REASONS BEHIND SAN FRANCISCO’S PROBLEM WITH HOMELESS PEOPLE

As we all know, homeless people are present in every major city, and they are something which we all try to push back and forget, until someone we know gets in problems with banks, debt, gets deprived of his own home due to foreclosure or some other kind of event. Reasons may be different, but the reality and the future for those people is pretty much the same – no roof, no bed and no shelter, just life on the streets and fight for every single meal and the will to live another day. Fortunately, our country provides a lot of help to these individuals and there are multiple programs and associations which deal with this problem directly and they offer their services to these people. Homeless people can use shelters where they have beds and toilets, and they also have access to public kitchen and regular meals, which keep them safe from cold and hunger.

However, some places seem to have more homeless people than others do, and it is often very hard to give a simple and precise answer to this question. Many factors may be included into this equation, and we need to look at a very wide social picture to grasp all necessary elements and relevant facts. When it comes to San Francisco homeless population, official statistics for last year say that there were 6.686 people by the general count, which means that people with permanent and temporary homelessness were included.

Many people refer to this number as “the shame of the city”, but this number is in fact lower than the official number of homeless people in Los Angeles, Seattle or D.C. But, when it comes to density, San Francisco has a relatively small size of it urban area, with only 46.9 square miles. This lack of space has caused the fact that only New York City has more homeless people per square mile – 211, while San Francisco has 149.

Some of the reasons behind San Francisco’s problems with homeless people is that they are so “visible” and present on the streets, and this in fact can be dedicated to number of reasons. One of them may be the fact that authorities and civil services in the cityare not dealing well with this problem, and this is perfectly illustrated in fact that there is only shelter for 2.000 homeless people at the moment, which makes only the third of the overall homeless population. Other cities have much better “coverage” when it comes to these numbers. Also, the city is located on the warm West Coast, and the great weather is one of the reasons why homeless people come here in the first place. They are safe from freezing, and it is not too hot in the summer either, and they can remain in the street with no serious fear for their lives.

Also, the bohemian nature of this city and its notorious drug culture have also perhaps contributed to the rise in the numbers of homeless people, but this theory is very hard to prove, just like the rest of them dealing with San Francisco homeless population.

Dear PHC Family

Dear PHC Family,

Several weeks ago an elderly gentleman came into our office in tears. Through his sobs he told me all of his belongings had been stolen, including the only picture he had of his late wife. I asked if I could hug him, and he collapsed in my arms. After a few moments he looked at me, his face stained with tears, and said, “I haven’t been touched by another person in years.”

What makes PHC unique is that personal touch. It is a place where each person, no matter their housing status, belongs. Together, we say: we see you. We know that homelessness is an experience, not a permanent label. We’re here to help.

Your donations go directly to targeted services designed to help our participants move forward. Will you give today, and help us touch even more lives? donatenow.networkforgood.org/phcsf?code=123

Thank you to our wonderful volunteers and donors for believing that all people have value, even if they don’t have a home. Thank you for being our partners in change.

It takes us all,

Kara Zordel
Executive Director
Project Homeless Connect

CareVan Update!

CareVan Update!

We know that many individuals experiencing homelessness have challenges and disabilities. Even though they need help, it’s often too difficult to come to our office.

In 2016 we were able to find a solution: the PHC CareVan, a homeless mobile services unit. You, our PHC community, helped kickstart the campaign and spread the word across the city. This month, thanks to a generous gift from Google.org and support from the Hotel Council of San Francisco, we purchased a Ford Cargo Van.

We’re almost ready to hit the road next year, but our job is just beginning…

The CareVan can’t run without your help. Will you stand with us, and donate to bring dental care, new glasses, and food to hundreds of neighbors in need? Every gift – whether $50 or $500 – will help individuals experiencing homelessness find work, medical care, and the resources they need to move forward. donatenow.networkforgood.org/phcsf?code=123

Thank you!

The PHC Family
Alison, Amy, Brittany, Caleb, Emily, Erin, Jess, Kara,
Kim, Leyla, Robert, Solange, Tawny, Victor

Project Homeless Connect SF

Project Homeless Connect SF Jannat still remembers falling in love with California. She was 11 years old, and her dad was a guest conductor at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Growing up, she always had a roof over her head and enough to eat. And yet, a failed surgery and 14 follow up procedures left Jannat permanently disabled. At the age of 60, she found herself homeless in San Francisco.

Jannat came to her first PHC event in September 2015. She describes meeting Ian, a PHC staff member: “He was like a port in the storm,” she says. They worked together and built trust over time. “Every time I called, he always called me back, and he was always encouraging,” she says.

Through PHC, Jannat got new glasses and a vision exam. When she told Ian that she didn’t feel safe showering at the shelter, he gave her the schedule for the Lava Mae bus, which co-locates with PHC every week at Civic Center.

Because of her hard work, and with support from the PHC team, Jannat found a new apartment this year. To celebrate, Ian helped her fundraise through HandUp to buy move-in supplies, and create her home.

PHC is “a perfect example of how services can provide immediate basic survival needs of the people that live on the street,” Jannat says. She’s still grateful to be indoors, where she can write and make art and start reconstructing her life. She says that PHC gave her the accountability and structure she needed to change her life.

By donating to PHC, you help create a “port in a storm” for the thousands of people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco. Please consider donating today, and helping people like Jannat find the care and support they need to move forward. donatenow.networkforgood.org/phcsf?