We’re here to work together towards ending homelessness. But when facing such a deeply-embedded societal problem, knowing the first step can be difficult. However, in consultations with our homeless folks, they've let us know the first step can be simple acknowledgment. We can start by trying to eliminate the social hesitation around acknowledging homeless people.
This is why we are inviting everyone to come say hi to our Team Members, folks who are volunteering to clean up our San Francisco community, as they collaborate with our Staff to find employment, housing and an end to homelessness as the status quo.
Until the community understands who these people are, they won’t know how to help. In our experience, people do want to help, but don’t know how. The first step is to just say hi!
Homelessness in San Francisco has become an overwhelming problem, and is increasingly referred to as a crisis by residents, visitors, and the people living on the streets and in shelters. According to the 2015 Point in Time Count the total number of sheltered and unsheltered individuals in San Francisco increased by 7% to 7,539. A recent poll by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce states that homelessness is the number one concern among the city's residents. With your support, Downtown Streets Team hopes to address this crisis with our empowering, and sustainable community solution.
Our San Francisco team launched at the end of March 2016, and has already made an impact. The SF team has been the fastest-growing in DST history, capping out at 24 Team Members in only two weeks. We've seen the most consistent attendance out of all DST branches, signaling that DST is truly serving a need in San Francisco.
Creating a Team in San Francisco has been the first time we've seen extremely localized engagement on a neighborhood-to-neighborhood basis, rooted in the community pride that the City's unhoused folks have. Civic Center and U.N. Plaza Team Members want to work in Civic Center and U.N. Plaza, for instance. Additionally, they were engaged by our high-spirited presence in their neighborhood, peer-to-peer outreach, and word of mouth in the homeless community, rather than marketing or staff recruitment. We've also seen significant LGBTQ engagement, with two of our Team Leads identifying as LGBTQ, and multiple others on the Team.
In a little more than three months, we have successfully found 12 people employment and removed over 75,000 gallons of debris from the city’s streets, as well as 2,921 used needles. Thanks to financial backing from local tech companies like Dolby, our homeless folks are currently beautifying the areas of Civic Center, UN Plaza, and to meet the demands of over 35 eager waitlisted Team Members, we’ll be expanding to Union Square.
If you see our Team Members sweeping the streets, Just say Hi!
There are a variety of ways to get involved and join our team effort to end homelessness. For more information and to be added to our mailing list for upcoming news, please contact Brandon Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Francisco Downtown Streets Team in the News:
SF Examiner SF Homeless Team Up to Keep Streets Clean (9/16/16)
KTVU Channel 2 News Former Napster CEO’s Program Expands to SF, Gives Homeless Work Opportunities (9/12/16)
Epi-Center SF Downtown Streets Team Invites You to Just Say Hi (8/30/16)
Hoodline Listening In At ‘Sound Commons’ UN Plaza’s New Public Art Installation (7/19/16)
San Francisco Business Journal SF Homeless Project: Can Business Make a Difference? (6/29/16)
Newsroom America Supporting Bay Area Nonprofits Focused on Homelessness (6/29/16)
360 Bay Area Downtown Streets Team Reminds Us Homelessness is an Experience… Not an Identity! (6/28/16)
ABC7 News SF Mayor Helps Launch Program that Puts Homeless People to Work (3/29/16)