As part of a program to move beyond emergency housing of homeless people in hotels, San Francisco purchased the Hotel Diva, above left, which has 130 rooms for permanent supportive housing.

Will SF Use New Federal Aid to Finally Solve Homelessness?

A move by President Biden Thursday is being hailed by advocates as an opportunity for San Francisco to place all its homeless residents in hotels for the next eight months.

One day after Biden was inaugurated, his administration announced that the federal government will fully reimburse local governments for the cost of housing people who are homeless and vulnerable to COVID-19 in settings where they have space and separation from others, such as hotel rooms. The order extends until Sept. 30, 2021.

A healthcare worker steadies the needle in preparation for injecting the vaccine into a patient's shoulder. San Francisco plans to launch three high-volume sites to manage the rollout of two COVID-19 vaccines, with the goal of reaching 10,000 people a day, Mayor London Breed announced Friday.

SF to Open Three Large Vaccination Sites

San Francisco plans to launch three high-volume sites to manage the rollout of two COVID-19 vaccines, with the goal of reaching 10,000 people a day, Mayor London Breed announced Friday. The sites will operate in addition to existing medical facilities and smaller, pop-up sites to create a citywide vaccination network.

Tony Campana washes his face at a water pipe installed by San Francisco in the Tenderloin.

SF to Add Water Outlets in Neighborhoods With Large Homeless Populations

San Francisco plans to expand access to drinking water for people living on the streets by adding permanent taps in three neighborhoods and leaving in place – for now – the temporary taps it installed after COVID-19 hit.

For many homeless residents, water access represents a hurdle between them and a job, a home — even survival. The demand for fresh water has been so great since March that several organizations began buying bottled water for distribution to homeless people at a cost of thousands of dollars.

Photo courtesy of Hayin Kimner

Parents Navigate SF School System With No Reopening Date Set

Schools in San Francisco shut in March of 2020, and at the time, officials announced a three-week closure. Nearly 10 months later, the city has not set an official date for reopening them. As of December, the school district and unions couldn’t come to an agreement about what safety measures would be sufficient for reopening. Distance learning has been difficult for students, parents and teachers.

Photo courtesy of Paula Heaney.

SF Librarians Become Contact Tracers in Coronavirus Pandemic

If you have been in close contact with someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19, you may get a call from a contact tracer, who will want to offer you some guidance about quarantining — including, potentially, connecting you to food or cleaning supply delivery. Among them is Paula Heaney, a San Francisco librarian. Like other city employees, who serve as disaster workers in the event of an emergency, Heaney transitioned to working as a contact tracer when the pandemic hit.

SF Braces for Final Holiday COVID-19 Statistics

All of the staff and patients at San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital who wish to are expected to be vaccinated by Wednesday. The University of California San Francisco is vaccinating 1,100 health care staffers a day, with plans to increase that number. The San Francisco Department of Public Health has inoculated over 6,000 people served by the department and supplied another 30,000 vaccines to other health care agencies in the city over the last 2½ weeks. 

Those are just some of the medical organizations in the city vaccinating the city’s nearly 80,000 health care workers and vulnerable populations, with the allotments sent directly from the state, having been distributed by the federal government. 

Dr. Grant Colfax, director of San Francisco’s Department of Public Health, said at a press conference Tuesday that “there have been no delays of people getting vaccinated at this time, demand far outweighs supply.” He added: “Our goal is to make sure that vaccine is not sitting in the freezer, and that as soon as the feds in the state supply a vaccine to local jurisdictions, to health care entities in San Francisco, that we get it into as many arms as quickly as possible.”

He said San Francisco weathered the post-Thanksgiving surge better than the rest of the Bay Area did. Whereas San Francisco has 35% of its intensive care unit beds vacant, only 5.9% of those beds are available, he said. Consequently, the region’s intensive care bed availability is below the state threshold to allow San Francisco to relax the stay-at-home order.

Burlesque performer RedBone was planning to work an in-person New Year’s Eve party in the Tenderloin to help her stay financially afloat. The party was canceled after the venue was critiqued for potentially violating a new city shelter-in-place order.

How to Celebrate New Year’s Eve? For Some, by Earning Enough to Eat.

No fireworks, no parties on the beach, no Golden Gate Park light displays. How is a San Franciscan wanting to celebrate the end of this murderous, soul-sucking pandemic year supposed to have any fun?
You could attend any one of numerous live-streamed events, from comedy shows to live music to bell-ringing ceremonies to vaudeville cabaret shows.
Or, for a brief period, there was the opportunity to drop $100 for an in-person, three-course meal complete with burlesque and drag queen show in the Tenderloin. Except that event was canceled …