SF Delays Requiring Proof Of Residency For Homeless Services

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The San Francisco Board of Supervisors delayed the scheduled starting date in a plan that would require proof of residency by families seeking shelter through the city’s resources.

At Thursday morning’s hearing, Human Services Director Trent Rhorer defended his plan, but agreed to consider some concerns by homeless advocates and some board members.

Rhorer said he is not wedded to the August 1st start date if more time is needed to resolve any problems.

San Francisco currently has 226 homeless families on a waiting list for shelter, with the average wait for housing lasting about three months.

Rhorer explained the proof of residency could be done by enrolling in CalWorks or by showing employment, school enrollment or a previous address.

“What we’re attempting to do here is to prioritize families who are San Francisco residents as well as prioritize families who are the lowest income families,” he said.

Families of three with an income below $32,000 would qualify as highest priority.

“We simply can’t be the resource for homeless families and marginally housed families throughout the state or throughout the Bay Area or throughout the nation,” Rhorer said.

Some advocates for the homeless said the need for shelter knows no boundaries and that the initial plan is unreasonable and unfair. They added that these policies could discourage undocumented residents from applying.

Rhorer compared the implementation of some of the rules to the Healthy San Francisco program or to people who receive financial assistance.

Supervisor David Campos wrapped up the hearing by asking that the plan undergo further review and that implementation is delayed.

“This is too important to move forward on without knowing what those unintended consequences would be,” said Campos.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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