SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Help is on the way for families living on the streets of San Francisco.
The San Francisco Dept. of Homelessness says a new emergency shelter is about to open and a new access system for services will be up and running by October to aid the 190 families who are homeless within the city.
“In the past, we’ve heard stories where people weren’t able to access services,” Dept. of Homelessness official Randy Quezada said. “And as we roll ‘coordinated entry’ out, families are going to be able to access the system from a number of different points.”
Quezada said the new access will get families off the streets quicker.
Among the families already receiving aid is Mapanda family. They are residents of the Hamilton Families shelter in the Tenderloin.
Treasure Mapanda is originally from the Congo. He says he has been homeless for 11 years because his immigration paperwork got lost and he couldn’t get a job until recently.
His wife Latercia is from Oakland. Their eight children range in age from 4 months to 11 years.
“It’s just a lack of housing that’s causing us to be homeless and on the street,” said Treasure Mapanda. “If we can get housing it will make a tremendous difference.”
The sheer size of the family appears to be part of the challenge the Mapandas face when searching for housing. In fact, people tell them they have too many kids all the time.
“I love my kids,” said Latercia Mapanda. “They’re the future.”
Additional help may also be on the way from the private sector. There’s a private campaign underway called “heading home” that is raising money from Marc Benioff and other private philanthropists.
They say they are than 2/3 of the way toward the goal of raising $30 million.