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Fair Shelter Access Hearing: Demand a Fair, Humane, Efficient System!
Date Thursday April 05
Time 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Location Details
City Hall, Room 263
Event Type Other
Organizer/AuthorJennifer Friedenbach
Emaildirector [at]
Fair Shelter Access Hearing:
Demand a Fair, Humane, Efficient System!
Thursday, April 5, 1:30 PM
Room 263, City Hall

San Francisco’s barbaric Shelter Reservation System forces people to wait hours for a bed, walk huge distances to reach their beds, and often to be turned down, or having to repeat the same process the next day. (See below.) This treadmill of torture must stop. Come to this hearing to demand a fair, humane, and efficient system.

See the Coalition on Homeless Reports on the SF Shelter System

“Special Needs, Special Disadvantages” (2007)

See SF Gray Panthers June 2009 article on the shelter bed situation:

Is Care-Not-Cash a Success?

A May 3 2009 Chronicle article on Mayor Newsom’s Care-Not-Cash proclaimed, “SF Making Strides to Solve Homeless Problem. 83 percent reduction in people receiving checks who are homeless." A new member was outraged. “Are we to be happy that there has been a 5/6th reduction in money for homeless people? How does this relate to abatement of human suffering? Why does the Chronicle or Newsom feel that it's a great accomplishment?”

Most General Assistance (GA) recipients got their checks reduced to $65 monthly, but only one in three or four got any kind of housing. And "housing" increasingly means a shelter bed.

The increasingly inadequate number of shelter beds are reserved for those GA recipients because every shelter bed occupied by a GA recipient represents a big savings for the City.

If you don't qualify for GA, such as being undocumented, or are receiving any other benefits (like most seniors and people with disabilities), you start standing in line at 4 AM to get a bed, and even then you’ll be turned away an average of six times a month. You’re not allowed to use your bed until 8 PM, so you’re on the street all day. The drop-in center where you can rest or use the bathroom is being closed as part of the budget cuts.

If you get a bed, it’s supposed to be yours for a week, but some are one-night-only beds that belong to other programs but aren’t being used that night for some reason. So if you’re unlucky enough to be assigned a one-night-only bed, you’re back on the line the next morning at 4 AM hoping you’ll get a week-long bed.

The number of families needing shelters doubled from 2007 to 2008, At the same time, the city has reduced family shelter beds by 20 percent, and the waiting list is now more than four months long — meaning families are waiting for shelter longer than they can actually stay in it.

Around 3 AM on even the coldest of nights, a City water truck makes its rounds through the Tenderloin, hosing down doorways where homeless unable to get a bed are sleeping. And this is what Newsom and the Chronicle call success.
Added to the calendar on Friday Mar 16th, 2012 1:52 PM

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