Dueling GoFundMe Campaigns Over Proposed Homeless Shelter in Wealthy San Francisco Neighborhood

[Sarah Ruiz-Grossman | Huff Post] San Francisco residents have launched warring GoFundMe campaigns over plans for a new homeless shelter in a wealthy neighborhood. One wants to raise money for lawyers to fight the proposal. The other supports the idea of the shelter and is seeking funds for a local homeless services group.

Early this month, Mayor London Breed (D) announced a proposal to build a 200-bed “SAFE Navigation Center,” which would provide shelter and services to people without homes. It would be located on what is now a parking lot in the Embarcadero, an affluent waterfront neighborhood that tourists often frequent.

Last week, an unnamed resident of the nearby neighborhood of South Beach launched a GoFundMe page to collect money to pay a legal team to oppose the shelter plan. The fundraiser had garnered more than $65,000 by midday Friday.

Earlier this week, William Fitzgerald, a San Francisco resident who doesn’t live close to the site, started a GoFundMe page to counter that effort and raise funds for the local Coalition on Homelessness. It had raised more than $70,000 as of midday Friday.

“It matters to support homeless folks in every neighborhood,” Fitzgerald, 33, told HuffPost. “In a lot of neighborhoods in San Francisco, folks like to complain about homelessness and just want them out of their neighborhood ― but that doesn’t fix the problem.”

He said that there should be so-called navigation centers in every neighborhood of the city and that “housing is a human right.”

GoFundMe itself donated $5,000 to Fitzgerald’s fundraiser, tweeting, “Our team loves this cause.”

Meanwhile, Breed said in a statement on Friday that she’s “committed to doing the hard work” of helping homeless people into housing.

“It’s incredibly frustrating and disappointing that as soon as we put forward a solution to build a new shelter, people begin to threaten legal action,” the mayor said, noting that she “get[s] that people have questions.”

“But we all need to be willing to be part of the solution,” Breed said.

https://twitter.com/william_fitz/status/1111323201290723329?s=21

Amid the nation’s affordable housing crisis, California has one of the worst rates of homelessness. On a single day in January 2018, more than 500,000 people were homeless nationwide, according to a recent report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development ― and almost a quarter of those people lived in California.

Continue reading here.

[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Sarah Ruiz-Grossman and originally published at the Huff Post. Title changed by P&P.]



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