On the margins - Page 4

44TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE: At risk youth struggle to get by in a city that's tough on young people

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And those evaporating opportunities are compounded by punitive policies like Prop. L, Jackson said, further alienating young people. "It comes down to how much money you have," Jackson observes. "If you are rich, you can enjoy the parks, the clubs, the transit. But if you are low-income, especially low-income youth of color, it's very hard to take advantage of everything the city has to offer."

Noting that both City College and the San Francisco Unified School District canceled their summer school program, Jackson said, "it doesn't look like youth are prioritized."

Jackson was recently at Double Rock (a.k.a. the Alice Griffith Public Housing Project) and he saw four kids under 10 who were at home while their parents were at work. "Why aren't they in school or in child care? And don't give me the line that these are hard to serve communities. We have to serve them."

N'tanya Lee, executive director of Coleman Advocates, agrees that while all young people are struggling in the city, African American children and youth are having one of the worst times.

"We don't need 5,000 different strategies and initiatives when 90 percent of these kids live in extreme poverty, mostly concentrated in public housing, and you could fit the city's entire black high school student population into one auditorium," Lee said.

She wants the city to create a database of these youth and develop specific strategies to help this population before it's too late.

"No one in city government feels accountable for the outcomes for black children and youth," she said. "Instead you have one group who are about young people and another who are about economic development — and they have nothing to do with each other. Meanwhile, we've lost half of all black families with children in this city in the past 20 years."

Our 44th Anniversary Issue also includes stories by Rebecca Bowe on ageing out of the foster care system, Caitlin Donohue's account of the Haight street kids, and Tim Redmond's editorial on the issues facing our rising generation

Comments

I lived in the Haight for a year, and one of the reasons that prompted me to move was the kids who sat and panhandled on the sidewalk at all hours, drunk, high or rude. They would litter and cause trouble. It got frustrating when on my way to work at 7 AM a young street urchin would beg me for money, sometimes in an overly aggressive manner. Or how they would sleep in our building alcove vomiting, defecating etc. What would be a rather nice neighborhood is spoiled by these people who have no respect for those that live there full time. They treat the neighborhood like it is a canvas for their stupid behavior. Let's not forget what has become of the the entrance to Golden Gate Park by Stanyan. One can't go twenty feet without being offering drugs or hassled for money. I for one support the no sit/lie ban all the way. The Summer of Love was over 40 years ago people.

Posted by Steve on Oct. 21, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

>>>I lived in the Haight for a year, and one of the reasons that prompted me to move was the kids who sat and panhandled on the sidewalk at all hours, drunk, high or rude. They would litter and cause trouble.<<<...........You moved to an area (the Haight) before researching it? You didn't check out the neighorhood before you moved there? You just blindly moved into a neighborhood? Why would you do that? The Haight has been as you described for decades. I suspect the kids were there when you moved in. Why did you choose not to see them? When I've moved from one neighborhood to another I do my best to hang out in the neighborhood near where the apartment is that I'm interested in renting so I can get a real feel for the neighbors. Why didn't you do that? Why would you move into some place that you don't even know what it's like? You also said...>>>I for one support the no sit/lie ban all the way.<<< What do you propose to do with the people who are rounded up under Prop L? How do you expect to pay for it? It will not be funded by the way. Will it be illegal to be homeless in the City if this passes? Did you research this law before you got behind it? Are you not aware of the "Castro 14?"

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Oct. 21, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

You lived there for a while and decided you didn't like it.
You moved.
Problem solved.

Every complaint you list is addressed by already existing laws.
Maybe it;s time for you to press the police to enforce those laws. Maybe you should consider forcing the police to do their jobs and walk a beat by voting Yes on Prop M.
What you shouldn't do is try to give away MY civil rights, and the civil rights of all your neighbors in San Francisco, in some half-assed attempt to get back at the people you objected to in the Haight, or whoever else you don't like seeing wherever you live now.
Since you claim to know when the Summer of Love was over, perhaps you could also tell us when we can look forward to the end of your Season of Hate.

Posted by Your Neighbor on Oct. 21, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

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