The official count of homeless in San Francisco in 2013 was 6,436. Now, according to Curbed it is estimated to be 9,500. Karl Robillard, St. Anthony's senior manager of communications, says "The dining room line is a social barometer...you will know what part of the social and economic safety net is missing by standing outside that line." Today people young and old and of all ethnicities stand in that line. For a closer look at some of these people read Inside San Francisco's Housing Crisis.
"I am one of the homeless youth living in California. The reality is that many young people are fighting the conditions of homelessness when we’re still works in progress. According to the 2019 Point-in-Time count, California is home to 12,396 unaccompanied homeless youth between the ages of 18 and 25 — one- third of the nation’s total.
In Berkeley, 225 such youth were counted in 2019. YEAH!, an emergency youth homeless shelter program in Berkeley, reports the demographics: three-quarters male, 54 percent Caucasian, 85 percent local, 73 percent active drug or alcohol users, 36 percent with mental health problems, half are not high school graduates, and 79 percent have no source of income. Couch surfing youth are not counted under the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) definition of homelessness. Advocates suggest that when accounting for that demographic, the number of unhoused youth in Berkeley hovers around 400.
But I am more than a statistic."
Each neighborhood in San Francisco has its own demographic, but you see everyone at the ball park.
Dede Tisone 2019
According to the Bay Area Council Economic Institute's recent Report (April 10 2019) "The Bay Area's homeless crisis ranks among the worst in the United states." The report goes on to say that solving this crisis requires interventions across all states of homelessness.
1. Preventing individuals from becoming homeless in the first place is the most cost effective way to keep the crisis from growing.
2. Providing shelter to the unsheltered will alleviate the crisis on the streets. 3. Maximizing the number of units and supportive programs will provide a long term solution.
To accomplish this, homelessness must been addressed at the earliest states to keep individual and families in their homes. State and local collaboration through one agency can standardize managment plans and track homeless data and trends. Homeless services must be simplified to identify and design platforms for intake, care and tracking. For a better understanding of the problem and potential solutions, read the full report
Today, the U.S. government spends roughly 30 percent of what it used to spend on subsidized affordable housing before the 1980s.
Researchers from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) estimate that half of the single homeless adults are age 50 or older, compared to 11 percent in the early 1990s — a 354 percent uptick.
Reasons why an older person might experience homelessness for the first time.
Why American's are Retiring into Homelessness
"The Department of Housing and Urban Development has found that just under 553,000 people are homeless in the United States, with approximately 65% staying in sheltered accommodation. Half of all people experiencing homelessness are in one of five states - California (129,972 people), New York (91,897), Florida (31,030), Texas (25,310) and Washington (22,304).
At last count, there were 6857 people living on the streets of San Francisco each night. That means that when most of us can open a door to get in out of the cold and close a door behind us when we go to sleep, these 6857 people do not even have that minimum sense of security. A recent article in the Street Sheet details what the city is doing about shelter in the recent heavy rains. The Street Sheet
Pop Up Care Villages operate the last Tuesday of every month at a different location around San Francisco and Oakland. Every Pop-up includes 15 to 21 different services, ranging from hot coffee and free haircuts to legal resources and employment support. Taking over an entire city block, the villages serve an average of 300 to 400 people each month and require the work of 50 to 75 volunteers.
The Villages were started by Doneice Sandoval In 2013 when she began working to convert the city's retired diesel buses into mobile shower facilities. Her nonprofit Lava Mae has grown into a multi-city operation offering free showers to those who need them in San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles.
For more information about Lava Mae go to https://lavamae.org/ For more information about how to volunteer for the Pop Up Villages or Lavamae go to Lavamae Get Involved.
Art Auction 18
Thursday, September 13, 2018
5:30pm to 10:00pm
SOMArts Cultural Center
(934 Brannan St., San Francisco, CA 94103)
The Homeless Chorus Speaks is a PBS documentary that describes how music can make a difference in the lives of people living without support and shelter. The Voices of our City Choir in San Diego builds bridges and connects diverse communities through musical performance, advocacy and education. It was "founded in 2016 by San Diego musicians Steph Johnson and Nina Deering in response to the housing crisis and serves as a space for mutual aid and community building, as well as giving voice to San Diego's homeless community, past and present."
The Homeless Chorus Speaks trailer
Directed and Produced by
Susan Polis Schutz. Annukka Lilja, editor. Bret Granato, supervising editor.