SF homeless advocates seek more funding for new set of initiatives

Mike Koozmin/SF Examiner11 year old Julius Barnes and his mother 52 year old Stephanie Stinson are staying in the Hamilton Family center located in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood while searching for an affordable place to call home.

Mike Koozmin/SF Examiner11 year old Julius Barnes and his mother 52 year old Stephanie Stinson are staying in the Hamilton Family center located in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood while searching for an affordable place to call home.

A coalition of providers of services to the homeless is asking San Francisco to spend an additional $13.8 million to help one of The City’s most vulnerable populations.

The increased funding would go toward preventing thousands of evictions, helping house hundreds of people living on the streets or at risk of losing their homes through rental subsidies, and renovating vacant units.

The Homeless Emergency Service Providers Association is shopping its funding proposal around to the Board of Supervisors and Mayor Ed Lee as city officials are re-examining how they address homeless people in a series of hearings being chaired by Supervisor Mark Farrell, who has recently taken up issues related to homelessness. [jump]
The increased investment also comes as a budget analyst’s recent report found The City spends $165.7 million on homelessness annually while the population has remained mostly flat at about 6,400 residents.

But homeless advocates say these numbers only show the need to invest more, noting that The City was able to weather the recession for years without seeing an increase of people living on the streets.

“Yes, that sounds like a lot of money,” said Dan Bowersox, a representative of the coalition, “but if you look at it another way, that’s 2 percent of our city budget. We know that our programs are effective. We know that they are efficient.
“We can really put a serious dent in this problem if we devote the right resources to it.”

The funding request includes halting preventable evictions by funding resources such as $2 million for legal counsel to fight evictions in court.
“We need a ‘surge’ in the number of eviction-defense attorneys … to make eviction-happy landlords think twice about litigating for profit,” the proposal said.

Also proposed is $6.2 million for increased rental subsidies for homeless people or those at risk of becoming homeless, including a new type of rental subsidy.
“The subsidy would be deep enough to enable households to rent in the bottom 20 percent of the rental market while contributing 30 percent of their income toward the rent,” the proposal said. “The program will allow us to house these
San Franciscans for about $15,000 per household, while saving several times that amount on emergency services.”
The coalition is also asking for about $1.9 million to rehabilitate 173 vacant public-housing units.

The proposal estimates that funding would prevent 2,700 households from being evicted, fund 400 household subsidies and create 114 below-market-rate units run by nonprofits.

Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the San Francisco Homeless Coalition, said the proposals would end up costing The City
less.

“All of these are substantially cheaper than keeping someone homeless,” she said. “They are innovative solutions that can be put into place this year.”
Bay Area NewsBoard of SupervisorsSupervisor John AvalosSupervisor Mark FarrellUnder the Dome

Just Posted

Pharmacist Hank Chen is known for providing personalized service at Charlie’s Pharmacy in the Fillmore.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Left: A Walgreens at 300 Gough St. is among San Francisco stores closing.
Walgreens closures open the door for San Francisco’s neighborhood pharmacies

‘I think you’ll see more independents start to pop up’

San Franciscans are likely to have the opportunity to vote in four different elections in 2022. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Electionpalooza: SF school board recall will kick off a flurry of local races

‘It’s going to be a lot of elections and a lot of decisions for voters to make’

Four young politicos were elected to city government on the Peninsula in 2020. From left: Redwood City Councilmember Michael Smith; South San Francisco Councilmember James Coleman; Redwood City Councilmember Lissette Espinoza-Garnica; and East Palo Alto Councilmember Antonio Lopez.<ins> (Examiner illustration/Courtesy photos)</ins>
Progressive politicians rise to power on the Peninsula. Will redistricting reverse the trend?

‘There’s this wave of young people really trying to shake things up’

The Walgreens at 4645 Mission St. in The City is among those slated to close. <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>
Walgreens says it’s closing five San Francisco stores due to crime. Where’s the data?

Walgreens should be transparent, enlighten San Francisco leaders about crime’s effect on business

Most Read