Homelessness in Seattle, WA

  • Seattle may try San Francisco’s ‘radical hospitality’ for homeless, By Daniel Beekman, June 11, 2016, Seattle Times: “Denise and Michael were relaxing on a sunny Friday afternoon.  She sat on their bed in pajamas, folding laundry, while he roughhoused with their friend’s pit bull. Soul standards were blaring from a boombox.  There was something homey about the scene, even though the couple were homeless. Denise and Michael were inside San Francisco’s Navigation Center, an experimental shelter where guests come and go as they please and where pets, partners and possessions are welcome…”
  • Houston’s solution to the homeless crisis: Housing — and lots of it, By Daniel Beekman, June 13, 2016, Seattle Times: “Anthony Humphrey slept on the pavement outside a downtown Houston drop-in center. Except when a Gulf Coast rainstorm slammed the city — then he took cover under a storefront awning or below Interstate 45.  He had no driver’s license, no Social Security card, almost no hope. That was in 2014. This month, Humphrey will celebrate a year in his apartment…”

Emergency Responders and the Homeless

San Francisco firefighters become unintended safety net for the homeless, By Sarah Maslin Nir, August 26, 2015, New York Times: “When the emergency bell sounds at Fire Station 1 here, firefighters pull on boots and backpacks, swing into Engine 1 and hurtle out the door in almost a single motion, a blast of red lights and caterwauling sirens. More often than not, there is no fire. Instead, the calls that ring in this and nearby fire stations tend to go like this: Male, apparently homeless, sprawled unconscious on a train platform. Male, prone on a street corner pushing a needle into his arm. In a measure of just how much homelessness has become an all-encompassing problem here, this city has the busiest fire engine in America — yet just over 1.5 percent of its runs last year involved fires…”

Minimum Wage – San Francisco, CA

Minimum-wage hikes meet mixed reaction in San Francisco, By Peter Hecht, May 30, 2015, Sacramento Bee: “In this diverse and densely packed city, known for high living costs and soaring rents, 77 percent of voters last year approved a series of pay hikes that will boost San Francisco’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018.  Yet there are tensions these days on Valencia Street in San Francisco’s multicultural Mission District over the minimum wage hike and what it means for businesses and the ability of residents to keep up with rising costs.  As other cities, including Sacramento, ponder increases to the local minimum wage, the stories told along Valencia illustrate the complexities of the issue…”

San Francisco Minimum Wage

Women, minorities to benefit as S.F. minimum wage rises, By Emily Green, April 30, 2015, San Francisco Chronicle: “Friday is the day thousands of San Francisco workers have been waiting for: Up to 86,000 of them will see their wages bumped up as the city’s minimum wage increases to $12.25 from $11.05 an hour.  Women and minorities will benefit the most: 31 percent of Latino workers, 22 percent of Asian workers, 20 percent of African American workers and 21 percent of women will see an uptick, according to an analysis done last year by UC Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.  The higher minimum wage takes effect as San Francisco’s economy is booming — the city has just 3 percent unemployment — but the gulf between the city’s richest and poorest is widening…”

Affordable Housing – San Francisco

San Francisco’s love-hate relationship with affordable housing, By Karen Weise, June 4, 2014, Businessweek: “Two days ago, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee trumpeted the $50 million for affordable housing he added to his budget proposal, calling the current housing shortage “a genuine crisis.” Yesterday voters went to the ballot box and handily approved a measure to make it much harder to build along 7.5 miles of the city’s waterfront, a move that Vox’s Matthew Yglesias bluntly summarized as: ‘San Francisco just voted to make housing less affordable.’ San Francisco is the country’s least-affordable housing market for both purchases and rentals . . .”

Low-Income Seniors – San Francisco, CA

Low-income seniors struggle in S.F., By Kevin Fagan, August 26, 2012, San Francisco Chronicle: “Beverly Brumfield worked hard all her life, but she didn’t really know hard until the golden years hit. She had no savings. She was alone. Her Social Security check didn’t cover rent. It’s a very American story, with federal statistics showing that a quarter of the country’s senior citizens are poor, a third say it’s hard to meet monthly expenses, and nearly half say they have housing problems. In some places, this translates into cramming in with family, or at worst, homelessness…”

San Francisco Minimum Wage

SF becomes first US city to top $10 minimum wage, By Beth Duff-Brown (AP), December 12, 2011, San Francisco Chronicle: “David Frias works two minimum-wage jobs to squeak by in one of the most expensive cities in America. Come New Year’s Day, he’ll have a few more coins in his pocket as San Francisco makes history by becoming the first city in the nation to scale a $10 minimum wage. The city’s hourly wage for its lowest-paid workers will hit $10.24, more than $2 above the California minimum wage and nearly $3 more than the working wage set by the federal government. It won’t put much more in Frias’ wallet. But it gives him a sense of moving on up…”