[Hpn] Shelter survey report: SHUT OUT... part 4

Terri McDonald mickeyde@cybercomm.net
Sun, 24 Dec 2000 22:48:09 -0500


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----- Original Message ----- 
From: Coalition on Homelessness, SF <coh@sfo.com>
Sent: Sunday, September 24, 2000 6:39 PM
Subject: [Hpn] Shelter survey report: SHUT OUT... part 4


> continued from part 3
> 
> Exits
> 
> "To exit homelessness, people need homes. "
> 36 year old African American Male
> 
> Individuals were asked how shelter residents would exit shelters and 
> homelessness in their ideal shelter. The frank responses in this 
> section strongly indicate that homeless people know exactly what it 
> would take to end homelessness. In sum, they needed affordable 
> housing and income the most, as well as other kinds of services for 
> some individuals.
> 
> Permanent Affordable Housing
> The most common response by far was the need for permanent affordable 
> housing to be available.  Two hundred and twenty-nine respondents 
> (56%) identified this as their primary necessity.  Many respondents 
> defined affordable as 30% or less of a person's income - indicating 
> that housing must be affordable to even the poorest residents.
> 
> "Now there is a rotating door. Have people sign up for Section 8 
> housing as soon as they get into the shelter. I thought this was 
> supposed to be a place to help you."
> 45 year old white female
> 
> "Need HUD housing, not slum hotels. They are roach infested, rat run 
> hotels that the city knows about."
> 55 year old African American male
> 
> Living Wage Jobs
> The second critical necessity that individuals needed in order to 
> exit homelessness was living wage jobs. 225 respondents indicated 
> living wage jobs or training, education and placement as a 
> prerequisite to exiting homelessness. 
> 
> There were several other items people viewed as necessary to exit 
> homelessness, however these numbers drop significantly. These 
> included the need for supportive housing (63 respondents), and 
> transitional housing (51 respondents). Another important need 
> identified was money management services, with 33 seeing this as a 
> necessity before they could exit homelessness. Mental health 
> treatment (37 respondents) and substance abuse treatment (62) were 
> also seen as important.
> 
> Such results indicate that, while many respondents are in need of 
> support services to assist them in transitioning from homelessness, 
> their primary necessity is simply an affordable place to live and a 
> job.
> 
> The following is a list of numbers and percents of responses to what 
> homeless respondents would need in order exit homelessness. 
> 
> Housing 238 63%
> Living wage jobs 225 60%
> Supportive Housing 63 23%
> Substance Abuse Treatment 62 17%
> Referrals and linkages 53 14%
> Transitional Housing 51 14%
> Mental Health Treatment 37 10%
> Money Management 33 9%
> 
> less than 5% had these responses:
> 
> Longer Shelter Stays 11 3%
> Information on services 7 2%
> Help become part of broader community 7 2%
> Aftercare 6 2%
> Self Help 6 2%
> Relocation Assistance 6 2%
> Case Management 6 2%
> Shorter stays 4 1%
> Family reunification 3 1%
> Medical assistance 2 1%
> Phone and voicemail 2 1%
> Home ownership 1 0.27%
> 
> 
> Embracing Culture
> 
> "The system is racist, not because of the color of out skin, but 
> because we are homeless."
> 50 year old African American male
> 
> "Respect for different cultures should be a requirement."
> 23 year old White / Native American / Japanese male
> 
> Learn not to be prejudiced. Ignorance breeds prejudice. Teach about 
> different cultures."
> 50 year old African American female
> 
> Respondents were asked how people's different cultures should be 
> respected within the shelter system. In general, respondents felt 
> there should be respect for all cultures and that racism, 
> discrimination and favoratism should not be tolerated. This section 
> differed from other parts of the survey in that elsewhere there was a 
> focus mainly on the staff as problematic. In this question, it became 
> clear that both staff and clients could benefit from work cultural 
> competency. Many suggestions included training and various vehicles 
> of communication, and that such activities would promote 
> understanding and a sense of community in the shelters.
> 
> Respect for Different Cultures
> 175 respondents or 50% responded that there should be a general 
> respect for people's various cultures. Most respondents believe 
> different cultures should be honored, promoted and encouraged by both 
> staff and clients. 
> 
> Staff Should Speak Multiple Languages
> 116, or 33% felt that staff persons should speak the languages of 
> those that they served, or that they should have translation services 
> available. Given the diversity of San Francisco, this is hardly a 
> surprising need.
> 
> Diverse Staff
> 91 or 26% felt that a diverse staff is important. Some answering this 
> way said that this diverse staff should be sensitive, others said 
> that they should encourage openness, and others said that a more 
> diverse staff may succeed in engaging those who otherwise might not 
> be reached.
> 
> Cultural Activities
> 20% of respondents recognized the value of cultural activities in 
> expressing one's culture as well as promoting cross-cultural 
> understanding.  71 people responded that there should be activities 
> such as art, entertainment, ethnic food, presentations, films and 
> books (and these in languages other than English).
> 
> The numbers and percents of responses to how people's cultures could 
> be respected was as follows:
> 
> Respect for Different Cultures 176 50%
> Staff should speak multiple languages 116 33%
> Diverse Staff 91 26%
> Cultural Activities 71 20%
> Information/Training in Multiple Languages 62 18%
> No Racism, Discrimination, Racial Slurs, etc. 37 11%
> Diversity Training of Staff and Clients 36 10%
> Everyone Treated Equal 36 10%
> Cultural Support Groups 24 7%
> 
> less than 5% had these responses:
> 
> Honor Religious Desires   9 3%
> Separate Spaces for sub-populations   7 2%
> Self-Governing   6 2%
> Not Necessary   5 1%
> Fire/Don't Hire Staff Who Discriminate   5 1%
> Immigration Services   2 1%
> Teach Other Languages   2 1%
> Employ Residents   1   0.28%
> Less Institutional   1   0.28%
> No Segregation   1   0.28%
> Respect of Confidentiality   1   0.28%
> 
> 
> Seniors and People with Disabilities
> 
> "If you have a medical condition and have to go to the hospital, you 
> shouldn't lose your bed."
> 60 year old African American female
> 
> "Make allowances for people with disabilities, be able to bend rules 
> such as length of stay."
> 42 year old African American male
> 
> 
> Many respondents commented that seniors and people with disabilities 
> should not even be in shelters. Many commented that they should be in 
> permanent housing or long-term shelters in the interim. If they are 
> in the general shelters, many felt they should have priority in the 
> lottery and special areas within the shelters. Although there were a 
> few respondents who felt that neither seniors nor those with 
> disability should get any special treatment, the vast majority showed 
> great compassion for those with special needs. It is important that 
> there is some consideration for this population, based on the fact 
> that the elderly population is a considerable part of the city's 
> population and a rapidly growing segment of the general population as 
> a whole.
> 
> Staff Training
> The most common response be far, was the need for staff training. 
> 135, or 38% responded that the staff should have special training on 
> how to work with seniors and people with disabilities, or be 
> qualified to work with this population. Some also mentioned that 
> staff should be trained on issues relevant to veterans, some of whom 
> are seniors and/or have disabilities.  Some who responded this way 
> also suggested that the staff be trained in mental health issues for 
> this population. 
> 
> 
> 
> Separate Shelter for Seniors
> 113, or 32% suggested that there should be separate shelters for 
> senior citizens. Some who responded this way brought up issues of 
> safety, of comfort, and of disrespect for elders by younger clients. 
> Generally, there is understanding that seniors have different needs 
> than the general population.
> 
> Separate Shelter for People with Disabilities
> 100 respondents or 28%, responded that there should be separate 
> shelters for those with disabilities. Reasons for this response were 
> often due to accessibility issues, or to concerns that they get the 
> services they need.
> 
> Physical Accessibility
> Many were concerned about the compliance with the ADA.  82 
> respondents, or 23% expressed concern in the general area of 
> accessibility.  There were concerns that there is not full access to 
> the existing facilities, that the showers, toilets etc. are not 
> accessible.
> 
> Medical Assistance
> 69, or 20% of the respondents felt that a wide range of medical 
> services should be available on site for seniors and people with 
> disabilities.  Some of the specific issues raised were refrigerated 
> medication storage; assistance getting to medical appointments; 
> services such as rehabilitation, medical assistance, first aid, and 
> speech therapy offered on-site; and special supplies available, such 
> as Depends.
> 
> The following is a list of how respondents thought seniors and people 
> with disabilities should be served by the shelter system:
> 
> Staff Qualified/Trained on Issues 135 38%
> Separate Shelter for Seniors 113 32%
> Separate Shelter for People with Disabilities 100 28%
> Physical Accessibility 82 23%
> Medical Assistance 69 20%
> 24-Hour Advise Nurse 58 17%
> Flexible Hours and Policies for Seniors/PWD 55 16%
> Priority Placement of People with Special Needs 51 15%
> Special Diet 50 14%
> Support Services 38 11%
> Multi-Service with Separate Spaces 33 09%
> Telephone Service 19 05%
> 
> less than 5% had these responses:
> 
> Permanent Housing 15 04%
> Transportation Assistance 14 04%
> Email/Voicemail Service 11 03%
> Safety Monitoring 11 03%
> Equal (not special) Treatment 8 02%
> Clear Rules 1 0.28%
> Self Help 1 0.28%
> Screening Before Entry 1 0.28%
> 
> 
> A big warm thank you to all of those who made this study possible:
> 
> Survey Takers:
> 
> Able Zerfiel
> Miguel Cuevas
> Eric Enriques
> Eduardo Palomo
> Robert Williams
> Mariana Viturro
> Bridgette Peltekof
> M.C. Ettinger
> Larry
> Delphine Brody
> John Wilson
> chance martin
> Sara Gorman
> Wendy Phillips
> Arnette Watson
> Dan Mcuew
> Mel Beetle
> James LaPoint
> L.S. Wilson
> Allison Lum
> Robert (Bob) Williams
> Jennifer Friedenbach
> Ron Rucker
> Lance Bartels
> Miguel Carrera
> Nancy Esteva
> Scott Clark
> Francisco
> Whirlwind Dreamer
> John Melone
> Thomas Batdorf
> Kathleen Gray
> Anthony Camel
> Adam Arms
> Mara Raider
> Angelique Gonzales
> Sonia
> Mary Kerles
> Cheryl Johnson
> Rodd Walton
> Dennis Deasy
> Cecilia Valentine
> Benjamin Johnson
> 
> Writers:
> 
> chance martin
> Allison Lum
> Jennifer Friedenbach
> Wendy Phillips
> Ceclia Valentine
> John Malone
> Mark Huelskotter
> Mara Raider
> 
> Thanks to our volunteer translators:
> 
> Mariana Viturro
> Angelique Gonzales
> Tan Chow
> Miguel Cuevas
> Angela Chu
> 
> 
> And our deepest appreciation to all the homeless people we surveyed,
> and everyone else who helped make this effort possible.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ***********************************************************
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> _______________________________________________
> -- 
> Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
> 468 Turk St.
> San Francisco, CA 94102
> vox: (415) 346.3740
> Fax: (415) 775.5639
> coh@sfo.com
> http://www.sfo.com/~coh
> 
> _______________________________________________
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