Public Input - Addressing Racism and Homelessness in SF

On Monday, October 17th, HandUp, Hamilton Families, Project Homeless Connect, and the City of San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing hosted a Town Hall at Herbst Theatre to address racism and homelessness in San Francisco. We asked some important questions at the event, and we have transcribed and published all of the responses that residents submitted here as a record of the conversation:

As a member of a privileged group, what is your role in dismantling racism? 

Self Reflection
Sitting in discomfort. To better understand. Changing myself.
Be aware of how privileged you are and aware of how you can help those around you
Remember we all get hit with racist messages
Seeing beyond the social class I am in
Understand that we do not live in a post-racial world
Acknowledge people on the street
Acknowledging the privilege, recognizing our own vulnerabilities
Take responsibility
Don't let things slide
Even while I’m vulnerable in other ways, I have the fact that I have access to health care and basic needs
Recognizing how my privilege also creates oppression and managing to limit this

Listen 
Be sincere and open to people of all races. Specifically people of color.
Finding a voice when needed, listening when needed
Doing the work to truly understand others
Listen. Speak Out. Help.
Listen
Facilitate healing
Being a good listener and not just making assumptions
Listening to people of color and talking to other white folks about privilege
Talk to people experiencing homelessness. Don't assume anything

Speak Up 
To challenge racism in my own people (lgbtq/queer, fat, and European) whenever I encounter it. To be aware in my own work of the privilege I have and how others are disempowered by deep structural racism.
Be a voice for change/dismantlement
Speaking up to shut down all attempts at racism
Be brave in speaking your truth
Not staying silent and comfortable
We need to speak out!
Engage in hard conversations. Speak out to injustice witnessed. Take ownership!
Not perpetrate the lie
Talk about the fact that I don't have to worry about immigration coming after me

Educate My Community 
Be a steward and bring the messages from tonight back to my community
Educating myself and privileged peers
MORE THAN LISTEN. Educate, reflect, call out, support and hold space, give money, vote.
Educating my community, not staying silent
As a White person, part of my role is to make other privileged people aware of their own privilege and how we can use that privilege to advocate for others
Create a safe space for others to critique and breakdown stereotypes.
Name racism and the intersectionalities connected to it
Have the hard conversations. Talk about the racism without shame.
Help educate other privileged friends and family on the structural factors supporting racism and discrimination. There’s more to racism than just hate speech.
Have the hard conversations!

Take Action at Work 
Advocating for better hiring practices at work
Speak out at my workplace, with very diverse line staff, all white supervisors, and managers.
Stop giving jobs to fight inequalities to other privileged persons.
Insist on discussing racism at work
Asking tough questions at work
Use my role at work to actively dismantle racist factors in our system. Test for disparate impact, hire and mentor people of color.
Requiring anti-racism trainings at work

Take Action in My Community
Speaking out in areas of privilege, relative safety, and security for the rights of marginalized people. Being active by voting, showing up, and protesting when others can’t.
Join SURJ and start discussions and share knowledge among my peers
Create website that vets nonprofit orgs
Support local POC-owned business
Donating money
Walk the walk, not just talk the talk
Utilize my skills and education
REPARATIONS Advocate for change
Let’s revisit the racist and undemocratic “Care not cash”
Create policy to bring and rectify equity
Showing up. Talking about it. Creating space for voiceless populations.
ACT NOW

- - - - - - - - - - -
 
As a vulnerable person what is your role in dismantling racism? 

Self-reflection 
Live with an open heart
Remaining curious and open
Accept that Black people in the United States have been treated poorly
Make others aware of my vulnerabilities
Be myself
Stop pretending it doesn’t hurt
Recognize my role in the system

Speak up and out 
Engage in conversation
Speaking up, not regretting not having done so
TAKE UP SPACE
Speak out
Speak out and up for others
Speaking out against racist speech when I hear it
Speaking up and sharing my stories
Eradicate ignorance
Calling upon my allies to bring attention to the issue
Speaking up for other vulnerable people
If racism in encountered- address it!
Raise awareness
Respond and speak up!
We are all vulnerable in some way, but it is worth the risk to speak out share info, shine a light, and align myself with other advocates and vulnerable folks.
Speak up for yourself and others
Call it like it is. Report things I see as wrong.

Support myself and my community 
Identifying my own prejudices and helping others do the same
Supporting my peers whey they share experiences of racism and or micro aggressions
As a human person, my role is to say We Are Strong!
As a White queer person, to establish allyship and fight racism in myself and my own groups
Begin to connect deeper with our own brothers and sisters
Live with, work with, and enjoy things together

Take Action
Get educated about institutionalized racism. Go for the origin of the problem!
Challenging my colleagues to be aware of implicit bias
Be committed to the fight. Don't give up!
Going out into the community and volunteering
Work to establish and create safe spaces for all people to be seen as a human being!
Change/reinvent capitalism!
Find allies and build bridges with them
Treat everyone with respect
Work to change the power imbalance

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

When was the first time you experienced, witnessed, or participated in racism?

A little white girl, a baby, rubbed my hand and said, “You are dirty.”
My teacher assumed I lived a different neighborhood than he did.
“Why are your eyes like that?” I felt wrong and like I couldn't be right.
My first time was in high school. I was told Black literature was not important.
In elementary school when I was told I was so pretty and nice “for a black girl”
Growing up in public housing, also being called a spit at City College in the 1970s
First time at 18 years old, stopped by police and harassed.
I was three years old riding in a grocery card and said “hi” to a white family in the store and they totally ignored me.
As a person of color, I am often overlooked in retail settings while lighter skinned or more affluent people get served before me.
“Black is not a color”
Sad and angry. Seven years old when my African American friend said we couldn’t play together anymore because I am White, and it made her other friends angry.
I became the “exception.” In sixth grade, my teacher told me that I surprised her and the other teachers, that they didn't expect any of the Black kids to do well to the suburban school. But, according to her, I was different because I was articulate. I knew she intended it as a compliment, but I didn't want it if it meant putting down my peers.
Here in the states, when I just arrived.
When I, a Caucasian, was publicly criticized and demeaned for marrying my Pilipina wife. (1966 in Wisconsin)
In high school during a fight
I felt really bad for my dad as a little girl, and ANGRY
Confused. Three years old in Lewis, Delaware. Walking with my grandfather’s friend who was Black. Vividly remember how disrespectfully they treated him when my White grandfather was not with us.
The first time I participated in racism, I felt nothing. It was normal. I know differently now.

How did you feel?
Angry, sad, and helpless. Racism sucks.
Angry and worthless
I thought that if I was kind, I would be immune to racism. Not so.
Confused, hurt.
Devalued, worthless, and broken down.
Sad, angry
Under attack
I felt uncomfortable
Sad and angry
Like curling up in a ball and rolling away
Angry
Painful, torn apart inside (emotionally)
I felt like shit. Belittled.
Embarrassed
(As a witness) Indignation, remorse, pain
Seen as people

Recent Activity

Dan

"San Francisco officials are going forward with a plan to use off-site modular construction to build supportive housing for the homeless, a move that could save time and money, but has long been regarded as politically untenable because of opposition from the building trade unions.

The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, known as MOHCD, is set to issue a request for proposals for a developer capable of building a 250-unit housing complex using modular construction on a parking lot owned by the federal government at Seventh and Mission streets. Building the modules in an off-site factory will cut costs by 20 percent and speed up production by 30 to 40 percent, the city estimates.

The project marks the first time San Francisco’s powerful building trades, which have long had an iron grip on multifamily development in the city, have agreed not to oppose modular construction for projects aimed at housing formerly homeless people."

www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/ar...

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New direction in housing for S.F.’s homeless: modular

San Francisco officials are going forward with a plan to use off-site modular construction to build supportive housing for the homeless, a move that could save time and money, but has long been regarded as politically untenable because of opposition from the building trade unions.

The Mayor's Office of Housing and Community...

www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/ar...

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Posted Oct 5, 2017
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Project Homeless Connect

For many San Franciscans, PHC events have become a regular part of volunteering and community service experiences. If you have never been to a Community Day of Service but are interested in learning more about future volunteer opportunities and better understand how PHC provides care with dignity, we have a wonderful opportunity to get to know us better!

Our Acting CEO, Meghan Freebeck, would love to show you the impact of the event and tell you more about ways to get involved in the future.

Email Meghan.Freebeck@sfdph.org by Friday, October 6th (space is limited), to set up a scheduled time to meet Meghan and see why Project Homeless Connect's "one-stop-shop" model was named a Best Practice by HUD and has since been replicated in over 200 communities world wide!

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Posted Oct 4, 2017
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PHC 68
Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 10:00am - 3pm
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove Street

Join us on Wednesday, October 11 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Volunteer registration is open and shift options are all-day, morning, or afternoon (unless otherwise noted). We need support in the following areas:

Check-in (only all-day shifts, 8:30am - 3:30pm)
Housing and Shelter Information
Nurses (MA Nursing and RN/LV)
Reading Glasses
Breakdown (3:00pm - 6:00pm)

Please register on our volunteer portal by October 4th to ensure we have the space and to accommodate placements. Sign up and secure your spot!

phc.force.com/VOLC_Login

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Dan
Dan
Sep 18, 2017
Dan proposed this event for Project Homeless Connect.

Give Me Shelter: How the Bay Area is Tackling Its Housing Crisis
Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 5:45pm
The Commonwealth Club, 110 The Embarcadero

Join us on Tuesday, October 10 for "Give Me Shelter: How the Bay Area is Tackling Its Housing Crisis," a conversation about the ways in which the region is advocating, innovating and building in order to keep Bay Area residents in their homes.

In the past five years, Bay Area home prices have surged by an astounding average of 72 percent. Now, more than 1.5 million local households pay over half of their income in rent, and even six-figures is considered low income in certain parts of the Bay Area. For the first time, the public, private, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors are working together on creative solutions to produce and preserve affordable homes for all residents.

Hear from a panel of influential local leaders who are working to ensure that people of all backgrounds can continue to call the Bay Area home.

RSVP here: www.commonwealthclub.org/event...

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Project Homeless Connect 68
Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 10:00am - 3pm
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove Street

Join us on Wednesday, October 11 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Volunteer registration is now open and most service areas have availability. Sign up and secure your spot!

Please register through our volunteer portal - phc.force.com/VOLC_Login. Returning volunteers can use the same email and password from our old system. New users will create a new account, or log in through social platforms.

A suggested donation of $35 can make a huge difference - whether or not you are able to join us on October 11th! $35 will help us provide additional services at the Large Scale Service Day, a hygiene kit of basic needs for health and dignity packed by Simply the Basics, as well as increase our ability to continue providing services in our Every Day Connect drop-in programs.

Donate - donatenow.networkforgood.org/p...

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Mayor Edwin M. Lee

“When it comes to finding housing for people formerly living on the street, we will pursue any and every avenue imaginable and this is the latest example of that commitment.”

www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/ar...

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SF gets federal lot on Mission, to build units for formerly homeless

A surface parking lot behind the federal courthouse at Seventh and Mission streets in San Francisco will become the site of the city's largest housing development for formerly homeless people, thanks to a deal struck this week between city officials and the federal government.

The city will lease the parking lot for three years while it pulls...

www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/ar...

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Posted Aug 11, 2017
Progress
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Mayor Edwin M. Lee

With the help of $10M in state funding, we'll expand compassionate & common sense programs to #endhomelessness in #SF twitter.com/mayoredlee/status/...

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Posted Jul 23, 2017
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Mayor Edwin M. Lee

"On Monday, I took a walk through the City’s Medical Respite Center, a facility that provides specialized treatment and healthcare services to residents dealing with homelessness. I was able to speak with our dedicated employees and learn more about this important center and the critical services it offers.

That facility will soon double in size, expanding from 7,500 square feet to 15,000, while increasing the numbers of available beds from 45 to 79. Our $3.5 million investment into this expansion has been strengthened by a $612,000 funding contribution from Tipping Point, a private organization that has pledged $100 million over the next five years to reduce chronic homelessness by 50 percent in San Francisco.
Tipping Point’s $100 million allocation will go toward the creation of new housing units, and investments into mental health, child welfare and criminal justices systems.

Our partnership with Tipping Point is the latest example of how we can work with our philanthropic allies to expand, develop and scale-up our successful homelessness programs. Homelessness is a complex challenge, without any silver bullet solution, and I have called on our private partners to join the City in tackling this issue."

medium.com/@mayoredlee/working...

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Working Together to Combat Homelessness – Mayor Edwin M. Lee – Medium

On Monday, I took a walk through the City’s Medical Respite Center, a facility that provides specialized treatment and healthcare services…

medium.com/@mayoredlee/working...

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Posted Jul 10, 2017
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San Francisco Housing Action Coalition

SFHAC-member Panoramic Interests has proposed creating up to 1,000 homes for formerly homeless residents using prefabricated steel construction. But this idea has made little headway in San Francisco because of concerns from trade unions and unwillingness from city staff to devote public land to such a project. The SF Chronicle reports on this and other solutions underway to address homelessness.

www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/ar...

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Supportive housing in short supply, but tiny homes may fill need

The best way to pull the hardest-core, most visible homeless people off the streets of San Francisco is to provide them with supportive housing — rooms or apartments in buildings with counselors on-site to shepherd them through the addictions, mental or other afflictions that had ruined their lives. The city has placed 14,000 people into...

www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/ar...

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Posted Jul 5, 2017
Rene Rodriguez
Rene Rodriguez
Jul 6, 2017

I
What I like about the modular style stackable and tiny homes, is that they can be moved to wherever there is a temporary space. Just pop it on a trailer. That is the point, right? Why not set them up like parklets?

Posted by Rene Rodriguez on Jul 6, 2017
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Dan

The City of Los Angeles is issuing a bond to finance housing for the homeless - neighborly.com/issuance/la-201...

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City of Los Angeles General Obligation Bonds Series 2017-A (Taxable) | Neighborly

Invest in addressing homelessness and earn interest! The proceeds of the Bonds will be used to finance certain projects for providing affordable housing for the homeless and for those in danger of becoming homeless. Please note that Series A bonds are taxable

neighborly.com/issuance/la-201...

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Posted Jun 27, 2017
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