Nomads by the Bay: Homeless Camp Faces Cycle of Displacement

Hannah Kaplan, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 5 2017 - 8:00am

The story of  Box City reflects the city's shifting approach to homeless encampments and the impact on their residents. Many believed the navigation centers — touted as a model of moving people from “street to home” — would lead to long-term housing. But they were left demoralized and jaded about the government’s ability to help them.

A Legacy of Criminalizing Transience and Homelessness

Sara Bloomberg, San Francisco Public Press — Jun 30 2017 - 3:03pm

The California Legislature enacted the state's first anti-vagrant statutes in the mid-19th century, targeting Native Americans and Mexican-Americans. Since then, policymakers and voters have regularly acted to rid city streets of people who are homeless or indigent. This brief timeline highlights some key years and actions.

‘Quality of Life’ Citations at Record Lows

Sara Bloomberg, San Francisco Public Press — Jun 29 2017 - 4:02pm

As San Francico police respond to more calls for “quality of life” volations, citations have declined sharply in recent years, and the courts have been throwing out warrants for violations, quietly decriminalizing homelessness citywide, an analysis of city records shows.

As Shelter Wait Times Soar, Older Homeless in Limbo Daily

Sara Bloomberg, San Francisco Public Press — Jun 28 2017 - 7:53am

The wait time for an emergency shelter bed for homeless San Franciscans has hit a record high, as growing demand outstrips availability, city records show. Among those waiting weeks on the list recently were someone  97 years old and three people in their 80s.

More Homeless Returning to Streets From Navigation Centers

Noah Arroyo and Hannah Kaplan, San Francisco Public Press — Jun 27 2017 - 4:45pm

Two years after the city launched its navigation centers, fewer than a quarter of the nearly 1,200 people who have passed through have been placed in verified long-term housing, and more are returning to the streets, an analysis of city records shows. The most common outcome is a one-way bus ticket to another city.

From the Editors: A City in Flux

Lila LaHood and Michael Stoll, San Francisco Public Press — Jun 27 2017 - 4:44pm

In the Summer 2017 issue of the San Francico Public Press, we examine the city’s efforts to help homeless people through initiatives in place for years and ones that are expanding under the new Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. Some are experimental, which can be challenging for the people seeking services and for those trying to administer them while working out policy kinks.

Judge Halts Trump From Denying Funds to S.F., Other Sanctuary Cities

Zachary Benjamin, San Francisco Public Press — Apr 25 2017 - 3:42pm

A U.S. judge Tuesday temporarily blocked the Trump administration from denying federal funds to San Francisco, Santa Clara and 400 other so-called sanctuary jurisdictions nationwide that do not cooperate with immigration agents seeking to deport undocumented residents.

Mapping the Shoreline Building Boom as Seas Rise

Kevin Stark and Mary Catherine O'Connor, San Francisco Public Press — Apr 21 2017 - 5:36pm

A 2015 analysis by the Public Press found that Bay Area builders were investing more than $21 billion in 27 large waterfront projects at less than 8 feet above high tide. That elevation could see occasional flooding by the end of this century. Since then, developers have crafted plans for another eight large-scale commercial and residential construction projects in that zone. Though not all amounts are yet known, we have tallied more than $1.8 billion in costs associated with buying land parcels and building these proposed projects.

Visionary Solutions to Bayfront Inundation

Mary Catherine O'Connor, SF Public Press — Apr 20 2017 - 8:00am

Responding to sea level rise requires actions that fall into three categories: fortify infrastructure, accommodate higher water and retreat from the shoreline. Given the economic and cultural ties Bay Area residents have to the water — retreat is a hard sell.

Local Planners Brace for Faster Antarctic Ice Melt

Kevin Stark and Ellyn Beale, San Francisco Public Press — Apr 20 2017 - 8:00am

Across California, policymakers and urban planners at every level of government are struggling with how to respond to new computer models that show massive ice sheets in Antarctica on the brink of collapse.

By Weakening Law, Developers Shift Sea Rise Burden to Cities

Kevin Stark, San Francisco Public Press — Apr 19 2017 - 8:27am

Two years ago, the California Supreme Court overturned decades of land-use law by upholding lower court rulings that cities could no longer require developers to take into account the effects of climate change on their projects. That decision has unsettled public officials and planners, and critics say it will allow real estate interests to saddle taxpayers with a gigantic bill to defend against rising seas.

Timeline: Lawyers for Developers Share Tactics to Blunt CEQA

Kevin Stark, San Francisco Public Press — Apr 19 2017 - 8:26am

Invoking recent court decisions, developers are pushing back on the ability of Bay Area cities to use the California Environmental Quality Act to regulate waterfront development and protect residents from rising sea levels

Projects Sailed Through Despite Dire Flood Study

Kevin Stark, San Francisco Public Press — Apr 19 2017 - 8:23am

A city-commissioned environmental study that detailed how the Mission Bay neighborhood would be inundated by rising seas in coming decades went unpublished for more than a year while two showcase waterfront developments won key approvals from city officials and voters, a Public Press review of records shows.

Emails Show How Flood Study Finally Became Public

Kevin Stark, San Francisco Public Press — Apr 19 2017 - 8:21am

Officials offer explanations for 18-month delay in releasing city-funded study that foresees serious climate-related flooding in Mission Bay in the decades ahead. The release followed a public-records request by the Public Press.

How Pacific Northwest Cities Have Made Space for Homeless Encampments

Zachary Clark, San Francisco Public Press — Mar 23 2017 - 2:56pm

San Francisco officials have been skeptical of sanctioning homeless encampments as transitional housing, but local activists note that the model has a long track record in Seattle, Portland and Eugene, Ore.

Will San Francisco Embrace ‘Sanctioned’ Camps for the Homeless?

Zachary Clark, San Francisco Public Press — Mar 16 2017 - 4:13pm

Despite finding acceptance in the Northwest, self-managed tent communities on vacant land have been a hard sell to Mayor Lee’s office. Change might be in the wind.

After Exporting Raisins, Tech Pioneer Brought Campaign Finance Disclosures Online

Sara Bloomberg, San Francisco Public Press — Mar 1 2017 - 12:12pm

David Montgomery never planned to go into software engineering and never thought he would be a trailblazer bringing campaign finance disclosures online to help hold candidates, lobbyists and committees more accountable to the public.

Neighbors Ask UCSF to Help Pay for Mission Bay Growing Pains

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Feb 21 2017 - 1:21pm

The Mission Bay campus of the University of California-San Francisco, will soon expand. Community groups are asking it to offset the impact from that and other recent development by helping pay for new transit, parking, open space and other amenities.

As Healthy S.F. Serves Mostly Spanish Speakers, City Vows to Shield Undocumented Clients

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Feb 9 2017 - 9:00am

Ten years after it was launched, Healthy San Francisco today predominantly serves Spanish speakers and people living in the city’s southeast neighborhoods. Because some clients may be here illegally, city officials have vowed to shield them if  the Trump administration launches a deportation campaign.

Q&A: History Will Condemn Today’s Leaders for Ignoring Rising Seas

Audrey Dilling, San Francisco Public Press — Jan 31 2017 - 5:16pm

We recently caught up with Nate Kauffman, a landscape architecture and urban planning consultant whose work focuses on sea level rise adaptation, at a presentation at the Exploratorium on how cities can better manage development along the waterfront. The talk’s setting was apt: The science museum focused on children’s education sits on stilts just a few feet above the San Francisco Bay along the Embarcadero, a facility almost sure to be flooded within 100 years.