Disease does not care about class divisions or housing status. If you leave anybody vulnerable to COVID-19, you increase your whole city’s vulnerability to COVID-19. When you increase access to stable, humane housing, you increase the health of your city. When you support and prioritize the health of your friends and community members who are experiencing homelessness, you support and prioritize the health of your healers in the hospitals and the health of those organizing in the community.
This is the most difficult piece I have ever had to write on the issue of homelessness and supportive housing. Like all of you, I tend to be very hesitant about bureaucratic hurdles that keep people from being able to access housing from homelessness, and through this, I still will be in the vast majority of circumstances.
However, the resurgence of COVID-19 due to the delta variant and widespread vaccine refusal has forced my hand,
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,
City May Abandon Housing for Thousands of Unhoused Residents While Removing Tents
San Francisco, CA — As thousands protest to end police violence during a pandemic, disproportionately black homeless residents may face massive police enforcement in a settlement reached between the City of San Francisco and UC Hastings College of Law. The settlement compels the City to “employ enforcement measures” for those who do not accept shelter placements or safe sleeping sites — yet provides less than 10% of homeless residents with such offers.
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.
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,
Friday, May 8th
I went out to the encampment at what they call Fulton Mall today — the area on Fulton Street surrounded by the Asian Art Museum, the San Francisco Main Library and the Civic Center Plaza; As outreachers at the Coalition on Homelessness, we’ve been spending a lot of time there over the past week and a half. Today, things got lively! It has been extremely challenging getting straight answers, but I feel like we started getting some today.
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,
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic due to COVID—19, the viral disease that is affecting many countries throughout the world. As a result, LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning) communities all over the United States are facing challenges, especially those who are homeless. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation published a research brief recently that indicates that 17% of LGBTQ people lack health coverage, 1 in 5 LGBTQ people live in poverty,
UPDATE: Our coverage of this outrageous plan prompted a shift for the city. Get the latest coverage HERE
A look inside the new Moscone Center congregate “Shelter”
While hundreds of advocates have been desperately contacting Mayor London Breed imploring her to place homeless people in hotel rooms and vacant units, it seems she has her own plan for addressing poverty during the pandemic: opening indoor camps to further concentrate vulnerable people.