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.

READ MORE

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,

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

Shower Funding Uncertain After Budget Cuts

Funding for public showers across San Francisco was combined with funding for bathrooms in this fiscal year’s budget, leaving advocates and service providers doubtful that the showers will actually be implemented. 

The Coalition on Homelessness’s original budget request called for $1,070,636 as a stand-alone program through fiscal years 2022 and 2023. These funds would have been sufficient to provide 112,000 showers free of charge in locations in the Mission, Bayview and Haight. 

However,

READ MORE

Someone to Watch over Sweeps? Monitors for Homeless Operations Proposed

Human rights monitors should observe homeless encampment clearances to ensure that residents who are being connected to services keep their belongings and City workers follow their own policies, according to a new report.

On June 16, the Latino Task Force released a study based on more than 100 surveys with unhoused San Franciscans in the city’s Mission District. Almost two-thirds of those who responded said they are often displaced in encampment sweeps,

READ MORE

Behavioral Health

(In memory of Luis Temaj Tomas)

I

On Tuesday, October 12, 2021

TV news announced

That a homeless man

Had died from his burns

He had been sleeping 

In his sleeping bag

The previous Friday 

When someone set his

Sleeping bag on fire

At 25th street and South Van Ness

In the Mission neighborhood

In San Francisco’s Latinx neighborhood

He was Latinx.

READ MORE

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.   

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

Home — James Jefferson

Name: James Jefferson

Age: 39

Date: June 17, 2021

Place: Florida and Treat streets

Homeless: 12 to 13 years

“Does a tent afford privacy? I can do whatever I want within the four walls, but in this situation it feels like you’re an endangered species. Like you’re being hunted really slowly and silently. You never know when they’re going to come and uproot you.

READ MORE

Women and Children First … or Every Man for Himself?

Don’t Wait Until We Break!

On Wednesday May 4, homeless and formerly homeless moms, children, and individuals converged on San Francisco’s City Hall to deliver one message, loud and clear: “Our mothers need housing.” The action was designed and carried out by unhoused members, mostly moms.  In planning the action, they talked about how being homeless is literally breaking their mental health and came up with the slogan “Don’t Wait Until We Break”

Age-old sayings tell us to save “mothers and children first” in any crisis or catastrophe.

READ MORE