The San Francisco Ballet, pictured here performing "The Nutcracker" in 2008, is one of many Bay Area arts organizations shifting to online performances this year.

S.F. Arts Go Virtual for the Holidays

Seventy-six years ago, the San Francisco Ballet introduced “The Nutcracker” to America. This year, the company will introduce the “Nutcracker Online” — a virtual holiday experience for the era of COVID-19. With help from Blueprint Studios, a Bay Area-based event design firm, S.F.  Read more
Francisco Ugarte, managing attorney of the San Francisco Public Defender's immigration defense unit, holds a banner with the late Public Defender Jeff Adachi at a community rally for immigrants' rights in 2018.

S.F. Immigration Defense Unit Represents Immigrants Statewide Through Pandemic

In California, a sanctuary state — where local law enforcement is barred from collaborating with immigration enforcement — people who have completed prison sentences have been handed off to immigration detention. State prisons can and do, however, comply with requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement for people considered deportable.  Read more

Officials: S.F. Businesses Should Brace for Purple Tier Rollback — Not if, but When

San Francisco remains on track to move out of California’s COVID-19 red zone into the most restrictive purple zone within a matter of days, forcing new rollbacks on businesses and a late night curfew.  “The city will be required to roll back or reduce capacity of several activities within 24 hours,” said Joaquin Torres, director of San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, at a press conference Tuesday.  Read more
Joe Eskenazi, managing editor at Mission Local

Journalist: Money Poured Into S.F. Elections Failed to Shift Outcomes

Every odd-numbered San Francisco supervisorial district had an election in November. One race was extremely close and several were targeted by big independent expenditure money. But Joe Eskenazi, managing editor at Mission Local, reports that money was apparently ineffective, failing to propel candidates to victory and failing to dissuade voters from passing new tax measures.  Read more
The Adante Hotel is currently operating as a shelter-in-place hotel run by Five Keys. San Francisco's Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing plans to end the shelter-in-place hotel program, but that process was paused in response to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

Workers in Shelter-in-Place Hotels Face Unemployment, Uncertain Future

As the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing scrambles to find placements for the more than 2,300 residents of its shelter-in-place hotels, little attention has been paid to the people who work at those sites. Nonprofit organizations that run the hotels are working diligently not just to identify exits for residents, but to keep their staff, many of whom have worked at these nonprofits for decades.  Read more

San Francisco May Be in Purple Tier by Sunday, Late-Night Curfew Likely Next Week

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the city has quadrupled since Oct. 12 amid the city’s worst surge in infections since the pandemic began, San Francisco Department of Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax announced Friday afternoon.  San Francisco is in the state’s red tier, the third least restrictive, after being in the lowest yellow tier just three weeks ago.  Read more
Tolbert unbuckles Supreme’s car seat as she prepares to go grocery shopping in San Francisco. She places him in a baby carrier on her chest for a more comfortable shopping experience. On this trip, Tolbert was loading up on food and household supplies for the month, so she can limit her trips during the pandemic. She enjoys being a stay-at-home mom and watching her son grow. “I never expected to be a mother,” Tolbert said. “But here he is, right Papa?” she said to Supreme.

S.F. Vehicle Dwellers’ Living Situations Diverge During Pandemic

Photojournalist Yesica Prado has been documenting the lives of people living in their cars, vans, RVs and campers — including, at times, turning the lens on herself as she shelters in place in her own RV. Earlier this year, the San Francisco Public Press, in collaboration with the Bay Area visual storytelling nonprofit CatchLight, published Prado’s photos and writing in a special series of multimedia reports called “Driving Home: Surviving the Housing Crisis.”    Read more
Gregory Nelson brushes his fingers across the hood of his vehicle, smudging the ashes that have settled on it in early September. “Look at all this dust,” Nelson said, raising his blackened fingers. “I just washed my car yesterday. Now, it’s on everything again. You cannot have anything nice out here.” On Sept. 9, some 14,000 firefighters were battling 28 major wildfires across California. And while the containment of August’s lightning fires seemed imminent, several new wildfires ignited and were fanned by strong gusty winds. Since the beginning of the year, more than 8,500 wildfires have burned over 4.1 million acres in California. To date, the total number of deaths due to wildfires statewide is 31, and nearly 10,500 structures have been destroyed. Thousands of wildfire evacuees are living in emergency shelters and inside their vehicles.

Photo Essay — Pandemic Makes Ride-Hailing Gig Untenable for S.F. Man Living in His Car

Earlier this year, the San Francisco Public Press featured Gregory Nelson in “Driving Home: Surviving the Housing Crisis,” a photojournalism project by Yesica Prado documenting the experiences of people living in vehicles in the Bay Area. Prado followed up with Nelson to find out how his life has changed during the pandemic.  Read more