Mayor Breed Taps New Director of Department of Homelessness As Crisis Continues Spiraling

San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced Thursday that it has appointed Sirene Maxpaden, the current secretary-general of the Disability and Aging Services Division, as the deputy head of the city’s homeless and assistive housing division.

McSpadden will take on that role on May 1st. The examiner first reported.. This position has been technically vacant for over a year since Jeff Kositzky, the founding director of the department, resigned. Kositsky moved to a new role about two weeks before the pandemic blockade began last March, taking over the city’s Healthy Street Operations Center. last year.

Abigail Stewart Khan, interim director of the Homeless and Assistance Housing Department, resigned from that role in mid-March, remaining last year. Chronicle reported.. She has become a special adviser to the Department of Children, Adolescents and their families, and Sam Dodge, a former lieutenant of the department, has been the interim director for the past few weeks.

Stewart Kahn characterized the move as planned, but members of the supervisory board and others in the city hall called it a surprise. Leadership at such a crucial moment in the fight against the homeless. “

The homeless issue remains a clear and central concern for San Francisco residents, so Maxpaden will take over. She oversees the transition of hundreds of individuals from city-funded hotel rooms to more permanent support homes.

Mayor Breed issued a statement on Thursday praising Maxpaden’s experience: “Sirene has been leading innovative and effective efforts to care for the most vulnerable populations for years. Over the past year. , She was one of the leaders in keeping the inhabitants safe. She was healthy and was housed during this pandemic. “

“Responding to the homeless is one of the most important and pressing and complex issues facing the city as we move out of this pandemic,” said McSpadden, head of the Aging Services for Persons with Disabilities since 2016. I am. We are excited to join the Housing and Assistance Housing Department to continue working to serve some of the city’s most vulnerable populations. “

An August report on the homeless sector by the budget and legislative analyst office found that it was understaffed and terribly unprepared for the more dramatic homeless crisis of the pandemic year. Did. The report found that the department left its budget of $ 26.5 million unused last year.

Also, in recent months, Stewart Khan has faced criticism. Exorbitant cost The benefits of keeping homeless people in a city-approved tent “village” — about $ 60,000 per tent per year, or the cost of a decent two-bedroom apartment. Also, many non-residential individuals staying in hotels in the city refuse to offer supportive housing that must start paying because the hotel is free and probably much better. Was also revealed.

The vast number of San Francisco’s homeless population may not be accurately counted, but even the best estimates made by a point-in-time census in January every other year have not been implemented since 2019. This year’s counting has been canceled due to pandemic safety concerns. ..

2019 census More than 8,000 people found Living on the streets and in shelters, contrary to popular wisdom, the majority were residents of San Francisco before becoming homeless. But city officials told Chronicles last month that they now think the numbers are much higher.

There were reports of homeless people in other counties migrating to San Francisco when the hotel room program began, especially from last year’s fire chief. Mayor Bleed reiterated that the room was only available to individuals who were already registered with the city’s system for being serviced before the pandemic began.

According to the latest data from the department, 2,308 people currently live in city-funded hotel rooms or trailers. Full refund by FEMA.. A cumulative total of 10,300 people have been discharged or recontained from rooms and shelters since the start of the alternative housing program. Of these, 4,500 were discharged from COVID-related quarantine and quarantine. To date, only about 200 of these individuals have landed in permanent support housing.

When Stewart Kahn left the homeless division, supervisor Rafael Mandelman told Chronicles last month, “It’s minced meat for work, and it’s an impossible job. The division is for what we want. We don’t have enough resources. All we have to do is politics is intense and crazy, advocacy groups are booming, and supervisors are unforgiving. “

The Coalition on Homeless San Francisco praised Bleed’s choice.

In a statement to the examiner, Union Secretary-General Jennifer Friedenbach said, “We are really excited about the new leadership and the city may seize the opportunity to move the homeless dial. I strongly hope that I can do it. ” It’s a positive experience with the new director. As a woman of color, I am confident that she will bring a fresh perspective and a terribly needed inspiration to the homeless sector. “

Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Mayor Breed Taps New Director of Department of Homelessness As Crisis Continues Spiraling Source link Mayor Breed Taps New Director of Department of Homelessness As Crisis Continues Spiraling

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