Homelessness | KALW

Homelessness


  Every Wednesday through Election Day on November 6th, Rose Aguilar will host a special second hour of Your Call at 11am focusing on California's crucial races, propositions, and regional measures.

This week, we’ll host a debate on San Francisco’s Proposition C. The measure would raise taxes on large businesses by an average of a half-percent to fund homeless services.

Photo by Alex Proimos / Used Under CC / Wikimedia


 A controversial conservatorship bill passed by California's Assembly would give county officials more authority to force people with mental illnesses and substance abuse issues into treatment or put them in the care of a guardian.

Ben Trefny / KALW News

Earlier this month, the man known as the federal homelessness czar visited the Bay Area. Matthew Dougherty met with San Francisco homeless programs director Jeff Kositsky and Mayor London Breed, discussing a nine-million dollar boost to grants provided for the city. The meeting drew media coverage, but as we know, money won’t necessarily bring lasting solutions. We know that in part because we read Street Spirit.

by Pax Ahimsa Gethen, used under CC BY-SA 4.0 / cropped

 

London Breed took over the top office in San Francisco just over a month ago. The same election that made her mayor put a majority of political progressives on the Board of Supervisors. What does this all mean for the city and county, and how does it fit into a larger narrative about race, class, and politics?

Liza Veale

 

The Village began as an illegal, direct-action program to provide tiny homes for homeless people. It has since gained the city of Oakland’s official blessing. But, the activists say the collaboration with the city has been unnecessarily rocky — and the feeling is mutual.

Can Tuff Sheds help Oakland ease the housing crisis?

Jun 28, 2018
Charlie Mintz

Oakland’s trying a new response to its growing communities of homeless encampments: replacing some with gated communities of Tuff Sheds meant to help residents find their way to permanent housing.

Photo courtesy Hospitality House

  

On this edition of Your Call, we ask: What changes when a nonprofit serving the homeless is led by people who used to be clients?

Eli Wirtschafter

Last December, James Smith’s car was towed as a consequence of unpaid parking violations. Smith was homeless, and the car was his only shelter. Now, Smith filing suit against San Francisco, arguing that towing for debt-collection is unconstitutional.

Lee Romney

Destiny Shabazz grins as she opens the door to the West Oakland home where she rents a room. But she can’t show a reporter inside. Her housemates like their privacy. She’s barely ever here anyway, Destiny explains — mostly just to sleep on an air bed inside a small converted office.

Quintin Gellar / Pexels

San Francisco’s Proposition D is one of several on the ballot about taxes.

The proposed law would increase taxes on San Francisco’s commercial landlords by 1.7 percent in order to fund more housing and homelessness services.

Not all commercial landlords would see increased taxes — about 20 percent would be exempt, including organizations like non-profits, and entertainment spaces like theaters or sports arenas.  

But the rent increase for the remaining commercial landlords would generate an estimated $70 million.

Liza Veale

 


When winter comes, Bay Area cities open temporary shelters to keep unhoused residents warm and dry. But, as winter comes to an end, these shelters close down. In Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco about 500 homeless people will be back on the streets.

Stories Behind the Fog: George

Mar 5, 2018
Courtesy of Stories Behind the Fog

George came out to San Francisco in the 90s, and worked at a computer company. But after his health started to deteriorate, he lost his job, and ended up homeless and panhandling.

Liza Veale

 

Today, San Francisco began construction on a housing development in Mission Bay, a complex that will house 62 homeless veterans and 59 low-income families.

The weather did not stop housing leaders from gathering under a muddy tent to celebrate.

 

“Thanks for coming out in the rain,” said Michael Blecker of Swords to Plowshares, the veterans' services organization. “And, of course the folks who will be living here will be out of the rain.”

The Guardian

One of our listeners, Consuelo Faust, recently asked us a question through our Hey Area project: “Is it fact or urban legend that other cities or even States send their homeless people to San Francisco?”

https://s-i.huffpost.com/gen/2288648/images/o-OM-BUILD-TINY-HOMES-facebook.jpg / Huffington Post

  

Every big city in California seems to have its own creative approach to housing the homelessness. San Jose is talking about tiny homes. Huge communal tents are being set up in San Diego. Oakland is using tuff sheds. And in San Francisco, the city’s navigation centers are meant to be a stepping stone to permanent housing. But does anyone know how to create real housing for the poor in the midst of plenty?

Guests:

Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of San Francisco’s Coalition on Homelessness

"PRO401(K) 2012" by CC Flickr user 1040 - US Tax Return, resized and recropped

 

The Republican tax bill will likely be up for a vote by the end of the week. The final version is expected to be released on Wednesday. These tax changes will hit California harder than much of the rest of the country, and it will likely hit us in a weak spot: the housing crisis.

Liza Veale / KALW News

 

A recent county-wide survey in Alameda reported that homelessness has increased 39 percent over the last two years.

Andrew Stelzer

San Francisco’s “housing first” philosophy makes some accommodations for homeless alcoholics. But there’s a more cutting-edge experiment taking place elsewhere, and advocates say the city needs to get on board.

Sharon Wickham, San Francisco Public Press

 

The latest edition of the San Francisco Public Press includes a story about one possible solution to homelessness — hotels.

City Visions: Homelessness experts talk solutions

Oct 23, 2017

  San Francisco spends over $275 million a year on homelessness, but is progress being made?  A walk through San Francisco's streets might suggest our homelessness problem is worse than ever.  

Stories Behind the Fog: Briana

Oct 5, 2017
Stories Behind the Fog

Briana Johnson was homeless and struggling to remain in school. When she found the Life Learning Academy, fellow students gave her shelter and Principal Teri Delane helped her through difficult years. Briana spoke to Stories Behind the Fog's Arjanna van der Plas about her time there.

Stories Behind the Fog: Cherri

Oct 4, 2017
Stories Behind The Fog

 

After 23 years in prison, Cherri Frazier moved into a halfway house in San Francisco.

Stories Behind the Fog: Nieves

Oct 3, 2017
Jonath Mathew, resized and recropped

 

Nieves Moreno grew up in Chicago and was homeless from 1969 to 1989. He shared his story with Arjanna Vander Plas and Maria Muzas.

Humanizing homelessness, one story at a time

Oct 3, 2017
Brenton Gieser

 

Ariel Plotnick

Safe Time Home Sharing, a new nonprofit organization, is trying to alleviate the homelessness crisis by asking East Bay residents to open their homes, and temporarily donate their extra bedrooms to those in need.

Caring for the homeless and their four-legged friends

Sep 25, 2017
Ramon Johnson

 

This story originally aired in October of 2016. 

 

An effort to keep homeless people safe in Santa Clara County has gone to the dogs. And the occasional cat.

A San Jose shelter now opens its doors to pets, and hosts a free veterinary clinic the last Saturday of each month. The clinic is a partnership with the city’s Animal Care Center.

Sonja Hutson

Oversized-vehicle parking bans are leaving people who sleep in RVs and vans searching for places to park and live, and leaving public officials trying to balance their empathy for those people with public nuisance complaints.

Screenshot of City Council public footage

A year ago, San Jose's homeless advocates were excited by city-approved plans to build the Bay Area’s first "tiny home" villages for homeless people.

Yet now that the city has to pick locations for these proposed villages, objections from nearby residents have become a major stumbling block.

Laura Waxmann, resized and recropped

 

 

Nicole Grigg

 

It wasn’t easy to find at first. The Dogpatch Navigation Center is located on the waterfront, at the end of 25th St. and Michigan, on the southeast side of San Francisco.

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