Re-Fund the Community: San Francisco Budget Victories, 2020

An older woman stands with a face mask and a sign that reads "ring the bell to support funding for homeless families"

San Francisco, like many cities, is in a challenging place economically with over 200,000 workers on unemployment, a $1.5 billion deficit due to loss revenue, and exponentially higher needs for city services such as rental assistance, health care, child care and other city essential activities.    San Francisco has a very unique budget process, where the legislative branch receives the budget from the much more powerful executive branch and has the opportunity to cut things out of the Mayor’s budget in order to fund other things they deem as higher priorities. 

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Paying Too Much for Rent? #30RightNow!

Starting in August, all tenants in Direct Access to Housing (DAH) program will pay only 30% of their income towards rent. Previously, while most supportive housing units — and all units that have come online since 2016 — were at 30%, 678 tenants in the DAH program were paying literally half their income towards rent, a legacy of backwards and cruel policies from the City and County of San Francisco.

The funding that was released came from a $1 million allocation that came as a result of me hunger striking for rent relief in 2019,

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San Francisco Drags Feet Moving Tenderloin Residents into Shelter-in-Place Hotels

While the Tenderloin Plan began to be implemented on Thursday, only 16 people were moved into hotels, a mere 5% of the 300 person goal.

Friday, June 12th — Early Thursday morning, San Francisco’s Health Streets Operation Command (HSOC) arrived in the Tenderloin under the pretense of placing at least 300 of the Tenderloin’s unhoused residents into Shelter-in-Place Hotels. Clutching their lists of names, city workers scrambled down Turk street struggling to locate some of the people on their list that they would be moving into a nearby hotel,

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Life Under Quarantine: Unhoused, Sheltered in Place

Already normalized by COVID-19 “shelter in place” conditions that were prompted by the pandemic, housed and unhoused San Franciscans alike found themselves beset by a curfew that Mayor London Breed imposed on City residents for five nights from May 31 through June 4.

Through demonstrations and vocal outcry, community members rebuked the City’s response to nationwide protests against the killing of George Floyd and countless African Americans slain by police officers as part of the nation’s systemic and social racism.

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A Palace to Us: Unhoused 37MLK Residents Demand Hotel Rooms, Occupy Palms Motel in Oakland 

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,

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Cities Are Moving Unhoused People into Hotel Rooms, San Francisco Isn’t

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. 

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Save our SROs, Save our Homes!

     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,

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Moms 4 Housing

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?

Mothers. 

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Safe Parking Site opens: Community Raises Questions About Implementation

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,

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