“Civic” spoke with Tomiquia Moss, founder and CEO of AllHome, a regional organization working to disrupt cycles of poverty and homelessness and to create more economic mobility for extremely low-income people. Moss describes the need for more investment across different interventions to reduce the pressure to prioritize those who have the most complex and chronic needs over those who could exit homelessness with shorter-term help, or over prevention strategies.
Former state senate candidate and public bank advocate Jackie Fielder recently launched a political action committee, Daybreak PAC, and has shifted some campaign organizing infrastructure toward a vaccine access effort. Some phone bank volunteers now make calls to seniors living in neighborhoods like the Bayview, to ask if they would like to get vaccinated and if they face any barriers to doing so.
Three educators — school social worker Yajaira Cuapio, special education teacher Megan Coluza and kindergarten teacher Cathy Sullivan — weighed in on the new school schedule and talked with “Civic” about the impacts of school closures on them and the families they work with.
Self-Help for the Elderly, has stepped in not just with advocacy for improved access to vaccines, but by bringing doctors who can administer vaccines to the seniors who need them at community centers they already visit. President and CEO Anni Chung joined “Civic” to share how the organization has been vaccinating the seniors it serves.
Mary Kate Bacalao, director of external affairs and policy at Compass Family Services and co-chair of the Homeless Emergency Service Providers Association, spoke with “Civic” about how her staff — and other workers in the sector — have experienced the process of figuring out their eligibility for a vaccine and actually getting one.
A series of violent crimes against Asian seniors in the Bay Area has sparked concern and calls to action, including public gatherings. In San Francisco and Oakland, organizers arranged for socially distanced events over the weekend to emphasize the need for additional resources and services to advance public safety.
Hunger has come along with job losses during pandemic-related shutdowns. In the Bay Area, food banks continue to see long lines. The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank has roughly doubled the number of people it serves since before the pandemic. The cost of procuring that food, meanwhile, is rising as federal aid programs expire.
While its Veterans Day dinner on Wednesday evening will be virtual, staff at the veterans services group Swords to Plowshares have been reaching out to and providing help for veterans in person at drop-in centers and on the street in San Francisco. In addition to some 400 veterans it had already housed permanently, the organization has been able to secure temporary stays in hotel rooms for about 200 people during the pandemic, said executive director Michael Blecker.
Researchers at the Urban Institute have been looking into how effective various responses to homelessness are. In a series of blog posts, they issue a warning against a punitive response to homelessness and recommend other ways to respond to homelessness, especially in the context of the coronavirus pandemic that threatens millions of people’s livelihoods and housing stability.
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.
A new radio series examining how nonprofit organizations in San Francisco are managing challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic begins broadcasting today on KSFP 102.5 FM in San Francisco. “Voices of the Community” is produced by George Koster and will air Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.