San Francisco Homeless Resource

Homelessness in San Francisco came under increased media attention in mid-2007, especially through an ongoing series in The Chronicle. This page will provide links and summaries of those stories, as well as other sources, in order to give users an overview and ready access. This page is meant as a resource. Please do not use summaries as a place to voice opinions or make judgments. Please feel free to add links to stories that deal specifically with SF Homelessness published since Summer 2007. Thank you.

Media Stories:

2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 (JAN-JUN) | 2010 (JUL-DEC) | 2011 | 2012

Major Periodicals:

SF Gate / Chronicle "homeless" article search | Examiner "homeless" article search
SF Bay Guardian "homeless" article search | SF Weekly "homeless" article search
BeyondChron "homeless" article search | Fog City Journal "homeless" article search

Other Sites:

Road Dawgs "Voice of Homeless Youth" | SF Street Sheet | Poor Magazine/PNN | Blogs

12/20/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "S.F. blames out-of-towners for endless homeless problem"
Summary: Because a high percentage of homeless in San Francisco are not from San Francisco, the City and others are proposing that services be prioritized for resident homeless.

12/20/08 - The Chronicle - Meredith May "Norma Hotaling dies - fought prostitution"
Summary: SAGE founder Norma Hotaling was an international heroine who rescued those trapped in prostitution. She died of pancreatic cancer on December 16.

12/19/08 - The Chronicle - Evelyn Nieves "In tough times, ranks of homeless students rising"
Summary: Foreclosed on and evicted families end up homeless, and their children often don't go to school.

12/17/08 - SF Bay Guardian - Amanda Witherell "Budget funeral: San Francisco's social safety net takes brunt of mid-year cutbacks"
Summary: Homeless service providers and advocates hold protest over budget cuts to public health that will eliminate critical staff that are saving lives.

12/16/08 - The Chronicle - C.W. Nevius "More people on S.F. streets newly homeless"
Summary: Families evicted from apartment building foreclosures join the population of homeless that previously included mostly single men. The Salvation Army has been helping by distributing food to the changing demographic.

12/11/08 - The Chronicle City Insider - Heather Knight "Newsom: The Grim Reaper?"
Summary: Coalition on Homelessness and a couple of hundred protesters marched at City Hall to protest budget cuts to homeless and health programs.

12/2/08 - The Chronicle - Heather Knight "Walden House facing 10% cut in S.F. funds"
Summary: Walden will be closing and cutting some important programs due to mayor's mid-year budget cuts. The Board of Supervisors hopes to creatively restore some funding.

12/1/08 - BeyondChron - Carol Harvey "Guest Editorial: Hosing the Homeless"
Summary: San Francisco city street cleaners spray homeless with water while they are sleeping.

11/29/08 - The Chronicle - C.W. Nevius "Project Homeless Connect gets back to basics"
Summary: PHC used to be all about homeless aid, then SF Connect began trying other services and that took away from the quality of PHC efforts.

11/26/08 - The Chronicle - Evelyn Nieves "Celebrated church braces for its busiest day"
Summary: Glide is serving more food to the hungry during these economic hard times, and Thanksgiving is the busiest time of year.

11/26/08 - The Chronicle - Julian Guthrie "Food donations keep pace - for now"
Summary: Some foundations, corporations, and individuals have increased their donations during these economic hard times, especially to food banks.

11/25/08 - The Chronicle - C.W. Nevius "Young adults find hope after foster care"
Summary: The Salvation Army's new Railton Place in the Tenderloin offers housing and services for youth who have emancipated from foster care.

11/20/08 - The Examiner - Tamara Barak Aparton "Community Justice Center backers seek outside funding"
Summary: The CJC homeless court is looking for private, state, and federal funding since the new Board of Supervisors is probably going to defund it after June 2009.

11/19/08 - The Chronicle - Wyatt Buchanan "Daly moves to pull funds for community court"
Summary: Chris Daly wants homeless court funds pulled, but mayor's office refuses to accept Prop L defeat as will of the people on the issue.

11/19/08 - The Chronicle City Insider - Heather Knight "Bill O'Reilly hates us"
Summary: A commentary on a documentary, available via YouTube, by Fox News' Bill O'Reilly in which BOR complains about San Franciscan values, including homeless behavior.

11/18/08 - BeyondChron - Randy Shaw "It’s Time to Re-Brand the “Housing Crisis”
Summary: An overview of current housing problems and politics.

11/14/08 - BeyondChron - Bob Ostertag "City of Saint Francis Loses Its Own Saint Henry"
Summary: Another detailed review of Hank's life.

11/13/08 - The Chronicle - Rachel Gordon "Hank Wilson dies - gay liberation activist"
Summary: A detailed review of Hank's life.

11/13/08 - The Examiner - Tamara Barak Aparton "The City struggles to reach those living in cars"
Summary: The vehicularly housed are a subset of the homeless with special needs and problems.

11/11/08 - BeyondChron - Paul Hogarth "Will the Left Over-Reach on Prop L’s Defeat?"
Summary: Advocates and politicians may push for changes because of Prop L's defeat and not be able to achieve the desired result.

11/11/08 - BeyondChron - Paul Hogarth "Remembering Hank Wilson"
Summary: San Francisco advocate and service provider Hank Wilson passed away on November 9.

11/11/08 - The Chronicle - Anna Sussman "Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans join the homeless"
Summary: Many veterans are returning home and becoming homeless due to stress disorders and other causes.

11/11/08 - The Chronicle - C.W. Nevius "S.F. a good place to look at the plight of vets"
Summary: SF has a large homeless veteran population, and CWN looks at the situations of some members.

11/11/08 - The Chronicle - Heather Knight "Newsom's community court measure backfires"
Summary: Prop L loses, and now people wonder if the homeless court should be closed by the will of the voters.

11/9/08 - The Chronicle - James Hannah "Homeless female veterans get onto radar of VA"
Summary: Women make up a large part of homeless veterans too, and have special needs and problems.

10/31/08 - The Chronicle - James Temple "Glide striving to serve growing poor, homeless"
Summary: Glide is taking on more than its share of the increasing homeless population in today's worsening economy, but donations have decreased because donors are worried about their own finances.

10/30/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "Proposition L: Mayor's forgotten footnote"
Summary: Newsom's Prop L will permanently fund the "homeless court", but gets less attention from the mayor than the other city and state props this year.

10/27/08 - The Chronicle - Heather Knight "City Insider: Changing the way we give change"
Summary: The orange homeless parking meters are still on their way while the Mayor prepares a marketing plan, and he thinks mocking them have to read it to believe it.

10/25/08 - The Chronicle - Heather Knight "City Hall politics seems to be driving Prop. L"
Summary: Proposition L will guarantee funding of the Community Justice Center, and there are arguments for and against needing the proposition and the CJC.

10/24/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "Children get "thrown away" in San Francisco, too"
Summary: Children dropped off by parents who can't take care of them anymore doesn't just happen in other parts of the country, it happens in SF too, and Larkin Street Youth Services has seen many cases.

10/22/08 - The Chronicle - Marisa Lagos "S.F. panel recommends safe-streets programs"
Summary: The Streets and Neighborhood Workgroup meets for last time and issues recommendations for homeless policy changes.

10/9/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "Key group bids for consensus on homeless plan"
Summary: Streets and Neighborhood committee meets again and prepares to make homeless policy recommendations to the Mayor; advocates, government, and business leaders are close to consensus on many issues, and still working on others.

10/7/08 - The Chronicle - City Insider Marisa Lagos "Can't we all just hold hands?"
Summary: Streets and Neighborhood committee comprised of advocates, government, and business leaders try to reach consensus on a multitude of homeless policy issues.

9/30/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "Changing S.F. street behavior in small ways"
Summary: The Streets and Neighborhood Workgroup comprised of government, business, and advocate representatives has been meeting since summer and may be ready to pass some proposals that will affect the homeless.

9/27/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "S.F. panhandlers who work conventions"
Summary: Two homeless men use geniality for effective panhandling, and like to panhandle outside conventions where they have a style that entertains some visitors.

9/25/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "Worrisome changes roil the Mission District"
Summary: An increase in homelessness in the Mission brings up gentrification debate, and denial from the government.

9/17/08 - SF Bay Guardian - Amanda Witherell "What are safe streets? Mayoral task force looks for ways to protect people in San Francisco — from the homeless"
Summary: Streets and Neighborhood Workgroup is comprised of many influential policy makers and advisers, and they are about to recommend increased enforcement against the homeless.

9/12/08 - BeyondChron - Paul Hogarth "Sister Bernie, the “Conscience of San Francisco,” Goes on Sabbatical"
Summary: Religious Witness founder Sister Bernie Galvin takes leave after fighting for homeless causes.

8/28/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "Glide's food line: sanctuary for drug dealers"
Summary: Tenderloin police captain says drug dealers loiter in Glide's long food line and deal drugs, and police can't arrest dealers without more help.

8/27/08 - The Chronicle - Eric Allday "Disabled rights group sues over Care not Cash"
Summary: Berkeley disabled rights group files lawsuit stating that disabled are denied access to shelter beds under Care Not Cash; HSA director Trent Rhorer says 75-100 shelters beds go unused each night, so lawsuit is frivolous.

8/21/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "S.F. steps up to help women as shelter closes"
Summary: Marian Residence closes, Coalition calls for private or City funding, City says a new building is about to be leased.

8/6/08 - BeyondChron - Ralph Stone "Homeless Veterans Need More Assistance"
Summary: An increase of homeless veterans means there needs to be an increase of services.

7/26/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "A progress report on Golden Gate Park campers"
Summary: Police and government social workers are still going on pre-dawn patrols of GG Park; the park seems to have less homeless camper-related debris than a year ago.

7/24/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "S.F.'s system for chronic offenders broken"
Summary: One reason system broken may be that DA can't prosecute quality of life crimes effectively, therefore new court will handle those cases.

7/23/08 - The Chronicle - Wyatt Buchanan "Supes OK $500,000 for new crime court"
Summary: Board of Supervisors passes measure to fund Community Justice Center.

7/22/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "Community Justice Center picking up support"
Summary: More Supervisors are supporting the proposal to build CJC. An incident of a homeless man attacking police in the Castro causes outcry for something to fix broken system, and CJC is viewed as best possible solution.

7/17/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "Most homeless have city-funded home"
Summary: Civil Grand Jury releases report that most panhandlers on street aren't homeless but have a room paid for by city programs.

6/25/08 - SF Bay Guardian - Editorial "Newsom's backwards budget: The mayor can't blame Schwarzenegger for his mess"
Summary: Newsom's budget includes many homeless program cuts, but millions in increases for manager positions, including positions that may not be necessary.

6/17/08 - SF Bay Guardian - Amanda Witherell "Another Shelter Down: Women are casualties as St. Anthony shuts Marian Residence"
Summary needed

6/10/08 - The Chronicle - Marisa Lagos "St. Anthony's to close S.F.'s Marian Residence"
Summary: Marian residence and addiction recovery Farm closing due to financial pressures, leaving women especially vulnerable.

6/4/08 - SF Weekly - Ron Russell "To Serve & Collect: Nearly extinct and long at odds with the SFPD, the little-known San Francisco Patrol Special Police appears poised for a comeback"
Summary needed

5/18/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "Justice Center too good an idea to dismiss"
Summary: Proposal to build Community Justice Center voted down in Board of Supervisor's committee. Some say it's too expensive during these tight budgetary times; some say it's a good idea and time is of the essence despite cost.

5/11/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "No protection for women on the streets"
Summary: Women are especially vulnerable when homeless, and there are few specialty services for women on the street.

5/7/08 - BeyondChron - Adolfo R. Morales "Festive Rally Fights for City's Downtrodden"
Summary: Social workers and homeless gather at City Hall to protest proposed cuts to social programs.

5/6/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "Tenderloin long needed Salvation Army center"
Summary: On June 27 the new Salvation Army center "Railton Place" will open in the Tenderloin offering rehabilitation services and 110 transitional housing units.

5/1/08 - - Randy Shaw "The Politics of Homelessness and the 'Quality' of Urban Life"
Summary: Shaw reviews Alex Vitale's "City of Disorder" that principally argues that "urban liberals bear a greater degree of responsibility for ongoing homelessness than is typically recognized."

4/20/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "D.A., homeless advocates finally cooperating"
Summary: There are 39 aggressive panhandlers who are clogging the judicial system, and a compromise concerning evidence between the DA and legal advocates may allow multiple offenders to be forced into services or jail.

3/26/08 - SF Bay Guardian - Amanda Witherell "Closing Time: San Francisco shuts a much-needed 24-hour homeless center"
Summary: 150 Otis is replacing Buster's Place on April 1, but without the same capacity or services, which will burden other parts of the homeless services provider system and cause other problems for the homeless, especially women.

3/16/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "Outsider's take on S.F. homelessness - yikes"
Summary: A tourist has unpleasant experience with homeless; CWN revisits prosecution stalemate discussed in previous column, and calls for more cooperation between DA and advocate attorneys.

3/13/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "How helping the homeless can hurt them"
Summary: James Hill died recently in the library bathroom from an overdose. Hill had several court dates where the DA wanted to convict Hill of quality of life violations and require treatment. However, advocate attorneys and the courts made the prosecution too complicated with evidence rules.

3/11/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "Conscience of a conservatorship"
Summary: City is gearing up to use court conservatorships to place some homeless in facilities to forcibly treat their mental disabilities.

3/11/08 - The Chronicle - Wyatt Buchanan "S.F. to make homeless shelters more homey"
Summary: Supervisors likely to pass Shelter Standard of Care legislation and mayor is now supporting.

3/8/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "Cracks in Newsom's plan for homeless in S.F."
Summary: Addicts get housing and use their new rooms for getting high.

3/5/08 - The Chronicle - Cinnamon Stillwell "Homeless by the bay"
Summary: Columnist adds her opinion to the discussion, which is filled with a lot of judgment of SF's homeless and politicians and advocates, and respect for New York's "tough love" homeless model.

3/2/08 - The Chronicle - Kevin Fagan "Homeless, Mike Dick was 51, looked 66"
Summary: Homeless for decades, Mike Dick got into an SRO, but died 15 months later. UCSF study finds that many long-term homeless are dying from years of poor health even when they are saved from the streets.

3/2/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "Why so many panhandling cases get dismissed"
Summary: Mayor and DA want to prosecute aggressive panhandlers, but complain that advocates are getting most tickets dismissed because courts are requiring full prosecution.

2/27/08 - SF Bay Guardian - Bryan Cohen "Beyond beds: Mayor's Office stalls legislation to create standards of care for homeless shelters
Summary: Mayor's office opposes Shelter Standard of Care legislation; many others believe it is overdue.

2/26/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "City must strengthen approach to liquor stores"
Summary: The City's 867 liquor stores, with a high concentration in the Tenderloin, seem to be contributing to the chronic inebriation problem, but there is difficulty coming up with a solution.

2/20/08 - SF Bay Guardian - Bryan Cohen "No shelter from the budget storm: Buster's Place, the city's main 24-hour homeless drop-in center, faces closure"
Summary: Buster's Place faces closure, again, in budget battle.

2/12/08 - SF Bay Guardian - Amanda Witherell "Shelter shuffle: Inside San Francisco's confounding system of housing the homeless"
Summary: Reporter goes undercover and stays at shelters

1/31/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "Haight neighbors recycle anger about homeless"
Summary needed

1/30/08 - SF Bay Guardian - Amanda Witherell "Setting Standards: San Francisco's homeless shelters, overdue for basic necessities, may be about to change"
Summary needed

1/29/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "Slaying on Russian Hill"
Summary: Killing of mentally ill panhandler by police raises old issues.

1/8/08 - The Chronicle - CW Nevius "Mayor's new homeless policy guru is eager for change"
Summary: Dariush Kayhan is the new homeless policy director for San Francisco and has a mandate to implement the Mayor's old policies and some new ones too.