Advocates for the homeless held a “die-in” protest Tuesday calling for The City to reinstate eviction protections for shelter residents that were largely removed during the pandemic.
The protest outside the Moscone Center South shelter came one day after the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing said it would bring back a grievance process for people kicked out of shelters.
Shelter residents have been able since 1992 to challenge an eviction through the Shelter Advisory Grievance Committee, which saw 3,302 grievances between May 2019 and July 2020.
But the option was largely paused as a result of the shelter-in-place, resulting in a drop from 334 grievances filed in March alone to zero by July.
“They had taken away so many pieces of it so it was nearly impossible to go through the process,” said Keegan Medrano, the Coalition on Homelessness’ policy director. “It’s not just the residents, it’s the workers. Everyone needs to feel protected, everyone needs to feel heard.”
Advocates sought to bring the process back but instead saw key protections removed altogether under a proposal this fall, the Coalition on Homelessness said.
Medrano said HSH indicated on Wednesday officials would re-implement the usual process but did not give a timeline. Advocates went ahead with the previously-planned protest to keep up the pressure.
Medrano added they are hoping to codify a robust eviction grievance policy with the help of some supervisors.
“Just because they’ve sent an email doesn’t mean it’s happened,” Medrano said. “This has shown us that even something that’s around for 28 years isn’t safe unless it’s enshrined by the Board of Supervisors.”
HSH wasn’t immediately available for comment.