Hearing, Rules Committee, April 5th, 2012 By streetsheetApril 6, 2012UncategorizedLeave a CommentOn April 5, 2012, the Coalition on Homelessness organized an incredibly successful public hearing on San Francisco’s shelter access. Over 50 people signed up to speak, the overwhelming majority of whom were people currently experiencing the housing crisis. Seniors, disabled people, houseless activists, members of the LGBT community, women, and more stood bravely to talk about how they were spending between 8 hours and 17 hours a day simply trying to find a place to lie their head.
The issue at hand is San Francisco’s byzantine shelter reservation system which is unnecessarily confusing, difficult to navigate, and an inequitable maze that routinely denies people use of even vacant shelter beds.
The shelter reservation system requires multiple long lines at different times of the day. Homeless people often spend more then 8 hours a day waiting in line for shelter, to either get turned away or to receive a bed for one night – only to have to repeat the process over again the next day.
People with disabilities are stuck in the runaround and cannot access most beds, even though they comprise more than half of the population.
Every Supervisor on the Rules committee, in front of which the hearing took place commented on the need for change to this system. Shelter seekers covered a myriad of issues including problems with transportation, multiple lines and the difficulty in doing anything else except search for shelter.