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addressing the problem


"Our striving is not for ourselves, it is for humanity. We are all companions on this journey. I am You, You are Me, We are all one." 

Susan Johnson

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addressing the problem


"Our striving is not for ourselves, it is for humanity. We are all companions on this journey. I am You, You are Me, We are all one." 

Susan Johnson

 

Understanding The homeless problem

The best solution to homelessness is providing a home. In the meantime, while we work on systemic change, we must provide a safe way of life for current unhoused residents. Sleeping on the streets is untenable. The city of San Francisco is investing in Navigation Centers to help with this issue, but we need more support.

 The shelter wait list in San Francisco is currently 1000+. That means that even if you wanted a place to sleep there aren't enough beds to go around. Currently there are approximately 3,500 people sleeping on the streets in SF on any given night.

There are lots of misperceptions about homeless that also need to be changed. Unhoused residents who have mental illness and drug addiction are often the most visible on the street however, job loss, eviction, mental illness and other health conditions are the primary causes of homelessness. Many people have recently lost their homes recently due to eviction and increases in the cost of living.  49% of unhoused residents in San Francisco have been residents of our city for more than 10 years; meaning that half of our neighbors on the street have literally been forced out of their home and on to the streets.

the short term solution described

We all deserve to live with dignity and respect. Often times people opt out of staying in a shelter because of the threat of violence, assualt, rape and theft. Shelters also lack autonomy and dignity. They don't allow folks to come and go and don't allow partners, possessions or pets which is also a reason many choose the streets over shelters. The Navigation Center is a new model that is better at providing a much better living experience while also providing a menu of social services that literally help folks navigate the intricacies of the system. Unfortunately this model still leaves 2,800 folks on the street. Our hope is that the village model can help compliment the Navigation Center.

the long term solution described

Preventing homelessness is the ultimate goal. 14.5% of Americans live below the poverty line! 76% of Americans are living pay check to pay check! These two areas of economic inequality are of massive concern.  We must course correct for our shrinking middle class and solve for our massive inequality of wealth. Basic Income is a model for preventing poverty and homelessness. It's similar to our existing model of social security but applies to everyone, not just residents over 65.

 
 
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Discover & Creation


Discover & Creation


Discovery & Creation

 

We've done extensive research to develop this idea, including a visit up to Portland where they have a tiny home village with community support called Dignity Village


We built and gifted three different micro-home prototype structures to unhoused neighbors living in SF.


We interviewed a variety of individuals who stayed in the micro-homes to understand their experience and iterate our idea accordingly.


We conducted a 6 month ethnography during the first six months of the first Navigation Center. We created photo/ audio stories and a VR film about the Center.

 
 
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Solution


Solution


 

A "Meanwhile" Solution:                                The Village Idea

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What

We are developing and piloting sleep and service villages on underutilized land for 10 unhoused residents that provide a minimum of secure sleep, 24/7 access to toilets, storage, trash disposal, site coordination, and partnered connection to case management that aids in the transition to permanent housing.

Why

With 6,500 residents currently homeless and over 3,000 sleeping on the street every night we need a variety of solutions to eliminate this issue. Saint Francis Village is mobile making effective use of underutilized land and it provides the most important need, a clean protected environment so that individuals in the program can focus on the services they need to get off the streets.

 
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how

The SFV approach offers a unique solution wedged between long term permanent housing and the failing shelter system situation. It compliments the Navigation Center but offers privacy, autonomy & empowerment in an effort to truly create opportunity for our unhoused residents. This solution addresses our encampment issue by providing housing & services to help residents get back on their feet instead of unsafe sidewalk encampments or forced relocation.

where

Although nothing like this exists yet in San Francisco, it's nothing new. We're seeing these villages pop up around the country with great success. What makes this idea innovative in San Francisco is that we're proposing to launch these villages in temporary spaces on currently underutilized land. There are hundreds of lots currently sitting idle that could host these villages and fill a great need. The tiny homes we construct will be mobile and easily moved to various locations depending on communities in need and land available.

 
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Offerings


Offerings


 

Village Offerings

The list below details the offerings that we will comprise the Saint Francis Village experience.

 
 
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a home

A private safe place to sleep that each resident can call their home.  It can be shared with a pet or a partner and would have the same restrictions as any other resident in the community. The structure would be built using an existing tiny home model and would be designed to fit a bed and small work area. It would have a window, a locking door and wheels so it is easily mobile. This also allows it to comply with local permitting regulations. Most importantly they will have the autonomy to come and go and use the space like any other resident in society would use their own home.

 
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case manager and access to social services

SVF will ensure that each person living in a home has access to the social services they need to transition into permanent housing. Each village will have a site coordinator to help manage the site; a case manager will be provided to help navigate the system and social workers will be coordinated to make regular visits to make access these services simple and straight forward.

 
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ammenities

The village will provide access to basic needs that every human deserves: a restroom, access to showers, and trash pick up. It will also provide a community space for eating, a space to meet with a social worker, a place to store belongings, a place to clean laundry and a community garden.