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S.F. Mayor Advances Historic Homelessness Recovery Plan with 4 New Innovative Projects

“These four innovative new and exciting projects demonstrate and help fulfill the vision of Mayor Breed’s Homelessness Recovery Plan,” said San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, executive director, Shireen McSpadden. “We know that housing is the solution to homelessness. By continuing to expand access to housing, and new shelter models we can stabilize more homeless residents in our community.” 

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As part of Mayor London Breed’s bold Homelessness Recovery Plan, the City has committed to acquiring or leasing 1,500 new units of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) and expanding shelter options for people living outdoors.
As part of Mayor London Breed’s bold Homelessness Recovery Plan, the City has committed to acquiring or leasing 1,500 new units of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) and expanding shelter options for people living outdoors.

New projects will add shelter for up to 430 people and nearly 200 units of permanent supportive housing

By S.F. Mayor’s Office of Communications

Mayor London N. Breed announced on December 10 the City is moving forward with four new projects that will provide shelter for up to 430 individuals and permanent housing for 194 residents who are currently experiencing homelessness.

As part of Breed’s bold Homelessness Recovery Plan, the City has committed to acquiring or leasing 1,500 new units of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) and expanding shelter options for people living outdoors. There is an unprecedented confluence of local, state, and federal funding sources that provide the unique opportunity for significant investments in new permanent housing and shelter options.

This strategy brought in over 360 units of supportive housing through the 2020 Homekey Grant Program, and this fall, the Board of Supervisors authorized the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) to acquire and convert three more existing properties into supportive housing in Districts 11, 9, and 6, which will add an additional 237 units.

To continue to build toward these goals, the City is announcing the following proposed four new projects:

  • In partnership with the non-profit provider Urban Alchemy, master lease the property located at 711 Post St. to operate a new semi-congregate shelter for adults
  • In partnership with Tenderloin Housing Clinic, fund a master lease and operations of the Garland Hotel located at 505 O’Farrell St. to add 80 units of affordable housing with onsite social services
  • Convert the Baldwin Hotel, located at 74 6th St., from its current use as supportive housing to approximately 180 units of non-congregate shelter for adults
  • Proposed acquisition of the property located at 835 Turk St. to add up to 114 units of Permanent Supportive Housing in District 5

“We’re continuing to push forward in implementing our ambitious Homelessness Recovery Plan, which is the largest expansion of new Permanent Supportive Housing in over 20 years. These new projects will allow us to provide shelter for up to 430 individuals and permanent housing for 194 residents who are homeless in San Francisco,” said Breed. “We’re creating the places we need for people to get the housing and care they need so we can address the challenges we see on our streets and make a difference in the lives of people facing homelessness.”

“These four innovative new and exciting projects demonstrate and help fulfill the vision of Mayor Breed’s Homelessness Recovery Plan,” said San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, executive director, Shireen McSpadden. “We know that housing is the solution to homelessness. By continuing to expand access to housing, and new shelter models we can stabilize more homeless residents in our community.”

The proposed master lease of 711 Post Street would provide temporary, semi-congregate shelter for adults experiencing homelessness through 123 units that include single, double, and quad units. The property is ideal for this new shelter model as it provides many amenities, including small sleeping rooms, bathrooms and showers on each floor, community lounges, lobby and front desk, commercial kitchen and dining space, and ADA chair lift at the entrance.

The semi-congregate shelter program that HSH is proposing would be operated by Urban Alchemy and would include meals for guests as well as dedicated Urban Alchemy staff practitioners supporting street activation along Post Street.

“The Urban Alchemy approach works because it is holistic. We embrace our unhoused neighbors who need safe spaces, and we embrace the neighborhood, so the quality of life improves for everyone,” said Lena Miller, CEO of Urban Alchemy that runs shelters throughout California. “The 711 Post model is exciting, and we’re committed to delivering our trademark success – a stable shelter with resources for those in need and a neighborhood of cleaner, safer streets.”

Additionally, in partnership with Tenderloin Housing Clinic (THC), the City is proposing to lease the Garland Hotel at 505 O’Farrell for use as permanent housing. The property has 80 units, an elevator, private bathrooms, private kitchenettes, is in close proximity to public transportation, and has been recently renovated.

Tenderloin Housing Clinic has extensive experience operating PSH and will be the leaseholder, operator, and service provider.

A third proposed project will convert the Baldwin Hotel from Permanent Supportive Housing to a non-congregate shelter. The Baldwin Hotel is currently a PSH Program, but the small rooms and lack of private bathrooms have been challenging to operate. The approximately 100 existing tenants at the Baldwin will have an opportunity to move with their current service provider (THC) to the Garland Hotel or another comparable PSH site.

Once tenants are relocated from the Baldwin, the Site would be re-opened as a non-congregate shelter as part of HSH’s temporary shelter portfolio, supporting the expansion of non-congregate shelter models that have been successful during the COVID-19 pandemic through the Shelter-in-Place (SIP) hotel program.

“It’s a huge improvement for the Baldwin residents,” said Tenderloin Housing Clinic executive director, Randy Shaw. “We thank Mayor Breed and HSH for seizing the opportunity to lease one of San Francisco’s finest SRO hotels into the permanent supportive housing program.”

The service provider of this non-congregate shelter has not yet been identified, and the shelter program is anticipated to open in the Spring/Summer of 2022.

The final proposed project is to purchase the property at 835 Turk St. in District 5 and convert it to Permanent Supportive Housing with up to 114 units with private bathrooms. The building will provide affordable homes with onsite social services to help tenants gain and maintain housing and stability.

The site will have staff, professional property management, and support services. The property is currently a residential hotel with high vacancy and includes generously sized rooms with private bathrooms, a lobby, dining room, and parking garage.

Through these four exciting, proposed projects, the City will add semi-congregate shelter for up to 200-250 guests, 194 new units of supportive housing, and approximately 180 new units of non-congregate shelter.

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Activism

Friendship Christian Center Provides Tests, Vaccines to Thousands

FCCC has served thousands with lines forming an hour-and-a-half before opening to get tested and vaccinated with one of the three vaccines, boosters, and vaccines for children. Agee said it has been going at this pace for over a month, with the new Omicron variant surging.

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A lone forms outside the Friendship Christian Center on a recent, rainy cold day in Oakland. Photo courtesy of FCCC.
A lone forms outside the Friendship Christian Center on a recent, rainy cold day in Oakland. Photo courtesy of FCCC.

Friendship Christian Center Church (FCCC), pastored by Dr. Gerald Agee, is located at 1904 Adeline St. and is one of the dozens of Black churches across the state of California, who, in conjunction with the California Health Agencies and California Black Media, has stood on the front line, with the Black Press for over a year providing COVID-19 testing and vaccinations to minority communities.

FCCC has served thousands with lines forming an hour-and-a-half before opening to get tested and vaccinated with one of the three vaccines, boosters, and vaccines for children. Agee said it has been going at this pace for over a month, with the new Omicron variant surging.

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Activism

COMMENTARY: After Jan. 6, An MLK Day Deadline for Voting Rights and Democracy

This is a dangerous thing that goes beyond mere policy matters. First the Cruzes fall in line. Then the people. Republicans are not shy about what’s next. They want to own our democracy. And they’re willing to get it by going state by state to limit our voting rights and take away our votes.

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Emil Guillermo is a journalist and commentator. Listen to his show on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter @emilamok at 2pm Pacific M-F. Or on www.amok.com
Emil Guillermo is a journalist and commentator. Listen to his show on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter @emilamok at 2pm Pacific M-F. Or on www.amok.com

By Emil Guillermo

We all know the images of Jan. 6, 2021. Lawless rioters ransacking the Capitol. Police being tortured and beaten. Members of Congress hiding in fear in the House gallery. The gallows and a noose meant for former Vice President Mike Pence.

We all saw the video images one year after and astonishingly they did nothing to pull our nation together.

Nothing.

They simply confirmed the only thing everyone can agree on.

Our democracy’s in trouble. Real trouble.

We already sensed that after the Civil Rights battles of the 1960s such things as race, policing, and income inequality are still major issues in 2022.

But we’ve got trouble in a different key.

C Major. No sharps or flats. This trouble goes right to the core of our democracy. They’re coming after your vote.

That is, after all, what the Jan. 6 rioters were attempting when they tried to stop the certification of the election.

But now the GOP politicians who may have been behind the Jan. 6 rioters all along, are going legit.

The majority of Republicans, notably California’s Kevin McCarthy, continue to sing the fictional tune “The 2016 Election Was Stolen.”

As if in a song battle, the Democrats counter with the loud truth, “The Election Was Fair. Trump Lost.”

But enough people keep singing the lie as if it’s their battle hymn.

And now they are looking for the ultimate control of any election. Legally. In plain view.

Republicans are taking over or running for top election official posts in key states. State legislatures are proposing laws to limit absentee ballots, mail-in voting and other conveniences. They are putting up obstacles to make voting harder with the hopes of suppressing your vote.

This is why Biden spoke in Georgia this week, saying “I will not yield, I will not flinch in protecting voting rights.”

Let’s hope he’s serious, starting with new voting rights legislation to make election days federal holidays and require federal approval of any state and local election changes.

It may take changing the filibuster law to make sure Republicans can’t block any Democratic reforms, but it must be done. And done now.

That’s why even the family of Martin Luther King Jr. is calling for “no celebration” of MLK Day without the passage of voting rights legislation.

This is how Democrats are talking to Biden.

The Republicans’ post-Jan.6 strategy is simply Orwellian. Where truth and lies are indistinguishable. And Republicans loyal to Trump are dead set on forcing their lies on everyone.

Witness Sen. Ted Cruz last week caught in a moment of truth calling the Jan. 6 rioters “domestic terrorists.” But how quickly he recanted when called on the carpet by Fox’s Tucker Carlson, the Trump Confessor, for all the Republican congregants to see.

Like a loyal Trumper, Cruz knelt, confessed, and did his penance.

It used to be called hypocrisy. Now it’s just called Modern Day Republicanism.

This is a dangerous thing that goes beyond mere policy matters. First the Cruzes fall in line. Then the people. Republicans are not shy about what’s next. They want to own our democracy. And they’re willing to get it by going state by state to limit our voting rights and take away our votes.

That’s even worse than the Jan. 6 rioters’ wildest dreams.

Emil Guillermo is a journalist and commentator. Listen to his show on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter @emilamok at 2pm Pacific M-F. Or on www.amok.com

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Activism

El Cerrito Hosts 33rd Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade and Rally

The celebration is sponsored by its founders, St. Peter CME Church and the El Cerrito Branch of the NAACP, as well as the Human Relations Commission, and the West Contra Costa County Unified School District.

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“Keeping the Dream Alive - Embracing Our New Normals with Faith, Family, and Community,” is the theme for this year’s celebration.
“Keeping the Dream Alive - Embracing Our New Normals with Faith, Family, and Community,” is the theme for this year’s celebration.

By Clifford L. Williams

The City of El Cerrito invites all of its residents and surrounding cities in the Bay Area to join in its 33rd Annual Community Celebration honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022.

“Keeping the Dream Alive – Embracing Our New Normals with Faith, Family, and Community,” is the theme for this year’s celebration.

The celebration is sponsored by its founders, St. Peter CME Church and the El Cerrito Branch of the NAACP, as well as the Human Relations Commission, and the West Contra Costa County Unified School District.

Event chairperson, Patricia Durham said “this peaceful protest began in 1989 on the back streets of El Cerrito because of the City’s refusal to acknowledge King’s birthday as a federal holiday.

“Members of St. Peter Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME), the City’s only African-American church, and the El Cerrito Branch of the NAACP, in true Dr. King style, took to the streets. The City eventually came around and acknowledged the peaceful and powerful works of Dr. King.”

Durham added, “El Cerrito’s birthday celebration of MLK is one of the longest-standing parades and rallies in the Bay Area.”

Because of the global pandemic, this is the second year the city will have a car parade because of COVID-19 protocols. Participants will meet at 9 a.m. at the El Cerrito Del Norte BART station (in the parking lot of Key Boulevard & Knott Avenue). At 10 a.m., the parade will caravan down San Pablo Avenue to the El Cerrito Plaza BART station and at 11 a.m., the rally will begin. To ensure everyone enjoys the parade safely, all CDC guidelines will be enforced. Masks and social distancing are required.

“Keeping the dream alive even during a pandemic is a necessity,” said Durham. “We are fighting for our democracy and if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s taught us that we need each other to embrace our new normals of survival.”

“The City is expecting more than 100 cars, so we encourage everyone to decorate your vehicles so that yours stands out the best,” noted Durham. “Entertainment will be provided by the Japanese American Citizen League, The Black Cowboy Association, Ujima Lodge #35, the Mardi Gras Gumbo Band, Mighty High Drill Team, Smooth Illusions Band, and El Cerrito’s Poet Laureate, Ms. Eevelyn Janean Mitchell, among other talents.”

The MC of this illustrious event will be Jeffery Wright, president of the El Cerrito Chamber of Commerce. The event’s keynote speaker is Diana Becton, the first female African American to be elected District Attorney in the history of Contra Costa County.

For more information, contact Patricia Durham at (510) 234-2518.

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