On Wednesday, April 21, District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman brought his “A Place For All” legislation before the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee. It was met with negative reactions from members of the committee and many of the dozens of people who gave public comment on the topic. While that reception and the decision of committee chair Matt Haney to not pass the legislation on to the full board mean that the legislation has no clear path to being passed,
On April 20, the COVID-19 Command Center told the roughly 150 residents sheltering at the Moscone Center West emergency shelter location that they would soon have to find new accommodations, as Moscone Center plans to reopen for regular business. The projected date for the site to fully shut down to shelter guests is June 30.
Since last spring, hundreds of otherwise homeless residents have been sheltering at the Moscone Center. The site houses people who were referred by the Homeless Outreach Team or Guest Placement Team,
The Our City, Our Home Oversight Committee released its first big disbursement including funding for exits out of homelessness for over 3,200 households. Included in the plan is funding to acquire over 1,000 units, to prevent homelessness for an estimated 21,000 San Franciscans, and to add over 1,000 new beds to the shelter system. The Oversight Committee is appointed by the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor, and charged with recommending how Prop C funding should be used.
In celebration of May Day, housing activists in Oakland staged a demonstration of the power of communities to house each other. A march wound through the streets of West Oakland and ended at a formerly vacant property that had been transformed into a home. Organizers said they hope to inspire community members to take action and open up vacant properties, while also highlighting the failure of politicians and corporations to address the housing crisis.
Outside the house was a U-Haul set up like the inside of a living room,
In previous issues of Street Sheet, I have written extensively about the fact that some of our lowest income tenants in supportive housing are paying much more than 30% of their income toward rent — a problem that we are closer to fixing than before — as well as about the lack of WiFi and cooling systems, and infantilizing policies such as not allowing people to pay their rent by check.
But then I came to realize a certain irony in our homelessness response system.
The last year has proven dire for unhoused people in San Francisco. COVID-19 has ravaged communities, particularly those who face homelessness. While the city claims to protect the most vulnerable, it is evident that the priorities of San Francisco, and of the United States, do not lie with its people. Amidst a global pandemic, neoliberal governance has only exacerbated wealth inequality and hardship for those on the streets. As gentrification in San Francisco expands, and homelessness continues to be criminalized,
What has changed for unhoused San Franciscans in the last year, and what hasn’t
This last year of the COVID-19 pandemic has been hard. There has been a lot to adjust to, because there are not very many positive resources in San Francisco due to our City leaders and how our mayor is running things.
One thing that has changed in a negative way is that the City has been very hands-off when it comes to addressing homelessness.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected sex workers? I know this question is not on the minds of most people here in San Francisco, or anywhere else. We should all already know this, as well as in understanding the pandemic’s the effects on communities of elders, migrants, folks who are disabled, Black, Asian, trans, poor, living and working on the streets, and anyone marginalized and disadvantaged by the cis-hetero-patriarchal-capitalist system. That is to say, we need to be seeing each other and supporting each other,
When San Francisco’s COVID-19 health order was released in March 2020, requiring residents to shelter-in-place, it included one paragraph specifically exempting those experiencing homelessness. Immediately, that paragraph raised a question: How could someone without access to shelter protect themselves from the deadly virus? The Centers for Disease Control issued guidance that tents could provide an important barrier between neighbors to prevent the virus’s spread. Hundreds of tents were donated and distributed by community organizations.
We cannot conflate police and incarceration with justice or public safety
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Every day, I see the small bouquets of flowers in front of the apartment. Daisies, pink roses, sunflowers wrapped in beautiful blue fabric. Still there, a week and a half after Vicha Ratanapakdee passed away.
During an early morning stroll in a quiet neighborhood in San Francisco, the 84-year-old grandfather from Thailand was violently pushed to the ground.