The city and state budget crises continue as budgets are being set for 2009. The impacts on people living in poverty, children, elders, and disabled people are projected to leave many without needed supports and services. In many cases, these services were inadequate to meet needs prior to cuts.
We have been working with guests, donors, and volunteers to find ways to advocate for community priorities to improve the lives of more vulnerable community members.
This week in the news:
SF Chronicle article with guests working for changes in the community
-We found out yesterday that this advocacy was effective, that the Central City Hospitality House Tenderloin Self-Help Center was restored funding. This center works with many Welcome Ministry community members to also help with getting IDs in ways different than the Welcome Ministry is able to help, so we refer people to each other when needed. TSHC is also helpful to guests in drop in space, art studio and lessons, support groups, a shelter, shelter sign-up for the city, and many other needed community-led supportive spaces.
We are continuing to work with neighboring services that are still scheduled to be cut, however, including:
-Caduceus Outreach Services
-Mission Neighborhood Resource Center- many Welcome Ministry guests use this is a primary place to shower and wash laundry. There are few other resources for these needs.
-MAP van- this provides safe rides to shelters from community services, medical services, and shelter sign-up. They also provide transportation for people who are intoxicated and need safe transportation to community resources. We call MAP vans an average of twice a week for guests.
-SRO collaboratives- in San Francisco, this is a main way that homeless people move indoors and work together to improve the quality of hotel housing.
-Daytime access for shelters- without this, people must wait outside or at other public places during the daytime, even when ill, tired, or unsafe.
-Support Housing Employment Collaborative
-Supportive Housing Programs- for people who are needing help to maintain healthy living after moving inside, supportive housing provides mental health and physical help to remain housed. Many who receive these services will not be able to maintain housing without it.
-Mental health and substance abuse programs- currently people must wait 1-2 months to enter substance abuse programs after initializing contact, by which time many people have de-stabilized and are no longer able to enter. People are also waiting months to get ongoing mental health services as is. With cuts in funding, these services will not be accessible to many community members.
What can we do?
-Attend Board of Supervisors Budget Hearing on Monday June 22-
-4pm rally at Tenderloin Self-Help Center, 290 Turk Street
-5pm City Hall, Board of Supervisors chambers
-Call the Mayor's Office 415-554-6141
-Thank mayor for changes to budget including reinstating Tenderloin Self-Help Center
-Ask that other critical services for people living in poverty to be reinstated
-Keep informed about ongoing budget changes, and respond accordingly
-On the state level, California Disability Community Action Network offers great updates and actions to take
Have other resources on politics or ideas for changes?
Feel free to comment.