In the early months of the pandemic, a San Francisco contractor in charge of supplying and servicing hygiene stations for homeless residents consistently failed to maintain the sites, despite repeated requests from staff at two city agencies that the company clean, fill or service them, according to dozens of emails between city staff and the contractor acquired by the San Francisco Public Press via public records request.
The lack of fresh water available to homeless people in San Francisco during the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a “human rights abuse,” a community organizer said as the city’s shelter-in-place orders drag into a second year.
On the sidewalk in front of the San Francisco Department of Public Health on Thursday morning, a dozen or so activists stood holding yellow signs reading “Isolation kills, too!” Julie Schneider, the field service coordinator for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, was one of these advocates for residents of facilities like nursing homes, who have been calling for in-person visitation in long-term care to resume promptly. “Civic” spoke with Schneider and volunteer ombudsman Richard Correia at the demonstration. “If you spend enough time around people that are in the end stages of their life, there are things that keep them going. And then there are times when, you know, they lose the will,” Correia said. One of those things is seeing loved ones, he said.
High school sophomore Sadie Crawford and Dr. Martha Merchant, a clinical psychologist and lead consultant for the Healthy Environments and Response to Trauma in Schools program, spoke with “Civic” about building highly personal conversations about mental health virtually.
Youth mental health was a growing concern even before the pandemic, but the isolation of sheltering in place has come with an increase in depression and unhappiness among young people. San Francisco high school students have been reaching out to one another despite schools being closed to offer some support. Alan Wang, Joyce Truong and Abigail Ault, who have been active in peer wellness programs, shared their perspectives with “Civic.”
While attention has shifted to mass vaccinations, the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco remain focused on finding therapies to treat COVID-19 and defeat future Coronaviruses.
More than 600 people living on San Francisco’s streets could soon get placed in permanent supportive housing.
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved an emergency ordinance that lifts restrictions on
who can access this type of shelter, which includes services like mental health and substance use treatment and employment assistance.
North East Medical Services has multiple clinics in San Francisco and around the Bay Area, serving some 70,000 patients at 10 clinics in the region, many of whom are low-income Chinese speakers. Kenneth Tai, chief health officer, and Jessica Ho, government affairs and community liaison for North East Medical Services, talked with “Civic” about their vaccine distribution strategy.
San Francisco should move people living on the streets to the top of the list for permanent supportive housing, advocates and service providers said Tuesday.
The current system of setting aside all available housing units specifically for homeless people living in shelter-in-place hotels is not proving effective, advocates and city officials said at a hearing of the Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Finance committee.
After an eight-month pause, court-ordered evictions in San Francisco have resumed, and they’re coming down hardest on some of the city’s most vulnerable residents. The Sheriff’s Department has conducted evictions at 33 addresses across the city since November 2020, according to documents obtained through a California Public Records Act request. More than half — 18 — involved tenants in permanent supportive housing.
The vast majority of staff and residents at the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living, one of the largest nursing homes in the region, have been vaccinated against the coronavirus. 94% of staff and 97% of residents have received the vaccine. The facility’s director of nursing and clinical operations, Peggy Cmiel, told “Civic” about how that was done.