Illustration of textbooks, including one labeled African American studies.

More Bay Area High Schools to Offer AP African American Studies This Fall

When enrolling for classes for the upcoming school year, some Bay Area students will find a new, unique course option that promises a deep dive into the history and contributions of African Americans across the globe.

A half dozen high schools will offer Advanced Placement African American Studies in 2024-2025. This is the first year the course will be available to all U.S. schools following a two-year pilot program.

Many people gather behind Sen. Susan Rubio, who is speaking at a podium at the state Capitol.

Recent Policy Reforms May Help California Domestic Violence Survivors Stay Housed

Domestic violence survivors in the Golden State are getting some help in the form of recent regulatory reforms. That includes one policy that prohibits some landlords from rejecting housing applicants based on their credit histories, which often suffer in abusive situations.

But more big fixes are needed, a UCSF report notes, like additional domestic violence shelters and better coordination of shelter and social service intake systems. Many women find today’s homeless shelter settings unsafe, so they opt to sleep on the streets after they leave an abusive partner.

A collage depicting someone making a phone call about a homeless person in distress, as well as the emergency responders who may be dispatched to that call.

You Report an Unhoused Person in a Mental Health Crisis. This Is What Happens Next

In San Francisco, it is not uncommon to cross paths with a person experiencing homelessness in the throes of a mental health crisis. The scene can be tragic, confusing and sometimes might feel dangerous.

Bystanders might wonder how to summon help from the city — and what will happen if they do.

We created a flow chart to answer those questions. We show how cases traverse a tangle of pathways, through handoffs between dispatchers and myriad public workers. The person in crisis might spend days or weeks tumbling through the criminal justice system or health care facilities. Often, they return to where they started: the streets.

An illustration of a man watching the arrival of a red van, labelled Street Crisis Response Team — a common scene before people are put on involuntary psychiatric detentions AKA “5150 holds.”

The Often Vicious Cycle Through SF’s Strained Mental Health Care and Detention System

Thousands of people last year fell into San Francisco’s complex, reactive, strained system for treating severe mental health and drug-related crises.

To explain how that system works and its effects on the people who enter it, we begin with the story of one man, Jay. As with many others — including those who are unhoused or are detained without their consent following a call from an alarmed observer — Jay had received temporary care, entailing multiple involuntary psychiatric holds, that failed to address his long-term problems. That left him back on the streets to fend for himself or, with the help of passersby, try again to get the aid he needed.

People standing in line at a public meeting at San Francisco City Hall.

Cannabis Dispensary and Lounge to Open in SF Bayview, Despite Residents’ Objections

The dispensary will be on one of the Bayview’s less developed streets, near low-income and senior housing. Over a dozen cannabis facilities already operate in the neighborhood, nearly all of which are used only to grow the plant.

Many residents, especially Chinese Americans, have opposed the new facility, which will sell cannabis products, out of fear that it will encourage drug use and make the area less safe. Despite their objections, the city’s Planning Commission approved the project Thursday because it did not violate city laws.

A kitten being fed by syringe.

State Animal Shelters, Rescue Groups Battling Overflow Crisis

It’s becoming commonplace in open-intake shelters and rescue facilities across the Bay Area: The number of unadopted pets is growing; animal caretakers and staff are stretched thin; and efforts by local municipalities to provide care and comfort to every animal surrendered is becoming increasingly difficult.

California animal shelters and rescue organizations – even those across the country – are experiencing an overflow crisis. The number of stray dogs taken into shelters rose 6% from 2022 statistics and 22% from 2021, according to Shelter Animals Count.

Proveedores de servicios opinan que SF subestima la necesidad que hay a pesar de que cada vez más familias migrantes buscan acceder albergues

Los proveedores de servicios han visto un aumento reciente en el número de familias migrantes sin hogar que buscan refugio en San Francisco, y dicen que el sistema de albergues de la ciudad está saturado, y a menudo falla, para recibirlos. Los defensores locales de las personas sin hogar están pidiendo ala alcaldía que satisfaga esta urgente necesidad.

Homeless migrant families and others sit in City Hall Chambers during a meeting.

SF to Offer Some Homeless Migrant Families Temporary Hotel Stays, as the Rest Languish

Faced with an influx of unhoused migrant families into San Francisco, the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing will offer between 100 and 150 households temporary stays in hotels in the next year. That will likely fall short of addressing the full need.

Migrant families have joined service providers and faith-based advocates in a push for a policy response to the mounting crisis, including increasing access to temporary housing and providing greater transparency about where families are on the waitlist for shelter. City officials discussed potential solutions at a Monday hearing of the Board of Supervisors.

In SF’s Chinatown, Conflict Over Outdoor Events Resolved — for Now 

A dispute among Chinatown businesses appears to be temporarily quelled, following a decision by San Francisco’s Board of Appeals to limit amplified sound at outdoor events along a major tourist artery for the next two months. 

Merchants had objected after a local dance company obtained the amplified-sound permit. It was the latest point of friction resulting from a gradual uptick in events, which have disrupted some businesses in the neighborhood.

Las Muertes por Sobredosis entre los Mayas en San Francisco Muestran la Necesidad Urgente de un Tratamiento Culturalmente Sensible

Desde el comienzo de la pandemia del COVID-19, los mayas de San Francisco han estado muriendo por sobredosis de drogas a tasas elevadas. Los expertos dicen que se necesitan servicios de salud más capacitados, y los proveedores deben ser culturalmente competentes y capaces de comunicarse de manera efectiva con estos residentes, que no pueden hablar con fluidez inglés o español.