Coalition on Homelessness celebrates 30 years of resistance in San Francisco

Artwork by San Francisco Poster Syndicate

San Francisco, CA – The Coalition on Homelessness’ mission is to address the systemic causes of poverty and homelessness through grassroots organizing, where homeless people themselves are at the forefront of the struggle. Hand in hand with campers, disabled shelter residents, and destitute families we stand up against institutional hatred against homeless people, and push back against mean spirited policies that would hurt those out on the streets. The majority of our time is spent fighting for the creation of housing for homeless San Franciscans.

As the Coalition on Homelessness reaches its thirtieth year, we can look back on an astounding number of accomplishments—not just beating back mean-spirited proposals, but ensuring that thousands of San Franciscans were able to leave the streets, and thousands of those suffering from addictive disorders and psychiatric disabilities were able to access treatment, while we helped stave off displacement for thousands more. The organization has had a profound impact on transforming our emergency system into more dignified services, ensuring homeless people have leadership roles and due process rights, and reducing dramatically the level of criminalization and the effects of that on homeless people. We have passed dozens of laws that protect human rights, and created more than a handful of new programs and organizations that fill critical needs. We have ensured over $10 million have transferred into the hands of destitute San Franciscans, while they have a creative outlet to educate the public with  journalism, poetry, and artwork through our street newspaper, the Street Sheet. All the while, we have been shifting the homeless debate away from criminalization and police sponsored “management” towards true solutions. Our organization has positively informed every institution in San Francisco that serves impoverished people. 

Growing from a ragtag group of homeless people and front line service providers to a force to be reckoned with has meant facing both serious defeats and glorious wins, large and small. We have done the very hard work of creating the conditions necessary for change and we see a window of opportunity to forge solutions to this crisis. San Franciscans are less likely to fall for cheap political tricks when it comes to this issue. With growing strength, San Franciscans are calling for a serious commitment to end this crisis alongside of us.

After 30 years, we keep getting stronger, brighter and more effective with age. The Coalition on Homelessness has been a national leader in demonstrating how local communities can fight back and address the homeless crisis. Just this past year, our work has led to new opportunities for hundreds of households to exit homelessness, and we have turned the tide on the practice of scapegoating and criminalizing the poorest San Franciscans and instead led our city to true solutions to this crisis.

All of this is accomplished with your support, a very small staff, most of whom have personally experienced homelessness, a whole lot of volunteers and a ton of love filled hard work. We will be here until every adult and child in San Francisco has a safe and decent place to call home. 

The Coalition on Homelessness is celebrating 30 years of the struggle to end homelessness and will be celebrating with the  much-anticipated  Art Auction17, an event that channels the creative energies of local artists to raise funds to end poverty and homelessness in San Francisco. Under the tag line “Transforming Art into Action • Resisting Homelessness for 30 Years”, the organization will be celebrating 30 years of successful advocacy that created housing for thousands, supported the livelihood of 250 Street Sheet vendors, and pushed San Francisco’s criminalization of homeless people into international discourse.

We will be celebrating and raising money for this very special organization at our 17th annual Art Auction fundraiser held at SOMArts in San Francisco. The event has something to offer everyone! Bid on beautiful work by over 150 local artists in our live and silent auctions, enter to win exciting raffle prizes, enjoy a complimentary dinner, and visit the open wine and beer bar.

We are excited to announce that Antique Naked Soul will be performing live, so get ready to come out and groove to this sweet music. All vocal super group Antique Naked Soul is transforming the a cappella world, taking the listener on a journey through time by creating and remixing Black American liberation music through beatboxing and live looping.

The Coalition on Homelessness is a grassroots social justice organization dedicated to ending  homelessness and its social, political, and economic causes. Our bottom-up organizing model ensures the voices of some of the most disenfranchised San Franciscans lead the fight against homelessness. This has been and continues to be an incredible journey, full of victories, even in the face of severe structural inequities. Please join us to commemorate the incredible history and promising future of the Coalition on Homelessness.

Tickets can be found here.