There's a glimmer of hope from the Board of Supervisors, who struck a deal to pass SB-1045 after all.
For all the hand-ringing and political posturing it took to arrive at even this meager solution to get the absolute worst cases of mentally ill off the street and into some modicum of care, it's no surprise why we can't seem to solve this huge problem given the huge amounts of energy, money and social cohesiveness it's been sucking from our community and city budget. This bill will purportedly apply only to 2-5 people across the entire city.
Thanks to our own D-8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, Carolyn Thomas and Jared Goldfine (Ford Street Action Group), and all our neighbors who got involved, showed up at City Hall, and made their support known to our Supervisor and the Board.
As president of EVNA, and as your neighbor, I'd like to ask you to be at this meeting at city hall tomorrow- will you show up to support SB-1045, The Conservatorship Law?
San Francisco needs to address the serious and inhumane crisis on our streets. Mental illness affects nearly 25% of individuals living outdoors.
We've seen it everywhere in our neighborhood- it's distressing, overwhelming, and at times terrifying to witness the extreme and out of control behavior of people who are obviously suffering from mental illness, whether organically or chemically induced. It's shameful that we've allow this to go on, and it's inhumane to leave them outside to survive in often brutal circumstances.
There's a time when, with care and transparency, we need to help these worst-case individuals by taking them into care, stabilizing their situation, and hopefully help them into services to improve their lives over time.
The SF Board of Supervisors is deliberating the merits of SB-1045 (The Conservatorship law) and is taking public input as to what citizens think would be in the best interests of our city, carefully weighing civil liberties and conservatorship.
The hearing is Monday 5/13 at City Hall, Room 250, beginning at 10am. The Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association is in support of applying SB-1045 Conservatorship to the most hardcore individuals, estimated to be 5-12 people in the entire city. They need us to speak for them- let's take this small step in the name of human kindness...
We're having our first "Welcome New Neighbors!" mixer tomorrow, Saturday, May 4th, at 10:00am to 11:00am.
Aviva, owner of SparkArts Gallery (4229 18th Street, near Mollie Stones) has generously donated her space for us to use. New neighbors have been invited as a part of the Castro Welcome Packs we delivered in April.
We'll have coffee and pastries while they last, and some great conversations with those in attendance. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to stop by, say "hello", and share what you love about living in the Castro/Eureka Valley.
The long awaited Castro Welcome Pack campaign is ready for delivery! We've got our backs packed (so to speak!), we have about 100 addresses, and now all we need is our volunteers to pick 'em up and get 'em delivered!
You've been hearing for several months now that the EVNA is launching a quarterly program to welcome all new residents to the neighborhood with a "Hello!" and a wine tote gift bag that includes information about EVNA and also promotes our local businesses with coupons and specials. I can't think of a better way to make sure those moving into the neighborhood feel connected and cared for from the start!
The delivery process goes something like this: you and a friend pick up about 10-15 of the pre-assembled, pre-addressed gift bags, and get them delivered before the end of April- anytime that works for you and your side-kick (we recommend teams of 2 people). The idea is to meet new residents face to face, say hello and welcome to the neighborhood, share a little bit about yourself, the Castro, and invite them to check out EVNA and to stop in the shops and restaurants with these specials included in the gift bag. Sounds pretty fun and easy! We've got a conversation guide if you need it, and a system to deal with recipients who might not be home the first time.
Volunteers had a great time putting all the bags together, and it's going to be a lot of fun getting them delivered. I know from experience, that the more I invest my time in helping others to feel connected, I somehow walk away with the same gift- it's a great feeling. If you'd like to help with delivery of the Castro Welcome Packs, email me and I'll get you connected!
Join your neighbors for a little fun and frivolity! Sarah Palin once said, "I can taste Spain from Eureka Valley!" as she enjoyed an array of tapas prepared by our own local wonder, Chef Mat Schuster! And this time, she was RIGHT!
EVNA is hosting Happy Hour(s) for it's members and admirers on Sunday, April 28 from 3-5pm with a variety of tapas and a cash bar!
Eat, drink and be neighborly, and you too will be saying "Buen Provecho!"
Ever think about what it would be like to actually meet your neighbors and spend some time talking with them and getting to know them (and not just typing at them on Facebook or NextDoor)?
We're inviting you to get out of the house and be a part of welcoming our newest neighbors to the Castro/Eureka Valley. Every quarter, starting in April.
EVNA (your neighborhood group) is launching the Castro Welcome Pack... think "welcome wagon"... we've committed to welcoming every new neighbor in the hood with a little gift and a human "hello"... would you be interested in joining us?
Share some of our history, tell 'em your fave restaurants, point to the library, the museum, show 'em the flag...share with them some of the excitement and passion for why we love our neighborhood so much!
We're going to have our first volunteer orientation meeting on March 30th at 10:00am- location tbd. We'll introduce you to our cool new Welcome Pack, go over the contents, review talking points and nail down logistics. This is an authentic and genuine welcome, and not a sales pitch.
(The Welcome Pack is a Castro branded wine tote with coupons and discounts from local Castro Merchants to encourage residents to support, shop, and dine locally).
It's a great way to welcome new residents, help them feel connected and engaged from the get-go, and for you to make some lasting friendships!
It’s spring again, and there’s lots to keep us busy! With the new year, we are taking focus on issues and matters important to us as a neighborhood- and we are raising the stakes and calling membership into action.
The newsletter committee is publishing its second edition in digital format later this month. Not only is the committee hard at work pulling together March’s content, but they’re adapting their work processes, figuring out best practices for content collection and distribution systems, and also getting our advertisers renewed and making calls to bring in new advertisers. These guys don’t know the meaning of “stop” because they go till it’s done…hat’s off to Psyche, Rob, Mary Edna and Steve! Look for the next edition coming out around March 20, 2019. If you’d like to advertise your business or cause, click here- Advertise in the Eureka, and submit your payment and artwork! Be sure to support out advertisers and all the businesses in the Castro. Look for the one page "teaser" newsletter on doorsteps around central Castro, or sign up for the digital version at evna.org
We’ve reserved the March issue of the Eureka! to cover topics important to EVNA’s Planning and Land Use
Committee. You’ll find fascinating articles on the basics of planning and land
use terminology, one explaining the process used to interact with developers
and the planning department for balanced outcomes. Another article covers who’s
on the committee and how you can attend or join. You can read about Collingwood
Park- ever wonder when that dirty old dog park is going to get some much needed
attention, or how the park got surrounded by those super high fences (I do!)? Lastly,
you may have heard about SF’s Board of Supervisors Aaron Peskin’s proposed
ordinance SFBOS 181216,
which is his attempt to reign in developers/ builders/ speculators who sometimes
abuse the city’s demolition and renovation rules and regulations to unfair
advantage. We do need to safeguard our rich architectural history while doing
whatever is in our power to build more units, but does the ordinance go too
far? Read up- you’re going to be asked to weigh in when it comes to public hearings
later in March or April.
Ever wonder how to bring a community dream into reality? Think
back recently to the efforts you may have participated in regarding a potential
redesign of the Harvey Milk Plaza, or when we widened the sidewalks- those are
examples of a community improvements process, and wow, that was a lot of
organizing, talking, listening, hand holding, etc. Well, EVNA sent several
delegates to attend the SF Parks
Alliance’s Partner Conference 2019 to learn more about the process to bring
community projects into reality. It was a full day workshop with guest speakers
and locals experienced in the process. We’ll have an update posted for you in
the Eureka! Who knows, we may even
think of a worthy community project to get behind at some point.
The Mission Dolores Green
Benefit District (MD-GBD) is a great example of a community improvement project-
this group of dedicated and passionate residents are working to create a “green
benefit district” around Dolores Park, two of the edges are west of Castro and
south of Market Street (where it would dovetail into the Castro Community Benefits
District). Conan McHugh has been EVNA’s liaison, and is now inviting EVNA
members and local residents to a Focus Group to provide
their input on the project. Are you curious? What are your thoughts? Contact
Conan McHugh, 650.722.6347
On another important
front, you’ll be hearing more about SB-1045, written by Scott Weiner and passed
into law by Governor Brown, it’s scheduled soon to be considered by our own
Board of Supervisors. The law creates
a five-year pilot program allowing for strengthened conservatorship laws that
focus on providing housing and wraparound services for people suffering from
mental health and substance use issues. There are many questions we should be
asking to ensure humane and well monitored support systems to those suffering
the most, and it’s one of the few tools we have to actually try to help some to
get stable enough to actually change their circumstances. We’re asking our
members to read up on this pilot program and support it however possible- send
an email or letter to SF Supervisors, attend the hearings coming up, and get
involved. The word is there will be a lot of push-back by the Coalition on
Homelessness and other civil liberties groups. What’s your position?
Reach WAAAAY back, and try to recall anything you may have heard
about the Welcome Wagon? I’m not old enough, but I have been told, neighbors
used to make a big effort to welcome new neighbors when they moved in. Why can’t
we do that again? I’m really excited to announce the Castro Welcome Pack! With
grant funds from the city, and coordination with the Castro CBD, the Castro
Merchants, and Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association, we are going to bring
the tradition back to life! EVNA volunteers will visit new neighbors every
quarter and deliver a Castro-branded wine tote full of information about the EVNA,
our neighborhood history, and including lots of coupons and special offerings
from Castro area Merchants! It’s all an attempt to build community, make new
friends and promote our shopping district. It’s going to be a blast. I’ll be
knocking on doors myself- would love to have you join me.
As a final mention- I’m sad to hear that Lion Barrett has passed
in December 2018. He lived on 17th Street, and served as a past
president of the EVNA from 1998-2001 (then called the EVPA). We don’t have many
details, and if you can share pictures or memories, we’ll be sure to include
them in the March newsletter.
As you can see, there’s a lot going on in Eureka Valley, and I’m looking forward to seeing you around the neighborhood, be sure to say “hello”.
Our next general meeting is:
Wednesday, March 27th
7:00pm to 8:30
Doors open about 6:45pm
Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy on 19th at Collingwood in the Cafeteria
Many thanks to those who made our January 2019 general meeting quite fun and informative.
Stu Maddux and Joe Applebaum are documentarians working on their newest project: The Minister of Loneliness. They're making a film about the increasing phenomenon of loneliness in our ever more connected culture- an epidemic found in nearly every country and on most continents. Young adults and seniors are two of the most susceptible groups to experience a growing sense of disconnect. The symptoms are sometimes hard to identify, but often are related to feelings of despondency, physical lethargy, isolation and depression. Our audience came up with some easy steps to safeguard our well-being: take a walk around the block and say "hello" to those you meet. Call someone you trust and ask for help. Create boundaries for healthy use of social media. Join a local group like EVNA, a church, a bowling league- anything to get out of your house and engaged with others.
Click here to learn how you can support the project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wllvgf9Cu_U
We also learned about the proposed upgrades to the Castro-Mission Medical Facility on 18th Street. The interior floor plan is going to flip allowing for bigger exam rooms, a staff break room, and better offices, and on the outside, there will seismic fittings and a makeover to freshen the building look, including a reconfiguration of the landscaping removing the overgrown eucalyptus trees and planting more Mexican Fan Palm trees.
Supervisor Mandelman made a cameo appearance, giving us an update on his on-going work to address homelessness and improve street conditions in our neighborhood, District 8 and the city at large. Especially important to deal with the most severe cases of mental distress that we see daily, is our support of SB1045. Rafael anticipates there will be well organized resistance to SB1045 by the Coalition on the Homeless and other civil liberties groups when the proposal is presented at the Board of Supervisors meeting, and has asked that we show up to weigh in as residents. EVNA will let members and residents know when the meeting is scheduled.
We also presented the Castro Welcome Packet- this project is result of months of collaboration by the neighborhood groups: DTNA, EVNA, Castro Merchants and the CDB, working together as the Castro Retail Strategy group. The idea is welcome new residents moving into the area, promote the neighborhood association, and encouraging them to shop our Castro businesses. We've designed a cool looking wine tote with Castro branding on it, and it will contain information on the local neighborhood group and as many discount and special offer to Castro businesses as possible. EVNA is looking forward to welcoming our new neighbors, and we are looking for volunteers to get them delivered!
Don't Forget: Neighborhood Meet & Greet! Saturday, Feb 9th from 3-5pm Poesia Osteria Italiana 4072 18th Street between Castro and Hartford Streets Passed hors d'oeuvres and cash bar
Next General Meeting is: Wednesday, March 27th, 7pm-8:30pm Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy 19th at Collingwood Streets
Working to Improve Life in Eureka Valley Since 1881