Hey there, San Francisco.
Sometimes it can be hard to focus on our city’s news and today (with Russia’s attack on Ukraine) is one of those days.
Still, we carry on. And hope this conflict ends soon and safely.
If you’re interested, Manny’s is hosting a free, online talk tonight at 6 pm with NATO and foreign policy expert Rachel Rizzo to discuss the situation in Ukraine.
You can access the event here.
And with that…onto the news…
Top story: Housing for the homeless sits vacant
On Thursday, the San Francisco Public Press, in conjunction with ProPublica, reported that 888 units of permanent supportive housing currently sit vacant in San Francisco.
Vacancies of such units, which offer homeless residents a place to live at a highly discounted rate, spiked during the pandemic, reporter Nuala Bishari found.
In October 2020, there were 544 vacant units of permanent supportive housing.
By October 2021, the number had almost doubled to 1,064.
“While units sat vacant, people living outdoors were waiting to get indoors,” Bishari writes.
Currently, there are over 1,600 people on the waitlist for permanent supportive housing.
And, Bishari reports that at least 400 people have waited over a year for placement, despite the vacancies.
So, why is this the case?
One reason is that the city is prioritizing permanent supportive housing for people in its shelter-in-place hotel program. But, it’s having a hard time getting those people to move out of the hotels because the rooms are free and often provide better accommodations.
There are several other problems, including issues with the homeless department’s tracking software, maintenance issues in the empty units, a shortage of case managers, and more.
The full story is worth a read here.
Quick bits: Bite-sized news stories
🏙 Due to the Millennium Tower’s sinking and tilting, there is now a one-inch gap between the main tower and the adjacent, 12-story structure. (NBC Bay Area)
👀 Officer Terrance Stangel took the witness stand on Wednesday in what’s the first, use-of-force criminal case involving an on-duty SFPD officer. During his testimony, Stangel said he “believed every single baton strike at the time was necessary.” (Mission Local)
What else I’m reading: Links to browse
These maps show no one can agree on S.F. neighborhood boundaries — not even San Francisco city departments (Chronicle)
Police chief has to back down, agrees to let deal with DA’s Office stay in place (48hills)
The Standard Top 10: Which companies spent the most to lobby SF City Hall in 2021? (SF Standard)
Fresh pasta destination Flour + Water returns with a refined look and new menu (Eater)
Weekend Guide: Events, ideas, and more
🏀 Watch college basketball. The University of San Francisco men’s basketball team (who are currently projected to be a 9-seed in the March Madness tournament) host the #1 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs tonight at 6 pm. Tickets are pricey. But you can also watch the game on ESPN2. Go Dons!
🌺 Buy an orchid! The annual Pacific Orchid Exhibition is this weekend (Friday-Sunday from 10am-5pm) at the SF County Fair Building (next to the Botanical Gaden in Golden Gate Park). Billed as “one of the largest orchid shows in the United States,” organizers say there will be thousands of flowers and plants on display, as well as opportunities to buy orchids from several “local, national, and international nurseries.” General admission tickets are $12 and can be purchased here.
🍷 Drink natural wine among plants and chamber music. The Mission District plant shop Arcana, which transforms into a natural wine bar at night, is hosting a string quartet called Classical Revolution this Sunday from 6pm-9pm. Admission is free, but there’s a $5-$20 suggested donation for the musicians.
That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading y’all and I’ll see you back here tomorrow. - Nick B.