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San Francisco

Taking It To The Streets Secures Housing For Homeless Youth In SoMa

Taking It To The Streets, the Upper Haight organization that works to employ and mentor homeless and at-risk youth in San Francisco, announced this week that it has secured 48 new beds for its clients in SoMa.

The organization, which launched almost two years ago, is run by Christian Calinsky and Carlie Leduc. It employs homeless youth to clean up the Haight's sidewalks and graffiti, in exchange for beds to sleep in. The goal for the program is to get homeless youth off the streets, and give them the leverage and dignity they need to make a fresh start. Many of its graduates have been able to get off the streets, finding secure housing and jobs with the organization's help.

Today, Calinsky announced that after two years of fundraising and providing services, Taking It To The Streets has secured 48 beds at 161 6th St., formerly Fred's Sunset Hotel.

The owner, he said, "just opened up the Sunset to us, and only us."

161 6th St. (Photo: Google Maps)

The hotel, with 24 units, is being set up for double occupancy, so once they get bunk beds in, they'll have space for 48 employees of the organization's Sweepers program. There's also an attached apartment, which will allow a staff member to be on-site at all time for counseling and other services.

Calinsky said there are 27 people currently enrolled in the Sweepers program. In all, 12 people are currently staying at the new location: 10 Sweepers, a pregnant woman, and someone who's sick. 

1485 Pine St. (Photo: Google Maps)

To help people with similar emergencies and illnesses, Calinsky said the program has also secured eight double-occupancy emergency beds at The Baker, a single residency hotel at 1485 Pine St. That building is currently a mix of traditional SRO units and Taking It To The Streets units, but the owner has agreed to continue releasing housing blocks to Taking It To The Streets as they come available.

"This is the fruits of our hard work," Calinsky said. He's particularly grateful to [District 5 Supervisor] London Breed, who "had a lot to do with this ... with getting us funding."

The running costs of the extant rooms are roughly $42,000 per month, so Taking It To The Streets is continuing to accept one-off and recurring donations to help defray its operating costs.

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