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How SF Will Allocate $1 Billion in Homelessness Funding

Emily Cohen, interim director for strategy and external affairs at the department, talked with “Civic” about where these investments are being focused — more than half of the funds are earmarked for housing — and why. A count of people visibly unsheltered on the street that takes place on one night every two years tallied about 8,000 people in 2019. Cohen said city programs have helped some 25,000 people exit homelessness since 2005.

Activists rally for a public bank on the steps of San Francisco City Hall in November 2019.

Group of Experts Devising Business Plan for SF Public Bank

A group of experts in relevant fields, from finance to affordable housing, has been selected to start to devise a business plan for a public bank. Fernando Martí, co-director of the Council of Community Housing Organizations, and Sylvia Chi, principal co-author of AB 857, California’s Public Banking Act and a member of the California Public Banking Alliance, talked with “Civic” about how a public bank would work.

Demonstrators link arms in front of the International Hotel at Kearny and Jackson Streets in San Francisco on Aug. 4, 1977.

In Remembering Traumatic Eviction, Community Seeks Inspiration

The International Hotel on the corner of Jackson and Kearny in San Francisco is the second of its name. The original was a residential hotel, with small rooms affordable to low-income workers. On Aug. 4, 1977, more than 100 residents were evicted all at once, despite thousands of protesters outside.

A COVID-19 vaccination card at a medical clinic.

Vaccine Mandates Likely to Pass Legal Muster, Law Professor Says

There have already been attempts to challenge vaccine mandates around the nation in court. Dorit Reiss, a law professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law who researches legal considerations around vaccines and vaccine mandates, talked with “Civic” about what employers and governments must weigh when it comes to requiring immunization.

Julia Arroyo-Guzman

Peer-Run Center Empowers Young People Affected by Poverty, Violence, Incarceration

In the streets, in jails and other detention facilities and at its program sites around the Bay Area, the Young Women’s Freedom Center provides resources and support to girls, women and transgender and gender non-conforming people. It also provides training, internships, fellowships and jobs that pay to help people affected by poverty, exploitation and violence develop their voices.

During the coronavirus pandemic, CalTrans was able to take advantage of the lull in traffic to completely close part of Interstate 101 in San Francisco in April 2020 to complete work on the Alemany circle in just nine days instead of the original 18 days scheduled for the project.

Bay Area Traffic Congestion Returns

Sean Nozzari, deputy director of traffic operations for the California Department of Transportation in the Bay Area told “Civic” that when the spring 2020 lockdown began, “the amount of travel initially dropped maybe 80%. But it started building up, and around December of 2020 it started going up steadily to a point that the amount of travel that takes place on our freeways is pretty much about what we had before.”

Outreach workers stand at a Tenderloin intersection wearing reflective vests and pulling a rolling cart with a sign reading “free COVID-19 vaccinations here.” This team administered 23 single-dose vaccines during an afternoon shift on Jul. 15, 2021.

Outreach Effort Brings Vaccines Directly to Tenderloin Streets

During the pandemic, Code Tenderloin has distributed everything from water to masks to food. With the arrival of the vaccine, they have collaborated with health care providers from the University of California, San Francisco and the nonprofit service provider Glide to try to overcome barriers to vaccination by walking the streets, offering immunizations on the spot.

An Alcatraz employee is seated on a ferry to the island with a sign instructing COVID-19 protocol in the foreground.

UPDATED: How SF Is Handling Masking as Delta Variant Circulates

The highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has arrived in the Bay Area. Case numbers are surging in parts of the country with low vaccination rates, and, while San Francisco’s case numbers are slightly on the rise, most residents are vaccinated. Dr. Susan Philip, San Francisco’s Health Officer, talked with “Civic” about the details of the current mask rules, the delta variant and the importance of vaccines.

Coronavirus testing in the Mission District on April 27, 2020. Barbara Ries / UCSF

Patient, Doctor Describe Living With ‘Long COVID’

Bruce Wheeler was diagnosed with COVID-19 last spring, but has never fully recovered, suffering a variety of symptoms of what has become known as “long COVID.” He’s not alone — according to a UC Davis overview of a handful of recent studies, more than one in four COVID-19 patients develop symptoms lasting for months, even if they had mild cases. About 100 potential symptoms have been identified. Wheeler and Dr. Brian Block, who has helped treat him and who is one of the founding clinicians at UCSF’s COVID recovery clinic, talked with “Civic” about the condition and how much is still unclear about its treatment. “I think we cannot overlook the effect of long-haul COVID on those who are trying to work and raise a family.