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

Musician shot by off-duty FBI agent on Haight Street speaks out

Man thought official was a ‘fake cop’

Emails reveal another FBI suspect may have given Mayor Breed a gift

onguard Mere days after Mayor London Breed revealed she took a potentially… Continue reading

Video shows angry 49ers fan throwing items at cashier on Super Bowl Sunday

San Francisco police are asking the public for help identifying an aggressive… Continue reading

New plan provides a road map to better transit for Bayview residents

SFMTA to review suite of 101 projects designed to improve community safety and access

Mandelman bringing bathhouses back to The City

New ordinance would amend health code restrictions imposed in 1980s

Most Read