Puzzling logic in arguments against tax on big businesses to aid homeless

: sfchronicle – excerpt

A slick campaign piece landed in my mailbox the other day, screaming in all capital letters: “Prop. C would spend another $300 million a year on the same failed programs.”

You know, those failed programs that produced the scenes depicted in the mailer’s photographs. The ones of Third World-style tent shantytowns spread along sidewalks in the Mission, with bicycle parts and shopping carts strewn around…

Prop. C is a simple concept, and one that’s getting big-name support. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Rep. Jackie Speier, Assemblyman Phil Ting and seven supervisors support it…

Breed says she opposes Prop. C because she’s not confident the city is spending its money on homelessness effectively, though she didn’t express that concern in backing the two previous revenue measures. Her spokesman, Jeff Cretan, said the mayor’s budget office is analyzing the city’s homeless funding and how it’s being used…

OK, so the programs are successful but they’re also failures. But, really, we don’t know either way and have to audit them. We need more money, but not from the cities’ biggest businesses that can most easily afford it.

Are you confused by the No on C side? I am. Maybe I just need some time to meditate in an infrared sauna… (more)

SF officials and residents face off at heated meeting on homeless shelter

Laura Wenus : misisonlocal – excerpt

Crowd of people who didn’t get into the meeting were promised a second meeting. Photo by Zrants

At an emotional community debate Monday night some 200 Mission residents squared off with top city officials and one another over the burdens and benefits that a temporary homeless shelter will bring to a neighborhood severely impacted by tent encampments.

At issue is the city’s plan to place a Navigation Center – a low-barrier homeless shelter that offers its clients on-site access to supportive services – in a vacant lot and electrical building at 1515 South Van Ness Ave. The property will then be developed into mixed-use housing.

“People are stepping over homeless people, they are finding needles, this Navigation Center is only going to create a bigger problem because it is not a solution, it is only a patch on the problem,” said one nearby resident.

But those who spoke in support for the temporary homeless shelter at a Monday night’s public hearing, said any solution is better than the status quo…

“The decision has been made,“ said Ronen, adding that the Navigation Center will likely be up and running by June 1 and it will be open from six to nine months.  Last month, Ronen struck a deal with the site’s developer, Lennar Multifamily Communities, to allow city use of the space as a homeless shelter until construction permits for the 157-unit housing project are finalized…(more)


Mayor cuts homeless prevention money; hundreds at risk

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

The cheapest solution to homelessness is prevention — so why is Ed Lee cutting funding that keeps vulnerable people in their homes?

Eduardo Pubill once shared a beer with Ringo Starr. He’s been a New York theater stagehand, a chef, a merchant seaman, and a cook on board the legendary Jeremiah O’Brien when that liberty ship made its historic 1994 trip to Normandy to commemorate D-Day.

Now 70, blind and mostly deaf, Pubill is facing homelessness –in part because Mayor Ed Lee has cut a $3.1 million program to provide rent subsidies for San Franciscans who are vulnerable to eviction.

The mayor is undermining an incredibly inexpensive way to prevent a problem the city is spending hundreds of millions to solve. With a $400-a-month city subsidy, Pubill could stay in his one-bedroom apartment. If he’s forced out, the city will spend many, many times that much taking care of him.

He’s not alone. The Homeless Emergency Services Providers Association says that 250 people, mostly seniors, disabled people, and vulnerable members of the LGBT community, could stay housed if the mayor would allocate that (already approved) funding… (more)

Ex-Mayor Agnos says put homeless on aircraft carrier

By : sfcurbed – excerpt

To live in, not to ship them away

Former Mayor of San Francisco Art Agnos hasn’t held public office in years, but that’s no reason to quit working, as Agnos is always quick to toss out policy solutions for San Francisco’s various housing crises. His latest pitch: A homeless Navigation Center on an aircraft carrier.

This plan (shipped out via a Chronicle op-ed) is actually an old one for the former mayor. So old, in fact, that he did it already back in 1989, when the USS Peleliu served as an emergency homeless shelter after the Loma Prieta earthquake, an innovation Agnos usually references whenever the subject of the quake comes up.

Navy Rear Admiral John Bitoff, recalling the time 25 years later, said that the ship’s 300-plus temporary tenants, mostly displaced from a damaged SRO, were polite, well-behaved, and cheerful—although they did pile contraband several feet high before boarding…

 The Navy decommissioned the Peleliu (for some reason nicknamed “The Iron Nickel”) after 35 years last March. Agnos proposes we anchor it off of San Francisco’s shores once more to again cater those who have been displaced (this time by economic rather than seismic disasters). The carrier housed up to 5,000 people at a time during its Naval career, a number not quite equivalent to San Francisco’s estimated homeless population but competitive with it… (more)