Saturday, November 28, 2020
News + Politics Where will homeless people moved out of hotels go?

Where will homeless people moved out of hotels go?

Plus: A continuing progressive majority on the board, protections for small businesses -- and who in SF is going to DC? That's The Agenda for Nov. 8-16

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With all but about 4,500 ballots counted, it appears that Connie Chan will be the next supervisor from D1. The race has gone back and forth, but as of Sunday night, Chan is up by 123 votes, and there are probably less than 500 votes still to count in that district.

Chan declared victory tonight:

I am honored and thankful for the support of District 1 voters tonight. When we started this campaign in January, we knew we would be the underdog but our grassroots support lifted us up every day. That enthusiasm and energy have made this victory possible

The result is a huge win for progressives, who pushed hard for Chan, and a big loss for Mayor London Breed, who pushed hard for Marjan Philhour.

The mayor doesn’t want to keep people in hotel rooms, but there’s no place else for them to go.

It’s also a loss for Big Real Estate and Big Tech, which spend hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking Chan and promoting Philhour.

The new board will have at least six, and on some issues as many as eight or even nine progressive votes.

Over the next few weeks, just in time for the cold weather and rain, the city is going to start kicking homeless people out of the hotels where they were sheltered during the COVID pandemic, which has by no means ended, even in San Francisco which is doing much better than other cities.

The problem, the Mayor’s Office says, is that the federal money that was paying for much of the cost is going to run out soon (although with President Biden and Vice President Harris, who is from San Francisco, there might be more in that fund in the future).

So where, exactly, is everyone going to go? There isn’t anywhere near enough supportive housing or decent affordable SRO housing for all the people who need it. There’s no way the city can safely send people to congregate shelters again. And the mayor doesn’t want to put people in sanctioned tent encampments.

Most of the hotels where people are staying are not going have tourists again for a long time. The state has already given SF money to buy two hotels; the real answer ought to be buying the rest of them.

If every one of the 75 billionaires in San Francisco was willing to buy one hotel, then donate it to a nonprofit housing operator, we could house and awful lot of homeless people. I wonder if the mayor has even asked.

The Board of Supes will hold a special Committee of the Whole hearing Tuesday/10 to discuss the situation and review what the Mayor’s Office is planning. That will start sometime after 3pm.

The Land Use and Transportation Committee will consider Monday/9 legislation that would a moratorium on commercial evictions of small businesses during the COVID crisis. As with the residential eviction restrictions, the law wouldn’t forgive rent (the city has no right to do that) but would remove non-payment during COVID as grounds for commercial eviction.

That measure comes up at 1:30pm.

Of course, everyone in California politics is talking about who Gov. Gavin Newsom will appoint to the US Senate seat Kamala Harris is about to vacate, and there’s lots of talk about other state officials who might be angling for top jobs in the Biden Administration.

But I’m wondering about our own town – who in San Francisco politics is headed for a job in DC? Harris has lots of connections and friends here, and she’ll be needing a political staff and advance team and will have a lot of influence over Biden’s mid-level (if not cabinet-level) selections.

I see a lot of moving vans in the city’s future.

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Ronen’s performances of white supremacy were not lost on the young POC activists. When you defend white supremacy instead of call them out accountably, then you are a white supremacist too. Isn’t there a city funded nonprofit that provides services to help yt people like you to get over their racist shit?

  2. Gorn, how about you just admit you are a shill for Breed. You got exposed with your attack on Ronan. That was truly lame,even for you, and providing thar link was incredibly stupid. And last warning, it is geekgirl. Mangling my name is childish.

  3. Geekfreekette, How about we go around in circles as the Board and Mayor fight over funding for their patronage networks using homeless people as the bait, while the City has been auctioning off skyrocketing Sunset Scavenger rates for the low, low price of throwing a party for DPW staffers?

    Thus, the City Family is using the corruption of the CCHO and HSN to distract from the corruption that is sucking all San Franciscans dry. But whine on about how anyone who questions the liberal/progressive scam that enables the moderate/conservative corrupt cash hoovering operation is in league with Breed.

  4. Curious40, what you suggest is, quite fortunately totall unconstitutional. We don’t need sneaky attempts to build concentration camps. That IS what you propose. Be thankful it won’t happen. We hung people for what such suggestions led to. That is how thing begin. The answer is no.

  5. Gorn, I am saying you have been exposed as a fraud who shills for the mayor while trying to sow discord among progressives.

  6. davidelliottlewis:

    Many of the same people have held the homelessness solutions portfolio for decades. There have been plan after plans. Yet as Prop C $ were released, the City had no plan on how to spend those dollars. You’d think there would be a priority list for each category of “shovel ready” projects. But they’re still sitting on their thumbs from what I’ve heard.

  7. Geek, so you’re saying that for all of the hue and cry of progressive victories on revenue measures, on housing homeless people in hotels, Breed gets to do whatever she wants. You find validation in the fact that “your side” “won,” and use that to project your own insecurity onto me. Meanwhile, on the streets…

  8. Here is a quick solution to street homelessness, one that can be ramped up fast. Setup more Safe Sleeping Villages and RV (Recreational Vehicle) lots. Provide the RVs where possible. For those in tents, however, provide showers, running water, cell phone charging stations and outdoor heaters. For staying in either, however, require that they help steward their site by agreeing to volunteer a number of hours per week to keep their site clean, safe and well managed. Also provide job training for those able to work.
    This can be done. We only need the will.

    David Elliott Lewis, San Francisco

  9. At tonight’s Board of Supervisors hearing on the planned closing of the Shelter in Place (SIP) hotels, there were tears and a lot of emotions but few solutions. Supervisor Fewer pointed out that the city still doesn’t have a plan to end homelessness. Without a plan, no solution to homelessness is forthcoming.

    Our city needs to do better.

    David Elliott Lewis, San Francisco

  10. If SF truly wanted to solve the homeless problem, they would buy lots of land in Modesto and build 20,000 basic home/apartments surrounding a hospital. Get shuttle buses to take folks back and forth. If someone sleeps on the street in SF, they get picked up by the paddy wagon and taken to this “homeless city”. They will have a roof over there heads and medical care near by. This would be paid for with less of the city budget than currently allotted for homelessness. The homeless nonprofits would fight this tooth and nail as they would rather be in business than solving the problem they state is their mission.

  11. Gorn, it means another year of you whining. You lose again. As does Breed.

    Breed gets to pump up her political football, and exploit the homeless in a vain attempt to serve he Republican supporters.

  12. “The new board will have at least six, and on some issues as many as eight or even nine progressive votes.”

    What does this statement even mean?

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