Two Homeless Women Move into Vacant Property
San Francisco, CA – On May 1, two unhoused women and community advocates moved into an investment property that has sat vacant for years in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco. They are demanding the right to housing for all people and the right to shelter in place during the global pandemic.
There are currently more empty houses than homeless people in San Francisco. Reclaim SF is demanding that Mayor London Breed use her emergency powers to open all these vacant units to those currently trying to stay safe from the virus in congregate shelters, crowded SROs, or in tents on the street.
Taking inspiration from #Moms4Housing, ReclaimSF is directly meeting the real needs of our unhoused neighbors and demanding bolder initiatives from elected officials. While the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance requiring Mayor Breed to open 8,000 hotel rooms to homeless people, she refuses to comply with the will of her constituents, denying basic rights to our unhoused neighbors and putting all San Franciscans at risk.
“The only difference between us and someone who is housed is they have a roof over their head we don’t, but we are all San Francisco residents! We should be treated as such,”
says Couper Orona, a disabled firefighter and street medic who has moved into the house.
“I love my city and I am there for my community, but the way our leaders have ignored our pleas for support is heartbreaking. We need permanent housing, and we need it now. We can’t wait another day.”
Who is Couper Orona? 1 minute trailer from upcoming short doc, “Couper Was Here” about her life and homeless advocacy.
In 2018 San Francisco voters passed “Our City Our Home”, a ballot initiative that promised to open 4,000 units for homeless San Franciscans. Despite the overwhelming support from voters, Mayor Breed has refused to implement the initiative, instead leaving the taxes on the city’s wealthiest corporations in a bank account, untouched.
“It’s outrageous that while houses sit empty, we’re unable to safely shelter in place,”
says Jess Gonzalez, the other woman creating a home in this vacant house.