Private Capital Takes a Risk to Help House Neediest

Rishika Dugyala, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 24 2017 - 5:01am

Since their debut seven years ago, “social impact bonds” have generated $200 million in the United States and 14 other countries toward programs to reduce homelessness and related social problems. San Jose has already tapped into this new funding source, and San Francisco may in the future.

Comparing 4 ‘Social Impact Bond’ Projects

Rishika Dugyala, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 24 2017 - 5:00am

Governments have been looking for an effective, cost-efficient way to house their homeless populations, especially the high-need individuals straining public resources while out on the streets. Social impact bonds offer a novel public-private partnership that might work.

No Vacancy for the Homeless

Joe Eskenazi, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 23 2017 - 6:52am

Dozens of residential hotels have rooms to spare, but it is a seller's market, and city officials cannot force owners to rent. At last count, 4,353 people were unsheltered in San Francisco, with 1,827 empty rooms in private SROs.

How to Fill All the Empty SRO Rooms

Joe Eskenazi, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 23 2017 - 6:51am

Master leasing of single-room occupancy hotels in San Francisco has housed thousands of homeless people — and done so in hotels that are, by and large, a huge improvement over those of a generation ago. But hings  could be better.

Brainstorming the Future to Help Resolve Homelessness

Michael Stoll, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 23 2017 - 6:50am

Starting this fall, the Public Press is reporting on new and creative solutions to homelessness. And because we know we don’t have all the answers, we’re engaging the community to gather fresh ideas and inspire action.

Crissy Field Rally: Message of Peace Tainted by Violence

Rishika Dugyala and Sarah Asch, San Francisco Public Press — Aug 25 2017 - 11:53am

Against the backdrop of recent right-wing violence, the organizer of the now-canceled Crissy Field “free speech” rally said he just wanted San Francisco’s moderate “good liberals” to reject the city’s “intolerance” and embrace his message of peace and love. Dubious, officials and counterprotesters sent him a different message.

California’s Push for Affordable Housing Could Weaken Environmental Law

Kevin Stark, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 25 2017 - 3:11pm

The Legislature’s efforts to ease the housing-affordability crisis could chip away at longstanding protections in the state’s landmark environmental law. Two such bills were introduced by San Francisco lawmakers.

One Week of Homelessness Coverage, 11 Ideas About Solutions

Sarah Asch and Rishika Dugyala, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 6 2017 - 1:47pm

The weeklong S.F. Homeless Project, a coordinated reporting effort by nearly two dozen outlets, offered up some ideas that could contribute to the overall aim of ending homelessness — or at least proposals that could help homeless individuals cope better with life on the streets.

After City Clears Homeless Camps, Team Works to Prevent Return

Zachary Benjamin, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 6 2017 - 10:49am

City officials quickly learned that not long after a homeless encampment was cleared, a new one would often take hold in the same area. So they quietly added a team to keep encampments from re-emerging.

Nomads by the Bay: Homeless Camp Faces Cycle of Displacement

Hannah Kaplan, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 5 2017 - 7:00am

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 - 2:03pm

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 - 3:02pm

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 - 6:53am

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 - 3:45pm

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 - 3:44pm

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 - 2:42pm

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 - 4:36pm

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 - 7:00am

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 - 7:00am

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 - 7:27am

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.