The Organizer, Amy Farah Weiss — Candidate Profile

February 12, 2018 - storage organizer

This is a initial essay in a array of profiles featuring a Mayoral candidates.

Amy Farah Weiss is one of 8 possibilities regulating for mayor of San Francisco this June. Weiss is regulating as a Democratic Socialist and has done advocating for a “solution-oriented,” inter-agency proceed to homelessness a pivotal partial of her platform. 

Weiss formerly ran for mayor in a 2015 choosing on a “1-2-3 to Replace Ed Lee“ sheet along with Francisco Herrera and Stuart Schuffman. Although Lee was reelected in a landslide, she finished in third place with 12% of initial place votes. After that election, she took advantage of a movement from her debate to start the Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge (SFHC) in sequence to residence a outpost predicament in a benevolent way.

Last year, a Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) set a idea in its Strategic Framework to wholly discharge vast encampments (five or some-more tents or structures) by Jul of 2019; as of a Oct 2017 announcement, 25 encampments fit this criteria. There are some-more than 75 encampments in San Francisco. Weiss has due a resolution that she argues could assist HSH in achieving a goal.

One of Weiss’s concerns with a city’s stream proceed towards homelessness is that navigation centers are sending people behind to a street. This problem is mostly in partial due to a use opening that leaves unhoused residents with nowhere else to go. In the 2017 San Francisco Homeless Point-in-Time Count, 3,134 unsheltered consult respondents reported sleeping outdoors. Over 1,000 people are waiting for a preserve bed in San Francisco on any given night. The City has usually been means to build 300 understanding housing units any year. 

Speaking to a Bay City Beacon, Weiss lamented a repudiation of this information from meetings, and stressed a need for a instruction that adored “outcomes over egos.” While a City claims to find housing for 70% of Navigation Center participants, usually 30% are placed in long-term housing, and a other 40% are sent somewhere else to live with family or friends by the Homeward Bound program. For a other 30%, 30-90 day time boundary have resulted in hundreds of people who exit behind to a street.

Weiss proposes to residence a use opening through Safe Organized Spaces (SOS). Safe Organized Spaces are tiny “transitional villages” of a same transitional shelters SFHC granted to Box City. In further to transitory shelters, these “villages” would embody bathrooms, handwashing stations, kitchens, entertainment areas, and rubbish dismissal services along with amicable support, security, and outpost input. Providing stability, safety, hygiene and amicable support is dictated to ready homeless people for a transition to permanent housing and personal autonomy. 

In midst 2017, SFHC partnered with Impact Hub SF and launched a initial transitory outpost commander during 15th and Minna. There is now one resident-in-transition and it includes a transitory shelter, portapotty, storage, and support. Weiss explained how SOS has captivated courtesy from Oregon, San Diego, San Jose, and Oakland to name a few, and wondered because her possess city did not feel a same.

Weiss’s offer is to transition 1,000 people into 20-50 transitory villages for approximately $9 million – roughly a same volume that a Department of Public Works spent in 2016-2017 on a 311 outpost response. The City spends scarcely $30 million/year on encampments when rubbish dismissal and military requests are taken into account. Mayor Ed Lee had betrothed to residence 1,000 homeless people during a winter before to his black flitting final December.

“I have a prophesy and evident ability [to exercise an middle housing plan],” Weiss said. “The usually problem is a standing quo.”

Although Weiss has not hold inaugurated bureau yet, she has knowledge advocating with those who do. Last December, members of a SOS Working Group met with Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) about AB 857, that authorizes area underneath freeways to be used for homeless services, and a probability of regulating a area for transitory villages. Ting concluded to disciple for SOS on a State turn with Caltrans if they did not determine to a proposal.

In further to operative one-on-one with outpost residents, her work with SFHC has also led her to work with neighbors as good as several City departments, such as a Department of Public Works and a Department of Public Health.

When asked how she felt about Mark Farrell apropos halt mayor, in light of his authorship of Proposition Q, Weiss still pronounced that she affianced to work with him.

Sonja Trauss, housing romantic and claimant for District 6 Supervisor, has assimilated in a call for Safe Organized Spaces. District 6, comprised of a Tenderloin and SoMa, has a top thoroughness of homeless individuals. Trauss pronounced that she reached out to Interim Mayor Mark Farrell immediately following his appointment to classify a assembly about SOS.

“He’s in a position to do something unequivocally bold,” Trauss explained.

Whether or not a halt Mayor acts on this offer stays to be seen. In June, however, electorate will be in a position to confirm that one of a 8 possibilities is best versed to proactively residence homelessness in San Francisco.

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