Homelessness in Public Space: Welfare and Criminal Justice Policy Innovations in San Francisco

/ Webinar

Hosted By:
Sol Price Center for Social Innovation at USC

In the past five years, the City of San Francisco experienced a rapid development of policy innovation in both welfare provision and criminal justice treatments of unsheltered homelessness. From expansions of navigation center shelters and sanctioned encampments in gentrifying neighborhoods; a new Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing; a new collaboration between police, sanitation, and public health through its Healthy Streets Operation Center; a new anticamping ban, and reforms to warrants and citations for the unhoused. Drawing on two years of ethnographic research residing on the streets and the city’s shelters with those experiencing homelessness and observations alongside police officers and social workers, this talk by Chris Herring offers a ground-level perspective of these policies from varying perspectives. It also draws connections between how changes in welfare assistance affected criminalization and vice versa.