To: Mayor Ed Lee, Mayor of SF
End Childhood Homelessness
We call on the Mayor of San Francisco to make housing every single homeless child in San Francisco a priority. We believe there are approximately 3,222 homeless children in San Francisco. A coalition of service providers and advocacy organizations has estimated it will only cost the city $11 million over five years to achieve this goal.
Why is this important?
Child homelessness in San Francisco is the most severe it has been since the 1906 earthquake. Enough public schoolchildren are homeless to fill 70 classrooms. Throughout the city, there are children who live in cars with their parents, in residential hotels, crowded on mats in church basements, in shelters, or in tents. This MUST END!
The change has been rapid and dramatic: A decade ago, waits for shelter were no more than a week, and a family could generally expect to find a place to live in San Francisco by the time their shelter stay ended. Today, not only are more San Franciscans losing their housing due to displacement, but also the likelihood of finding housing at the end of a shelter stay in San Francisco has faded to the vanishing point.
In San Francisco, we are fortunate to have the resources and know-how to end this crisis. We are calling on the Mayor to address the housing needs of all those families with minor children who meet the City’s definition of homelessness including those in shelters, in cars, in residential hotels, doubled up and in garages. Each of these forms of existence have negative impacts on the development of children that can be addressed by ensuring dignified housing.
Our goals are not modest, but they are achievable:
• By housing all currently homeless children, we will halt an accumulated backlog that has been driving lengthy episodes of homelessness.
• We will return our emergency system to the role it was designed to play, an emergency system that can quickly shelter families without waiting for a bed to open.
• We will prevent homelessness through dynamic interventions that capture families before they lose their housing for those for which there is a remedy. For those instances there is no preventing, such as domestic violence or fires, we will be able to quickly shelter and rapidly re-house.