Tolbert le da un fuerte jale a la cuerda de su generador, que usa para prender las comodidades dentro de su RV cada día. Esto le permite usar electrodomésticos de cocina, la bomba de agua, luces y un calentador mientras recarga las baterías del vehículo por la noche. Tolbert comparte el generador con personas que viven en vehículos estacionados cerca de ella. En las calles, dijo, a las personas “no pensamos en ellos, punto.” Pero a través de la experiencia, muchos se vuelven fuertes después de ser derribados o descuidados por otros. “Te das cuenta de que vales la pena, en todas las maneras más difíciles. Y así es como es,” dijo. “Pero tú lo vales. Ustedes no saben su valor.”

En la Ciudad, Fuera del Mapa: Los Franciscanos Luchan por Mantener sus Residencias Móviles

En San Francisco, las restricciones de estacionamiento estrictas y generalizadas son una realidad. Pero para los cientos de residentes de la ciudad que viven en sus vehículos, estas regulaciones también pueden ser un obstáculo para mantener la estabilidad y salir de las calles. Los habitantes de los vehículos juegan al gato y al ratón con el gobierno, violando las leyes locales para sobrevivir al aire libre.

En medio del desorden, Nelson tiene lugares dedicados para almacenar lo esencial de todos los días. La guantera sirve como una mesita de noche que contiene cepillo de dientes, vasos, libreta de direcciones y condimentos para su próxima comida.

Los Franciscanos Luchan por Mantener sus Residencias Móviles

Este ensayo fotográfico acompaña a la historia “En la Ciudad, Fuera del Mapa: Los Franciscanos Luchan por Mantener sus Residencias Móviles,” que forma parte del proyecto “Conduciendo a Casa: Sobreviviendo la Crisis de la Vivienda” (Driving Home: Surviving the Housing Crisis).

HOT workers and homeless man

Homeless Service Providers Ask City for $43 Million to Handle Pandemic Fallout

As San Francisco leaders look for ways to slash spending in the face of a huge budget shortfall, a coalition of homeless service providers is asking for an increase in funding over the next two fiscal years to address an expected surge in demand due to economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The 30-plus-member Homeless Emergency Services Providers Association presented a proposal Monday to Mayor London Breed’s budget office requesting more than $42.5 million for homelessness-related programs through 2022, roughly 23% more than the groups received the previous two years. The money would fund subsidies that could help house hundreds of individuals and families, bolster emergency shelters and homelessness prevention programs, and jumpstart the city’s first safe drug injection site — provided Assembly Bill 362,  which would permit pilot versions of such sites, survives the state Legislature this year and is signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom. “We all understand that this is a tough time for our city’s revenue and budget, but it’s also a very tough time for our residents,” Supervisor Matt Haney, whose district is home to many of the city’s unhoused residents, said about the proposal. “If we don’t invest in prevention and make sure that the most vulnerable people are taken care of, it can get much worse quickly.”

The service providers’ association has won funding for its members and the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing in the past, including more than $24 million in funding for various programs in the last fiscal year.

Merced Domínguez observa a las palomas volar sobre su jardín en la calle Octava. "Todos los días, me siguen a donde quiera que vaya," dijo Domínguez, arrojando alpiste en la banqueta. “Todo el camino hasta el Dollar Tree y de vuelta a casa. Solo están esperando que los alimente." La rutina habitual de Domínguez consiste en colocar comida y agua en la banqueta afuera de su vehículo para los animales callejeros que visitan la manzana, incluyendo un gato callejero que llamó Cookie y las docenas de palomas que aparecen dos veces al día.

Berkeley Obliga a los Habitantes de Vehículos a Seguir Rodando

Este ensayo fotográfico acompaña a la historia “Sin Dirección, Sin Descanso: Berkeley Obliga a los Habitantes de Vehículos a Seguir Rodando,” que forma parte del proyecto “Conduciendo a Casa: Sobreviviendo la Crisis de la Vivienda” (Driving Home: Surviving the Housing Crisis).

On a Sunday afternoon, children play in the Gilman District in West Berkeley. Their family is part of a community of vehicle residents called Friends on Wheels, whose members have parked and lived together for two years. The community is made up of families, students, gig workers, service workers and disabled and elderly people who live in all shapes and sizes of vehicles.

No Address, No Rest: Berkeley Forces Vehicle Dwellers to Keep Rolling

In a region where the cost of living has spiraled upward in the last decade, some who find themselves without housing opt for living in vehicles. Many view it as a temporary fix — an affordable shelter or intermediate stop they hope will put them on a path to stable, permanent housing. In Berkeley, a group of vehicle dwellers joined together and created their own support system.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin at a press conference in Nob Hill. Laura Wenus / Public Press

Supervisor Proposes Limit on Disruptive Construction

Supervisor Aaron Peskin has introduced legislation that aims to keep landlords from engaging in construction work in ways that disrupt the lives of their tenants who are sheltering in place. For example, it would require that landlords provide alternative electrical and water supplies if the construction they’re doing results in either being shut off. 

“While we are sheltering in place, it is profoundly important that the residents of these buildings can shelter in peace,” he said. Peskin announced the proposal in front of a Nob Hill apartment building, where one tenant says construction is constant and most residents have left. Andrea Carla Michaels, a professional namer and crossword puzzle creator, is best known in San Francisco as “the Pizza Lady” for her practice of distributing pizza to homeless people. Michaels says construction in the building has been significantly disruptive to her life. 

“From literally the day, every time he moves someone out, he begins floor-to-ceiling renovations without permits.

Community-Land-Trust

Bill Could Help Keep Some Rentals Affordable

Tenants would gain a potential pathway into permanently affordable housing — to weather the COVID-19 pandemic — under a bill making its way through the state Legislature. Assembly Bill 1703 would require most owners looking to sell residential rental property to give the property’s tenants, as well as designated groups like nonprofits, the opportunity to make the first offer to purchase. If any of those outside groups bought the building, rents would be capped to help protect low-income tenants from displacement — a major threat as the state faces a recession and widespread job loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill’s sponsors are trying to guard against a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis’ fallout. “If you mapped where most homes were lost, and who lost them, they were Black and brown communities,” said Peter Cohen, co-director of the Council of Community Housing Organizations, one of more than 40 groups that sponsored the bill and brought the concept to the state Capitol, where Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) wrote and introduced it.