Our original story remains below, telling the history of the work so far. Join us today: https://bit.ly/hnh_monthly
We are raising funds to rent hotel rooms for unsheltered San Franciscans. Every night, thousands go without shelter in one of the richest cities on Earth. The COVID-19 public health emergency has made life without shelter even more dangerous. However, the City ignored a unanimously passed law to house over 8,000 people in hotels. As a result, the City has left thousands of people to sleep on our streets. With a nationwide eviction crisis looming, our most vulnerable neighbors have been abandoned by our City. Our inaction during this public health crisis has killed twice as many people experiencing homelessness this year compared to last year¹.
Your help is needed right now, because as winter sets in and the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, the City is focused on forcing out thousands of residents of the City’s Shelter-In-Place hotels rather than housing the thousands of people still on the streets right now³. Anti-homeless sentiment among the well-off has also visibly increased. Business owners and reactionary neighborhood groups actively demonize unsheltered San Franciscans living in tents, even though public health officials advise unhoused folks to socially distance in tents if unable to do so indoors. Due to this pressure, the City is now moving people back into shelters, ignoring the lessons of previous outbreaks like the 105 COVID cases at MSC South shelter in April². People sleeping outdoors in tents also continue to have their property systematically seized by the City during street “sweeps”, a cruel and inhumane practice which serves to displace unhoused people from place to place and solve nothing.
The immediate benefit of your donations will be to enable people living on the streets to shelter indoors for at least part of this pandemic during these cold winter months. The City has demonstrated its unwillingness to provide shelter to our most vulnerable community members, so it is up to the community to work together. Our project helps our unhoused neighbors shelter indoors safely while building community, solidarity, and resilient relationships upon which lasting, sustainable solutions can be built. The money you donate to this effort is a direct investment in your community and has an immediate and direct impact on people’s lives.
People experiencing homelessness and poverty are not a “problem” to be solved. The real problem is a capitalist system that turns a blind eye to the human suffering in our communities. The first step towards building a more humane, compassionate society is to change the way we treat its most marginalized and least privileged members. This project partners housed and unhoused San Franciscans in working toward such a society.
As expressed by one of our unhoused partners, “I clean garbage bins in order to make money, and one day I finished cleaning and tripped on a broken curb and sprained my ankle. When you're homeless, you have to be on your feet all day, and I was carrying a big backpack with my belongings. My ankle would hurt so bad I would have to sit down every two blocks. It also wore me down while waiting in the food line. Thankfully, I was able to get connected with the team at Hotels Not Hospitals about a week and a half after, and they were able to house me in a hotel for the past 7 weeks. Because I have a reliable place to sleep and use the bathroom, I am able to follow doctor's recommendations to soak and ice my ankle. My ankle has basically fully healed, and I am able to walk around freely and comfortably. Very recently I was able to see a Redwood tree for the first time, and it was because I could walk around the park and leave my backpack at the hotel. I cannot emphasize how important and life changing safe and secure housing is to my health and quality of life.”
For further insight into the personal stories of a couple of our unhoused partners, you can check out our article “Who Doesn’t Fit One-Size-Fits-All?” in Street Sheet! From October, 2020 http://www.streetsheet.org/who-doesnt-fit-one-size-fits-all/
Who We Are: We're organizers and activists working for the rights of unhoused people. This is a project of the DSA SF Homelessness Working Group (Democratic Socialists of America, San Francisco Chapter) and is endorsed by DSA SF.
Please note: donations are not tax-deductible and the recipient is not a charitable organization.
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