Don’t Close the Tenderloin Self-Help Center

Self-Help Center: Learn More

The City and County of SF is about to close the Tenderloin Self-Help Center, an essential part of the City’s fraying homeless safety net.

Since 1985, Central City Hospitality House has served as many as 6,000 members of the city’s “chronic” homeless population each year through the Self-Help Center. Now, facing a budget shortfall due to the failure of two revenue-raising measures on the November 2004 ballot, Mayor Gavin Newsom is proposing budget cuts that target services for the poor, and city officials have opted to eliminate the model used by the Self-Help Center.

The Center was originally created for people who have a hard time engaging with traditional services because of severe mental health problems and other issues. Programs at the Center include counseling and case management on housing and benefits, crisis intervention, as well as employment services. The Mayor’s decision to shut down the Self-Help Center was made without any consultation with the affected community.

The city’s homeless population is estimated at between 8000 and 15,000. Of that number, only about 1100 remain on welfare. For many of the rest, Hospitality House has provided a critical refuge for respite, groceries, crisis intervention, and other services.Closing the Center will severely limit access to a range of services designed to meet specific needs in the Tenderloin, home to many of the city’s homeless people.

Please TAKE ACTION and tell Gavin Newsom to keep the Self-Help Center open as a resource for homeless people in San Francisco.

For more information about this issue, see Rachel Brahinsky’s article in the SF Bay Guardian and/or contact Jackie Jenks, Executive Director of Central City Hospitality House, at 415/749-2113 jackiejenks@earthlink.net.

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