Gavin Newsom's Daily Homeless Connect Now a Disconnect

Categories: Government
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You won't get services here

Update: Barbara Garcia, director of the Department of Public Health, tells SF Weekly that no decision has been made as to whether the Daily Homeless Connect program will go forward. An internal meeting on the issue was scheduled for today but has since been canceled.

Original Story Feb. 23, 2011: Before leaving office this year, former Mayor Gavin Newsom signed a $400,000 contract with Tenderloin Health to operate the much anticipated Daily Homeless Connect program 40 hours a week.

A location was chosen and construction plans were being drafted, with an opening slated for February.

But the month is nearly over, and the one-stop shop for San Francisco's chronically homeless residents never opened -- and nobody seems to know why.

David Fernandez, executive director of Tenderloin Health, told SF Weekly today that he isn't sure why plans came to a screeching halt, but noted it happened after Newsom left office and Mayor Ed Lee took over in January. The funding for the program, which was supposed to be housed in the Tenderloin, was approved in last year's budget.

"We had the mayoral change and then it was put on hold," Fernandez said Wednesday. "We have not gotten the go-ahead to do anything. I don't know what it means."

It's a real blow to Newsom's legacy, considering this was the program that he said would help the city reach his stated goal of ending chronic homelessness by 2014.

The program was a spin off his legacy Project Homeless Connect, where every few months, thousands of homeless residents packed the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium to get a range of services they needed. The one-day event was never enough, Newsom said, and so in his last State of the City Speech in January 2010, he vowed to make the quarterly event a daily drop-in.

The Daily Homeless Connect was supposed to serve 100 homeless residents daily. Dariush Kayhan, the mayor's adviser on homeless issues, punted questions to the Health Department, saying it was now overseeing the program.

When we contacted the Department of Public Health asking to talk with Director Barbara Garcia, officials told us her scheduled was too "crammed."

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8 comments
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tom smyth
tom smyth

an easy way to rid ones self of a program.

just ignore it.

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It means another waste of taxpayer funded program by newsom is eliminated to the benefit of a deficit running city.

Eliza
Eliza

To end homelessness we should all listen to what real homeless people are experiencing right now; there's a great radio program that Free Speech TV is airing live on TV called the homelessness marathon...I've included a clip from this event. Check it out!

http://www.livestream.com/free...

kellog64
kellog64

It is on hold for use in the next campaign as Daly' s campaign HQ

briansays
briansays

good cancel it and save the money for something more beneficial rather than adding to the welfare magnet/industry

Nessa
Nessa

Why would you say cancel something that is desperately needed? With all of the homeless we have here in the city we need a service like this, obviously homelesness doesn't have a place in your heart! Yes there are those of us that have jobs, and some that are just well off and don't need a 9 to 5, but then there are those less fortunate that have needs beyond what we can ever imagine. Those of us that sithigh and look low should take a better look in the mirror and recognize all you have could be gone in no time and you could fnd yourself needing the dame exact services the homeless need. Wake up get uour nose out the air, and recognize that there are people with needs, and we need to help get all the services that they can handle.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

Newsom clearly has ADD. He can't focus on one goal for more than about thirty seconds.

njudah
njudah

What a shock! Another Newsom press release that sucks away dollars, and doesn't get done, and the bureaucrats just shrug their shoulders and collect their big pay and benefits!

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