SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — In the aftermath of floods, tornadoes, earthquakes a state of emergency usually means immediate cash for a sudden crisis.
So after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 8 to 3 last week to declare a state of emergency on homelessness what exactly will happen next?
“Unfortunately, this doesn’t get us any resources at all,” said Sam Dodge, of the San Francisco Mayor’s office of HOPE (Housing, Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement); the mayor’s point person on homelessness. “No money from the federal government, no money from the state government.”
No FEMA trucks. No emergency funds.
Dodge says the mayor’s long term plan is still in effect, which includes opening a second navigation center soon, and another to be announced. No others are in the works. Also, City Hall will soon have an entire new Department of Homelessness.
“It is not a natural disaster, it is man-made,” said San Francisco Supervisor David Campos. “But it’s a disaster nevertheless.”
Campos sponsored the emergency declaration.
“This is about the recognition that City Hall has been failing San Franciscans on the issue of homelessness,” Campos added. “And that we finally need to increase it to the level of priority that it needs to be, recognize that it’s a crisis and roll up our sleeves so that we actually take action instead of just talking and talking about these issues which is what’s been happening. We actually introduced the declaration and followed that with an actual proposal on the issue of navigation centers.”
Campos is referring to an accompanying ordinance he is sponsoring that will demand the building of six new navigation centers — temporary shelters with relaxed rules.
As for the hundreds and hundreds of tents that popped up during Super Bowl 50, most of those are gone. But these are still some small pockets South of Market with a handful of tents each.
Campos’s opponents are accusing him of grandstanding and misleading the public on the issue. But Campos says talk of his emergency declaration has already inspired the mayor to more than he was going to do.
Sam Dodge disagrees: “No, just because you run to the front of the parade doesn’t mean you’re leading it.”