OWN VOICE. The approach that San Mateo County is taking to house homeless people is one of several options that are used in major cities around the country.
The idea of buying a motel, having a security team in front making sure only authorized residents access their room, and then having support nearby—health care, mental health care, case managers and social workers—is a model that can be successful in helping people move beyond homelessness if executed properly.
Wynne Tang (Director of Finance), of TH Clinic in San Francisco, said that the benefit to the homeless people in having an address is stability:
- an address to put on a job application
- access to a case manager
- referrals to benefits and professional help, if needed
It is also much cheaper to lease or pay the mortgage on a motel, if managed properly, than to operate a homeless shelter, because homeless shelters actually perpetuate homelessness, and having an address helps a person move up a ladder of success, until they can afford an apartment.
For some people who lost a job, ran out of rent, and just need an address for a few weeks or months to get back on their feet, that motel room could allow for a quick transition.
For others who have mental health problems, and drug addiction, it is still an improvement on homeless shelters because of the stabilizing effect of a more permanent place, and it often allows the homeless person to connect with family and get the help they need from mental health professionals and from treatment for their addiction.
~ Submitted by Catherine Peery, KPDO Radio, Pescadero
THC is one of the largest providers of low-income housing in San Francisco. With multipleproperties throughout San Francisco, THC is able to provide housing to over 2,000 individuals with supportive services and on-site case management.
THC offers referral-based housing for individuals who are getting back on their feet after incarceration, and need temporary housing while they look for a permanent residence.
THC has money management services that helps ensure rent can be paid every month on time. Individuals who need more help managing expenses can receive additional support in paying bills, keeping their benefits, and managing their savings.
One of THC’s longest serving programs, THC has successfully fought against numerous illegal evictions, Ellis Act evictions, and habitability cases. Individuals seeking eviction defense or habitability complaints can find legal representation through our legal services.
Community Organizers work to improve safety, support neighborhood improvement efforts, and ensure housing code enforcement. With community support groups, tenant advocacy leaders, and neighborhood events, the Community Organizing team makes significant improvements in the lives of people living in the Tenderloin.