Multiple Challenges Confront New Leaders at SF Homelessness Department
April 21, 2021

San Francisco Public Press, by Nuala Bishari

The selection of Shireen McSpadden to lead the city’s homelessness department is being greeted optimistically by officials who have dealt extensively with San Francisco’s chronic inability to find shelter for all its residents.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin and Joe Wilson, a prominent advocate for homeless people, said they were encouraged by the choice of McSpadden, who is set to take over May 1 — becoming the fourth person to hold the role in 14 months.

The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing was founded in 2016 by former Mayor Ed Lee, who consolidated programs that had been scattered throughout different departments and brought them all under one roof with the promise of ending homelessness for 8,000 San Franciscans in four years.

“The very agency charged with housing people in our city has allowed a situation where hundreds of units have remained vacant for months on end while people continue to languish on the streets,” Sara Shortt, director of public policy and community organizing at the Community Housing Partnership

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