From Streatfood in SOMA
Street Food in the Tenderloin
Since his appointment as Director of the Mayor’s office of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships, and Engagement, or HOPE, former Supervisor Bevan Dufty has rarely been accused of thinking inside the politically acceptable box. In fact, many of his proposals push the envelope and challenge many of the tired, off-the-rack schemes that many of our tired, off-the-rack politicians drag out every few years – usually around election time – and try to re-sell.
First, there was wet housing for chronic alcoholics. This proposal was bound to baffle the local policy makers simply because it has a proven, successful track record. In Seattle, the program has saved the city millions in emergency medical care and police response, and has put many of the people it serves on the road to recovery and productive lives.
Next came Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos, you guessed it, WOOF (I couldn’t make up this stuff if I wanted to). Working with animals has been proven to be beneficial for the caretaker. Once again, Dufty has chosen to believe that homeless people are not, after all, some sub-species of humans. If pets are good for “regular” people, there’s a good chance they just might be good for homeless or poor people as well.
But now he’s obviously gone over the edge. To suggest that a favorite activity of The City’s Hipster crowd, food truck dining, might possibly play a role in helping homeless San Franciscans, is going too far. Or is it?
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Dufty, wants “to get a soul food truck on the streets of the Tenderloin… that will be staffed by homeless people and get healthy food to those living on the streets or in supportive housing.”
Heavenly Souls, would start with one truck staffed by a dozen or so homeless or formerly homeless people. Dufty plans to work with Episcopal Community Services to provide training and support to the people who staff the trucks.
Serving quality food to folks in the TL in a non-institutional, block-party setting will not only meet a basic human need, but will foster community spirit and build positive relationships.
The Street Sheet applauds this and other efforts by HOPE to expand the choices available to homeless and poor people in San Francisco, rather than proposing more so-called solutions that involve citations, arrest, or jail time.