On Friday afternoon several dozen people gathered outside the unassuming Palms Motel in Oakland, CA with signs reading “Housing is a Human Right” and “Hotels Not Graves.” Inside, Stefani Echeverría-Fenn, an adjunct classics lecturer who herself was formerly homeless and has lived in the neighborhood for 11 years, has chained herself in the bathroom of a small room. She has been demanding that the City of Oakland offer hotel rooms where she has helped set up for her unhoused neighbors at the intentional encampment at 37th Street and Martin Luther King,
A plea for survival during COVID-19
“Like anybody, I would like to have a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will.”
-Martin Luther King Jr. on April 3, 1968, the evening before he was assassinated.
These final prophetic words of Dr. Martin Luther King,
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, San Francisco Mayor London Breed has refused to use executive powers to house San Francisco’s 9,000 homeless residents living in the City’s streets and shelters. Under the Mayor’s emergency powers in the Charter and Administrative Code, Breed has the authority to commandeer a portion of the 33,000 vacant hotel rooms to house homeless residents, but has yet to utilize those powers in spite of the dire situation at hand.
San Francisco is facing a serious housing affordability crisis. We can all agree to that fact and I’m sure it doesn’t come as a surprise to hear. With homelessness increasing by 15-30% last year depending on who you talk to, and the cost of rental housing at an all-time high, everyone in San Francisco is feeling the effects of the crisis. So why, given the level of suffering we see on our streets every day,
An armored vehicle was parked outside the house on Magnolia Street in Oakland when a SWAT team dressed in what looked like military fatigues broke down the door. Deputies from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department swarmed in to carry away their targets. So what threat was the police force sent in to pacify? What danger warranted all the police, the guns, the fatigues, the vehicle meant to respond to terrorism threats?
By Ben Baczkowski
On December 11, 2019, San Francisco city officials officially announced the opening of the Vehicle Triage Center (VTC) located on San Jose Avenue near Balboa Park BART station. The yearlong pilot program will provide a secure parking location and targeted services for folks living in their vehicles, and is the first safe parking facility of its kind in San Francisco’s history. The site includes up to 30 parking spaces with mobile blackwater pumping services,
The flaws and failures of Sen. Scott Wiener’s Senate Bill 50
by Didi Miller
The U.S. Senate wasn’t the only legislature suffering from an inability to compromise — California had also felt the brunt of unyielding adversaries in the heat of its housing crisis. California State Senator Scott Wiener, San Francisco’s district representative, brought his wildly disputed transit rezoning Senate Bill 50 (SB 50) to the floor on January 6,
By Mirjam Washuus
As of April 2019, over 1,800 San Franciscans were living in their vehicles. This is an increase of almost 600 people (49 %) since 2017 and simultaneously an undercount according to the point-in-time count itself. That is nearly 2,000 people sleeping, eating, fighting illnesses, helping neighbors, raising children, going to work and school from inside a tin box with very limited, if any, access to water and electricity. So, they are dependent on its community (both City and neighbors) to provide support as in any other community.
By Shyhene Brown
June 1, 2019
I can remember the first time I went to the navigation center. It was a long process getting documents ready to working with my case manager and going through the whole process. Yes, it was hard at the time, but now I’ve got keys to my own place.
It’s a big change from the navigation center. Like the navigation center, I can come and go when I want — the only thing is I have to check in after three days.
By Matt Levin, CALmatters
No wonder Gov. Gavin Newsom dropped those hints earlier this week about an upcoming “Marshall Plan” for affordable housing.
Sure, he’d made ambitious campaign promises to combat California’s housing crisis: leading the effort to build 3.5 million units over the next seven years (an unprecedented rate), jacking up state subsidies for housing reserved for lower-income Californians, and easing regulations so it would be easier to build all types of new housing.