The high health toll of SFs relentless rent increases

first_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Everyone knows that the rent is too damn high, but for seniors in the Mission and all across San Francisco, the mental health implications born from the struggle to find stable housing can have dire consequences.“Every single senior I’ve ever spoken with about evictions reports tremendous anxiety,” said Theresa Flandrich. Flandrich, who has experienced eviction, is an organizer at Senior and Disability Action, a SoMa-based organization that mobilizes and educates seniors and those with disabilities around social justice issues.As housing prices in San Francisco continue to rise, so too does the number of people evicted. From March 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018, there was a 109 percent increase in evictions caused by capital improvements, and a 58 percent increase in evictions caused by the Ellis Act’s withdrawal of units. (The Ellis Act, passed by the California legislature in 1985, permits landlords to evict all tenants if they wish to exit the rental market altogether.)This high-priced, competitive housing market takes a particularly high toll on the mental health of the city’s most vulnerable populations, says psychologist Tori Branch. Branch is the director of Clinical Services at the Access Institute, a nonprofit that provides therapy and psychiatric services to those who are underinsured and uninsured. “Somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of the people who complete an intake with us mentioned something about feeling anxiety, or stress about money or finances, or specifically housing,” said Branch.“Things have gotten far worse than they ever were,” said Tommi Avicolli Mecca, director of the counseling program at the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco. Mecca, who has lived in San Francisco for 27 years, said he has been advocating for tenants’ rights for 19 of those years and has seen a definite change in recent years.Data on the mental health consequences of housing instability are scarce, but tenants’ organizations and counseling groups, like those Branch and Mecca work for, said they are seeing the effects firsthand. And, in December 2010, a federal program found that safe housing is one of the basic needs crucial to good health, along with access to food and community design.Branch sees clients facing a cascade of anxiety-inducing problems once their housing is threatened. The mere threat of eviction can lead to anxiety; the fight to avoid eviction can be stressful; and increased anxiety, stress or depression can affect job performance, which can lead to eviction. This is one cycle Branch has observed.“It’s sort of like the chicken and the egg,” Branch said. “Once you lose something it’s hard to get it back.”Flandrich’s own experience offers an all too common example. She fought to keep her own home in the face of an Ellis Act Eviction for nearly four years, until she was finally evicted in 2016.She said she experienced fear and anxiety while going through the eviction, and now occasionally suffers post-traumatic stress while counseling seniors experiencing their own housing problems.“There is this underlying anxiety that is always there,” said Flandrich, who now has a new home. “It’s also the horror of what has happened to this city, that people are treated this way, that homes are treated as coffee beans on the market.”For 100-year-old Iris Canada, fighting several eviction attempts from her home of more than five decades in the Lower Haight was ultimately a death sentence, family members said. Canada had a unique lifetime lease on her apartment that was granted in 2005. In 2014, the owners sought to evict Canada to convert the building into condominiums. After a lengthy fight in court, Canada was granted the right to stay as long as she paid the owner’s attorney’s fees that racked up while Canada fought the evictions. The fees totaled more than $100,000. Canada was eventually evicted in February 2017. She died shortly afterward, in March.“Her doctor wrote a lot of letters describing her stress relating to this,” said Iris Merriouns, Canada’s great-niece. “Whenever we would go to court, her heart rate would go through the roof. It would take a few days for her to come back down.”But fighting sometimes is the only thing people can do.“People ask me, ‘was it worth it to fight?’” said Flandrich. “It wasn’t just about me. It was about, you know, what’s going on in the city.” center_img Email Addresslast_img read more

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San Francisco needs to build more Navigation Centers — and also needs

first_imgOn a rainy evening in late March, Supervisor Matt Haney was walking through the Tenderloin when he lost his way. He slipped and slammed the back of his head into the slick pavement. The first person to respond was a homeless man sitting out the downpour in a cardboard shelter. He helped the dazed and bleeding supervisor out of the rain and offered him a napkin and a bottle of whiskey. Haney gladly accepted both. The two men leaned up against a wall and watched the rain fall; the homeless man put his arm around his supervisor and told him he’d look out for him. Now, Haney wants to return the favor. But he’s found the process is not unlike banging your head into the pavement. Email Address Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter And yet, if we’re putting our effort and resources into alleviating people’s short-term suffering, if we’re treating the symptoms of homelessness and not its root cause — a dearth of housing —  hasn’t this city’s homeless strategy basically become the equivalent of palliative care? Kositsky disagrees with this comparison. But other career homeless workers we spoke to did not. Building navigation centers, they tell us, is an interim step until we can actually provide more housing. It’s the best we can do right now. And while it no longer resembles Dufty’s housing-or-bust mantra, he’s in favor of building more navigation centers anyway. The more navigation centers you build, he says, the more pressure it puts on the mayor and the supes to expand housing resources. And, fundamentally, it’s far cheaper and more humane to administer to people in shelters than on the street.There’s a lot of great things that a navigation center can do, but our city’s elected leaders have always overpromised their capacity and repurposed them so much to meet politically pressing needs that “navigation” is no longer their primary goal. But that seems typical of this city’s approach to homelessness writ large; we tend to focus on one element of the problem to the detriment of all others — then change course, and do that again. So, we need navigation centers. We need housing. But we need more. We need things elected officials don’t necessarily call for or point to: We need outreach; we need to stabilize the marginally housed; we need to address the broken mental health system. We need to further refine the methods we use to deliver services and even to organize them. Some of this is getting done, but it’s a struggle. It can, at times, feel like banging your head into the pavement. But that’s not nearly as bad as living on the pavement.  A man who called himself Crimewave said he had already checked into the new Mission District Navigation Center in June 2017. Photo by Lydia Chávez.When we met in his City Hall office last week, Haney seemed somewhat fatigued. He’d already appeared at more than a dozen separate meetings regarding the proposed Navigation Center on the waterfront, and would, that night, be at another. There have been more since. These have not been civil nor sedate affairs. In the era of the Embarcadero Freeway, the central waterfront was a realm of dying industry, flophouses, and crime. Now it’s a place for luxury condos and dog-walkers in yoga pants. The notion of dropping a homeless navigation center here has been received as well as suggestions of opening a rendering plant or a training facility for Somali pirates. Haney has been accused of being anti-family and anti-child. He has been callously accused of facilitating crime and blight in the neighborhood and angrily threatened with a recall (good luck with that). Navigation Center opponents, in short, have behaved like the villains in a movie where the hero is a dog — and everybody looks more sensible standing next to them. To wit, the disrespectful reception waterfront residents gave to Mayor London Breed was so over-the-top that one could be forgiven for forgetting that she campaigned against homeless measure Proposition C with disingenuous arguments, and that the unhoused are still being relieved of their tents by police during torrential rainstorms. Haney, as his close ally Supervisor Hillary Ronen did before him in the Mission, is fighting for a homeless shelter in his own district, perhaps against his own political well-being. Like Ronen, he’s sticking out his neck and will have to own the results, come what may (and, in the Mission, far from fears about crime or blight or reduced property value, the results appeared to be rather good.).  If Haney has his way, all of his colleagues will soon be familiar with this process. He’s introduced legislation mandating a navigation center in every supervisorial district. Is this the decent thing to do? Yes. Is it good politics, especially among D6 constituents frustrated that they’re saddled with the majority of the city’s burden? Yes. But is this the best solution for the people in question — the homeless? That’s harder to say. Is this practical? Is this politically feasible? And has this city’s elected leadership been honest about what a navigation center is — and what it is not? Not really. San Francisco is in an odd position. It needs to build more navigation centers. And it also needs to stop monomaniacally focusing on navigation centers.Bevan Dufty cleans the 16th Street BART Plaza. Photo by Susie Neilson.The city’s first proto-Navigation Center was born of fire. A blaze erupted at a homeless encampment at 5th and King in 2012; fires burned on both sides of the roadway and cars and trams rolled through the smoke like a scene out of some dystopian future. Being engulfed in flames diminishes one’s leverage, and the 30-odd residents of the shantytown agreed to then-homeless czar Bevan Dufty’s plan to move them into a nearby church basement and work to house them permanently (on the day of the planned move, a cop came by with three chronic homeless people and dropped them into the encampment so they could be housed, too. “It was the most entrepreneurial thing I’d ever seen,” recalls Dufty.). Of those 30 people, Dufty says 29 were housed (one, who had warrants, was jailed and later entered a treatment program). In 2015, the city opened up its first official Navigation Center, at 1950 Mission St. It was small, 75 people tops, and the rules were ostensibly simple: “My mantra was, you’re only gonna leave if you’re housed or if you become violent,” recalls Dufty. There was a 75-year-old grandmotherly Filipina woman who came in with nine shopping carts she’d been keeping on the 16th Street BART Plaza. She was sweet and charming and she played with dolls and would tell you about her sister, who was a mermaid. Responsibly placing someone like that in housing is a challenge. As it is for undocumented people, people who’ve slipped off of General Assistance, people who have outstanding warrants in other states, and others. This woman was at the Navigation Center for a year. Today, that would be difficult. In 2016, time limits were imposed at navigation centers and their raison d’être was unsubtly transmuted from housing each and every individual who walked in the gate to rapidly vacuuming up burgeoning encampments (the term “Navigation Center,” which poll tested at 90 percent positive, didn’t change). A 2017 San Francisco Public Press analysis found the bulk of homeless people “housed” out of navigation centers had accepted one-way bus tickets out of town via the Homeward Bound program. And that’s still the case. The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (DHSH) today claims a shade more than half of those who pass through Navigation Centers exit homelessness — but not quite one in six land in permanent housing. Far more are taking the bus. (To be fair, many of the navigation center’s guests only stay there a night or two prior to their bus journey and never intended anything more). But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t build navigation centers. It just means the city needs to be more forthright about what it hopes to accomplish. Jeff Kositsky, the head of the city’s homeless department, says that “every night that someone doesn’t sleep outside is a success.” Navigation centers, famously, meet people where they’re at. You can bring in your pets, your spouse, your possessions. You’re not thrown out for minor transgressions (you can go around the corner and get high). You can eat when you like and head out at night to recycle cans. You can’t do any of these things at a shelter, and lots of homeless people won’t go to one.  “Many studies show that when people come inside, their cortisol levels will drop — their stress levels go down,” Kositsky continues. “They get healthier. They gain weight. They’re far more likely to have access to a doctor. Even though it may not result in permanent housing, it’s still an important service to provide to people.”last_img read more

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MIKE Rush says he can take nothing for granted as

first_imgMIKE Rush says he can take nothing for granted as Saints prepare to take on Huddersfield Giants this Sunday.Although Paul Anderson’s side are in a real indifferent run of form, the Club’s acting head coach drew comparisons with the position St Helens where back in March.“We’re in good form, but we’re probably in the same position the Giants are in now when we faced Leeds in March,” he said. “That was our first game in charge and no one gave us a chance. We were scratching round for a win and this will be the first week Baloo has had with his side.“He will want to put his own slant on the team and having Kieron Purtill on board will help them too. That makes them very dangerous indeed.”Second place is very much still the aim for Saints after their poor start to the season and Rush has targeted the next couple of games as having a massive influence on where they will finish in the Stobart Super League table.“We can’t start talking about second place really as it isn’t in our hands and we’re reliant on other results,” he added. “We also need to stay in the form we are but our next couple of games are big and will define where we finish in the league this season.“Bar the Magic Weekend we have been pretty good most weeks. Good Friday would have been different but we lost Laffranchi and Wellens to bans and Jonny Lomax to injury after four minutes. We have been in good form ever since really, but we’d like our best form to come now and up to October 6.“We’re happy to stay under the radar. Our character has been good recently too. We had to go up through the gears to beat Hull KR and Widnes at the end and in Catalans too. We want to play a brand of football people want to watch and defend well too and because of that we are the second best defensive team in the league.”Tony Puletua will miss out at the weekend after being banned for his tackle on Gregory Mounis, whilst Mark Flanagan could make a return from a back injury.Rush continued: “We had a lot of conversation in house and with various people within the game about TPs tackle and we probably made the decision to put in an early guilty plea ‘under duress’ if that is the right term.“We didn’t want to make the plea but it was probably the best option to make sure Tony was available for the next game. If we had contested it we made have come away with a two game ban and felt like we’d made the wrong decision.“If that is the idea behind the plea, then it has worked on this occasion.“TP is my player and I am going to protect him. At this moment in time it is not illegal to make a shoulder charge and I believe he makes good contact with shoulder. I believe there is a little of Mounis falling or starting to fall, but at the end of the day, they deem from the first contact or follow through, that contact is made with the head and therefore it is a sending off.“I’m not pro or anti shoulder charging but I think we probably need to discuss it in the off season and define the laws.“We need to remember that one shoulder charge can be different to another. TP’s is different to Sam Moa’s – Sam is travelling forward whilst TP makes contact with his feet planted. The media say shoulder charges, but they are very mechanically different challenges…”Tickets are on sale for Sunday’s match at Langtree Park which kicks off at 7.45pm.You can buy from the Ticket Office at the club, by clicking here, or via the Ticket Hotline on 01744 455 052.last_img read more

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Traffic Alert NCDOT closing lane on Dan Cameron Bridge Thursday

first_img The work is to improve the safe travel of vehicles using the bridge. No detour will be provided.NCDOT officials want to remind drivers to stay alert, and use alternate routes when possible, drive with caution and allow extra travel time. Traffic (Photo: Lorenz.markus97 / Flickr / CC BY 2.0) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Department of Transportation will close one eastbound lane of the Dan Cameron Bridge during the day on Thursday, January 25.According to a release, the bridge, which runs over the Cape Fear River on I-140, will be inspected and repaired by crews from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Southport names new police chief department investigation still ongoing

first_img According to a news release from Oakley, Coring has more than 20 years of law enforcement experience with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office and currently serves as a lieutenant. He also served on the Board of Alderman since 2011.This comes after Smith and his second-in-command, Lieutenant Michael Simmons, were fired earlier this month. Smith and Simmons were arrested in July after a long-term probe by state and federal investigators. The men were charged with obstruction of justice after allegedly working for a trucking company while on the clock.Oakley says an internal audit of the police department is still ongoing, being conducted by U.S.I.S.S. Agency.Related Article: Brunswick County sheriff discusses crime during Hurricane Florence, four arrestedOakley adds hiring Lt. Coring now will allow him to see where improvements and changes are needed. This will also allow the city to re-active the department sooner. Todd Coring (Photo: WWAY) SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — Southport has named their new chief of police.Todd Coring will fill the position left open by the recent firing of former Police Chief Gary Smith, town manager Bruce Oakley said Tuesday evening.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Wilmington Police officers honored promoted for exceptional service

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The men and women who serve Wilmington received a big thank you Tuesday afternoon.The Wilmington Police Department awarded and promoted officers who have done exceptional service.- Advertisement – Families and friends congratulated the many officers.Five officers received medals for their bravery in rescuing families during Hurricane Florence.The department promoted eight officers during the ceremony.Related Article: Man arrested after shots fired at occupied carDetective Joshua Childress was promoted to corporal.“It feels good to get back on patrol and mentor new officers who come in and they can learn from my mistakes and don’t make the same mistakes,” Cpl. Childress said.Cpl. Childress has been serving in the WPD for seven years.The department also swore in two new officers during the ceremony.Chief Ralph Evangelous says thank you to all who shared in this special day.last_img read more

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Wilmington Police investigating after teen shot along Dock Street

first_img The investigation continues.Anyone with info should call WPD at (910) 343-3609 or use Text-a-Tip to remain anonymous. (Photo: LWP Communications / Flickr / CC BY 2.0) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Wilmington Police are investigating a shooting that left a 19-year-old with injuries Saturday night.WPD responded to the 1000 block of Dock street around 9 p.m. in reference to a ShotSpotter notification. When they got there officers found the 19-year-old victim with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. EMS took him to NHRMC.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Tourism Minister says that Selmun will be used for films

first_imgTourism Minister Konrad Mizzi told the House that Selmun Palace and the surrounding open spaces will be used as film locations for international film production. He also confirmed that the Palace and surrounding areas will be used for touristic purposes.Opposition MP and PN Whip Robert Cutajar asked the Minister at which stage is the sale of Selmun Palace.The Palace was built by Monte di Pietà in the 18th Century. A hotel known as Selmun Palace Hotel was built close to the villa, and it was owned by Selmun Palace Hotel Company Ltd, a subsidiary of Air Malta. The hotel was closed in 2011 as part of Air Malta’s restructuring procedures.Finance Minister Edward Scicluna had announced in Parliament that the Palace and the hotel are on sale. Minister Scicluna had explained that a technical evaluation was commissioned to assess the structural state of the building.WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

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Watch One wrong judgment to ruin lives Remembering Jessica Tabone

first_img SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Jessica Tabone lost her life four years ago in a fatal car crash on Xlendi Road, Gozo. A close family friend, Toni Ann Muscat, insisted that no one should drive under the influence of alcohol, as doing so can ruin someone else’s life.Muscat said that four years ago, Jessica’s family and friends lost a big part of their lives, in a post on Facebook group ‘Gozone’ where she reiterated that everyone should respect the speed limits.Jessica was involved in a fatal car crash on 19 April 2015, during the early hours of the morning. On that fateful day, Jessica was a passenger in a car when it was involved in a collision with a car that was being driven by a 20-year-old man from Għasri who was driving on the wrong lane. The 20-year-old had later graduated as a Police Officer, but was sacked immediately after, sources told The Malta Independent. Muscat referred to politicians discussing the permanent link between the islands, widening roads and increasing the population, however she observed that there is not much discussion on making roads safer.J.E.S.S – Helping to create safer roadsOne year after Jessica’s death, a voluntary organisation was established in her honour. J.E.S.S (Justice to Ensure Safer Streets) educates the public about the importance of road safety. It also ensures that laws are amended in a way to ensure safety.In 2017, the organisation donated two sets of breathalyzers to the Gozo Police.Read: Breathalysers in Gozo used once a monthIn replies given to Newsbook.com.mt, the Police in Gozo had told this newsroom that the breathalyzers were used six times in 2018. The Police had explained that for the first six months of 2018, there were a total of 23 roadblocks with 20 persons were found in breach of the law. WhatsApplast_img read more

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Google Uganda launches two new local languages

first_imgAdvertisement  The languages were launched as part of an ongoing volunteer program known as Googlein-Your-Language, which is designed to give anyone the tools to translate Google services into languages in which they are fluent.Thanks to this program, as well as Google’s other efforts to localize products, the Google homepage itself now appears in more than 100 languages. – Advertisement – In the case of these two new Ugandan languages, a group of IT and language students at Makerere, professional translators and journalists, led by Makerere IT staff member Florence Tushabe, came together to translate and review over 10,000 English words.“A group of 30 people took part in intense discussions that culminated in the formulation of new words and the adaptation of existing ones to represent the technical computing jargon. It was very fulfilling”, said Florence, speaking about some of the challenges involved.Dean of IT faculty at Makerere University, Dr. Josephine Nabukenya, speaking at the launch remarked, “It is estimated that only 10% of Uganda is computer literate. Local language versions of technology, such as in Google Search, will reduce this intimidation and allow wider group to interact more freely with the internet, eventually leading to increased publishing in local languages”.Denis Gikunda, Project Manager at Google said “It is truly exciting to see a group of people so passionate about technology and their native languages. This initiative is a great example of how the internet encourages user participation from cultural and linguistic communities.”Google continues to adapt its products for local users across Africa, whilst meeting international standards, and plans to increase local language support to more products. In addition to 5 Ugandan languages, Google previously launched Trader, an SMS classifieds service and SMS Health Tips, with Uganda selected as the pilot country globally.But some people have questions about “Runyakitara” as not being a natural language. They claim it was set up by Makerere University for academic purposes.last_img read more

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