At the top of the list of local ballot measures going before voters in November is Proposition A, billed as the “Health and Recovery Bond.” Several initiatives would be funded by this $487.5 million bond, including the development of behavioral health and substance abuse services, expansion of shelters and temporary housing, renovating or developing parks and repairs to infrastructure like roads.
As Moscone Center began accepting new homeless residents from street encampments in recent weeks, residents and advocates expressed concerns about safety at the convention center and other group shelter settings. Three residents said COVID-19 testing prior to admittance at Moscone Center is inconsistent, residents don’t reliably wear masks and sanitation is lacking. Bathrooms were particularly problematic, they said, citing feces-smeared toilet stalls and showers reeking of urine. “I have yet to see a standardized testing protocol for the reopening of shelters. I don’t know if one exists,” said Brian Edwards, a Coalition on Homelessness organizer and member of the Shelter Monitoring Committee, the city’s homeless shelter oversight board.
Residents struggling to pay for housing due to the coronavirus pandemic have requested more assistance than what is available through City Hall.
Ellen Lee Zhou has a plan to help end San Francisco’s homelessness crisis. And it could involve you. Zhou, a public-health worker, said that if elected mayor, she would pay homeowners monthly stipends to house and mentor some of the city’s estimated 4,300 unsheltered residents. Interested? Sixth in a series analyzing the mayoral candidates’ records and pledges on housing and homelessness.
San Francisco has begun rolling out a new technology platform that officials say will better help the homeless population by giving priority for shelter and housing to those with the greatest need. But the ONE System also functions as a form of rationing of scarce affordable housing.
City native Victoria Ortiz’s path to homelessness began in the East Bay more than two years ago when she was pregnant, working at a Staples and subletting a room. A housemate stopped forwarding the rent to the landlord, and everyone was evicted. This is the story of her determination to find stable housing for her family while living at a shelter in San Francisco.
Last week on his blog, Beyond Chron, Tenderloin Housing Clinic Executive Director Randy Shaw belatedly referred to my Fall 2017 Public Press cover story about vacancies in single-room occupancy hotels as “extremely misleading” and “false.” I was disappointed, but not surprised. And I am not alone.
San Francisco has the highest percentage of unsheltered youths in the nation — more than 1,200 between 18 and 24 years old, at last count. Host homes could get many off the streets. Would you welcome a homeless youth into your home?
Studies have found that the 1811 Eastlake project in Seattle helps keep alcoholics off the streets and out of jails and emergency rooms — and even helps them drink less.