Hayes Valley is undergoing rampant housing construction at the moment, so it may not be the first neighborhood to come to mind when one thinks of people living with homelessness in the city. But it has its fair share of transient residents, many of whom set up camp in Patricia's Green, or down the many residential alleys. Concerned residents have brought issues of homelessness at numerous neighborhood public safety meetings, as well as during a presentation by the Mayor's Office of Housing and Development to discuss the new Navigation Center at 12th & Market.
This Thursday, the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association (HVNA) is hosting a panel discussion on the issue of homelessness in the neighborhood. Speaking on the panel will be District 5 Supervisor London Breed, police officers from Northern Station, a spokesperson from the city's new Department of Homelessness, the Homeless Outreach Team, and members of SF Public Works' clean-up crew.
This panel is being created in response to local concerns, and everyone is welcome. "The value of inclusiveness, and not exclusiveness, is a key part of HVNA," president Gail Baugh told us in an interview earlier this year. "The idea that we all belong here means that we all have a role to play here. It isn't about looking away from homelessness, it's about asking 'Can I help you?'"
In addition to offering help, Baugh also encourages courtesy from all parties. "Respect is an important part of this. It's not about judging people—it's about making sure that they respect their environment, by not leaving needles or broken glass around," she said. "If it becomes 'we vs. them,' then it's never going to work out."
The panel will take place this Thursday, July 28th at 7pm, at the Hayes Valley Playground Clubhouse at Hayes and Buchanan streets.