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    Addressing Homelessness in 2015

    davecamposOne of the most critical issues facing San Francisco in 2015 is the homelessness and displacement crisis. While San Francisco is the wealthiest city in the nation, it is also the most unequal. As we look ahead to the year before us, let us take stock of where our city stands and how we can continue to ensure that San Francisco remains a community for all.

    While homelessness nationwide has been slowly declining since at least 2005, the number of homeless San Franciscans has actually gone up during the same time period, now numbering a staggering 6,436. More worrisome, the number of people who have no shelter at all continues to rise at an even faster rate than overall homelessness.

    Many other cities, such as New York and Boston, manage to put some kind of roof over the heads of over 90% of people without homes, whether it be an emergency shelter or transitional living situation. But over 50% of homeless San Franciscans have no bed, no roof, no halfway decent place to sleep, or shower or use of their own toilet. They are literally out in the cold and out on the street.

    Many of the problems faced by homeless friends and neighbors are particularly acute for LGBTQ homeless people. 40% of our homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. In a survey of shelters conducted by the Coalition on Homelessness, over 70% of transgender residents have experienced violence at our city’s shelters because of their gender identity. This situation is heartbreaking and utterly unacceptable.

    My office is working with community leaders on multiple fronts to address these ongoing issues in 2015. We are continuing to fight for more resources for organizations that serve the homeless population through the City’s budget process. We are working with Dolores Street Community Services to open a groundbreaking LGBTQ-focused shelter. This unique project will fill a vital need, and stand as the nation’s first and only LGBTQ adult shelter.

    Concurrently, we are also working with City departments to identify spaces in our dense urban fabric that can accommodate short-term and long-term affordable housing and shelter spaces. Together, we are moving forward to implement these housing solutions within District 9 and in the City as a whole.

    This work is essential as we determine San Francisco’s direction as a city. 2015 is a critical point where we all must ask ourselves: Will we allow San Francisco to become a luxury for those who can pay, or will it continue to be a home for all of the people who make this great city what it is?

    David Campos is a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors representing District 9. This column for the “SF Bay Times” was inspired by Harvey Milk’s efforts to build a coalition of what Milk termed “us’es,” meaning communities that value diversity and attempt to leave no one behind. For more information about Supervisor Campos and his work, please visit

    mission mission2Mission’s Carnaval
    Mural Restoration

    Mission District community members celebrated the official unveiling of the newly restored Carnaval Mural on Sunday, December 14. Located at the corner of South Van Ness Avenue and 24th Street, the historic mural is a symbol of history, culture, artistic expression and pride. Deemed “the Golden Dreams of La Mision,” the mural was originally painted more than 30 years ago and is considered a focal point of the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District.