Ending the Encampment Crisis by creating Safe Organized Spaces

Every night in San Francisco 3,134 people sleep outside. This is not an accident, it is not a situation that is beyond our control. SF City government has institutionalized homeless encampments by sending unhoused residents to the streets from Navigation Centers, shelters, and hospitals; and by not building enough housing.

Currently, the city spends $29.3 million per year managing and responding to our encampment crisis. $20.6 million for police response to encampments and $8.7 million for Department of Public Works (DPW) in clean up costs.

We have to do better.

For the same amount of money SF currently spends responding to complaints and issues relating to our existing encampments, we could temporarily house many of SF’s 3,134 unsheltered residents on the top floor of many of the 21 parking garages owned by the MTA. We can also find other  locations around the city to provide organized and clean living conditions that are out of the public right of ways for people who are experiencing homelessness to reside until we get ahead of the housing crisis.

The MTA garages are under parked. These spaces are close to transportation and supportive services, they are currently unused and they belong to the public. Seattle, San Jose and Oakland already have or are working on establishing similar programs.

Here is a slide deck created by the Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge (SFHC) fleshing out a proposal to transition 1,000 people into 20-50 Transitional Villages for a cost of about $9 million. Here is a proposal created by the Ca Renters Legal Advocacy & Education Fund specifically describing the proposal to utilize the MTA garages to host Transitional Villages. Here is a pamphlet summarizing the SOS Transitional Village neighborhood proposal.

San Francisco could solve its encampment crisis in a matter of months, but we have to show City Hall that it’s something the people of San Francisco really want. We have to show that there is political support for this proposal. Sign the petition.


If you want to solve the encampment crisis...

… sign the SOS Petition for Safe Organized Spaces: SafeOrganizedSpaces.org

… forward this blog post to a friend.

… pledge to vote for Sonja Trauss for Supervisor of District 6.


“Hey Sonja, are these Transitional Villages going to be on top of the garages forever?”

No! I’m glad you asked. Click here to find out about the next step.

We can’t win this election without your help!

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