6.2 Leading the Way: Local Political Leadership for Ending Homelessness (Kayhan)

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Local political leaders have been crucial in efforts to move communities toward a solutions-focused homelessness system. In doing so, they have convinced other local opinion leaders to make ending …

Local political leaders have been crucial in efforts to move communities toward a solutions-focused homelessness system. In doing so, they have convinced other local opinion leaders to make ending homelessness a top priority. Speakers will facilitate a robust discussion around why it’s important to get political leaders involved in the fight to end homelessness locally, how to do so, and the benefits for the community.

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  • 1. Leading the Way: Political Leadership for Ending Homelessness Dariush Kayhan Director of Homeless Policy Mayor Gavin Newsom
  • 2. Political Climate Prior to Newsom Administration
    • City Controller’s Audit Report: “City Lacks Commonly Accepted Goals and an Effective Plan for Its Homeless Services” (May, 2002)
    • California Superior Court Civil Grand Jury Report: “City’s efforts lack leadership, effective management, and coordination.” (May, 2002)
    • Mayor Brown, “Homelessness is not solvable, only controllable.” (MARCH 1996)
    • Negative media attention: “Shame of the City” Series in San Francisco Chronicle
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  • 6.
    • THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
    • DECEMBER 2003
    • “ We trip over them on the sidewalk every day. We curse, hand them a dollar, or don't. We feel pity, guilt and rage at their presence. The city spends $200 million a year trying to get homeless people off the streets and into a better way of life - but over 20 years, the problem has only gotten worse. The more able of the homeless find their way into shelters, counseling and housing programs. But the most chronically indigent, called the hard core, steadfastly refuse most help and stay outside. These 3,000 to 5,000 homeless at the very bottom are the most visible, and they give the city its dubious distinction of having what many call the worst homeless problem in the country.”
  • 7. Movement to Action
    • Reorganized the Management Structure
    • Implemented Care Not Cash: 2334 on case load to 398 a 83% reduction
    • Focus on Tipping Point: “Chronically Homeless”
    • Development of “Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness”
  • 8. Street Outreach
    • Launched Homeless Outreach Team
      • Neighborhood Beats and Golden Gate Park
      • Dedicated slots for residential treatment, detox beds, shelter, housing, sobering center
      • Results: over 2,100 served to date and all are either in temporary or permanent placements
      • Golden Gate Park: from 175-200 to 20-25 per week--an 86% reduction since July 2007
  • 9. Project Homeless Connect add logo here
      • Comprehensive “One Stop” for services for homeless: Medical (Physical Health, Vision, Treatment), Legal, Housing/Shelter, Public Benefits, Other Services
      • Simplify service access for clients and begin longer-term engagement process
      • Provide avenue for local citizenry to be a part of the solution: “pent-up compassion”
  • 10. Progress Toward 10-Year Plan Goal: Homeless Housed
  • 11. Homeless Count Comparison 40% Drop in Street Homelessness