Homelessness in SF - 1 Lizzie Guerra Professor Holmes RC...

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Lizzie Guerra Professor Holmes RC 130 April 9 , 2008 They are People Too: The Homeless of San Francisco San Francisco , one of the United States’ most sophisticated urban areas , is widely known for its high standards of living , artistic culture , and its accepting attitude . However , despite all of this , San Francisco is also known for its enormous homeless population . This continually growing problem cannot be attributed to any one reason because there are numerous causes . High standards of living facilitate a high cost of living , one of the many factors keeping the homeless on the streets . Drug use , another such cause , is extremely prevalent . What’s more , low paying jobs , inaccessible healthcare , and personal disaster perpetuate the homeless population . With the odds stacked against them , the extremely poor of San Francisco are left with very few options . There is no one answer to solving the homeless problem in San Francisco but Some action must be taken to help alleviate this extreme crisis . It is becoming increasingly important that we can identify the different causes behind the homeless crisis so that we may better understand how we can better fix the problem . Affordable housing has become one of the greatest issues plaguing low-income families in San Francisco . In 1999 , figures from the California Association of Realtors 1
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United States at 420 , 000 dollars , even higher than New York City . Furthermore , according to the 1990 census , 38% of all Americans , at all income levels , expend 30% or more on their housing costs . For those with extremely low-income levels , 55% paid more than half of their gross income on their living expenses (San Francisco’s Affordable Housing Fact Sheet) . Thus , we can see that one wrong turn in the market or the loss of a job , can even put a well off family on the streets . However , with the election of San Francisco’s current mayor , Gavin Newsom , we have started to see a change for the better . Proposition N , otherwise known as Care not Cash , approved by the voters in 2002 , cuts the money given to General Assistance programs for the homeless , in exchange for shelters and other forms of service . It also cut the amount of aid given to the approximately 3 , 000 homeless people eligible for the service . By doing so the city saved 13 million dollars a year in which the remaining funds go towards creating affordable housing , expanding shelters , and adding mental health and substance abuse centers (Rhorer) . This is a step in the right direction , however , in the past six years since the commencement of Care not Cash , we have yet to see a huge decline in the number of homeless people in the streets of San Francisco . One possible solution to this problem would be to raise taxes and use them towards social programs and affordable housing for the homeless
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course RC 131 taught by Professor Holmes during the Spring '08 term at University of San Francisco.

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Homelessness in SF - 1 Lizzie Guerra Professor Holmes RC...

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