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BREAKING: San Francisco homeless shelters closed to new residents during COVID-19 crisis— shelters urged to *not* employ social distancing until further notice

March 24, 2020

By Joe Eskenazi : missionlocal – exceprt
More hotels express interest in working with the city, even as access to homeless shelters is curtailed

The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing on Monday counseled homeless shelters to cease accepting new would-be residents.

The department also instructed shelters on potential social distancing protocols — but specifically noted “DO NOT IMPLEMENT YET … Please do NOT implement 6 feet social distancing guidance in shelter until instructed to do so by HSH.”

Such social distancing guidelines are exactly what city, state and federal officials have been telling everyone else to follow. That, however, is still not the reality or the policy in the city’s homeless shelters.

“There is no social distancing in the shelters right now. They don’t even have thermometers,” said Christopher Herring, a UC Berkeley sociology doctoral student who often works with the Coalition on Homelessness.

To remedy this, several members of the Board of Supervisors have been adamantly pushing for the city to obtain ever more rooms in its empty hotels and begin proactively housing the homeless and other vulnerable populations in these rooms. The March 23 guidelines caught them by surprise(more)

Say it ain’t so Joe. Is the entire world crazy or what? Who put these people in charge of making decisions? Where is there a consistent line of truth running through this? Those people on Valencia who demanded explanations were right on. When the answer to “what are you going to do exactly?” is vague, the outcome cannot be much clearer. In this case, the people in charge of this fiasco seem to be somewhere between meltdown and a conundrum.

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