FAQ: Preliminary Injunction Against the Criminalization of Homelessness in San Francisco

by Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area

Q: What is the holding of the Ninth Circuit case Martin v. Boise?

A: In Martin v. Boise, the Ninth Circuit determined that the government cannot arrest poor people for sitting, lying, or sleeping in public when they have no real alternative. The decision does not cover individuals who do have access to appropriate shelter or housing.


Coalition on Homelessness et al v. San Francisco: City Emboldened to Continue Sweeps Despite Injunction

Counter rally outside Browning Courthouse in San Francisco on August 23, 2023

Mayor London Breed announced that the City plans to resume enforcing laws governing homelessness in San Francisco in the latest development in a lawsuit against San Francisco for how it conducts operations on street homeless encampments

In a Medium post on September 25, Mayor Breed said that a district court order from last December has prevented the City from enforcing several of its homelessness ordinances—while allowing street cleaning and clearing blocked sidewalks—but lawyers for the Coalition on Homelessness and seven unhoused plaintiffs dispute that assertion.


Love in the Time Of Sweeps: A Couple’s Fight to Find Shelter Together

by Bradley Penner and Alastair Boone

One couple’s struggle to access resources after an encampment sweep sheds light on one way the coordinated entry process breaks down

On the morning of Monday, August 8, 2023, Shawn and Genea woke up in Mosswood Park to the sound of a track loader rumbling outside their tent. As the loader’s claw trudged through a neighbor’s possessions along the Webster Street fence line,


COVID’s Not Over!

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,


Coalition on Homelessness et al v. San Francisco: One Week, Two Court Dates

Counter rally outside Browning Courthouse in San Francisco on August 23, 2023

A lawsuit over San Francisco’s sweeps of homeless encampments continued as two separate hearings were held last week. 

Those hearings may end up being a prelude to more action in court if the lawsuit comes to trial. Along with seven unhoused plaintiffs, the homeless advocacy organization Coalition on Homelessness—which also publishes Street Sheet—accused City workers of violating unhoused residents’ rights and destroying their property while clearing camps off the streets.

On August 23,


Open Letter to Sups. Dorsey, Engardio and Mandelman

A statement from the Coalition on Homelessness

We know you and many of your constituents are frustrated with the presence of unhoused people in your districts. So are we.  

We are suing the city on constitutional grounds for the persistent, horrific practice of violating the law by destroying unhoused people’s property and threatening, citing, fining, and arresting them just for the supposed crime of being too poor to afford a home in the face of skyrocketing rents across the city.


Bogus PSH Safety Inspections, or How My Blue Hair Dye Became a Fire Hazard

Woman sitting with caption in background: "Hello there. We're Still Here"

by Jordan Davis

In late October, I dyed my hair blue as part of a Halloween costume: I was going as death metal singer (and vegan animal rights activist, friend of trans community, and all around girlboss) Alyssa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy. I decided that since I like the color blue, and I have connections to the ocean, I would keep my blue hair permanently. I use Arctic Fox hair dye,


Coalition on Homelessness et al v. San Francisco: City Balks on Settlement Offer

A tent is in the center of the frame. In front of it is what looks like a white dollhouse, laying flat on the ground. The image is in Black and White

The Coalition on Homelessness offered to settle its lawsuit against San Francisco for its illegal practices of sweeping unhoused people off sidewalks. The City rejected the offer.

In a Thursday letter to City Attorney David Chiu, Mayor London Breed and others, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area and the American Civil Liberties Union Northern California said that both sides could work together toward a shared goal of tackling the dual problems of street homelessness and a lack of affordable housing. 


The Future Starts Now

When Mayor London Breed submitted her budget to the Board of Supervisors on June 1, it had many problematic elements, but one in particular stood out for the Coalition on Homelessness: The mayor’s plan would raid $60 million from youth and family housing to pay for short-term housing, subsidies, shelter and other temporary funds for adults.

While visiting a tiny home site, Mayor Breed announced her plan that she wanted to fund shelter beds for unhoused San Franciscans.


A Record Add-back Year for the Budget!

Members of the Budget Justice Coalition inside Board of Supervisors chamber at SF City Hall

by Jennifer Friedenbach

It was a record add-back year, even though there was a decrease in General Fund revenue and we had a Mayor’s proposed budget that cut many community programs including $60 million from housing for homeless youth and families and $30 million from child care in two voter initiatives (from 2018).  In total the add-back pot for an overall $14.6 billion budget was $80 million over two years.