Maria Montero

In San Francisco, a fight for a shelter for people without …

As of 2017, there were approximately 7,000 homeless people in San Francisco, a number that includes minors, many of them. The San Francisco Unified School District estimates that as of 2017, approximately 2,100 of the children in the school system were homeless, a number it said appeared to be increasing, not decreasing.

While parents may not hesitate to send their children to these same schools, some in the northeast corner of the city may feel uncomfortable with the idea of ​​homeless adults and families seeking shelter in the vicinity. That seems to be the point of a GoFundMe campaign that was launched last week called “Safe Embarcadero for All.” Their goal: to raise $ 100,000 to obtain legal advice to fight the creation of a shelter along the city’s eastern waterfront region.

The campaign is a reaction to an idea put forward earlier this month by San Francisco Mayor London Breed to convert a parking lot along the Embarcadero that is owned by the Port of San Francisco into a hub that would provide health and housing, and stays throughout the day. For up to 200 homeless city residents.

It is not just theoretical. If the Port Commission agrees to the plan, Breed estimated that the center could be open in the summer. Hence, the GoFundMe campaign, which has now raised $ 71,250 as of this writing from 180 people, some of whom presumably live in the nearby luxurious apartments and others who share the campaign organizers’ concerns that the shelter could introduce “public safety, drugs”. usage, and other problems. “

It is a frustrating situation, although some are finding inspiration in a new rival campaign that was created yesterday in support of the center and is quickly gaining financial support. Called “Embarcadero SAFER for EVERYONE,” it has already raised more than the previous GoFundMe campaign, with more than 1,021 donors contributing more than $ 76,000 at this writing, including Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who has been a frequent customer and public supporter of the breed and a number of its initiatives.

Lawson appears to have given $ 20,000; Benioff has awarded at least $ 10,000 to the campaign and is using Twitter as a platform to gain more support.

Some are heralding their participation as proof that CTOs are concerned about San Francisco’s homeless population, who are often accused of exacerbating themselves by planting themselves in the city, paying their employees high salaries and driving up the cost. everything from renting to grocery shopping in the process.

Even GoFundMe has joined in, donating $ 5,000 to the new campaign in support of the center for the homeless or, more specifically, the Coalition for the Homeless, to which the money has been promised.

“I don’t think the tech industry is doing enough about the homeless problem,” Rob Solomon, GoFundMe CEO, told the San Francisco Chronicle this morning. “We wanted to do our little bit, even though we are not located in San Francisco.”

Critics will no doubt argue that because GoFundMe is 25 miles south of San Francisco in Redwood City, the company has less at stake.

Still, the center’s defenders will take support where they can find it.

As Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness, told the Chronicle earlier today, the group is already planning to use the new funds to help public education, gain information about the center, and educate residents about what they misunderstand. . About the homeless population of the city.