Tents for San Francisco
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS!
While we’d love to answer every single email we’ve received, it’s proving to be far too time-consuming and counter-productive. As many of the questions are the same, we’ve decided to do a quick FAQ.
Q: Can I come with you to help out?
A: The most frequently asked question asked! We’re good for now, thanks! If that changes, we’ll put out a call on the interwebz or email the many lovely people who've offered to help. A neighborhood group is forming and we’d love for you to get involved: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SanFranciscoShares/
Q: When are you distributing tents next?
A: We don’t want to publish the dates and times we’re doing this. We’ve encountered a great deal of hostility from people, and we’d rather not find out if their violence transfers over from online to real-time.
Q: Why aren’t you taking more pictures of the tent distribution?
A: Not everyone likes having their picture taken so we won’t be doing this out of respect for individuals' privacy. Some folks we encounter might be fleeing abusive relationships or have mental health issues that could be triggered by cameras. Additionally, taking photos of people we are just meeting feels like objectification and we’d rather not do it.
Q: What about socks / toiletries / food / clothes / porta-potties / hand washing stations / etc.?
A: Those are all great ideas and should be done. If you are thinking about doing it, then you should probably do it. As for us, we have been tasked with tents so we will stick to tents. If you’re interested in volunteering to do service work with homeless or otherwise marginalized people, please visit: http://www.sfheart.com/volunteer.html
Q: Do you think this is a solution? My solution would be [insert whatever here]
A: The only solution we are offering is the ability to stay dry during a storm. Until better options materialize, we will continue to distribute tents.
We’ve heard a lot of rather angry opinions from very angry people on how they would solve homelessness. For the most part, we’re glad that they aren’t nearly as ambitious as we are because those plans sound terrible. So, ya' know, keep typing in all caps, homeless haters.
Q: I am a reporter. Can I interview you?
A: As long as you are not C.W. Nevius or Fox News (same thing, really), then yes.
In preparation for the fancy Super Bowl Party City Hall has promised to their corporate sponsors, a large push by Interim Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Scott Wiener has been made to cleanse city streets of any and all signs of wealth inequality here in San Francisco. Poor people make for such terrible B-Roll, you know.
Under the marching orders of City Hall, the San Francisco Department of Public Works has begun confiscating the tents of homeless residents right before El Nino hits with another series of storms, leaving our vulnerable neighbors exposed to the elements.
* It is our hope to crowd fund replacement tents for the individuals who have lost their homes due to the heartless actions of local government. With some 2-4 person tents costing anywhere from $30-$40, it is our hope that we can replace 100 of these confiscated tents before the worst of the storms hit.
* Please note that the numbers in this paragraph were from our initial campaign launched in late January. Since then, we have surpassed the original goal of $2000 and have continued to purchase tents with those funds. Neither Tara nor I have received any monetary compensation for this effort.
GoFundMe has asked to write a little bit about myself to ensure my authenticity. So, here goes: I am a fourth generation Bay Area resident currently living in the Mission Dolores neighborhood of San Francisco. Previously homeless myself, I have been a strong advocate for poor and marginally housed individuals since my mid-20s. Having previously worked in social services and still having strong ties with the communities with which they serve, I will be distributing these tents directly to folks in need with the assistance of friends.
It’s been awhile since we’ve updated this page. I want to stress that this communique is not an appeal for funds; we are good for now! If that changes, I will post again.
First, it came as a huge surprise that we were given a 2016 Guardian “Best of the Bay” Editor’s Choice Award for this campaign. As folks who contributed their time and treasure, we share that honor. It’s almost a year later, and we could not have done this work without you.
Second, and most importantly, I am writing you today regarding the upcoming November 8th election. Proposition Q (authored by Supervisor Mark Farrell) and Proposition R (authored by Scott Wiener), were written and placed on the ballot with the intention of disrupting the lives of our homeless neighbors. Tara and I both urge you to vote NO on both of these local measures, and to get involved in their opposition:
* Learn more at: http://NOonQandR.org/
* “Like” the No on Q and R Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NOonQandR/
* Watch and share this informative video: https://www.facebook.com/NOonQandR/videos/663092947201650/
* Get out the Vote by canvassing or phone banking:
Or talk to your friends and family about why voting NO on Props Q and R is important to you.
Shaun and Tara
This man was living in a tent on Shotwell street after being evicted from his Mission apartment last year; a direct result of policies supported by Wiener. He is using this tragic event as an opportunity to call for the City – once again – to engage in more sweeps to take the tents from people who need shelter NOW, which will leave them sleeping in the rain. Policies like this are inhumane and violate both state and federal law.
In response, we are blasting this tent campaign again. We are aware this is obviously not a long term solution. It should be City Hall that provides long-term solutions, but the people sleeping in the rain cannot wait seven months for a shelter bed or supportive housing; they need protection from the elements tonight. Please give and re-post, so that we can replace all of the tents that the city is sure to take from people this coming week. https://www.gofundme.com/tentsforsf
In response to the unprecedented uptick in "sweeps" of homeless San Franciscan's belongings, we are raising the goal of this campaign to $30,000.
Attached is a video of Tara Spalty speaking about this fund at today's emergency hearing on homelessness at City Hall.
US TOO, RACHEL!
Thanks for you FAQs. It's always disappointing when you take time out of your life to perform such a big and selfless gesture and people's reaction is "what more are you doing? why aren't you doing more." The first step to helping is to focus on one area of help. It's overwhelming to think of what we could be doing but can't. It discourages people from doing anything at all. Thank you for being a great example to everyone.
I am one of the cruel heartless people who is vehemently against giving these freeloading pieces of shit any more free anything. giving them tents is not a solution. weeding out the freeloaders drug addicts and drunks from those who are salvageable is what needs to be done. help the vets. put the insane away. help those who can be trained or have skills get a leg up. put them all in a closed military site, give them all jobs. if they don't earn they don't get room board etc. the tent idea is bullshit. it keeps them right where they are - in MY neighborhood. let the hate begin. whatever.
THANK you for taking ACTION and doing something to remedy this horrible situation. Having been homeless in SF myself, I KNOW how bad it is when it rains and you have no shelter. This is an issue of human rights, compassion, and finding solutions. Let's keep it going!!!
There was a day I slept in the encampments outside in the rain nobody dared pitch a tent. There were days that went on for years. I ate in the food lines I needed support. Those days I had not even one clean sock not one clean shirt. The smell from my coat was humiliating till I didn't even care any more. I just wanted to get by. I just wanted to rest. I just wanted to hide. Break out your change jar and take it to coin star and give that fucking spare money to a cause. This cause. I'm not even playin with you right now. Empty those pockets for love and rockets my buddy my friend my hero Shaun Osburn is doing this and together we can make a difference Thank you Xo David
The nerve! I cannot believe (although at this point I can) that such unconscionable actions were performed. Cruel and unusual punishment for citizens of SF. My heart goes out to those who suffered the indignity and hardship of having their only shelter seized.
hey all, I think this is great! and applaud your efforts. I want to point out that a big problem with these camps is sanitation. what would really bring a little more basic human dignity to theses sites would be for the city or concerned citizens to provide enough portable toilets to accommodate these folks and the service them daily. there should also be dumpsters and recycling bins located strategically and emptied regularly. not only is this probably more important than tents, but this will save the city and neighbors the costs of dealing with the waste in other ways as it is extremely unsightly, potentially hazardous, and will be ultimately cleaned up by the city anyway. might as well provide a modicum of dignity to people forced to live outside and at the same time leave the city safer for everyone and looking/smelling better.
This makes me so proud to be a recent Bay Area resident! Just threw a massive event in Tent City in LA and hoping to bring it to SF as well. Please let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do to contribute by means of passing out tents or donating my time in any way :)
Tents are a poor solution in comparison of what needs to be done to help the poorest citizens of our city. However, having lost their current tents and makeshift tarp shelters by cleanup services hired by our Mayor Ed Lee, so Super Bowl visitors don't see the poor job he and our city have done to actually humanly deal with the homeless issue. There are currently over 6600 homeless people in SF and only about 1200 shelter beds. Even with the temporary extra 500 beds, which will disappear again after the Super bowl is over, several thousand people need shelter from the elements. They are exposed to the next wave of rain that has already started. Tents are what helps to keep the people dry and healthy and alive. Please help and donate whatever you can. Ultimately It's an issue that needs to be dealt with on a political level, but for now, our poorest neighbors need our immediate help, please help!
Hello all! I want to say that I just moved out of SF 2 weeks ago, because of all this that was going on! The photo taken here is of my recent residence. I had 3 tents there, but when the police and DPW were coming by everyday, mixed with the rain, I decided i had to go. i didnt know where, so left the city altogether. i guess the mayor won vs. me, but i still think of my friends and 'neighbors' there and hope they are being able to make it, fighting against SFPD and the politicians. needless to say, being there was bittersweet. thanks for helping out everyone!