When COVID-19 first hit the streets of San Francisco in 2020, the response was dramatic. People with housing began to shelter in place, mutual aid networks sprung up, and tenants went on rent strike. While San Francisco publicly spotlighted its shelter-in-place hotel program, which offered private rooms to about 1,500 unhoused people, many unsheltered San Franciscans were left to fend for themselves as shelters closed down and services shuttered their doors. During the two and a half years that the program operated,
This issue is the first of its kind. It is a collaboration between two street newspapers—the Street Sheet in San Francisco and the Street Spirit in Berkeley—and the Sogorea Te Land Trust, an urban Indigenous women-led land trust based in the San Francisco Bay Area that facilitates the return of Indigenous land to Indigenous people. Within these pages you’ll find stories of displacement and struggle, calls to action, and dreams of a future where decolonization is not merely a metaphor,
The New Lynchings of the 21st Century
Updated on May 16th to reflect current developments
What does Walgreens carry on its shelves that could be worth a human life? Banko Brown was a young Black trans activist who had been unhoused in San Francisco for a decade. In his volunteer work and community organizing with the Young Women’s Freedom Center, he consistently advocated for basic access to services, and was beloved by his community.
Governor Gavin Newsom’s CARE Courts are now law after he signed the legislation on September 14.
Senate Bill 1338, a Newsom proposal, will create a specialized mental health court where judges can compel people with mental health disabilities and substance use conditions into treatment. The bill allows a broad list of “specified individuals” to refer somebody for conservatorship, and sets a similarly broad set of conditions qualifying them for CARE Court.
To some this is a lived experience, and to others just a tall tale. Many homeless people I have interacted with on the streets of West Coast cities—either unhoused and unsheltered—have had really painful experiences with the police, or experienced brutality from other people in the neighborhood. Some are not in shelters because they have a reason not to be, like being undocumented. For those living in fear of deportation, avoiding interaction feels like the way to stay unknown and unnoticed,
Dan Paul, an urban survivalist and magical street performer, has departed for his next grand adventure. He passed away on August 12, 2022. Dan was born November 11, 1970 in Seattle, Wash. into a loving family. He spent his early years at his home in Enumclaw, finishing out his youth in Huntsville, Ala. While a young adult, Dan felt crowded and claustrophobic trying to adjust to the demands of a conforming life and decided to take to the streets,
It’s a rare chilly morning in August, and I’m not fully awake when I hear the sound of an incoming message on my phone. I force myself to sit up and grab the phone from the nightstand. I see that it’s a message from Jeannie, an acquaintance from high school. There’s a video attached to the message. Jeannie likes sending me funny videos that she finds on YouTube—this one is called “Fake Mental Disorder Cringe.” Right away,
There is no limit to the depth a man may fall
Listen to the man laying on the floor defeated
For he has wisdom to share
And a story to tell
Misery is intoxicating
A shadow so dark
Cast by a bright red sun
Ever present, forever constant
Blanketing me with grief
Bedding me in pain
A pauper rich only in emotions
Until there is no more,