City housing policy shifts to
Prioritize homeless families
By Pat Murphy
October 20, 2005
With more than 1,000 mostly homeless singles now permanently
housed, Mayor Newsom yesterday signaled expanded focus on homeless
"We did this for the single adult system which is now a
model for the nation," Newsom told residents of the newly
opened Hamilton Family Center.
"I think appropriately there's been a disproportionate amount
with those individuals who have consistent episodes
of homelessness, out on the street corner, folks who are 10% of
the homeless population and using up to 50% of all the costs of
emergency services," explained the Mayor.
"We've had great progress
in moving away from this
emergency approach to more of a 'housing first' model.
Mayor Gavin Newsom
"I would acknowledge that there has been a disproportionate
amount of focus on single adults in our system. It's not out of
neglect that we haven't focused on the needs of families, but
we really need to step it up," Newsom stated.
Threefold strategy accompanies new priority for housing families.
Increased funding for eviction prevention, and for rental subsidies,
is being sought, reported Department of Human Services director
Trent Rohrer (center)
The cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco are jointly urging
change in Federal regulations which would enable current Federal
funds to be used more effectively for eviction prevention and
rent subsidies, Newsom pointed out.
Private and city agencies should be convened - in fashion similar
to Project Connect and CitySafe - for streamlined processing of
family housing, urged Salvadore Menjiuare, director of the Hamiltion
Newsom credited the Coalition on Homelessness for its contribution
in determining needs of homeless families.