On a usual day, St. Anthony"s, a soup kitchen in mountain Francisco, serves as much as 2,400 meals. Though the city is in the middle of an economic boom, the line because that the dining room is frequently so long that guests have to wait in a nearby auditorium.

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The people coming v St. Anthony"s are progressively diverse. As soon as the soup kitchen first started serving complimentary meals in the 1950s, most of the clientele had middle-aged white men, countless of whom were recovering from experiences sustained during the great Depression and also World war II. Today, people young and old of all ethnic backgrounds stand in the dining room line. Some bring iPods and also smartphones, rather come in suits. There space moments throughout the day wherein the dining room resembles a to buy mall food court — the just giveaway is the everyone has the same tray that food.

"We had a friar who said the dining room line is a society barometer," states Karl Robillard, St. Anthony"s senior manager of communications. "You will understand what component of the social and economic safety and security net is lacking by standing outside that line."

They"re human being with jobs. They"re world who work-related full-time and also still can"t afford come live in the city.

Many the the world who come through St. Anthony"s because that a meal have actually jobs, however the minimum wage doesn"t enable them to pay because that rent in mountain Francisco and also still have the ability to afford food. Some job-related full-time however are homeless since they can"t discover affordable housing in the city.

The official count for mountain Francisco"s homeless populace as that 2013 to be 6,436. This number doesn"t include people who room out the sight, favor those who sleep in their cars, stay with friends and also family, or drift in between transitional real estate arrangements. Where the city as soon as counted the unemployed, addicts, and the mentally ill as its major homeless population, one increasing number of working san Franciscans and also their family members are involvement the homeless sanctuary waiting lists and also dining room lines. They"re world with jobs. They"re human being who work-related full-time and also still can"t afford come live in the city.

San Francisco is moving fast. Entire communities are changing. And thousands of civilization are gift left behind.


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Being homeless is a permanent job

Todd to be a video producer working in jae won news prior to he ended up being homeless. He lived in a modest two-bedroom residence in twin Peaks, close to the facility of san Francisco, through his daughter. He wore a fit to work every day.

"I to be going along, gift a great citizen," Todd, now 52 year old, says. "I was a volunteer firefighter, i coached football and also baseball, ns was saving my money, doing whatever you"re supposed to do, being a solitary father, elevating my daughter through myself. Then the economic climate just visited hell and also the company threw me come the wolves."

Todd lost his project in 2009, quickly after the global financial crisis began. Finding occupational was difficult. Nobody was hiring — and also those who were thought he was over-qualified. Gift in his late 40s didn"t help. He used for unemployment, which payment $12 an hour. After taxes, he had $325 every week. Many of the money checked out paying the rent. In the 18 months the Todd was on unemployment, he estimates he sent out out more than 800 résumés and also received interviews because that none. He actively sought work, however could only land minimum-wage temp jobs, which that accepted. In 2009, the minimum wage in California to be $8 an hour.

He dug right into his savings and his investments. He dug right into his daughter"s college fund. He hoped this was simply a short rough patch; possibly it would certainly last six months at most. As his save dwindled, he realized this was no the case.

Each week, the handed entire unemployment checks and, when that ran out, paychecks indigenous his temp jobs, come his landlord, leaving that with much less than $30 to feeding himself and his daughter. In an effort to store life as common as possible for her, he would placed $5 that gas in his auto so he could drive she to and from school.

"I basically had a jug of pennies there, and also I"d pull out a couple of to pay for gas," he says. "It to be unbelievable. I thought the people was going come end."

After 18 months, the temp work started to loss through, and Todd fell behind on rental payments. Unable to afford his home, he put his daughter up with friends and also family while that couch-surfed. He worked up to 3 temp work at a time and still wasn"t able come afford real estate in san Francisco.

"I slept in my auto a lot," that says. "I to be living in my car. I went about to every gym in town and also got those one-week psychological memberships, so in the morning, I"d go acquire my daughter from where she was, take she to school, walk to the gym, work-related out, take it a shower, and also that to be the only means I could shave and also keep clean. Then I"d go to the county and also job search."

"I basically had a jar of pennies there, and I"d pull the end a couple of to pay for gas. It to be unbelievable. I believed the world was going to end."

Being homeless was a permanent job in itself. Mornings started early. If police caught him sleeping in his car, castle ordered him to move. He learned which streets in san Francisco were the quietest. He pertained to know san Francisco"s south of sector district (SoMA) well. He spent many of his days at government agencies using for work, using for rental subsidies, and gathering taxes returns and pay stubs come prove he qualified for government assistance. After school he picked up his daughter, took she to the park wherein they played baseball together, and helped her through her homework. By late evening, through his daughter safe with household or friends, he returned to his car and put his personal belongings in the trunk. Dinner was regularly some bread with lunch meat from the grocery store store. Then he reclined his seat, and also tried come sleep.

Most nights, he"d look out the home window of his car and watch together SoMA transformed bit by bit. A few years earlier, the area was house to warehouses and also working class homes. Now, brand-new buildings were popping up every week. Things were looking cleaner, sharper, an ext expensive. Worn down as the was, the couldn"t help but store an eye top top the change. San Francisco was his city, after ~ all. He saw the progress made on the new Salesforce building, a tower that will exceed 1,200 feet ~ above completion. He experienced the land cleared because that the new Trans-Bay Terminal. In the distance, he experienced a newly-built skyscraper — a "particularly sweet one," as he explains it — v shiny home windows that, during the day, reflect the sun.

"Some days, ns didn"t sleep at all," that says.


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Rising Cost

San Francisco is just one of the many expensive urban in the United states to live in. A Brookings Institute examine released this year found that it has actually the second-highest level of family members income inequality in the country, behind Atlanta, Georgia. Together of 2012, the 95th percentile the the population earned upwards that $350,000 a year. The bottom 20th percentile barely made $20,000. And while riches inequality has always existed, specifically in major cities, san Francisco knowledgeable the biggest increase in wealth disparity of any type of U.S. City in between 2007 and 2012. Throughout this time, earnings for the 20th percentile family members dropped by $4,000, while earnings for the richest 5 percent the the city soared by $28,000. No other city saw a jump this good in the earnings of the richest in its population.

So while the rich gain richer and also the poor actually get poorer, the dynamics that the city are rapidly changing. The riches disparity is identify how world live, and it"s additionally deciding that gets come live whereby — or, in the case of mountain Francisco"s poor, who doesn"t acquire to live all over at all. It provided to it is in the poorest that the negative who to be vulnerable. As prices in mountain Francisco proceed to rise, also those that were as soon as comfortable are currently at risk of falling with the cracks.

The san Francisco Tenants Union, which monitor the expense of vacant rental properties in the city, gathered data mirroring that in 2011, a usual two-bedroom apartment in the Mission ar went because that $1,900 a month. By 2012, the average expense of a similar apartment in the Mission jumped come $3,500. Today, that figure is closer to $5,000. The average income per capita in san Francisco has actually not increased accordingly.

San Francisco"s tech industry is frequently blamed because that the city"s soaring prices. The dispute is that as soon as tech employees earning six numbers move right into the city to occupational for start-ups and much more established companies favor Google, Facebook, Twitter, and also Apple, they drive up the price of living. Castle increase demand for accommodations. And, with their pockets lined with tech money, they have the right to afford come outbid everyone else.


"The difficulty with high rental fees is not Google buses or tech jobs. The problem with high rental is the very, an extremely constrained it is provided of housing."

Ted Gullicksen, that was the executive, management director of the san Francisco Tenants Union prior to his death earlier this month, stated he saw a correlation between the rise in rental prices and also the continued growth that the technology sector. Recent protests approximately the city including the impede of Google buses and demonstrations in prior of AirBnB rentals are also a sign of areas within mountain Francisco connecting the dots and also pointing the finger in ~ the tech.

But while it"s true that rental fees in modern technology hubs have risen faster than in the remainder of the country, that doesn"t quite mean that the an innovation sector is to blame for san Francisco"s problem.

Jed Kolko, cook economist that residential real estate website Trulia, claims tech is an important part the housing need in mountain Francisco both ~ above the rental market and also the for sale market. The vital difference in between a tech hub favor San Francisco contrasted to Seattle, Austin, and also Raleigh — the first of which has actually a better share that its economic climate rooted in tech — is housing supply. Other tech hubs approximately the country construct more, which alleviates demand. San Francisco is just one of the most regulated cities in America once it involves urban development, which heavily restricts just how much deserve to be built.

"It would take an massive increase in building sustained over countless years to do the city an ext affordable," Kolko says. "It"s hard to say how much an ext would it is in needed, though. Go the city require to develop twice as much? five times together much? Ten times as much?"

A professor of economics at the college of California, Berkeley, Enrico Moretti, also points come the shortage the supply together the main cause of climbing prices, saying that technology booms don"t necessarily typical sky-high rents.

"The problem with high leas is no Google buses or technology jobs. The trouble with high rent is the very, an extremely constrained supply of housing, and also the housing supply is so constrained because we made it so constrained. The city did it."

Moretti"s research into real estate affordability uncovered that tech growth in cities choose Seattle has been the exact same to san Francisco family member to that size, yet the increase in the cost of life is less than a third of that proficient in mountain Francisco. This is largely attributed come the city building an ext housing to satisfy demand. In a city choose San Francisco, the restricted supply means that more people with much more money space trying come move into existing real estate units, providing landlords and also real heritage speculators the inspiration to rise the expense of existing stock, even evicting tenants.

The solution, it would certainly seem, is come simply build more. The city"s stringent regulations do it an huge challenge, though. For this reason in lieu of adequate housing supply, prices are rising quicker than most San Franciscans can keep up with, and also the staff at St. Anthony"s and other homeless shelters are seeing this in your dining room lines.

Homelessness exist in san Francisco well before the very first tech eight of the 1990s. The first homeless shelter in the city opened in 1983, in ~ a time once federal capital for housing and urban advance reached its lowest point. According to the director of the san Francisco branch that the Coalition for the Homeless, Jennifer Friedenbach, the absence of investment in affordable housing has been one of the crucial contributors to homelessness. If human being can"t purchased to pay rent, some have no option but to walk without a home.

"Homeless civilization are just negative people," Friedenbach says. "There"s essentially no distinction between poor people who space housed and also poor people who room homeless; it"s even if it is or not they have actually a housing subsidy or, for numerous San Franciscans, whether they"re in a irreversible rent-controlled apartment. That"s really the just difference."


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Evictions

The descent into homelessness varies from human being to person. For Todd, he was able to tread water because that 18 months before ending up being homeless. Because that others, that happens lot faster. One of the fastest methods San Franciscans lose their homes is with eviction.

San Francisco is going with an "eviction epidemic," Gullicksen said. The Tenants Union operates a drop-in clinic for world who have troubles with their landlords. Most situations that come with the Union are related to evictions. Prior to 2011, it observed 300 come 350 world a month. It currently sees an ext than 600 world a month.

No-fault evictions — evictions wherein the tenant did nothing in violation of their lease — space up 115 percent due to the fact that 2013. Seeing the demand on the rental market, landlords are trying to evict present tenants for this reason they have the right to lease their systems to human being who are willing and also able to pay more. And also that"s just one of the elements fueling the eviction epidemic.

Gullicksen stated that the leading reason tenants are gaining evicted is because real heritage speculators want to transform the rent-controlled structures into condos that deserve to be marketed off separately. The Ellis act — a delivery in California legislation that enables landlords to evict tenants and also sell turn off a structure or its separation, personal, instance apartments — is a vital way to perform such evictions. The speculators, who are interested not in rental income yet in the profit they can make from marketing the separation, personal, instance apartments, are mostly catering come affluent technology workers looking come buy property. That comes back to the lack of housing stock: if over there isn"t enough brand-new housing share on the market, buyers will certainly look come existing stock. See an opportunity for profit, real estate speculators buy increase rent-controlled buildings, invoke the Ellis Act come evict the tenants, and sell turn off individual condos. Ellis action evictions space up 175 percent over the last year alone.

Benito Santiago, who newly turned 64, is facing an Ellis act eviction. The soft-spoken musician, ballroom run instructor and, through day, special education teacher, received an eviction notice in so late 2013.

As a an elderly and disabled human being (a bike accident in 1980 left him v spinal problems), Santiago was able to obtain an expansion on the eviction, permitting him to stay until December of this year. After that, he doesn"t recognize what will certainly happen.

"I was born and also raised here, and also I know San Francisco. I have a valuation established. I have actually history."

He"s currently started providing away his things and also boxing up what he desires to keep, just in case. In one room the keeps his drums, which are propped up versus shelves the ballroom dancing DVDs and also VHS tapes. There"s one old karaoke an equipment sitting on the floor and VCRs stack on peak of each other. There space ballroom dancing books and pamphlets, notices for upcoming dance nights and competitions. There"s a thick, hardcover book with photographs of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance the waltz and also the foxtrot. On his coat racks there space hats — an ext than a dozen wide-brimmed hats in various colors.

Santiago has actually seen his neighborhood change. The structures are taller, shinier. "The structures look nice," he says. "What I inquiry is exactly how many civilization can purchased to pay $4,000 because that those apartments? with all early respect to world making six-figure salaries and can purchased that, what happens to the human being who space being displaced?

"I to be born and raised here, and also I know San Francisco," he says. "I have a valuation established. I have actually history. I have a network here, and also to think the myself the end of below ..."

Santiago pauses. His eyes are sad. The special education teacher provides $1,500 a month. He pays $575 in rent. Comparable apartments in his community cost nearly three times what that makes.

"I store thinking of what I deserve to do. What can I do? just how am ns gonna cope OK, this is it, girlfriend gotta gain out, the sheriff"s comes in to placed locks on. I might be homeless. To visualize myself in that case ... What am ns going come do? It"s a huge question mark."

Ellis plot evictions are only the guideline of the iceberg, though. The Eviction Defense cooperation sees hundreds of clients each year slapped with eviction lawsuits. The group"s executive, management director Tyler Macmillan trust there space even much more tenants gift unlawfully evicted through unscrupulous practices.

"We do thousands of cases a year, however I think it pales in comparison to the darker underbelly the eviction and displacements, wherein landlords aren"t complying with the rules of the officially court system and also use various other tools to harass tenants," that says. "And, the course, there"s no good way to track that."

Then there room those who simply don"t know exactly how to respond to eviction lawsuits. According to Macmillan, that the 3,500 Unlawful Detainer Lawsuits offered in mountain Francisco each year, just 2,000 respond. A 3rd of the civilization who acquire sued never respond, so the sheriff is frequently clearing out the home within a month the the situation being filed. What happens to those tenants also goes untracked.


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Falling through

Statistically, homelessness is on the decline in the united States. A examine by the university of Pennsylvania found that the present aging population of homeless people, numerous who have fought decades-long addictions to life-shortening drugs, is intended to dice in the next decade. The official count in san Francisco has actually remained steady over the past couple of years. Yet, regardless of the homeless counts dropping, the decline isn"t reflected in need for solutions in mountain Francisco.

Down the street from St. Anthony"s is Hamilton family members Center, a shelter that supplies both long- and short-term accommodation for the homeless. Executive, management director Jeff Kositsky says there is no common person or household that looks for Hamilton"s help, and also the commonalities in between them are similar to those of housed san Franciscans.

"Some commonalities space they"re from san Francisco, they became homeless, they have kids, and also many that the world work," Kositsky said. "It"s totally not what you"d expect. There"s a two-parent Caucasian household in their mid-30s, both room employed, they have two kids, they lost their housing and also had nowhere to go and also ended increase here. They"re quiet working and trying to number out the right real estate solution because that them."

Todd seek Hamilton"s assist when he became homeless, and also it was with Hamilton that he had the ability to secure one apartment through the Mayor"s Office real estate lottery. He currently lives in a greatly subsidised one-bedroom apartment deep in SoMA through his daughter. She it s okay the bedroom, he sleeps in the life room.

Kositsky claims the four most common causes of homelessness in mountain Francisco are domestic violence, health-related events, ns of a job, and eviction. In any kind of of those cases, homelessness deserve to come quickly and unexpectedly.

Makalia "Kayla" Maye is a family instance manager at Glide, a shelter numerous blocks native St. Anthony"s that likewise offers meals and also welfare services. The 27-year-old solitary mother the two, who holds a degree in criminology with a boy on forensics, ended up being homeless critical year while quiet working full time at a real estate clinic. She was living v her grandmother, who had raised her from birth. As soon as her grandmother passed away in beforehand 2013, a family conflict led to her and also her two daughters — seven and two — being kicked out of the house. Overnight, she walk from gift comfortably housed in san Francisco"s Western addition to being homeless.

Finding affordable housing in san Francisco proved practically impossible. Apartments in her price selection either had actually waiting list of increase to 2 years, or to be so poorly kept that they to be unlivable. Everything else was well beyond what she could afford. She offered some of her savings to stay in cheap hotels while she ongoing to look because that affordable housing. Once she couldn"t bought the hotels any kind of more, she stayed with friends.

"It was extremely facility because no everyone desires to deal with a baby," she says. " to be still crying in ~ night and also needing to it is in changed... There to be times where specific people we continued to be with did not want the younger daughter there due to the fact that she to be still tiny and crying and doing stuff that small kids do. So there were times I"d need to leave mine older daughter with other people and take my small daughter v me."

Maye recalls resting in a car with her daughters on 3 occasions. She was frequently separated from one of them. The time they were able to continue to be together, they slept in cramped spaces, either in the edge of someone"s room, or share someone"s couch.

"How carry out we eat? Where are we going come stay? just how do i clean ours clothes? exactly how do i make the look choose we"re not homeless so i don"t gain my kids taken away?"

Like Todd, Maye learned the being homeless isn"t just about not having actually a house — it i do not care a full-time job to survive. In the mornings, if among her daughters was continuing to be elsewhere, she"d need to go choose her up. If they were staying at someone"s house, the 2 daughters would shower together. As soon as they slept in the car, Maye supplied baby wipes on her younger daughter. After getting her larger daughter to school and finding someone to mind her younger daughter, she"d frequently arrive at job-related late. Can not to bought childcare, she"d need to leave work early to pick up her kids. Every day she had to figure out wherein they would certainly sleep, whereby they would certainly eat, exactly how they can stay clean, and also what would take place to her daughters external of school hours.

"You hear every the time around people leaving their children in the car on accident. Ns did that to my younger daughter," Maye says. "Without understanding it, I might have killed her. It was only due to the fact that my purse was in the ago seat, and also I never leave mine purse in the backseat. It to be only since of that ns went ago to my car. As soon as I went back to my car, I discovered my daughter there. That"s as soon as I totally broke down.

"It was everything. Every little thing was so concentrated on how do us eat, where space we going come stay, just how do us eat, where room we going come stay? just how do i clean ours clothes? just how do ns make it look like we"re no homeless so i don"t gain my youngsters taken away?"

Maye to be homeless in full for 6 months. In the 6th month, her consistent lateness to work expense her her task at the Tenderloin housing Clinic. In the very same month, Hamilton household Center"s an initial Avenues program embraced her, offering her through a rental subsidy and support with a instance worker.

Maye and also her daughters now live in a three-bedroom home in Vallejo, 45 minutes phibìc of san Francisco. She commutes into the city for job-related each day. Detect affordable real estate didn"t drown the six months the homelessness her household went through, though.

"My older daughter fully understood what was happening," she says. "Even once we did get housing, it was really tough for her because she was scared it to be going to it is in taken away. In our an initial month in our house, she locked herself in the bathroom and sat in the tub crying, crying, crying, saying she wanted to walk to heaven, that she didn"t want to do it any kind of more. She to be like, just how do we understand we won"t obtain kicked out of here? just how do we know someone won"t take it it indigenous us?"

Until very first Avenues, Maye defined her life together being favor a roller coaster that just went in one direction: down. It had actually all happened so suddenly and unexpectedly, too. Who would have actually thought a case manager would herself come to be homeless?

The coupling the unforeseen scenarios — ns of a job, eviction, a health dilemm —with the exorbitant price of rental in mountain Francisco is do it all too simple for civilization to fall through the cracks, and non-profits choose St. Anthony"s, Hamilton, and shelter programs favor Compass family members Services are struggling to save up. Once Kositsky started working through non-profits providing shelters for households in the ‘90s, there were never much more than 30 or 40 world on assorted shelter wait lists. Today, the wait perform for Hamilton alone sits over 250. Also if a human being gets right into a shelter, it"s only a Band-aid fix. With the exception of programs like Compass household Services" Clara House, which gives an intensive, supportive atmosphere for households for two years, most shelters offer only temporary relief. Human being staying in shelters need to leave during the day. They have small to no privacy. Lock don"t have a fixed deal with to use while looking for work.

Studies around family homelessness show that kids who space homeless for more than six months farming up are 5 times much more likely to it is in homeless together adults and also 40 percent an ext likely come drop out of school. One little longitudinal study verified it will certainly take a child who"s to be homeless because that a long duration of time 2.6 generations because that his family members to exit poverty.

"So by not taking care of family homelessness, we"re essentially ensuring ourselves the there will certainly be a whole new population the homeless human being to take it the ar of the existing homeless population," Kositsky says.


*

Hope

The critical time mountain Francisco went with a tech boom, the bubble burst in the late 1990s, leading to an exodus of technology workers native the city. Rent prices dropped and, when they to be still high by national standards, the negative had a location to live. The existing tech boom shows few signs of slow down. The rising cost of life is currently spreading come the east Bay, whereby tenants in Oakland and also Berkeley are also feeling the effects of a much more expensive mountain Francisco.

The narrative around the function of the tech market isn"t as straightforward as techies kicking out Mickey mouse so they can live in Disneyland, though. As much as the flow of affluent tech workers has actually served as a catalyst for numerous of mountain Francisco"s affordability issues, lock have also tried, through varying degrees of success, to uncover the solution. The Hamilton Family center rental subsidy the supports Todd and also his daughter is the result of philanthropic initiatives by Salesforce"s Marc Benioff. St. Anthony"s technology training center, which aims to equip the homeless with straightforward computing skills, is frequently staffed with volunteers native Zendesk and Twitter. Zendesk has even occurred software to aid St. Anthony"s volunteer train clients an ext effectively.

For non-profits like St. Anthony"s, occasionally it feels like the city is making progression in detect a equipment to the complicated problem. Then occasionally it feels choose they"re taking several actions back.

"I feel favor we have really smart world in san Francisco, and if you have actually economists, developers, and low-income housing providers sit at a table and also don"t permit them out till they come up v a solution, there has to be one," he says. "There has to be a balance between advance being profitable, utilizing vertical an are and acquisition the right approach to affordable housing."

Instead of this dream team that economists, developers, and low income housing providers, the city"s non-profits proceed to fight for the poor and vulnerable. The Tenants Union is currently working on legislative and also policy job-related to strengthen eviction protections and mitigate evictions via boosted relocation benefits. It"s likewise pushing through an anti-speculation taxes to discourage real estate speculators indigenous buying increase rent-controlled properties, climate evicting the tenants and selling turn off the units as condos. Programs favor Hamilton and Compass are working with family members to certain affordable, subsidized accommodation, if St. Anthony"s is partnering through Mercy real estate to build 90 affordable devices in the love of the city for low-income an elderly citizens. However non-profits can, at best, chip far at a lot bigger difficulty — a problem of inequality, a difficulty of significant wealth disparity, a difficulty of a system that has winners and also losers.

The mayor of san Francisco, Ed Lee, collection a goal because that the city to build 30,000 brand-new housing systems by 2020, a third of which is because that low-income residents. However the setup may no be enough, v a Civil grand Jury report released in June 2014 saying that its outlook "tends to it is in gloomy," through skepticism as to whether the supply will certainly correlate with populace growth and also whether the will mitigate the present affordability crisis. Over there is also skepticism around whether the goal will certainly be met in time.

For plenty of San Franciscans who have actually been displaced or space on the verge of shedding their homes, there"s pain and also a feeling of powerlessness.

While the apparent solution is come build an ext affordable housing, this idea butts against a variety of mountain Francisco-specific problems. One is an issue of space: san Francisco is just seven mile by 7 miles, and an are is limited. Another is the city"s advancement regulations, with thickness restrictions artificially limiting the number of units allowed in a project. Include to the the financial inspiration to construct luxury real estate outweighing the motivation to develop affordable housing, and a equipment suddenly appears a lot more away.

Michael Stoops of the nationwide Coalition for the Homeless claims there is nobody city doing whatever right because that the homeless. While there are specific programs the have operated for certain groups in particular cities, like Salt Lake City and also Phoenix"s remedies to finishing chronic homelessness, he claims there space caveats. Because that example, Salt Lake City to be able to finish chronic homelessness amongst military veterans which, when a vast achievement, is not the same as finishing homelessness.

"There will constantly be brand-new people who end up being homeless," Stoops says. "And civilization are not homeless forever. So us can help people who are at this time on the streets and also in shelters, however then we need to make sure world don"t end up being homeless in the very first place."

For countless San Franciscans who have been displaced or space on the verge of losing their homes, there"s pain and a feeling of powerlessness.

Santiago slumps in his seat. He regularly smiles because he doesn"t understand what rather to do. He proceeds to to visit rallies — occasionally several every week — since he knows he needs to fight the spate the evictions sweeping through San Francisco. That doesn"t know just how he deserve to win.

"I don"t blame the tech workers," that says. "These civilization are going come work, and also kudos come them. They"re working. Everyone"s working. Because that me, I placed the spotlight top top those who are pulling the strings, the puppeteers, the ones crunching the end numbers to get the fast buck.

"Those numbers space actually people. We space not simply numbers. We"re persons. We have a history. We have roots."

For Santiago, that hurts. And even for those who have found affordable housing, the storage of being homeless doesn"t walk away. Maye remembers the cramped spaces she and also her daughters slept in. She remembers how she frequently skipped meals so she daughters had enough to eat. She remembers doing every little thing right and also still having actually doors slammed in she face. She remembers her daughter, crying, crying, crying.

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Todd remembers the areas he"d parked his car and also how challenging it was to fall asleep. He"d look the end the windows of his car at the building sites. Each night, a bit more progress to be made; here was a Salesforce building; the recently-cleared block of land was for the Trans-Bay Terminal; and also that one there, a few blocks down, the was a specifically sweet one — that is newly-installed wall of glowing windows mirroring the stars.