CARE Court in California: A Primer

Defund Police. Invest in Community. House. Feed. Empathy. Listen. Teach.

by Gloria A Lightheart

In September 2022, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 1338, creating a mental health court. The Community Assistance Recovery & Empowerment (CARE) court program empowers judges to compel people with mental health disabilities or substance abuse issues to accept psychiatric treatment and medication. The legislature approved the bill on a near-unanimous vote.

In the new system, a court-appointed conservator would make financial and health care decisions,


Berkeley Homeless Services Panel of Experts Postpones Referral of Good Neighbor Guidelines

A tent from the Here There camp in South Berkeley marked with a public notice to vacate, January 31, 2023.

by Bradley Penner

New guidelines would dictate how officials prioritize encampment sweeps in the City of Berkeley

Berkeley officials have drafted an encampment accountability policy that would determine how to prioritize sweeps throughout the city. Known as the “Good Neighbor Guidelines,” the policy asks encampment residents to abide by a series of rules that, if violated, would lead to a range of interventions including the posting of public notices to voluntarily relocate,


Homelessness and Colonization

Defund Police. Invest in Community. House. Feed. Empathy. Listen. Teach.

by Kiara Gabriel

Homelessness is a serious issue affecting many communities around the world, including Indigenous populations. In many cases, the loss of Indigenous land has been identified as a major contributing factor to homelessness among these populations. Let’s explore the relationship between the loss of Indigenous land and homelessness, and the various ways in which this problem can be addressed.

Indigenous populations have been displaced and dispossessed of their lands and resources for centuries.


Poverty in the City by the Bay

Defund Police. Invest in Community. House. Feed. Empathy. Listen. Teach.

by Serena Andrew

San Francisco, the City by the Bay, with its iconic landmarks and vibrant culture, has long been hailed as a symbol of prosperity and innovation. However, behind the shining facade lies a harsh reality that many fail to see: poverty. I share with you my personal story, a journey from the shadows of destitution to the rays of hope that can permeate the streets of San Francisco.

My tale begins with a humble upbringing in one of the city’s low-income neighborhoods.


FAQ: Preliminary Injunction Against the Criminalization of Homelessness in San Francisco

by Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area

Q: What is the holding of the Ninth Circuit case Martin v. Boise?

A: In Martin v. Boise, the Ninth Circuit determined that the government cannot arrest poor people for sitting, lying, or sleeping in public when they have no real alternative. The decision does not cover individuals who do have access to appropriate shelter or housing.


Remembering Andy Howard

In Loving Memory Andy Howard

by Ian James

Andrew Howard passed away at the Henry Hotel on August 29 at the age of 58, the Coalition on Homelessness has learned. Andy was a volunteer at the Coalition who helped dozens of victims of illegal property confiscation to navigate the legal system in pursuit of justice. He was also a poet, entrepreneur, mechanic and kind-hearted soul. 

I met Andy outside his tent in front of the Ferry Building in June 2022.


Op-ed: PSH Eviction Data Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story

Woman raising fist, wearing a green kerchief and shirt reading "None of us is free until all of us are free"

by Jordan Davis

Every September, the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing releases data on evictions for the preceding fiscal year, as required by a City ordinance. Since 2020, I have read these yearly reports, and the more I learn about these reports, the more skeptical I am of whether they paint a true picture of evictions from permanent supportive housing (PSH).

At September’s Homelessness Oversight Commission meeting,


American Made: Pulitzer Prize-winning Author Matthew Desmond on How Society’s Well Off Benefits from Other People’s Poverty

Man lying down next to shopping cart in a store

by Nathan Poppe

Matthew Desmond has lived through or lived alongside poverty for much of his life. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author and sociology professor has made it his latest mission to focus not only on the lives of the poor in America but also how the rest of the country persistently benefits from them. His new book Poverty, By America lays out how many lives are made small to make room for others to grow,


Neurodivergent People and the Abuse of Language

Woman raising fist, wearing a green kerchief and shirt reading "None of us is free until all of us are free"

by Jack Bragen

To quote a highly educated, knowledgeable, authoritative religious man whom I know (I can’t give you his name, but he exists), “Words are weapons!” He’d said this to me in an outraged, loud, almost yelling, tone. He was unhappy with something I wrote. I had asserted that words didn’t count for much. That was more than twenty years ago, and now I know better.

Words can be weapons.


The Tenderloin

by Dawn Starr

When you search for “Tenderloin” on Wikipedia, you get an article about high levels of crime, particularly street crime such as robbery and aggravated assault. 

That is not only untrue, but an insult to my community, which includes doctors and nurses in our medical clinics, teachers and students in our schools, small business owners, police departments, fire departments, and many other important institutions. Beautiful churches with long-robed priests and nuns walking with large wooden crosses,