Former State Senator, Mark Leno, a favorite in the highly competitive and formidable race for San Francisco Mayor, is promising to end San Francisco’s critical street homeless crisis by 2020.
As San Francisco Chronicle opinion writer Heather Knight noted back in January:
“You have just 20 weeks to decide who should lead our economic powerhouse of a city, who should decide how its $10 billion annual budget is spent, and who should set the agenda on cleaning its filthy streets, rectifying its shameful homeless problem and ensuring that not just those whose trust funds have trust funds can afford to live here.”
“San Francisco can’t afford another decade of the same failed policies on homelessness. It’s time we commit to tackling homelessness once and for all. As Mayor, I will end street homelessness by 2020.”
From the plan:
- Immediately move at least 1,000 people off the streets and into permanent supportive housing
- Reform our homeless shelter system to increase capacity and improve rates of re-housing
- Move as many people as possible off the streets by quickly expanding our navigation center system
- Take advantage of our Small Site Acquisition program to move more people from the street and into housing
- Bring all families and children in off the streets
- Establish a Mental Health Justice Center to stop recycling homeless people in and out of jail
- Create Universal Mental Health Care for all
- Create 15,000 units of affordable, workforce, and permanent supportive housing to move people off our streets and under a permanent roof
- Protect at-risk tenants to keep people in their home
- Create new tools to hold city government accountable to meeting district-specific criteria and benchmarks
- Fix our broken system of supportive services
- Do a top-to-bottom audit of homeless dollars to stop and prevent waste
- Pass a comprehensive regional housing and homelessness bond measure
- Make use of the $100 million dollars I secured as State Senator to create 400 units of permanent supportive housing
- Leverage statewide connections to fund homeless resources
I could not agree more and according to Leno’s plan:
San Francisco needs a Mayor willing to take bold actions, try new and different solutions, and lead regional collaboration to end homelessness. We must finally recognize that we are in the grips of a nationwide opioid epidemic, and that as a state we have made our prisons and jails into little more than warehouses for our mentally ill. This requires strategic thinking far broader than what we’re getting from the people who support the status quo at City Hall.
The other power contenders include brief interim mayor (upon the sudden death of Mayor Ed Lee) Supervisor London Breed, Supervisor Jane Kim and former Supervisor Angela Alioto.
By Melanie Nathan | nathan@africanHRC.org