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HOUSING FIRST FOR FAMILIES CAMPAIGN MOVES FORWARD

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In a previous issue, we mentioned while meeting with Mayor Gavin Newsom on June 27, 2005, we suggested a separate meeting with himself, Coalition staff, and 10 homeless families, allowing us to present the recommendations from our housing first campaign personally.

Families were eager to find that we indeed were meeting with the mayor to let our voices be heard. While awaiting this meeting we diligently worked on our action plan for this part of the campaign. We compiled a fact sheet to show the importance of our needs being met. Outreach to the shelters and SROs was made to inform the families of what was going on and the need of their support. From these outreaches, and the family members’ participation, we secure dthe base of our campaign and struggle.

Wednesday August 17, 2005 we had our meeting with Mayor Gavin Newsom and 10 families to talk about the recommendations from our Housing First report. A few of his staff members also sat in on the meeting. Those in attendance were his chief of staff, director of Mayors’ Office on Housing, and the deputy director of Department of Human Services.

The overall flow of the meeting went really well, and no real tense points arose during the presentation. All family members were able to give an overview of their lives and how this campaign directly affects us all as a whole. This was a real emotional part of the meeting—a long overdue process of putting real faces behind the voices of such an underprivileged group of society.

Mayor Newsom did commit to giving a written plan of action towards our first recommendation in this upcoming week. This recommendation was to increase from 7% to 25% the number of housing units for families under his 10-year Plan, creating 3,000 units for homeless families. As for the next two recommendations, he agreed to respond in six months. Those recommendations were increasing the 3,000 units for homeless families, to create a city-based housing subsidy of $500 for 120 families, and to triple existing eviction prevention funds.

We all are looking forward to, in the Mayor’s own words, “Not what I say, but the action I put behind what’s on paper,” so check out upcoming STREET SHEETs for updates on the Housing First campaign.

We would like to invite all homeless families to come be a part of the campaign. Unite to fight together, it’s the only way to have power to beat the city’s homeless problems. Housing First campaign meetings take place at 12:30pm every Thursday @ 468 Turk street. Please feel free to join us.

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Author: Street Sheet Editor

The STREET SHEET is the oldest continuously published street news paper in the United States. Organizationally, it is the public education and outreach tool of the Coalition on Homelessness. Every month, the STREET SHEET reaches 32,000 readers through over 200 homeless or low-income vendors. Our vendors are charged nothing for the papers they receive, and keep all money they earn through STREET SHEET distribution.

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