Thursday, April 12, 2018


Literally that should read Yes In My Front Yard, but you get the idea. According to stories in Mission Local and the Chron, educational leaders at Horace Mann/Buena Vista school which I look out on every day are exploring whether to use a gym facility to provide shelter to some of the homeless families and children the school serves. In 2011, an estimated 2200 students in the district were homeless or lived in insecure situations at risk of losing their living quarters. As so many affordable rentals have disappeared over the last decade, there may be more today. Teachers estimate there are 60 homeless kids right now at HMBV.

Our local Supervisor Hillary Ronen is working with the Board of Education and the city to flesh out the idea. She emphasizes that shelters are not homes -- ultimately people need real housing. But for right now:

“It really felt like it made a lot of sense — that it was a solution for everyone,” Ronen said. “The fact that kids are asking to sleep at the school says a lot to me.”

The concept is to put up movable cots in a gym, allowing about 20 families at a time to use the space from 7pm to 7am. The hope is get the necessary sign-ons, staffing, and facilities (plumbing!) ready by next October.

The tech boom has been very good economically for San Francisco and many San Franciscans, but too many people are being priced out of their homes by this prosperity. Once upon a time, people could move to cheaper surrounding cities, but now those places too are out of reach. Besides, regional transportation is nowhere near cheap enough or reliable enough to allow people who work in the city to commute from the outskirts. The city is just not working for all but the most affluent residents.

We've all got to do what we can for our neighbors. Horace Mann/Buena Vista could provide safe, dry, stable sleeping space for a few students and families. Let's use what we've got to do what we can. And then organize politically to build affordable housing!

1 comment:

Rain Trueax said...

The elites in SF may figure out eventually that they don't want to teach their schools, police their streets and clean them, pick up garbage, clean their homes of maintain their gardens. Then they might come up with low income housing nearer to the city. It won't solve the homeless problem but that is complicated. Sanders suggests requiring the US offer everyone a job but everyone can't hold down a job. Some don't want to. More people are turning to vacation vehicles and boondocking but it doesn't solve all the problem either in a world of the increasing rich and poor.

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