The Hunger Games of Homeless Services

As coordinated entry systems try to match growing numbers of unhoused people with limited amounts of housing, it’s more like The Hunger Games than

This article was originally published in Shelterforce

Mary Kate Bacalao is the director of external affairs and policy at Compass Family Services and the co-chair of the Homeless Emergency Service Providers Association (HESPA) of San Francisco.

Mario Navarro, Compass Family Services’ office manager, … READ MORE

Open the Shelter Waitlist and Stop the Sweeps!

With Jeff Kositsky at the helm, the “Healthy Streets Operation Center” continues to traumatize homeless San Franciscans

Bureaucrats lying is nothing new, but this is a really gross one. The former head of the SF Homeless Department was caught telling SFPD to give unhoused folks a 647e misdemeanor for a tent during a pandemic when resources are so lacking that they shut down the shelter waitlist.

What I’m seeing on the streets is shocking.


A Story From a Blind Syrian Refugee

Before the war in Syria, life was great and safe. My family was happy. Since I was born completely blind, I never went to school. However, when I was 6 years old my father found a teacher who could teach me how to sing and play instruments. By 7 years old, I had started playing at some small concerts and weddings. At 9 years old, I was going from one city to another to perform.


DISCRIMINATION VACATION: the Golden Lining of Shelter-In-Place

“I can’t wait to get back to normal!”

It’s a phrase I’ve heard dozens of times during this past year of our lockdown spa, where the whining and moaning from people seems to travel farther than the reverberating calls of the South American howler monkey. Never in my life have I seen so much complaining and temper tantrums from an ultra-privileged class. It’s been surreal, like watching a bratty kitten tear up your favorite couch because you gave it a warm bath.


Being Forced Off OnlyFans

Remember when COVID hit and a lot of people lost their jobs? I am one of them, but my loss led to an amazing experience as a self-identifying disabled sex worker. 


Yes, however the United States doesn’t like disabled people or sex workers, so this was a risk that I was willing to take due to my living situation. If you aren’t disabled, then you are probably unaware of the working limitations of the disabled population of America.


Poem on Ableism

I wanna share something that I’ve personally experienced and still deal with today: Please from the bottom of my heart treat people with disabilities the same way you would treat someone without a disability! We’re the same as anyone else—we have feelings, we like to have fun, and we just wanna have a normal way of life. We didn’t choose to have a disability. Do not define someone by their disability. We’re so much more than it.


“Make People Feel Like They Matter”:

Street Medic Couper Orona Cares for Unsheltered People

“Being disabled and on the street is one of the hardest things anyone could deal with,” says Couper Orona. A retired firefighter, Couper has for many years supported the unhoused community in San Francisco as a street medic. She was injured when working as a firefighter in the Sacramento area; living with disability after a surgery and then facing homelessness after a divorce forced her to navigate a system that ignores the most vulnerable. 


A Message to Sighted People

My name is Dlan, and I am blind. I have been totally blind since birth. My whole life, sighted people have been trying to help, but they do it poorly. They often do not understand me and do not think of simply asking me what I feel comfortable with when they have tried to help. I don’t need to be grabbed or touched to be helped. I want to spread the message of respect, communication and equality from those with disabilities to people without disabilities. 


The Right to WASH: Is San Francisco Willing to Ensure this Foundational Human Right?

Within the past month, San Francisco made an important stride toward providing water to more unhoused San Franciscans. Yet as the City makes improvements to water access, it has taken significant steps backward when it comes to access to sanitation and hygiene. Just this month, the City’s plan to substantially reduce access to public toilets across San Francisco, targeting locations with high concentrations of unhoused San Franciscans, was unveiled.



Call for Submissions: Street Sheet Disability Issue

A punk with spiky hair in the foreground sits in a wheelchair raising their fist. Behind them hands gesture in sign language. There is a brain with the symbol for dopamine and a heart drawn underneath. A figure wearing glasses uses a white cane and walks with a dog, who is smiling.

Street Sheet is accepting submissions for our first ever Disability Issue!

We are seeking articles, narratives, poems, artwork, comics, etc focusing on the intersections of disability,