was designed and carried out by unhoused members, mostly moms.  In planning the action, they talked about how being homeless is literally breaking their mental health and came up with the slogan “Don’t Wait Until We Break”

Age-old sayings tell us to save “mothers and children first” in any crisis or catastrophe.

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Love Letter to the Community

As a person who has lived and worked in the Tenderloin and Central South of Market communities for well over a decade, I have a message for my community about the recent actions of the San Francisco Redistricting Taskforce.

First, to my beloved Tenderloin & Central SoMa family and friends.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry because I know you trusted me to be a voice for you in this process.  You asked me to fight to secure justice for you and to protect you from harm brought against you by a political and financial elite of this city. 

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Where’s the Care in the Proposed “CARE Courts?”

In early March, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Court program, which would create yet another separate court for poor and unhoused people with mental health conditions and substance use disorders. Governor Newsom has explicitly discussed CARE Court as a tool to address street homelessness, and the proposal is consistent with a string of bills nationwide that seek to increase the power of the state to institutionalize unhoused people under the pretense of “compassion.” The devil is in the details,

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Rest In Power, Lamar Seymore

The Tenderloin sadly and unexpectedly lost an important member of the community on April 21, 2022. Lamar Seymore had been a full-service partnership therapist and intensive case manager at the Tenderloin Outpatient Clinic for over 14 years, during which time he provided outreach and case management, as well as individual and group therapy to some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Through his life’s work and dedication, Lamar assisted clients on an everyday basis and made life-changing contributions to residents of the Tenderloin.

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Surviving Trafficking

Inside of California’s homelessness crisis, another crisis gets little attention: sex trafficking. In some cases, experiences of sex trafficking push people into homelessness. In other cases, being homeless makes them more vulnerable to sex trafficking. It can be a matter of life and death. 

Tonya is a woman in her 50s who lives in a tent in Sacramento. She shared her story of sex trafficking in her teens to bring awareness to an issue that is too often ignored because its victims are often already part of overlooked communities.

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What Justice Does (and Doesn’t) Look Like

What is the true meaning of justice? Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity. It is also the act of being just and/or fair. This is a concept that is currently not being observed in regards to gender, age, and sexuality—especially toward members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community worldwide. At some point we have all seen, heard, or read stories about mistreatment,

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A Story on Poverty

Perhaps many people dream of being born in California, but for me, it wasn’t such a stroke of luck. Born first in a family of five, I had to take up responsibilities pretty early. My parents did not have the best jobs, and we lived a hand-to-mouth life. As if that was not enough bad luck, we lost our dad when I was 19 years old. This was the lowest point of our lives, and my mum was devastated.

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Why Mandelman’s Shelter Expansion Plan Doesn’t Fall into Place

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman has been trying hard to get houseless people off the streets. But judging by his new bill, his definition of getting people off the streets does not mean getting them into housing. 

For the second time in two years he is proposing legislation to the Board of Supervisors, where it will be heard first at the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee on May 12. If it passes, it would put people into temporary shelter: a tent in a sanctioned camp,

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Oversight Panel Proposes Homelessness Spending in SF Budget

Rental assistance for 2,000 households, seven street crisis response teams and over 1,400 units of permanent supportive housing for adults, families and youth are some of the highlights from draft recommendations for the city’s Our City, Our Home (OCOH) fund, presented on April 21 and 22 by the OCOH Oversight Committee. 

The OCOH fund, required under Proposition C, was created by San Francisco voters in 2018 to fund permanent solutions to homelessness. The fund raises over $300 million per year through a tax on gross corporate revenue. 

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Mayor Breed Holds Back $3 Million From CART

In the 2021 San Francisco budget process, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously supported the implementation of the Compassionate Alternative Response Team (CART), but Mayor London Breed refused to execute this ordinance, which would activate the peer-led CART teams, because she launched her own version of street outreach called Street Wellness Teams. Yet,  $3 million in funding was secured to begin the implementation of CART,  which currently sits untouched in unallocated reserve for a year.

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