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

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