We Won Proposition C. Now What? 

by Jennifer Friedenbach

Lots of folks wonder what happened to Proposition C, the initiative entitled Our City Our Home,” that was authored by the Coalition on Homelessness in conjunction with many organizations and unhoused people. The short answer is: a lot.

The long answer is that in 2018 Prop. C, which taxes corporate income at about one-half percent starting from $50 million, was sued by corporations and held up in court until 2020 when the case was won in favor of San Francisco voters.

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Why is the Coalition on Homelessness Suing the City of San Francisco?

In the foreground we see a figure holding a sign that reads "Housekeys not Handcuffs", and a crowd is gathered. In the background San Francisco City Hall seems to loom.

This article has been adapted from an episode of Street Speak, our podcast answering your burning questions about poverty and homelessness. To listen to the full episode, find us wherever you get your podcasts or on our website, streetsheet.org/street-speak-podcast

Right now, attorneys from the Lawyer’s Committee on Civil Rights (LCCR)—alongside the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Coalition on Homelessness—are suing the City and County of San Francisco for their main response to homelessness: criminalization.

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Hotel Whitcomb, the Last Resort in SF’s Homeless Hotel Program, is Closing

The program accommodating unhoused San Franciscans during the COVID-19 pandemic is scheduled to end in mid-December with the shuttering of the Hotel Whitcomb, according to the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH).

The Whitcomb has become the last remaining safe harbor for homeless people in its final days of participating in the shelter-in-place (SIP) hotel program. Since the program began during the pandemic’s early days in April 2020, the Whitcomb has been one of 25 sites that provide a place to stay for people who would otherwise have no roof over their heads at the onset of a global public health emergency.

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Got an Eviction Notice? This California Website Will Help You File a Response.

In April, Juan Carlos Cruz Mora received an eviction notice from his landlord that alleged he caused property damage and dirty, unsafe living conditions in the Sacramento suburb duplex he had called home for the last 10 years. He had only five days to file a response in court.

Mora, who blamed his landlord for those issues, tried to file an answer with the court himself but feared a mistake could land him,

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City Continues to Close Shelter-in-Place Hotels

A ‘Return to Normal’ in Abnormal Times

Wastewater testing is showing that San Francisco is currently experiencing perhaps the biggest COVID-19 surge yet, at the same time as the monkeypox virus is sweeping the country. With mask mandates gone and eviction protections being rolled back, the City seems set on a return to normal in the most abnormal of times. 

Against this backdrop, the City is shutting down shelter-in-place (SIP) hotels,

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Locked Out at Golden Gate: San Francisco Empties Another Encampment

About as quickly as it sprouted, a homeless encampment on Golden Gate Avenue dispersed last month. The San Francisco Police Department and multiple City agencies also tasked with moving unhoused people off outdoor areas were on hand.

For a few weeks, about 15 people had a place to lay their heads. They had slept on a vacant parcel that’s approximately 17,000 square feet—slightly larger than an NHL hockey rink—in San Francisco’s Cathedral Hill neighborhood.

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Evictions in Permanent Supportive Housing

In the fall of 2020, as the #30RightNow coalition was preparing legislation to cap rents at 30% of income for permanent supportive housing (PSH) tenants, I made a request to see the annual eviction report required of housing providers receiving funds from the city. I wanted to see if there was a positive correlation between buildings where tenants are rent burdened and the number of notices of eviction for non-payment. By cross checking that against a list provided to Supervisor Matt Haney’s office of buildings in which tenants were paying more than 30% of their income in rent,

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A Preventable Tragedy

Coalition on Homelessness Statement on Officer-involved Double Fatality on May 19, 2022

Rising rents and a lack of stable, affordable housing have pushed many people into homelessness in San Francisco, like they have in cities up and down the West Coast. Living without stable housing is difficult and traumatizing, and it has long-term health consequences for those forced to endure it. With no door to lock and no safe place to rest, unhoused people live without the fundamental stability and safety a home provides.

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After Permanent Housing Added, Shelter Legislation Moves Forward

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman’s shelter legislation is going to the full Board of Supervisors after the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee approved it on a 3-0 vote on May 26.

After several amendments through two committee meetings in May, one thing is for sure: Mandelman’s “Place for All Ordinance” is now a different animal from the legislation he introduced two months before with its primary focus on shelter softened as it moves to the full board on June 7.   

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Early SF Homeless Numbers Down — Shelter-in-place Hotels, Prop. C Cited as Factors

San Francisco got a sneak peek last month of the results from its 2022 homeless point-in-time count, which showed a drop in some kinds of homelessness. Advocates say directing public money into certain programs played a key role.

The count indicated a significant drop in the number of unsheltered homeless people and chronically homeless people, as well as a large bump in the number of people staying in shelters and transitional housing.

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