HANC Blog

Funds for Fire Relief

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A fire broke out on 1/31/2015 at McAllister Street and Scott Street, affecting several buildings and residents.  Alamo Square Neighborhood Association (ASNA) has set up a collection fund to go to those displaced by the fire. Donate via our GoFundMe page:  www.gofundme.com/alamosquare/ 

 

You can also send a check to:ASNA, 530 Divisadero St. #176, San Francisco, CA 94117 (Please write Fire Fund in memo line)

 

ASNA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  All funds raised will go directly to the residents displaced by the fire.

 

Another fund has been started at www.gofundme.com/l1hrw8 for the victims of the big fire recently at 22nd & Mission.

HANC 2014 Year in Review

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It’s January again.  As we look forward to 2015, we can also take this opportunity to reflect on last year.  HANC again focused on themes that recur in our neighborhood – housing, transit, parks, local elections, and homelessness.  We had some victories, weathered some defeats, and continued to provide information about our neighborhood and our city not available anywhere else.  We held eleven meetings open to the public, and published eleven issues of our Voice newsletter.  All 2014 issues of the Voice can be downloaded from our website at www.hanc-sf.org/the-voice-docs/16-2014/.

We devoted last January’s general meeting to tenant issues in preparation for citywide tenant conventions.  HANC sent recommendations to the convention to fund rebuilding public housing, to require registration and payment of the hotel tax by Airbnb and similar short-term rentals, and to require newly legalized in-law units to remain rental units and not be converted to condos.  February’s meeting, ironically held during one of the largest downpours in 2014 (until December), featured a discussion of the drought, and the SFPUC presented its proposal for water rate increases.  Our March meeting discussed transit—SFMTA’s Transit Effectiveness Plan and proposal for the November ballot.

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Haight Ashbury Merchant & Music Fair

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By  Burt Phillips, HANC Board

So if you haven't heard, and it seems most neighbors did not (which was a main point of contention), the Haight had a street party a couple of weeks ago. It was billed as the San Francisco/Haight Ashbury Merchants and Music Street Fair (SFMMSF) and sought to promote local  merchants AND the community.

The organizers (Black Scale, Pink Dolphin, and other shops) did a good job of reaching out to the non-profit and social services groups as was evident by at least a half dozen booths used for those groups. The booths, chairs, canopies and tables were all supplied by the organizers of the event at no cost to those groups.

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Car Share Hubbub

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The SF MTA has been working on a plan for a couple of years that would lease currently public parking spaces to car share businesses, including at least one owned by AVIS, which purchased ZIP Car for $500 million last year. City Car Share, the non-profit pioneer of car sharing, is also on board with the plan. 

The issue is very divisive. HANC encourages our members to do the research and figure out where you stand. Hoodline is covering the story (http://hoodline.com/2014/07/parking-for-private-car-shares-backlash-in-the-haight) and the feedback indicates the level of division (making it an age thing, or a NIMBY thing). While the ultimate goal of the plan is worthy, the giving up of public space to corporations that can afford to rent space in off street garages or parking lots is questionable.  Remember, this is the same agency that wanted to reroute the 6 Parnassus to Haight Street and eliminated two MUNI stops on Haight Street.

Coalition on Homelessness Talks to Homeless People in Buena Vista Park: More Conversation Needed

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By Colleen Rivecca, HANC President
 
During the month of March, volunteers from the Coalition on Homelessness conducted outreach to homeless people in Buena Vista Park (from now on, I'll refer to them as "park dwellers") to talk about neighborhood concerns with the park and with homelessness and to understand park dwellers' needs.

 Here is a summary of what they learned from and about the park dwellers:

  • Park dwellers who spoke to volunteers from the Coalition on Homelessness said that they want to meet with neighbors about park issues and that they want to respect the park.
  • Park dwellers are looking for an escape from poverty and homelessness, and many expressed the desire for employment, especially in helping keep the park clean and maintained.  Some of the park dwellers said that they'e be interested in working with neighbors to help clean up the park even if they weren't getting paid to do it.
  • Park dwellers are frustrated with the removal of garbage cans from the park.
  • Lack of bathroom facilities is a major challenge for park dwellers, who are frustrated about the human waste in the park.  With the closure of the bathrooms in the Panhandle and the loss of the drop-in space at Homeless Youth Alliance, it can be very difficult for homeless people to find a place to go to the bathroom in the neighborhood.
  • Park dwellers said that they understand that people in the neighborhood don't want them to be in the park.  The problem, from their perspective, is that people don't want them anywhere.  
  • Park dwellers consider the people who live near Buena Vista park to be "their neighbors" and they are interested in talking to neighbors about how they can work together to make the park a safer and better place.

It seems like a logical next step would be to set up a meeting between the housed and homeless neighbors so that they can talk further about park issues and how to solve them together.

On a related note, San Francisco has just started keeping track of requests for shelter beds with an online wait list, which is available at this 311 website.  As of the writing of this article, there are 661 homeless people who have requested shelter who are on the wait list for a bed.  That's right.  661 people who have no where else to go and want to be able to stay in shelter are waiting for a shelter bed to become available.  Where are they waiting?  Until San Francisco can provide basic shelter for the people who need it, we are always going to see homeless people outside.  


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