Group sues homeless program

San Francisco’s Care Not Cash program blatantly discriminates against disabled people, forcing them out of shelter beds and onto the streets, charges a lawsuit against The City filed Wednesday.

The class-action lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, alleges that Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Care Not Cash program gives participants priority help when it comes to shelter reservations and case-management services — leaving nonparticipants — including the disabled — out in the cold, since there are not enough shelter beds for all of The City’s homeless. Disabled people who receive Social Security or veterans benefits are often above the income threshold to participate in Care Not Cash.

Plaintiffs include Western Regional Advocacy Project, a nonprofit coalition to protect the interests of homeless people, and two disabled homeless men in San Francisco, Anthoney Coleman and Calvin Davis. They are being represented by the Berkeley-based Disability Rights Advocates and a San Francisco law firm.

“This lawsuit isn’t a personal vendetta against anyone,” WRAP spokesman Paul Boden said. “It’s years of incredible frustration over the homeless shelters discriminating against disabled people,” The lawsuit does not seek any monetary damages, only to redesign the system, he said.

Trent Rhorer, executive director of The City’s Department of Human Services, said the complaint was filed by longtime opponents of the policy and the charges were “totally baseless and inconsistent with the facts.”

Care Not Cash, which was passed by voters in 2002 to help those on the county assistance program, reserves less than 25 percent of The City’s more than 1,300 beds for its participants, Rhorer said. Care Not Cash beds that go unfilled are turned over to the general population, including the disabled, he said.

“The disabled homeless population certainly has access to the vast majority of beds, and a third of Care Not Cash participants are disabled,” Rhorer said.

tbarak@sfexaminer.com

 

Bay Area NewsCare Not CashhomelessLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

U.S. Attorney David Anderson announces federal firearms charges against two men for their roles in a March 2019 shooting outside the Fillmore Heritage Center in a news conference alongside SFPD staff at the Phillip Burton Federal Building on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Departing U.S. attorney predicts corruption probe will continue

David Anderson shook up City Hall as top federal prosecutor

Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, a former school board member, has been asked to help secure an agreement between the school district and teacher’s union. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
 <ins></ins>
Supervisor Walton tapped to mediate teacher contract talks

District and union at odds over hours in-person students should be in the classroom

California is set to receive supplies of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is still under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (Courtesy photo)
California could receive 380K doses of new J&J COVID vaccine next week

California could receive 380,300 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine… Continue reading

Disability advocates protested outside the home of San Francisco Health Officer Tomas Aragon. (Courtesy Brooke Anderson)
Vaccine rollout plan for people with disabilities remains deeply flawed

On February 13, disability activists paid a visit to the house of… Continue reading

A Bay Area Concrete Recycling facility that opened on PG&E property in 2019. Former PG&E employees have been accused of accepting bribes from Bay Area Concrete. (Courtesy of Bay Area Concrete Recycling via ProPublica)
Lawsuit reveals new allegations against PG&E contractor accused of fraud

By Scott Morris Bay City News Foundation Utility giant Pacific Gas &… Continue reading

Most Read