Thursday, August 30, 2012

SF Homeless Stakeholders, 
Including Czar & SFPD, Visit Seattle 'Wet-House' 

The reason why it took more than 24-hours for San Francisco's homeless czar Bevan Dufty to respond to my complaint on Tuesday evening, regarding two homeless guys trashing the public toilet at Castro and Market Streets, was due to his travel that day to Washington state. Yesterday, Dufty took steps to make sure the toilet was in working order and to prevent problems from reoccurring.

He sent this note explaining the trip, who went and what the purpose was. I've asked for an estimate of the cost to taxpayers and once I have that info, I'll amend this post. From Dufty:

Our trip to Seattle was to continue building the coalition of support that Seattle needed to implement a Wet or Pre-Treatment Housing program. The following individuals participated: 

Lt. Bill Roualdes, SFPD Homeless Outreach Officers 
Jennifer Friedenbach, Director, Coalition on Homeless 
Gail Gilman, Executive Director, Community Housing Partnership 
Jon Ballesteros, VP for Public Policy, SF Travel 
Kevin Carroll, Executive Director, SF Hotel Council 
Eileen Ward, SOMA neighborhood activist

Only Bill and I travelled on City expense. The City rented a van that we drove from Sea-Tac Airport into downtown Seattle and back. We left at 7:00 a.m. and returned on a 5:55 p.m. flight to SFO. No one stayed overnight. 

We visited 1811 Eastlake for over two hours, meeting with staff and touring the building. Then we visited the FareStart restaurant that has trained, employed and helped house over 6,000 individuals over the past 20 years . . .

Following lunch (hosted by Hotel Council and SF Travel), which included Bill Block who heads Seattle's Committee to End Homelessness (their 10-year plan agency) and a tour of their facilities we visited two supportive housing buildings . . .

Then we returned to the airport. It can be difficult to cite a new program in San Francisco . . . It also happened that Kevin and Jon are relatively recent in their roles and they had never worked with or met Jennifer . . . I believe Jennifer is being invited to speak before the Boards of the Hotel Council and SF Travel, this never happened before . . . I think this trip solidified stakeholder involvement and support. You will see more activity and announcements in the weeks ahead. Let me know if there is anything else I can add.

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