2020 in the Rear-View: Unhoused, Sheltered in Place

Briefly in 2020, it wasn’t always “all COVID, all the time.”

That was for about two and a half months into the new year.

The first year into a new decade almost seems like eons ago, but early 2020, at one point, is where homelessness in San Francisco and the U.S. might have turned a corner — starting as early as December 2019.

Then, the Martin v. Boise case in Idaho was upheld when the U.S.


City to Close Down Shelter In Place (SIP) Hotels:

Where Will Residents Go?

Earlier this month plans to shut down Shelter in Place (SIP) hotels, which are currently housing 2,400 otherwise homeless residents, leaked out of the COVID-19 Command Center (CCC). The hotel guests set to lose their shelter have been categorized as vulnerable by the City, meaning that they are over 60 years old or have an underlying health condition. Unhoused people and advocates across San Francisco have sprung into action to prevent the plan from moving forward,


Shut Up and Take My Money!

In October of 2015, I went from living at the Navigation Center to living in a building master leased by the Tenderloin Housing Clinic. As much as housing gave me the illusion of freedom, I actually felt that some freedom was taken away, as from here on out, I had to sign over my check to the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, and have them cut me a check for my income minus rent (what is called the “modified payment program”


Water for All: a Human Need, a Human Right

The COVID-19 virus and subsequent Shelter In Place (SIP) order have had stark, profound impacts on the daily lives of almost all San Franciscans, and, let’s face it — 2020 is unlikely to make anyone’s “Best Year of the Decade” list. For folks like me, our cubicles and offices have been replaced by our tiny kitchens and messy bedrooms, and the workweek has become a steady stream of endless — and sometimes pointless — Zoom meetings.


Ch- ch- changes? Don’t want to be a richer man in San Francisco’s 2020 Election

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (The more things change, the more they stay the same”)

” – Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

The usual deluge of the election season, the series of slick, glossy election pamphlets and mailers, became an avalanche this year shoveled in by a ghoulish group of corporate executives, real estate developers and other moneyed interests pinned their hopes on the power of print.


City Attempts to Gut Long Standing Procedural Protections for Shelter Residents. Residents and advocates outraged.

Since it was implemented in 1992, San Francisco’s Shelter Grievance Policy has protected shelter residents from unjust eviction by utilizing a clear notification process, requiring administrative hearings with neutral arbitrators, and extending to all residents the right to representation by a Shelter Client Advocate.  Almost 30 years later however, the Shelter Grievance Policy is under assault by city administrators.  In these unprecedented times it is crucially important that the homeless community, shelter providers and tenant organizers demand that the City keep in place the established Shelter Grievance Policy and expand its protections from unjust evictions to ALL temporary shelters in San Francisco. 


Oakland Formalizes Cruel Encampment Policy

On October 20, the Oakland City Council unanimously passed the Encampment Management Policy (EMP), despite hundreds of public comments decrying the policy and public demonstrations organized by a coalition of homeless advocacy organizations. The policy threatens to force unhoused people out of the encampments they have created to survive in 98% of Oakland. 

The EMP sounds innocuous enough, especially how the councilmembers frame this policy they claim will help unhoused communities. Even Mayor Libby Schaaf encouraged housed people to support the EMP,




In late September 2020, after years of work and support heightened over the past several months via No New SF Jail Coalition, San Francisco is no longer imprisoning individuals in County Jail 4, 850 Bryant Street. 

    No New SF Jail Coalition, founded in 2013, is an abolitionist coalition based in community accountability and transformative justice practices.



Despite the city’s provision of approximately 200 safe campsites and its plan to reopen 1,000 shelter beds, thousands of unhoused San Franciscans are still without any form of shelter while San Francisco shelters in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of this ongoing shortage of resources and safe shelter options for unhoused San Franciscans, the Coalition on Homelessness launches a campaign on How to be a Housed Ally to People Experiencing Homelessness.


Why I Quit the SRO Task Force and Why It Should Be Abolished

On Tuesday, October 20, Supervisor Matt Haney introduced legislation stating that all permanent supportive housing, where the vast majority of people exit homelessness, should have rents no more than 30% of income. This was lead by the #30RightNow Coalition, led by many of the affected tenants, plus organizations such as the Supportive Housing Providers Network, Homeless Emergency Service Providers Association (HESPA), Delivering Innovation in Supportive Housing (DISH), Episcopal Community Services,