First do what’s necessary, then do what’s possible, and soon you will be doing the impossible.
— Francis of Assisi—San Francisco's namesake
Do what’s necessary. Do what’s possible. Innovate for the greater good.
— Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge

MISSION & services

Since SFHC was founded in 2015, we have worked towards our mission to end the crisis conditions of street homelessness by:

  1. Providing direct services at encampments (including portapotties, trash removal, mobile sleeping cabins, linkage to service providers, etc.)

  2. Organizing with local, regional, and state-level stakeholders to develop actionable solutions, including currently/formerly unsheltered residents, impacted neighbors, service/advocacy organizations, and government officials; and

  3. Developing and piloting Safe Organized Spaces for activating underutilized public/private land with community-integrated transitional villages. 

  4. Advocating for SOS transitional village pilots in San Francisco and throughout California;

  5. Updating the SOS policy and operations toolkit for California cities experiencing a shelter shortage crisis

  6. Seeking partnerships with funders to fund SOS pilots in San Francisco and throughout California;

  7. Building upon our local, statewide, & national network of advocates, service providers, policy experts, and government officials;

  8. Gathering signatures and conducting outreach for the SOS petition

There are people who need places to belong in order to heal and thrive.
There are places that need people to steward them in order to heal and thrive.
— Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge

values

  1. Our unsheltered neighbors, neighborhoods, and systems are in crisis—and we must take action and treat it like a true crisis.

  2. Secure shelter, secure storage, privacy, sanitation, garbage disposal, and a place to belong in community are essential human needs not being met by our current system.

  3. Do what is necessary & possible to support individual and collective well-being and reduce unnecessary harm and suffering.

  4. Take the side of community well-being, not one particular stakeholder group.

  5. Agree to disagree when necessary to move forward towards shared outcomes.

  6. Living in community is challenging, whether you live in an encampment, SRO, group housing, or condo. Shared agreements, systems (including for management and community check-ins), and process for accountability make it easier

  7. Aim to support individual healing and transition in the least restrictive, most autonomous setting possible with a baseline of health/safety standards, tools for participatory management & governance, and a community integration framework.

  8. Build partnerships, develop strategies, & address challenges with honesty, logic, and compassion.

  9. De-stigmatize the need for healing, off-grid living, and interdependence.  

  10. Everyone is a participant, not just a recipient. Share responsibility for solutions.

You belong. Your needs matter.
Be a team player. Consider your impact.
— Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge

SHORT-TERM FUNDING NEEDS

SFHC is looking to raise up to $12,000 in the short term to have a year's worth of basic income at $1,000/month for the FT position of Director. SFHC has raised just over $90,000 since its founding in 2015, and the majority of that income been spent on programmatic and operating expenses—view a recent Profit and Loss. One time or monthly tax-deductible donations can be made online via Intersection for the Arts.

Preach the gospel. When necessary, use words.
— Francis of Assisi

Fiscal sponsorship

The Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge is a fiscally-sponsored project of Intersection for the Arts, a city-approved of San Francisco.

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From ‘move along’, to ‘you belong’.
— SOS Working Group

Founder/Director: Amy Farah Weiss

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SF Chronicle Editorial: "A better approach to homeless encampments" by AFW (10/2016)

SF Examiner Opinion Piece: “Addressing SF’s anticipated shelter service gaps with Safe Organized Spaces” by AFW (3/2019)

 

180 Jones/Tenderloin Proposal

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Najib “Jim” Yaser, volunteer organizer for 180 Jones SOS “Stewardship Village and Community Wellness Hub”

Najib “Jim” Yaser, volunteer organizer for 180 Jones SOS “Stewardship Village and Community Wellness Hub”

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SOS Pilot at Impact Hub: July 2017-July 2018

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ORGANIZING WITH ENCAMPMENT RESIDENTS & volunteers

Box City encampment residents (7th Street at Mission Bay) holding up signs with transition goals (Fall 2016)

Box City encampment residents (7th Street at Mission Bay) holding up signs with transition goals (Fall 2016)

Encampment Residents in Mission Bay working together with SFHC (Winter 2017)

Encampment Residents in Mission Bay working together with SFHC (Winter 2017)

Box City displaced on January 6th 2017: Avery, an unhoused resident who was part of the Box City community, talks about his experience at Box City and what is means that it was disbanded.

Encampment residents and SFHC supporters at Cesar Chavez & 101 Encampment (Spring 2016)

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Volunteers for painting, BBQ, & trash clean-up at Box City encampment (7th St/Mission Bay)

SFHC Community Planning Meeting at Brown and Black Social Club (12.16.2016)

SFHC Community Planning Meeting at Brown and Black Social Club (12.16.2016)

Volunteers and participants at Saint Francis Super Bowl Sunday event at SoMa StrEat Food Park (2.7.2016)

Volunteers and participants at Saint Francis Super Bowl Sunday event at SoMa StrEat Food Park (2.7.2016)

Young volunteers at Saint Francis Super Bowl Sunday event at SoMa StrEat Food Park (2.7.2016)

Young volunteers at Saint Francis Super Bowl Sunday event at SoMa StrEat Food Park (2.7.2016)

Members of the web design and survey analysis team

Members of the web design and survey analysis team

Volunteers at the Division Street Overnight Vigil and Portapotty Service

Volunteers at the Division Street Overnight Vigil and Portapotty Service

Volunteers at the Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge Showcase at SomArts (1.2.2016)

Volunteers at the Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge Showcase at SomArts (1.2.2016)

SFHC leadership, collaborating organizations and supporters, volunteers, and participants at the 1/2016 SOMArts SFHC Showcase.