Amanda Witherell

Bye-bye, Buster’s

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Despite the clear need for a 24-hour drop-in center for homeless people to get off the streets and out of the elements, Buster’s Place was still put on the bloody budget block and closed its doors yesterday at 5 p.m.

For weeks, staff at Buster’s have been counseling the 150 to 200 people they see everyday on different places to go. Read more »

Do you hear what I hear?

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Just an FYI for those of you who follow PG&E as rabidly as we try to. Their head honcho will be speaking to the moneyed masses of investors tomorrow. Tune in to the web cast at 10:10 tomorrow morning:

http://www.pgecorp.com/investors/investor_info/presentations/index.shtml

The parasitic blog

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Eric Alterman has a detailed assessment of the tie that binds newspapers and blogs in this week’s New Yorker. The Nation-blogger, prof and journo, known for his books on the media, democracy, and Bruce Springsteen, takes us back to the 192 Read more »

Closing time

San Francisco shuts a much-needed 24-hour homeless center
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amanda@sfbg.com

The sign on the door speaks the truth to the 200 people who pass through it everyday: "Buster's Place/13th Street Drop-In will be permanently closing Monday March 31 at 5 p.m."

Will, a trim, soft-spoken man seated inside Buster's on a Monday afternoon, reading a paper and waiting for his laundry to finish spinning, says that starting April 1, "The street is going to be where I go. Read more »

FINALLY: T.P. A GUARANTEE

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by Bryan Cohen

We hope. We really hope. After nearly two years of collaboration from a variety of homeless service providers, city officials, and activists, the standards of care legislation for city-funded homeless shelters was finally passed in a quick roll call vote by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, March 18.

The legislation is considered a major victory for homeless rights advocates and groundbreaking for homeless programs across the country. Read more »

PG&E's Green War Chest?

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Greetings, Californians for a Clean Energy Future! Welcome to the fold of innocuous sounding, pseudo-environmental political front groups. This one is brought to us by our buddies over at Pacific Gas and Electric Co. Read more »

Mayor announces nothing

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Homeless policy director Dariush Kayhan and Mayor Gavin Newsom

Mayor Gavin Newsom announced a new plan to redesign the city’s homeless shelters this morning.

The press conference was held at Multi-Service Center South, one of the largest homeless shelters in the city, and addressed a small crowd of journalists and shelter staff. Read more »

Homeless people share their stories

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by Amanda Witherell

Note: Though much of the investigation for Shelter Shuffle: Inside San Francisco's confounding system of housing the homeless was done undercover, the following profiles are of people who shared their stories with me after being informed that I was a journalist.

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RUBY WINDSPIRIT

Ruby Windspirit has been homeless since J Read more »

Five Days Homeless: The Journals

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MSC South, one of the city's largest homeless shelters

by Amanda Witherell

DAY ONE – Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Multi-Service Center South, 525 Bryant Street

In San Francisco, you’re not supposed to just walk into a homeless shelter and get a bed, but I decide to give it a shot.

The woman behind the counter wants my “l Read more »

Shelter shuffle

Inside San Francisco's confounding system of housing the homeless
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EDITOR'S NOTE Guardian reporter Amanda Witherell and intern Bryan Cohen spent almost a week staying in various San Francisco homeless shelters. To get an unfiltered look at the conditions, they didn't identify themselves as journalists, so some names in this story have been changed to protect people's privacy. Read more »