A coalition of San Francisco organizations teamed up Monday to unveil a mural in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, seeking to spread awareness about the effect the city’s housing crisis has on Black people and families.
The mural, by artist Malik Seneferu, says “housing black” directly on the 100 block of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Avenue, just outside St. Anthony’s Foundation.
During the unveiling of the mural, Tenderloin residents were invited to grab a brush and help with the project. San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney joined organizations like Code Tenderloin, Larkin Street Youth Services, and Hospitality House to highlight the importance of investing in housing for Black residents, who make up less than 6 percent of the city but account for 40 percent of the city’s homeless people.
Haney, whose supervisorial district includes the Tenderloin, said, “All over the country these murals are going up to give a statement about what we as a country and community value. We’re here today to say that Black lives matter, and that housing Black lives matter. What is so historic about what we’re doing today is this is the first mural we know of that calls out ‘Housing Black’ explicitly. You cannot have a society that values Black people if you leave them out on our streets and sidewalks.” “
Let’s recognize the large number of unhoused Black people navigating and residing in the Tenderloin, and let’s hurry up and house these people with dignity,” said Del Seymour, founder of Code Tenderloin, a nonprofit that serves the area’s residents. “This housing crisis is very rampant for black people all throughout San Francisco and all across America. We got black families living in tents, cars and shelters. We must not be quiet about the number of unhoused black people that the Tenderloin Community has.”
St. Anthony’s acting Executive Director Tere Brown said, “St. Anthony’s is honored to be the location for this important work of advocacy art in recognition of the unhoused Black community in the Tenderloin, and in support of leaders in the Black community and housing advocates calling for long-term investment in housing Black San Franciscans to begin immediately.”
The 250-foot-long mural is part of several murals Seneferu has collaborated on throughout the Bay Area over the summer, including others in Alameda and Richmond, calling attention to the needs of Black communities.