Ditto! thanks for sharing @Bridget
@Bridget Bevan Dufty's TED talk is awesome!
Here is a great TED talk from Bevan Duffy with some ideas that his group is working on.
Definitely worth watching --
@Tom Great find - thanks for posting that article.
Here is an interesting example of something that seems to be working well in NYC in the wake of Sandy displacing thousands: Build better housing.
"High-quality supportive housing can actually increase property values. Multiple studies have shown that placing disabled, addicted, chronically sick, and mentally ill homeless people in facilities like the Hegeman saves millions in Medicaid payments. The numbers are proving persuasive. New York State has started channeling $75 million a year in Medicaid money toward supportive housing, and it’s trying to persuade the federal government to add more."
It seems like maybe SF could build housing and *actually* add value to a neighborhood (according to NYC study) partially by choosing competent architects and builders?
... While all these actions would not help to solve the problem, I was thinking that probably this might help them to have a better night or day, while the proper community programs, organizations and other initiatives reach them out, promote and help their well-being.
Probably this might be an idea out of place, but hopefully thought provoking. Someone might have a good argument as to why this is not appropriate, or the other way around…, or probably you have seen this elsewhere? Looking forward to hear more thoughts ;-)
Thank you for continuing the discussion and picture added to this topic. Luke, thanks for the link. As many of you describe here, it is a complex problem and the causes can be rather different.
Probably the following is a crazy thought, but I was trying to think out loud here some other ways to improve the immediate daily life of these community. Could we design urban furniture that could improve a bit their daily routine (sleeping, cleaning one-selves, carrying personal belongings, etc).
For instance, I was inspired by the public urinal listed here - neighborland.com/ideas/sf-soma.... What about urban furniture that appear over night to provide some shelter, and disappear during the day. I was thinking of benches that fold down from a wall at night. During the day, they would fold back into the wall to allow the usual pedestrian traffic. Or public lockers that clean themselves.
The PPlanter is a scalable, reconfigurable public urinal and sink that uses modular biofilters to treat the wastewater.
The PPlanter takes on the challenge of public urination, which arises in a variety of urban contexts from beer gardens to addressing the needs of homeless populations. The PPlanter is a scalable,...
At the time I posted this comment, this thread on Quora had three detailed and insightful answers to the following question, "How can San Francisco solve its homelessness problem without simply kicking all of the homeless out of the city?" www.quora.com/San-Francisco/Ho...
This Neighborland idea page and the Quora thread seem to be the best sources for related discussion on the topic. Any chance we can get an SF representative to take a look at both and engage the community in both threads?
Answer (1 of 7): First: I agree with Sandro Pasquali who correctly points out that New York City has not "solved" the homelessness "problem,"  and  - so I don't agree with the underlying premise. [Update: I also don't agree that NYC made "significant" progress since much of what they have d...
While giving money away in response to panhandling may not be the best way to help those in need, I do appreciate Matthew Yglesias' arguments about the benefits of simply giving money to people in acute need , rather than programming how they spend it.