One of the country’s leading disabled people’s organisations is to end its commitment to being a user-led charity in a bid to become a national player in the employment support market.Essex Coalition of Disabled People, which has been known for five years as ecdp, is being replaced by a new organisation, Purple, which will be a community interest company (CIC) instead of a charity and will focus on helping disabled people into work.Although Purple will still provide services such as help with direct payments, developing support plans and personal health budgets, it will focus on employment-related consultancy and recruitment services.And it will no longer commit to being a disabled people’s user-led organisation (DPULO) – 100 per cent of ecdp’s board are disabled people – although the proportion of its board might still have a majority of disabled people.Mike Adams (pictured), former chief executive of ecdp and now chief executive of Purple, said a key reason for the move was the loss last summer of ecdp’s biggest contract, with a local authority.He said: “There was a kind of recognition as a disability organisation that there was a level of patronage that really existed and our future lay in the hands of not us, and our existence lay in the hands of not us.”He said he had seen many DPULOs go out of business in the last 12 months, usually because their main funder had either withdrawn or significantly lowered its funding.Another reason for replacing ecdp with Purple was the recognition that it “needed to modernise”, he said.Adams said: “What we were providing probably wasn’t the cutting-edge services and products that disabled people required.”As a result, ecdp interviewed all 2,000 of its members over five months about “what it is like to be disabled in Essex”.He said ecdp’s members said they wanted “high quality information, advice and guidance from an organisation that understands disability, but to be frank they actually don’t care whether we are a user-led organisation or not”.He said: “We thought that was always going to be one of our unique selling points, but we were totally disabused by our members.”But he said Purple would still have the principles of “the lived experience of disability, the voice of disabled people” instilled in everything it did, while providing “a set of services and products that disabled people want to buy”.And he said that as long as that was the case, being a DPULO was less important.He admitted that he was “anxious” of how this would be received by other DPULOs.He said: “We have a huge job to persuade people that the model we are setting out is the right one for disabled people.“I am absolutely aware that for some people they will see this as not selling out but a compromise too far, and I suspect that this is not going to work for everyone.”He said he hoped that there would be a similar reaction to when he gave a presentation to the National Centre for Independent Living several years ago, shortly after becoming chief executive of ecdp, in which he warned that disabled people’s organisations needed to change how they operated or they would cease to exist.Although he was slow-handclapped during that speech, he said many people came to him in the following weeks to say they might not agree but would still like him to explain what he meant.He said: “It’s not our intention to be radical. I don’t like being an outlier, but I do know if we hadn’t done what we are doing I’m not sure the lives of disabled people in Essex and beyond would be better for it.”Out of the consultation with ecdp members, he said, came the recognition that Purple would need to “marry together disabled people and businesses and other stakeholders in order to have a different conversation about disability”.Some of the products and services offered by Purple will be aimed at businesses and others will be aimed at disabled people, he said.He said the new board would be an “amalgam of disabled people and business leaders who might be disabled or might not”.He said: “We are looking for talented individuals who see the potential of Purple, but we are not going to have that restrictive 100 per cent that we had with ecdp.“There are other DPULOs who survive and thrive but we wanted to expand our reach and move out of an organisation that was predominantly into social care and health and move into issues which really impact on the lives of disabled people, which was employment, education… and the way to do that is to bring those stakeholders into the tent.”Adams was a member of a taskforce set up by the minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, to look at how to improve the government’s much-criticised Disability Confident (DC) campaign.He said DC was likely to move on from being “just a campaign communications tool to something where organisations can actually work for something and get something. That is what the taskforce was asked to look at.”One of Purple’s services will be to help employers become “accredited”, as part of the government’s refreshed Disability Confident scheme. He said the new accreditation process was one of the taskforce’s recommendations that Tomlinson has accepted, although he was not able to provide details of how this would work ahead of today’s (Thursday) planned Disability Confident relaunch.But he insisted that the new DC would be “more than a campaign” and “something much more concrete and much more than warm words”, and that “we absolutely hope” that it would not “simply be a modern-day Two Ticks”, the much-criticised scheme run by Jobcentre Plus that shows which employers are supposedly “positive about disabled people” in their recruitment.The decision to close ecdp and replace it with Purple was a unanimous one taken by the ecdp board, said Adams.He said: “I think everyone knew that if we didn’t do something pretty radical, pretty different, as an organisation, we would be providing no support to disabled people in a few months’ time.”The decision to become a CIC instead of a charity – although part of it is likely to be set up as a charitable foundation – will provide “the opportunity for people to invest in some of the different products and services we are developing”, he said.Purple’s target is to help more than 20,000 disabled people find permanent jobs over the next decade.Adams said: “We want to go from an organisation based in Essex for people in Essex and the hinterland to an organisation that is based in Essex and that works nationally.”As well as acting as a specialist employment agency for disabled people, through its online disability recruitment agency, it also will offer “meaningful work placements”, extending a disability employment programme ecdp has been running called ecdp Works.The programme offers participants an intensive one-week training and development course, followed by a six-week supported work placement, and then another intensive week, followed by three months of support while either seeking employment – more than three-fifths have found jobs – or furthering their education.He said: “We think that programme works because it’s been run by disabled people for disabled people; one participant described it as a disability boot camp.”Purple is part of two consortia, led by “national players”, which are bidding for substantial contracts that would mean – if successful – Purple delivering this programme to “significant numbers” of disabled people over the next three years.Adams would not confirm who the “national players” were, although he confirmed that they were not Remploy/Maximus or Atos.He said it was likely that Purple would gradually develop “satellite bases” across the UK, and hopefully become known as “an organisation that works across the UK rather than just Essex and the south-east”.It also intends to become a major player in the recruitment of personal assistants (PAs), planning to help disabled people recruit 25,000 PAs in the next 10 years.Adams, a former senior manager with the Disability Rights Commission, previously chaired an expert advisory panel for the government on its Access to Work scheme.As part of its launch, which saw Adams open the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday (12 July) morning, Purple released findings from a survey of 1,000 businesses.The survey found nearly half of the businesses (45 per cent) were apprehensive about hiring a disabled person, because of fears that they would not be able to do the job and concerns about making “inappropriate comments or actions”.It also found that almost half of employers (43 per cent) expected job applicants to disclose their impairments before they were interviewed, despite there being no legal obligation to do so.Adams said Purple had benefited from substantial “in kind” support around this week’s launch, including the Stock Exchange event and an evening reception at the offices of international law firm CMS Cameron McKenna.
The chancellor’s spring statement shows that disabled people will continue to bear the brunt of austerity, according to leading user-led organisations.They spoke out after Philip Hammond (pictured) resisted calls to increase funding for adult social care and other public services in this week’s statement.Instead, he suggested that he might increase public spending in the autumn budget and insisted that “spending on the disabled” was continuing to increase every year.But there was anger and frustration among user-led organisations at Hammond’s refusal to address the funding crisis, particularly in social care.Professor Peter Beresford, co-chair of Shaping Our Lives, said Hammond’s statement “had little to do with the economic well-being of the nation and even less with the rights and needs of disabled people”.Instead, he said, it was “primarily shaped by the government’s and the chancellor’s own uncertain situation and their fears for the forthcoming local elections”.Beresford said: “As I hear daily reports of disabled people’s increasingly precarious financial and personal situations, with a vicious and dishonest benefits system continuing unconstrained, despite the massive and growing evidence of its cruelty, we have to wonder how long this can go on, before the scars to disabled people and the nation reach a point of being unrecoverable.“I can only agree with shadow chancellor John McDonnell who has accused Mr Hammond of ‘ignoring’ the public services despite ‘a crisis on a scale we have never seen before’.”Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “Despite the positive outlook portrayed by the chancellor we remain concerned that disabled people are being left behind. “His emphasis on ‘talent and hard work’* is blunted by the reality of disabled people’s experience of finding and keeping jobs. “Once again, the opportunity to pick up the challenges in health and social care services, which are seriously impacting on the lives of disabled people, remains ignored.“In the meantime, forthcoming changes to the benefits system will hit disabled people hardest – we need a system which doesn’t drive more disabled people into poverty.”Brian Hilton, digital campaigns officer for Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People, said the spring statement sent “a clear message to everyone” that austerity “remains the government’s mantra and that disabled people will continue to bear the brunt of ongoing cuts and rationing of services”.He said: “It used to be that chancellors would give with one hand and take with the other. “Well it’s clear what’s being taken away: it’s our social care funding, it’s our wheelchair services, our British Sign Language interpretation services, our access to healthcare, our Motability vehicles, our benefits, our housing, our education grants and our employment support.“So what are they giving us? Well, there is the rise in disability hate crimes, increased numbers of disabled people attempting suicide, a million benefit sanctions imposed upon disabled people, and the dubious honour of being the first country to be investigated by the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities, which found ‘grave and systematic violations’ of disabled people’s rights.”Simone Aspis, policy and campaigns coordinator for The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE), said the chancellor had done nothing to ease the crisis in inclusive education, with increasing evidence of cuts to the support disabled students need to access mainstream education.She said one of the reasons for increasing numbers of disabled children being excluded from mainstream schools had to be the lack of support they receive.She said: “We are very disappointed that the government are not addressing the issue.”Aspis pointed to reports last month that Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council was planning to cut a quarter of its staff who support disabled pupils in mainstream schools, while there have also been threats to educational support funding in the London borough of Hackney.She said the government’s failure to support disabled pupils in mainstream education – and its determination instead to “pump money into the special school system” – meant it was breaching its duties under the Equality Act, the Children and Families Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.McDonnell accused Hammond of “congratulating himself on marginally improved economic forecasts, while he refuses to lift a finger as councils go bust, the NHS and social care are in crisis, school budgets are cut, homelessness has doubled and wages are falling”.He told Hammond that, “as always, the harshest cuts fall on disabled people”.That appeared to be confirmed the day after Hammond’s spring statement, when a report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission concluded that families with disabled adults and disabled children were facing “the largest financial loss in cash terms compared to any other household type” as a result of all the tax, national insurance, social security and minimum wage reforms that have been introduced by Conservative-led governments between May 2010 and January 2018.The EHRC report found that disabled lone parents with particularly high support needs would lose over £11,000 a year on average, slightly more than 30 per cent of their net income, by 2021-22.*Hammond said his government was building an economy “where prosperity and opportunity are in reach of all, wherever they live and whatever their gender, colour, creed or background” and “where talent and hard work alone determine success”
Does this sound uncomfortably familiar to anyone? Bloomberg reports that “Silicon Valley Elites Get Home Loans With No Money Down” and that “As the tech boom starts to show signs of cracks, there’s some concern that high loan-to-value mortgages are dangerous.”Granted we’re not seeing mass foreclosures and willy-nilly lending (yet?). And 4 in 10 applicants for these zero-down home loans are rejected by the provider. But that means 60 percent are approved — with the primary criterion apparently being that they earn more than $200K a year. And as Bloomberg notes, the down payment on a house here could buy you a whole house flat-out elsewhere. What could possibly go wrong…I wonder if any of those loans are going to condo purchases. A new crop is for sale in the Mission right now, including those at “Rowan” on Potrero Ave near Franklin Square that have hit the market. I didn’t know that this was the “heart” of the Mission, and I guess opinions are divided on whether that northeast corner is “flourishing” as The Registry says, but there you have it. The 70 new units are on sale in the Mission — 11 of them below market rate.By the way, those of you who pay close attention to how projects are proposed, advocated for, and approved in this city may be interested to hear that the head of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition has stepped down. A hunt is under way for a replacement — you can read more about Tim Colen’s achievements here. Back in the world of renters, life is bit crowded. A Trulia study cited by Curbed estimates that more than a third of San Francisco’s renters live in apartments with too few rooms, and more than half of families who rent are packed in too tight.Finding one of those overcrowded apartments to squeeze yourself into continues to be tricky, and so people continue to try to invent workarounds. Take, for example, this coder who created a complicated program to alert him to apartment offers (SFist recommended that the rest of us simply use Craigslist’s existing listing alert system).Enough about finding a place to live in the city, let’s talk about buildings that have been around for a long time. Owners are running up against a deadline to earthquake-proof their buildings. I guess maybe “-proof” is a bit of a strong suffix given that we’re talking about earthquakes, but as the Chronicle reports, the seismic retrofit is no small undertaking. A whole little industry has sprung up around it, and the cost is substantial — perhaps making it no surprise that property owners aren’t keen on jumping on top of that right away. Legislation allowing landlords to add units to their buildings when they do these retrofits have helped some, but roughly 60 days remain to see whether it’s enough of an incentive for one group of landlords to meet their deadline.Brief interlude to talk about a different kind of apartment — the one that is now the Lexington Standard at 18th and Lexington streets. Yes, the business swap is old news, but now something is happening on the outside too. The whole building is plagued by dry rot, and the mural that has been there for 15 years needs to go. Happily, the original muralists are getting a do-over, with another mural by the same artists planned at that spot, possibly to be completed by September. Down the street a ways, Tartine Bakery’s long-anticipated “manufactory” is scheduled to open in August at 18th and Alabama. It will feature a large-scale bread production facility and restaurant-style eating. It’ll also be a testing ground for new products, the Wall Street Journal reports — including, mmmm, ice cream. Sweet. Tags: development • Developments in Development • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%
A small group of homeless residents and their advocates went to City Hall on Tuesday to propose a “transitional village” in San Francisco where the homeless would be allowed to camp legally.From the so-called village, they would be connected to case management and health services while awaiting placement in city shelters, other Navigation Centers or in supportive housing.The proposal, made during the public comment period at the Board of Supervisors comes in the wake of a decision this fall to end long term stays at the Navigation Center at 1950 Mission St. and instead turn it into a 30-day triage center. Earlier, residents had been promised a ticket home or more permanent housing. But, given that adequate housing does not exist, they are now being promised a stay in 90-day shelters. Even that promise, however, is difficult to fulfill. 0% Without the ability to remain at the Navigation Center and with too few shelter beds, the transitional village camp, advocates argued, offers a solution on how to house homeless residents in a humane and ordered way. The idea is not new – Seattle has opened three sanctioned encampments.Mission Supervisor Hillary Ronen said that while she has not rejected the idea, she is also not convinced that it is a viable solution for filling gaps in city services. Sam Dodge, deputy director of the city’s Department on Homelessness and Supportive Housing, said that the transitional village approach is being explored by the city but comes with a set of challenges, including “state laws and city codes.” What’s clear is that the existing facilities for the homeless are inadequate. “Thirty days of being in the Navigation center is not enough to get out of the streets,” said a former Box City resident who gave his name as Elias and has been living at the Mission Navigation Center since January 10. “We are just going to go back on the street if we don’t get that 90-day shelter [placement]. I hope that my name is still on that list.”Dismantled by the city on January 6, Box City was an example of what some activists, including Amy Farah Weiss, a 2015 mayoral candidate and founder of the nonprofit Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge, envision as the transitional village model. That community, located at Seventh and Hubbell streets, consisted of some 20 people living in makeshift box shelters. There, they had access to porta potties, lived by a set of agreed-upon rules and received support from volunteers.Farah Weiss explained how a transitional village would be “a piece of land set aside for campers wanting to go to the Navigation Center or exiting [from it] and in the interim coming into an agreement based situation where people are living and participating in the transitional village while other shelter and housing is still unavailable.”Weiss said that she has been working with about 15 people displaced from Box City who “will most likely be released back onto the street” starting February 6, once their stay at the Navigation Center is up.“My goal is to get them the 90 day shelter if they want it,” said Farah Weiss. “But then a lot of people won’t want it, so what I’m trying to do is work with city to have an exit that is a step up from being on the street in a completely unstructured and unsanctioned encampment.”Weiss did not know exactly where this piece of land would be located. Some shelter and Navigation Center clients, appear to prefer living on the streets and an organized transitional village would offer some health and safety standards. The transitional village would also facilitate tracking and connecting clients to services in a “system that is connected to the city network,” she said.“Shelters suck, honestly. I’ve been in a sanctuary shelter before and there was no ventilation. You don’t know who is sick who is not. Everytime you go inside you have a curfew,” said Roland, who has been at the Navigation Center since February 6.Roland said that the Navigation Center has given him much-needed stability, but that he turned down placement at a 90-day shelter during his initial intake. “I told them I don’t want to go to 90 day shelter. Straight up, I’d rather stay on the street. A shelter is really not for me,” said Roland, whose stay at the Navigation Center will end on February 6. When asked if she would consider moving to a 90-day shelter once her stay in the Navigation Center is up, Marisela, another displaced Box City resident, said “I think I should.”Weiss said that while the sanctioned encampment would not be as “service rich” as the Navigation Center, it would fall somewhere in between providing campers with a safe and legal place to be while addressing “safety concerns of the surrounding community.”The transitional village would open in a city sanctioned location with access to a trash organizing system, toilets, “secure sleep” and would come with a code of conduct for campers, said Farah Weiss. Tags: advocacy • Board of Supervisors • camp • City Hall • homeless Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Inmates at two San Francisco County Jail facilities are losing sleep over the Sheriff’s Department’s policies — literally. Ten inmates, on behalf of the estimated 1,200 detainees at Jails Nos. 4 and 5, filed a class action lawsuit Monday against the Sheriff’s Department and city for longstanding practices that have allegedly deprived those inmates of sleep. Their attorney is Yolanda Huang. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that sleep deprivation is a result of the department’s policies of serving inmates breakfast at 3:30 a.m., gratuitously disrupting inmates during mandated hourly safety checks, conducting medical appointments in the middle of the night, and leaving certain lights on. “This ongoing, nightly sleep deprivation and disturbance has created a cascading negative effect on prisoners’ abilities to function at the cognitive, physical, and psychiatric levels,” the lawsuit states. “Cognitive impairment adversely impacts pretrial prisoners’ ability to assist in their legal defense.” The lawsuit alleges that the practices have violated the inmates’ human and constitutional rights. They are suing to have the department’s policies changed, plus potential “compensatory damages” and attorney’s fees. “What kind of people are we going to have if they’ve been put under this schedule for years?” asked Huang. “Would you be able to make a good decision if you’ve been going through that for five, six, seven years?”Nancy Crowley, a spokeswoman with the Sheriff’s Department, said that those inmates filed grievances about the policies leading to a lack of sleep earlier this month. She provided Sheriff Vicki Hennessy’s response, sent on May 13, which explains the rationale behind the policies but also pledges that changes will be made. Hennessy explained in her response that the 3:30 a.m. breakfast is in place to “assure that inmates arrive to their court appearances in a timely fashion.” She wrote that the hourly safety checks are “necessary to assure that no inmate is being victimized or attempting to hurt themselves,” and some lights remain on for the same reasons. Email Address Regardless, Hennessy wrote that she ordered a “comprehensive review” of the current policies and is the process of drafting new ones, though nothing is yet final. Monday’s lawsuit is yet another glimpse into the conditions at San Francisco’s jails, inmates’ mounting dissatisfaction with those conditions, and Hennessy’s attempts at remedying the issues. In April, Hennessy called in the FBI to investigate a guard’s beating of an inmate — which has been an ongoing problem. More than 100 inmates at 850 Bryant St. filed suit in March over raw sewage continually flooding over into their cells, a proceeding tied to a 2018 complaint about excrement, also helmed by Yolanda Huang.
Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter #SFHomelessProject. Coverage all week. Master now oversees homeless and at-risk youth programming at City College. Before that, she was a front-line worker on the city’s Homeless Outreach Team (HOT). And, before that, she was homeless, a drug addict, an erstwhile inmate struggling to raise her children and grandchildren. “When homeless people first started filling up Division Street, I heard all about these ‘new’ homeless people in San Francisco,” she says. “But my mother lived under a freeway at Cortland and Bayshore for 15 years. My uncle did, too. When I was on the HOT team, I actually saw a lot of people I grew up with.” They’d been in San Francisco for years. And homeless. But now, you couldn’t ignore them. Many, like Master, grew up in oft-chaotic homes with eight aunts and uncles and a procession of spouses and kids and God knows who else gallivanting through, with everyone packing in with their myriad problems. But the key word here is “in.” “Homeless people weren’t visible before because they still had grandma’s house,” Master says. But now grandma is gone, and someone else who paid a small fortune is living in that house. So now, they are seen. “To me,” says Master, “it feels like the same number of people are homeless. But now, more are getting counted.” The items belonging to several homeless men were tossed onto the sidewalk in late March. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.Does San Francisco have more homeless people than before? Or are we just getting better at counting? The best answer appears to be: “Yes.” Both of these can be true.Somewhat amazingly, in the year 2019 — the year in which Blade Runner was set — San Francisco still measures progress in alleviating homelessness based on numbers assembled on one night by volunteers with clipboards, deployed throughout the city to tally on pen and paper how many people look homeless — every other year. Yes, algorithms are involved and folks living 12 to a room are, by design, missed. This is problematic. But the real concern isn’t so much the point-in-time (PIT) count, which is still useful — it has highlighted trends among sub-populations like veterans or car-dwellers and has revealed overrepresentation among the homeless of former foster care children, people of color, and the LGBTQ. Also, if you don’t do the PIT count, you don’t get the federal money. So, that’s for the good. The problem, rather, is the outsize and all-encompassing role the PIT count has come to play. In much the way the Stanford-Binet test was a well-meaning method of spotting and remedying children’s learning disabilities — that was, instead, repurposed into the IQ test measuring purported overall human intelligence, with drastic and unforeseen worldwide consequences — the PIT count is an effective set of data points that has, instead, been repurposed into the end-all be-all of measuring overall homelessness. We in the media play no small role in this. The PIT count, like the IQ test, provides a single, tangible number. It’s easy to understand and report on. If the numbers go down, that’s good. If they remain stagnant or go up, that’s bad. There are few subjects more complex than homelessness — its origins; the obvious connection to housing and real-estate markets; local, state, and federal budgeting issues; mental health and substance abuse issues; program administration and evaluation — but the PIT count provides the veneer of simplicity. When the numbers are released, they can be reported on with the fanfare of NFL Draft Day. And, for that, the city also deserves its share of blame. The PIT count is the most meaningful homelessness data the public is presented with. This should not be, but in San Francisco we were far too slow to establish the centralized, data-driven systems other cities did. We shouldn’t need to send out volunteers with clipboards and ball-point pens every other year to come up with abstract numbers indicating success or failure in our homeless programs. We ought to be able to draw from a wealth of individualized data points to do this, at the touch of a button. We ought to know how we’re doing — and in real time. San Francisco is progressing toward such a scenario, but much of it is years away. The needs of our homeless residents, of course, can’t wait. A sign that Elizabeth Stromer wrote after the heavy rain storms hit San Francisco. Photo by Lola M. Chavez.“First rule in government spending,” cackles the mysterious billionaire S.R. Hadden in the film Contact, “Why build one when you can have two at twice the price?” That’s cynical, but not unwarranted. The same, however, can’t be said when it comes to abstract statistics masquerading as straightforward markers of progress or regression. When you release multiple sets of numbers ostensibly defining the same subject, people get confused. To wit, this year San Francisco tallied 8,011 homeless people in its PIT count — a 17 percent spike over the 2017 count. Well, that’s depressing. But this is actually a less terrible number than most anywhere else in the state; homelessness is a growth industry in California. (For what it’s worth, the city’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing in 2017 actually predicted a rise in chronic homelessness in the 2019 count, due to a dearth of housing in the pipeline. Lo, this came to pass. But you didn’t read this in any news stories: Perhaps wary of being perceived as spinning and minimizing the grim results, no city official offered this in defense.) One of the PIT count’s best attributes is not only its longitudinal nature — you can track results year by year — but consistency from county to county — you can track results locale by locale. And yet, we do more here in San Francisco. Rather than a narrow Department of Housing and Urban Development definition of who is “homeless,” San Francisco undertakes an additional count, tallying incarcerated people, people in treatment facilities, and people in hospitals. As you’d expect, this leads to a larger number in our San Francisco-only supplemental count. This year, much larger. On top of the 8,011 people tallied in the official “HUD” count, some 1,773 more were counted in hospitals, jails, and treatment facilities — for a total approaching 10,000. Well, that’s depressing. And our 2019 San Francisco supplemental count was 30 percent higher than the 2017 supplemental count — which was dutifully reported in the papers, and there was much lamentation. And yet, why buy one when you can have four at four times the price? To wit, on top of the two PIT count numbers, the Department of Public Health states that some 10,000 “unique homeless adults touch the health system each year.” And the Department of Homelessness itself applies a multiplier of 2.89 to the PIT count to estimate how many individuals are homeless not just on one day but throughout the entire year. This year, that’d be around 23,000 people.This is a more real, more practical and, frankly, more terrifying number. But this number is hardly ever mentioned or publicized. In San Francisco homeless issues, we obsess over statistics that, candidly, are rather abstract and of somewhat limited utility — while the statistics we most ought to know are either not readily available or not available at all. And still, the question remains: Are there more homeless people or are we just getting better at counting? Near 26th and Mission, September, 2011.The answer, again, is “yes.” It’s hard to argue, given statewide PIT counts, housing economics, the low price of spectacularly dangerous drugs, and the visual state of the city, that there aren’t more homeless people in San Francisco than in recent years. But, especially with regard to the supplemental PIT count, we’re getting a lot better at counting. In fact, the methodology section of the 2019 PIT count report explicitly spells this out. Some 28 new treatment programs were included in this year’s survey, resulting in hundreds of people who’d have otherwise been missed. And this year’s jail count was far, far more thorough than in years past. Based on raw numbers, a maximum of 35 percent of inmates polled in January 2019 may qualify as homeless. As the data is finalized this number could change — it’s not yet clear how many of the homeless inmates reside in other counties and how many prisoners refused to be polled. But, as is, it’s hardly an unprecedented tally. A 1994 study penned by Ali Riker noted that “39 percent of persons booked into the County Jail were either homeless or temporarily housed.” And this was 39 percent of a bigger number; in ’94, of course, the jail population was far higher than it is now. The person overseeing the 2019 homeless jail count was none other than Ali Riker. “The sheriff directed my staff and I to actually approach every single person in jail,” she says. “That is a big lift.” With Riker’s 1990s-era work in mind, the high count of homeless people behind bars shouldn’t be a huge surprise. In retrospect, what should’ve been surprising were the low counts in past years. As Maraea Master would’ve told you, these people were there. We missed them before. But, now, they’re seen. Now they’re being counted. You won’t be surprised to hear that the public reaction to this year’s dreary PIT count was negative and damning and provided much cover for those making bad-faith arguments about how money put into homeless solutions has been squandered. Considering the abstruse nature of PIT counts and homelessness writ large, there was much to explain — but, as anyone remotely involved in politics knows, when you’re explaining, you’re losing. And, make no mistake, the PIT count is deeply political. And yet, better data is better — and the city needs to collect good data even when it looks bad. That’s the only way problems are going to be addressed: Riker notes that, this year, inmates identified as homeless are connecting with workers from Episcopal Community Services even before their release dates, and getting involved in programs and lined up for shelter or housing. In the past, they’d have been out on the street and on their own, period, end of story. The danger of viewing the complex world of homelessness through the too-simple prism of the PIT count is that it can lead to too-simple solutions. As a HOT Team worker, Master personally witnessed homeless people being sent across district lines into the Mission by SoMa cops and then sent back to SoMa by Mission cops. If the PIT count is the end-all and be-all of homeless success or failure, it, too, could be juked with similarly crude, Giuliani-like methods. And while San Francisco’s relatively less-terrible numbers than those of neighboring cities and counties could be attributed to the billions we’ve put into housing, shelter, and treatment programs, it could also be an indicator of the cold hard fact that this city has already economically banished so many of its marginalized residents to the rest of the Bay Area and beyond. The best answer appears to be: “Yes.” Both of these can be true.“If we obsess about the PIT count being ‘the number,’ we’re just going to build our services around that number,” sums up Master. “But this is our standard. Until someone comes up with a better idea.” And that’s so. But the needs of our homeless residents, of course, can’t wait. Maraea Master was raised in a pre-gentrified Bernal Heights where the ice cream shop sold melted ice cream and the pet shop sold dead pets. That is, pleasantly, not a universal San Francisco memory. But in many ways, Maraea Master’s story is, increasingly, San Francisco’s story. Email Address
SAINTS have secured the services of Jordan Turner and Mark Percival.The centres have agreed deals which will see them contracted until the end of 2016 and 2015 respectively.Both made their debuts for Saints this season.Nathan Brown, Saints Head Coach, said: “Jordan has done well since he came to Saints and is continuing to improve and adapt to how we play. He is versatile too and has impressed us with his attitude both on and off the field.“Mark is a young home-grown player who has come into the team and done well. We’re pleased with how well he has adapted to the first team and now he needs to continue to work hard and keep his feet on the ground.”A former England under 18s Academy International and Captain, Turner joined Hull FC from Salford City Reds in 2010 before moving to Saints in 2012.He is predominately a centre but turned out for England Knights as a Stand Off at the end of the 2012 season.He’s scored five tries in 14 games so far this year and is also versatile enough to play in the back row.Academy International Mark Percival, 19, has already caught the eye with three tries and 12 goals in just seven appearances with the Saints.He is part of seven Academy players who have been given debuts this season.Anthony Walker, James Tilley, Jordan Hand, Dom Speakman, Luke Thompson and Duggie Charnock have all pulled on the Red V for the first time this year.And Joe Greenwood, Adam Swift and Nathan Ashe have all been given more game time.
MANY times I’ve been witness to this sort of game when watching the Saints. But it’s always been from the victorious standpoint and not having been on the wrong end of it, writes Graham Henthorne.Well now I know how other teams have felt when they’ve left St Helens with their tails well and truly between their legs and it’s not pleasant.There’s nothing I can say about the first half other than seven tries and 36 points speak for themselves. Like a hot knife through butter is the most apt description of the attack and defence on show.The second half was marginally better as the Saints conceded only five tries, two of them due to some dubious decisions and managed to score for themselves.The one bright spot in the second period happened midway through the half as Josh Simm finished a good move to score and save the Saints from a shutout.Having received their first penalty of the match and on the last tackle the Saints had managed to spend time with tackles in the visitor’s 20 metre zone. Jack Welsby, as he did most of the night, probed right and left before taking the ball left on the last. He fed Jake Wingfield who poked his head through enough to feed the supporting Simm for the score.Ten minutes later and having forced a repeat set Wingfield was again held short and from the play the ball Brandon O’Neill went the wrong way and the open line was lost.However, this was one of his few errors and he is one of the few who can hold their heads high as having tried their hardest.Welsby, who had shown the way with a great try saving chase over 60 metres in the first half, Lewis Dodd after the break and Kye Siyani who played the last 55 minutes nonstop trying to plug the huge gaps in the defensive line are the few who come out with any credit.It’s always a privilege to pull on the red vee but it comes at a cost. That cost is the responsibility to give of your all and to do it justice.Match Summary:St Helens:Tries: Simm (52).Goals: Simm 1 from 1.Wigan:Tries: Reece Hamlett (3 & 24), Oliver Waite (6), Jack Kennedy (10, 29, 41 & 56), Max Roberts (14), Ben Holcroft (21), Amir Borouh (46), Umyla Hanley (67 & 70).Goals: Jack Kennedy 7 from 12.Half Time: 0-36Full Time: 6-60Teams:Saints:1. Jamie Little; 2. Harvey McDaid, 3. Sam Morley, 4. Zak Critchley, 5. Jake Arnold; 6. Jack Welsby, 7. Josh Waterworth; 8. Ethan Yates, 9. Brandon O’Neill, 10. Josh Carrick, 11. Josh Simm (C), 12. Brandon Scully, 13. Jake Wingfield. Subs: 14. Lewis Dodd, 15. Kian Horridge, 16. Cameron Hetherington, 17. Jack Roughley, 18. Jack Taylor, 19. Kye Siyani.Wigan:1. Cian Taylor; 5. Sam Halsall, 3. Ben Holcroft, 4. Reece Hamlett, 2. Jack Kennedy; 6. Ryan Forshaw, 7. Luke Dale; 8. Ryan Woolfenden, 9. Amir Borouh, 10. Ethan Havard, 11. Oliver Waite, 12. Max Roberts, 13. Morgan Smithies. Subs: 14. Kyle Barton, 15. Tom O’Loughlin, 16. Brian Schofield, 17. Jack Bibby, 18. Ellis Longstaff, 19. Kieron Wilkinson, 20. Umyla Hanley.
SEAN Long says Saints were simply ‘out-enthused’ in their loss to Widnes on Friday night.“We’re very disappointed,” he said. “To put in two performances over the last week and then to turn up with the attitude we had was disappointing. Full credit to Widnes, it was probably the best I have seen them play in a long while. They played with a load of energy and we got out-enthused.“I thought we had enough sets in that second half to post more points but we didn’t execute and that cost us the game.“We didn’t throw enough shapes or challenge them enough. They defended well against us and showed more energy.“We also got mugged in the ruck. Over the last week we have been playing really quick and fighting to get quick play the balls. They were allowed to do that and we couldn’t get on the front foot as a result.“To be fair though we had plenty of chances to post points. The boys have been buzzing over the last week and have been training and playing well. The fans have been outstanding too and have got behind the team. But we took some weak options tonight and some short cuts we haven’t seen over the last few weeks.“We have put in good performances against Hull, Warrington, Wigan and Cas and not against the so called lower teams. If you turn up with the wrong attitude or not the right attitude then you come unstuck. There are no easy games in Super League.“We now must pick ourselves up for the Leigh game.”
To be held in England in October-November, organisers are aiming to draw in record crowds at the 2021 tournament, with the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair competitions staged in a single, celebratory event – making it the biggest Rugby League World Cup yet.Earlier this year, St Helens Council and St Helens R.F.C – who currently sit top of the Super League table – were approached by the Rugby Football League (RFL) with a view for Saints’ 18,000 capacity Totally Wicked Stadium to bid to host group games at the men and women’s tournaments.Initial discussions with tournament organisers also resulted in the possibility of the borough hosting a team throughout the duration of the World Cup, using Ruskin Drive Sports Village and Saints’ training base at Cowley Language College as training bases.As part of the borough’s bid – which was officially announced during half-time of the Saints vs Warrington Wolves match late last month – St Helens would relish the opportunity to host a nation like Tonga, a rising world rugby league powerhouse currently ranked the fourth best international rugby league side in the world.Hosting the event in St Helens could have an economic benefit of between £2.4m-£4.5m and contribute to other strategic initiatives such as the St Helens town centre regeneration; raising the profile of St Helens; bring positive links to public health messages – and boost community engagement after 75 percent of local spectators felt that the World Cup enhanced community spirit when it was last in town in 2013.Commenting on the prospect of such a prestigious event returning to the borough, St Helens Council Leader Derek Long said: “Rugby League is in our DNA. That’s why I made winning a host venue a key priority in my first week as Council Leader. “This is a great bid founded on a great partnership with Saints. We will now work hard to use this to build a great sporting legacy for our clubs and communities across the borough.”Saints Chief Executive Mike Rush added: “To host a team and stage games here at The Totally Wicked Stadium would be a huge privilege for all connected with the club and town. “A World Cup Tournament brings people together and embraces so many different cultures that to play a part as a venue and host town would be of great benefit from grass roots community rugby right through to the commercial benefits that such an event attracts.“I am sure the whole of St Helens will get right behind our bid and we can all look forward to a fantastic Rugby League World Cup in 2021.”