Several people stand in front of an evergreen tree covered in small white lights. They are holding vertical white banners displaying lists of people's names in colorful letters. Other banners are spread on the ground in front of them. A woman with shoulder-length gray hair wearing a black coat addresses the crowd speaking into a microphone on a stand.

2023 Is San Francisco’s Deadliest Year on Record for Drug Overdoses

Last Thursday San Francisco’s chief medical examiner released the city’s updated overdose death count — 752 so far — making 2023 the worst year on record for drug-related fatalities. One-third of those people were listed as having no fixed address. Later that day, a crowd gathered at Civic Center Plaza to remember more than 420 who died in the city while experiencing homelessness this year.

A man in his eighties sits on his bed in a small single-room occupancy residence in Chinatown. Behind him is a window where he hangs his clothes. There are assorted items beside him, including a desk fan, a television, newspapers and cardboard boxes.

Protecting Chinatown’s Older Adults From Climate Disasters Requires More Funding, Nonprofits Say

Community organizations say the systems in Chinatown to protect older populations during extreme weather are not enough to meet the needs that could arise. Without sufficient financial backing, the health of many older residents in the neighborhood could be threatened during extreme weather disasters. Similar scenarios could transpire in San Francisco’s other climate-vulnerable areas.

Red lanterns and flags are strung across the roadway on a block in San Francisco's Chinatown. Most of the three and four-story buildings have shops on the ground floor and apartments or offices above. Many of them have wrought iron balconies that are painted green.

For Chinatown’s Older Residents in SROs, Climate Disasters Pose Greater Risks

Chinatown faces higher threats during periods of extreme weather due to a range of socio-economic factors as well as the built environment. Within the neighborhood, older adults living in single-room occupancy buildings are among the populations at heightened risk. Reasons for this include physiological changes related to aging and financial barriers associated with making climate-resiliency adaptations to older buildings.

A young Latina with straight, long dark hair wears a lilac top and a jean jacket. She is smiling standing on a sidewalk near the intersection of a city street.

SF Students, SRO Residents Train to Reverse Drug Overdoses

Experts in overdose prevention say many teen and adult lives could be saved if more people know how to identify and respond to overdoses. In San Francisco, an array of programs are providing overdose response training to teenagers, college and medical-school students, and residents in neighborhoods that have a high rate of overdose deaths.

Ink drawing of a stenotype machine with hands disappearing

California’s Court Reporter Shortage Limits Access to Justice in Domestic Violence Cases

Advocates for women’s and children’s rights say providing free or low-cost access to transcripts in hearings is key to equal justice. Unlike many states, California has in recent years repeatedly failed to guarantee adequate documentations of court proceedings, putting victims of domestic violence at a distinct legal disadvantage.

Despite failing for years to make transcripts standard practice, the Legislature may be headed for a breakthrough.

At a news conference about the passage of Piqui's Law, three teenage girls and a middle school-aged boy stand behind a clear lectern holding microphones from news outlets and bearing the seal of the city of Pasadena. They and others in the crowd hold signs, some of which read "Governor Newsom: Please sign SB 331 (Rubio) Piqui's Law" and "Pass Piqui's Law (Senator Susan Rubio)." They are referring to a bill that was introduced by California State Sen. Susan Rubio.

Children Violently Removed by Court Order Celebrate New California Bill Prohibiting Practice

Two children who were violently removed from their grandmother’s Santa Cruz home in October 2022 and placed into a court-ordered program to recant parental abuse allegations celebrated a victory last month when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill prohibiting such programs.

On Oct. 13, Maya, 16, and Sebastian Laing, 12, and their allies celebrated the passage of Senate Bill 331, aka Piqui’s Law, which prohibits California family court judges from forcing kids into so-called reunification camps and ensures that judges and those serving as expert witnesses undergo critical training on domestic violence and child custody.