In 2011, I was homeless and addicted to methamphetamines. That year, I found out that my girlfriend of 10 years, Amy, was pregnant with our son, Marley. We went to Jelani House, a rehabilitation program, to try to prepare for our son’s arrival. But when we showed up, the shelter wouldn’t let me bring my service dog inside. Instead, I had to stay on the street and try to get clean alone while taking care of our dogs,
I arrived in San Francisco from Anchorage, Alaska on Feb. 20, 2008. I stayed with the father of my children and my two sons. We stayed in my mother-in-law’s apartment in the Alemany projects. It was there I conceived my second son. I drank and did drugs during this time, while working for my brothers-in-law and my kids’ father through In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). I went to jail due to domestic violence incidents between me and my partner at the time,
By: Johanna Elattar @2022
I’m an NYC girl. I was raised in New York City, and I have many great memories of growing up there. When I was in college, Sundays were always spent with friends, having brunch at some trendy spot that we had to get in line for at least two hours (if not more). After brunch, we’d go to The Angelika Film Center.
As a state of emergency takes effect in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, the City has scheduled to close four more hotels sheltering unhoused people from the coronavirus pandemic in the next two months — even as the omicron variant surges in congregate shelters.
These shelter-in-place (SIP) hotels will shut down by the end of March. The SIPs – the Adante Hotel, Executive Hotel Vintage Court, Nob Hill Inn and Best Western Red Coach Inn – comprise almost 200 rooms among them and spread within a 50-square block area from the Tenderloin to Lower Nob Hill to Union Square.
It’s a frigid day in New York as I step outside to check the mail. A snow storm has covered everything in glistening white, and I’m only dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans. It only takes a minute to check the mail, but I’m already freezing. I open the mailbox and there’s no mail. I’ve forgotten that it’s Martin Luther King Day. I stand on the porch for a second to look at the snow,
Make a left from Harrison onto Merlin Street in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood and you enter another world. Past two low-slung, industrial buildings and under a noisy freeway is a scene that has come to define San Francisco: Tents line the sidewalks, and a collection of household items tumble out onto the street. There are cardboard boxes, coolers, overflowing garbage bags, containers of food, grills, chairs, and a pile of bicycles. A huge clock is attached to a chain-link fence and on top of it sits a red toy truck.
As the pandemic continues and the shelter-in-place (SIP) hotels made available to unhoused community members begin to shut down, the most marginalized are suddenly being forced back onto the streets. As this occurs, one can only imagine the influx of calls to 911 dispatchers requesting the presence of police for nonviolent unhoused folks.
That is why it is so critical for San Francisco to implement the Compassionate Alternative Response Team, or CART,
Disease does not care about class divisions or housing status. If you leave anybody vulnerable to COVID-19, you increase your whole city’s vulnerability to COVID-19. When you increase access to stable, humane housing, you increase the health of your city. When you support and prioritize the health of your friends and community members who are experiencing homelessness, you support and prioritize the health of your healers in the hospitals and the health of those organizing in the community.
This is the most difficult piece I have ever had to write on the issue of homelessness and supportive housing. Like all of you, I tend to be very hesitant about bureaucratic hurdles that keep people from being able to access housing from homelessness, and through this, I still will be in the vast majority of circumstances.
However, the resurgence of COVID-19 due to the delta variant and widespread vaccine refusal has forced my hand,
Almost prophetically, Ronnie Goodman made an etching of people marching in the street and carrying a banner that reads “No More Homeless Deaths,” one in a myriad of drawings, paintings and engravings he produced.
After a lifetime of creating art while homeless or incarcerated, on August 7, Ronnie Lamont Goodman was found dead in his tent outside the Redstone Building in San Francisco’s Mission District, where he intermittently stayed and stored his drawings and illustrations.