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Transportation Challenges Complicate School Choice for S.F. Students

Rebecca Robinson, San Francisco Public Press — Jan 29 2015 - 2:05pm

While San Francisco’s school assignment system has benefited families with the means to transport their children to schools with the most desirable programs, it creates dilemmas for more disadvantaged students who must travel long distances to school, often without the help of their parents. Many lower-income students must choose between long commutes on unreliable public transit and attending lower-performing schools closer to home. This may help explain why San Francisco public schools, like those in many cities nationwide, are increasingly resegregating as decades of court-ordered diversity measures recede into history.

Data Confirm Link Between Parent Fundraising, Student Achievement

Jeffrey Thorsby, San Francisco Public Press — Jan 28 2015 - 2:52pm

Last winter, the San Francisco Public Press published a detailed, data-rich narrative showing how private funds have saved a few schools from the ravages of years of budget cuts, but ended up exacerbating educational inequality within the San Francisco Unified School District. As a researcher for the project, I assisted the team in scouring through mountains of public documents, including budgets, California Department of Education data reports, hundreds of parent-teacher association nonprofit tax returns and statistics from other state and local agencies.

Traumatized by the Streets: Illustrated Report on Finding Housing in San Francisco

San Francisco Public Press — Jan 5 2015 - 5:14pm

As seen in our fall issue, this illustrated report tells the true story of two individuals as they struggle to find housing in San Francisco. Follow the different paths of David and Laura as they navigate the city’s supportive housing system.

Click through to view the full story.

As Neighbors Decry Spread of Homeless Encampments, One Mission Resident Opens Her Home Instead

Sanne Bergh and Paul Lorgerie, San Francisco Public Press — Dec 19 2014 - 2:42pm

Potrero Hill and Mission District residents complain about nearby homeless encampments, which have grown in sheltered areas as winter approaches. Police and city officials say the problem is too big to solve. One resident took matters into her own hands. Part of a special report on homelessness and mental health in San Francisco in the fall 2014 print edition.

Thoughts on Homelessness From San Francisco Civic Leaders

Angela Hart, San Francisco Public Press — Dec 10 2014 - 5:52pm

Part of a special report on homelessness and mental health in San Francisco, in the fall 2014 print edition. Stories rolling out online throughout the fall.

San Francisco has struggled for more than 10 years to solve the problem of chronicl homelessness. While the current consensus endorses the principle of “housing first” — stabilizing people by getting them off the streets and into basic housing — there is little agreement about the optimal policies to pursue. We asked eight civic leaders for their ideas about how to improve the living situations of the thousands of people currently living on the streets and in shelters.

Dropped Domestic Violence Charge for 49er Ray McDonald Is Standard Fare in Bay Area

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Dec 10 2014 - 5:22pm

Football players have recently made the news for allegedly assaulting their romantic partners. But both inside and out of sports, this type of crime often goes unpunished because victims refuse to cooperate — a problem that San Francisco City Hall continues to grapple with.

Schizophrenia Diagnosis Puts People First in Line for Benefits

Lisa Weinzimer, San Francisco Public Press — Dec 9 2014 - 3:16pm

Homeless people with schizophrenia face abnormally high hurdles to obtaining their Supplemental Security Income benefits. But one government program has sliced their wait times to mere days, rather than months. Part of a special report on homelessness and mental health in San Francisco, in the fall 2014 print edition. Stories rolling out online throughout the fall.

How Homelessness Can Compromise Mental Health

Evelyn Wang, San Francisco Public Press — Dec 8 2014 - 3:52pm

Studies show insecure housing can aggravate existing psychological problems, or even create new ones. Obtaining housing has been shown to improve mental health. Part of a special report on homelessness and mental health in San Francisco, in the fall 2014 print edition. Stories rolling out online throughout the fall.

S.F. Alternative Court Provides Lifeline

Lisa Weinzimer, San Francisco Public Press — Nov 25 2014 - 10:47am

For Kim Knoble, the citys behavioral health court kept her out of jail and helped her recover from a debilitating disorder. Part of a special report on homelessness and mental health in San Francisco, in the fall 2014 print edition. Stories rolling out online throughout the fall.

Sentencing Reform Side Benefit: Behavioral Health Court Expansion

Sanne Bergh, San Francisco Public Press — Nov 25 2014 - 10:45am

A state law approved by voters on Election Day will reduce tough sentences for some felonies. But it could also provide a financial windfall to local community courts, which divert people with mental illness out of the criminal justice system. Part of a special report on homelessness and mental health in San Francisco, in the fall 2014 print edition. Stories rolling out online throughout the fall.

Q-and-A: Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi on San Francisco Jail System

Rebecca Rosen Lum, San Francisco Public Press — Nov 21 2014 - 12:54pm

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi says that the city’s jails are giving inmates the psychiatric services they cannot get at the major medical centers. Part of a special report on homelessness and mental health in San Francisco, in the fall 2014 print edition. Stories rolling out online throughout the fall.

Formerly Homeless Residents May Face Higher Eviction Rate Than Other S.F. Tenants

Paayal Zaveri, San Francisco Public Press — Nov 20 2014 - 3:22pm

Even after residents get in to supportive housing, they face many obstacles to keeping it, and make up a disproportionately large number the tenants threatened with eviction. Part of a special report on homelessness and mental health in San Francisco, in the fall 2014 print edition. Stories rolling out online throughout the fall.

A Minimum Wage Increase Means Nothing if Your Boss Is a Scofflaw

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Nov 19 2014 - 5:17pm

San Francisco’s vote to raise the minimum wage on Election Day reflects the widening recognition of deep income disparity. While the wage hike is a boon for those who toil under law-abiding bosses, thousands of San Francisco employers skirt existing minimum wage requirements, studies indicate.

New Virtual Reality Installation Reveals How Sea-Level Rise Will Affect Bay Area Shoreline

Paul Lorgerie, San Francisco Public Press — Nov 17 2014 - 11:39am

A San Francisco technology company is helping Bay Area residents visualize in 3-D how their neighborhoods could look under three feet of water when sea-level rise accelerates later this century.

Promise of Supportive Housing for Homeless Faces Reality of Short Supply

Angela Hart, San Francisco Public Press — Nov 13 2014 - 5:43pm

10 years ago, San Francisco’s politicians pledged to end chronic homelessness, getting the neediest people off the street through a “housing first” policy. Today that outcome is nowhere in sight. Few people are lucky enough to leave the streets through the city’s subsidized housing placement system, where some wait perpetually to receive a home. Part of a special report on homelessness and mental health in San Francisco, in the fall 2014 print edition. Stories rolling out online throughout the fall.

Housing Solution: Build Manhattan-Style Towers in Candlestick Park

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Nov 12 2014 - 4:14pm

Business journalist David Cay Johnston pitches the idea of building high-density apartment buildings at Candlestick Park instead of planned retail, offices and hotels. He says “Manhattanizing” the area could bring down housing prices across the city by adding 14,000 new units of housing.

KQED Tackles Junction Between Homelessness, Mental Illness

Emily Dugdale, San Francisco Public Press — Nov 10 2014 - 5:44pm

KQED Public Radio’s “Forum” hit the airwaves this morning with a conversation with Robert Okin, the former chief of psychiatry at San Francisco General Hospital, who recently published a new book on homelessness and mental illness. He said the common belief that the homeless choose to reside on the streets, from his experience profiling them, is false.

Housing Solution: Increase Density in Western Neighborhoods and Fix Transit

Evelyn Wang, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 27 2014 - 3:15pm

New housing construction is blazing through the city’s eastern side, but not the west. Why? Residents say existing public transit is too poor to accommodate denser housing, which might also disrupt the neighborhood’s character. But minor tweaks to zoning regulations could add thousands of new apartments, and many would be priced below the market rate.

Heinberg: Localize Economy or Face the Consequences

Paul Lorgerie, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 9 2014 - 6:48pm

Author Richard Heinberg and other experts spoke at the Economics of Sustainability conference, at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. Heinberg said communities must become more self-sufficient in order to mitigate the coming climate crisis.

List of S.F. Buildings Needing Earthquake Retrofits 60% Higher Than Original Estimate

Barbara Grady and Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 8 2014 - 3:27pm

With an estimated 70,000 residents living in vulnerable structures, landlords are moving fast to meet the city’s new retrofit deadlines.