Posts from the ‘Homeless’ Category

London Breed and Scott Weiner in person March 14th

by HANC board member Calvin Welch

HANC’s March general meeting will be divided into three parts.

First will be a question and answer session with newly elected District 5 Supervisor London Breed.  Sup. Bree is slated to open the 7pm meeting with an opening statement and then be available for questions and answers from our members and the public.

Next, will be a presentation by Ms. Jane Camblin, head of the French American International School at 150 Oak which plans to open a pre-k and kindergarten program at the old SFUSD site at 1155 Page Street.

Finally, the meeting will end with a discussion of the proposal by Sup. Wiener to amend the local version of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and a vote on the HANC Board’s recommendation to oppose the legislation.

Again, a full night of conversation and discussion on subjects covered nowhere else.  Bring your friends to what will be an informative meeting: 7pm Park Branch Library, 1833 Page Street.

The meeting flier is below!

Meeting Flyer

BEWARE! Or they will break your legs with a baseball bat.

Crommie Open ThreatsLook out everyone.  There is a new authority in town and they promise to break your legs with a baseball bat.  This photo was taken by a HANC board member: it is located on the garage of a home that belongs to major players in the neighborhood organization CVIA (Cole Valley Improvement Association).  Civil minded and peaceful folks are very concerned about open threats like these that promote violence instead of viable solutions.  Please be careful when dealing with these folks, they have a penchant towards hurting people they don’t like.

Shame on them.  This is a reportable offense, to make open threats of violence.  I truly hope this family sees the error of their ways and removes this sign immediately.

Local Leader plans to Cure Homeless by Killing Recycling

Homelessness is a nationwide social issue that many great minds have not yet been able to resolve.   To hold the belief that evicting a state mandated recycling center will in any way, CURE, HELP or add to the HEALTH and SAFETY of our citizens, homeless or otherwise, is extremely disturbing.  The VA estimates over 1500 Vets suffer from chronic homelessness in SF on any given night.  There is a severe crisis amongst homeless Vets in SF, across the state and the nation.  I am very sad when I hear our Recreation and Park General Manager say that his answer to this complicated and serious problem is to remove a resource that may possibly serve them by providing a return on bottles and cans as per the California Bottle Bill Law.

It’s just so disheartening to learn that he would rather  scorch the earth from which they may glean than to help them in any way.  In my many jaunts with local recyclers, homeless and not, I have learned and witnessed that even a hard day’s work on foot, and by hand, can only bring in a few (like 7-10) bucks a day.

The VA has taken surveys of homeless Vets in SF and their most expressed needs were:

detoxification treatment (10 percent)

treatment for emotional and psychiatric problems (8 percent)

treatment for dual diagnosis (10 percent)

education (17 percent)

job training (10 percent)

help with SSI/SSD processing (23 percent)

help with VA/disability pension problems (23 percent)

emergency shelter (11 percent)

half-way house or transitional housing (23 percent)

permanent housing (66 percent)

“The 10 year plan to Abolish Chronic Homelessness” written by former SF Board of Supervisors President, Angela Alioto, in 2004 can be found here:  http://www.sfgov3.org/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=2450

This plan, still in effect today, refers to solving chronic homeless issues by committing to an inter-departmental approach and compassionate responses that meet the needs of those that are chronically homeless.  It also does not recommend removing homeless unless they have a place to go or shelter in place.  By no means, does it recommend or refer to the closure of a recycling center in order to address the problems we face when dealing with San Francisco’s chronically homeless.  It is quite unfortunate that the Recreation and Park Department chooses to resolve homelessness in a unilateral fashion that has no basis in the overwhelming number of recommendations that have been made to address the issue.

Carolyn Tyler recently covered the recycling center eviction for ABC7 news.  She also did a story this summer about a new plan to help homeless Vets in the city.  President Barack Obama authorized funds to find 50 homeless vets homes in 100 days.  The 100 days have long been over-did they actually help 50 Vets get shelter?  Check out her story below and hear Mayor Ed Lee discuss the importance of honoring and helping our homeless Veterans.  Ask him to make the connection that removing this recycling center will directly and adversely affect homeless Veterans in San Francisco.  Ask him to honor our Vets by providing the things they need not scorching the ways they can make a little bit of money.

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/san_francisco&id=8693457

#StopKezarEviction

#HaveAHeart

homeless-vets-cartoonvets-heart-web2

SF Rec-less Park Dept has a cold & elitist reputation amongst neighbors

Neighbors of the Haight Ashbury express their concerns over the way Rec and Park is slandering the recycling center, the people who use it, and basing an eviction on that slander.  Perception is reality and people don’t trust this Park leadership to to do the right thing.  It’s very disturbing they don’t care to even acknowledge the concerns of citizens regarding this issue-or discuss them in a community building way.

City agencies have promised this land, 780 Frederick Street, to a few private citizens and made a deal to deliver it despite the holes it will create in state mandated CRV recycling.  There are also serious efforts to silence anyone who brings information that demonstrates the relationship our recycling center has to the recycling needs of the area as mandated by state law.

Should our highly paid City officials really be making deals with a few people and ignoring the laws that govern the state?  Should they be assuring these people that, despite the hole it will create in recycling and the hundreds of thousands it will cost in fees for stores, they plan to give them what they want?  I think our city officials owe their time and attention to all citizens and all state laws.  Certainly, they should not be consciously ignoring the impacts and costs this closure will have.  And, certainly, they should not be distracting the narrative with false and unproven claims about homeless people.

A huge part of the homeless population in this city are Veterans.  Substitute Veteran for homeless next time you read or hear slanderous comments about our recycling center and see how that makes you feel.

#StopKezarEviction

#HaveAHeart

homeless_vets350

Getting rid of Homeless means getting rid of Veterans

Homeless-Veteran-Sign1

Phil Ginsburg and the antagonists of our center have openly said that part of their goal in closing the Haight Recycling center is too prevent homeless people from having access to cash through recycling.

While our recycling center serves people who have nothing and people who have everything (see Danny Glover video, for ex.), we are still shocked at the open and vulgar attacks on those who don’t have homes.  We want to remind folks out there that 1 in 4 homeless men are Veterans.

Do you want to support a Park that prioritizes the removal of services that Veterans rely on?  If you take away recycling at our place to curb homelessness in the park, you are directly affecting the well being of Veterans who may rely on this income.  Is that how our city repays our nation’s protectors?

When you discriminate against homeless, you discriminate against Veterans.  Tell those loud privileged people to practice a little humility and have a little respect for the people who sacrificed so we could live freely.

Stay tuned for our next video that documents the homeless folks that sleep at McLaren Lodge every night-that’s Phil Ginsburg’s office.  In fact, McLaren lodge is a magnet for homeless campers, maybe it should get evicted, too?

SF Mayor Held Hostage by Latte Liberals

NIMBY politics force Green Workers into unemployment, leaving Ma and Pa shops to take back their own trash

Loewenberg

Anything that’s good for the environment is bad for Ted Loewenberg and his local neighborhood association.  In addition to levying an appeal against new bike lanes in SF and working to remove benches in Golden Gate Park, Loewenberg now aims to stop people from recycling and gardening in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury neighborhood.  With the Recreation and Park Department and a handful of Latte Liberals on his side, the group is intent on dismantling California redemption at the expense of Bay Area small businesses and firing vulnerable green workers right before Christmas.

Loewenberg claims only homeless people use what is known as the oldest recycling center in the city of San Francisco.  He believes removing the recycling center will eradicate homelessness in the area.

The center paints a different picture, entirely.  They say only a small part of their customer base identifies themselves as homeless.  Most of the customers are Chinese and a good portion arrive at the center in cars.  Moreover, the center hosts a San Francisco specific native plant nursery started ten years ago and a 51 plot community garden.  Supporters of the center call it an ecological space and have sent 1000’s of postcards, letters and emails to stop the eviction from taking place.

Moreover, San Francisco is notoriously under-served by recycling centers.  This center serves two large grocery stores in the area including a Whole Foods as well as dozens of small businesses nearby.  If the center is shut down, the grocery markets are required by law to provide in store recycling, this includes every little Ma and Pa shop in the area.  Though the battle for eviction has gone on for years, there have been no provisions made for recycling once this center is shut down.

On December 10th there will be an emergency hearing to discuss the fates of hundreds of small businesses in SF who will be forced to pay fines if they don’t comply with state recycling mandates.

Once again a handful of Latte Liberals with NIMBY agendas hold effective policies and state law hostage for personal gain.  A clear majority of San Franciscans see the recycling center as an asset to the community and to “zero waste” as pointed out in the attached video.

SF Mayor Ed Lee now must decide whether to stand up for small businesses and the law or cave in to the Latte Liberals.

“This Land Is Too Valuable To Let Poor People Park On It”

Justin Herman, Executive Director of the SF Redevelopment Agency, said this in 1977 to give credibility to the “urban renewal” project in SF that sought to buy up buildings and evict people who were poor, old, black and brown.  In the Fillmore, it was known as the “negro removal” plan and in downtown San Francisco, the International Hotel, of Manila Town, became the center of the movement against ideologies like those of Justin Herman.  The longest eviction battle to date, on the books, for the city, was one result of this movement. The commitment to low-income housing and the fire for social justice in the Asian community was another.  The story of the I-hotel is one of great significance as we enter a more modern era of gentrification in the city.

Even our honorable Mayor Edwin Lee was involved with the fight to save the I-Hotel-anyone who was any kind of an activist was.  It was an obscene and rash approach to try to evict dozens of elderly asian men and women who had called that place their home for so many decades.  Students from SFSU and UC Berkeley protested regularly on behalf of the tenants.  Jim Jones of the People’s Temple brought over 300 of his followers to help build a human blockade against the police on one occasion.  Human fences 7 to 8 people deep were formed every time the Sheriff’s office posted a notice for eviction.

The I-hotel was originally built in 1907 after the great earthquake.  It was part of a neighborhood near Chinatown housing mostly Filipino but also other Asian merchant mariner workers.  For many decades, Asians were prohibited from many normal activities due to their racial difference.  They were not allowed to intermarry with white people or even work at certain jobs.  Asian women were prevented from immigrating before 1965 to discourage breeding in the population. It was quite fine for the Asians to have a place to live together where they weren’t in the way of others.  But, when development took off, as it is always wont to do, the once deemed ghettos of Chinatown, Manila Town and The Fillmore, became hot real estate commodities.  Buildings were sold off and mass evictions were approved in order to tear down existing structures and put high rises and high income property in their place.

From 1968 to 1977, tenants, activists, regular people, politicians, cult leaders, students, teachers and many many others battled Milton Meyer and Company led by business mogul Walter Shorenstein who bought the building in ’68 and immediately began evictions in order to demolish the site and erect a parking structure in its place.  On several occasions eviction notices were posted and the immediate response was massive protest by the activist community.  This type of stand-off garnered a few stays of eviction and solidified a strong commitment to social justice among the Asian American community that still thrives today.  Shorenstein eventually sold the building in a clandestine fashion and the new owner, Four Seas Investment Company, carried on the fight to evict the I-hotel.  Sheriff Richard Hongisto was charged with carrying out the order each time an eviction was imminent.  On one occasion, he refused to and was sent to jail for 5 days.  His noble efforts were usurped by his eventual submission to evict the tenants and the horrendous way in which he eventually did it.  The eviction, caught on film by Curtis Choy, sent a brutal message to the nation about San Francisco and how it treats its most vulnerable citizens.  Choy eventually made a feature film about the struggle: The Fall of the I-Hotel (1983).

http://youtu.be/lzrWwvI8JpI

The link leads to the trailer for Curtis Choy’s film on the I-Hotel.  He describes the film as an act of witnessing.  Witness for yourself what the look and feel of the people and times were in Manila Town around the I-Hotel.

As the fight continues today to remove peoples of color and those who are economically disadvantaged from our fair city, remember the struggle of the I-Hotel.  Remember the thousands of folks who were activated into the political sphere to help those who could not help themselves.  Remember that no matter what your politics-moderate or progressive or other-it is never a sound idea to make violent and rash actions against those who are only trying to pursue a decent life, a decent amount of liberty and some happiness to go along with it.  And the next time you think the “ghetto” is a bad place to live, remember that some of the strongest community families  and bonds come from places like that.  You would never find thousands of people from across the land linking arms and fighting cops to protect a high-rise or a parking structure.  You would also never find the kind of culture, heritage and community in places like those, as you would in a place like the I-Hotel.  Let’s continue to make room for everyone making a contribution to this city big or small.

And next time you traverse Justin Herman Plaza, remember the kind guy he really was.