Mary Rees

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6:13pm

Wed March 20, 2013
Economy/Labor/Biz

City tries new model for resettling homeless

One of the tents pitched under I-280, in October 2012.
Mary Rees

Last fall, I went  to Fifth and King Streets in  San Francisco, just under the on-ramp to I-280. A group of tents inhabited the space then. The ground around the tents was swept, and bicycles stood in neat lines. Residents, such as Jessica Prater, knew one another and felt safe there.

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4:34pm

Wed February 20, 2013
Homelessness

Seniors on the streets of San Francisco

Photo by Jim Forest on Flikr

If you really want to know how our local economy is doing, look no further than the nearest homeless shelter. Former Supervisor Bevan Dufty oversees homelessness in the city, and he says these days, San Francisco’s roughly 1,150 beds are nearly full each night. Advocates say there’s been a sharp increase in homeless seniors, especially women. It was rare to see this population on the streets a few decades ago, but now service providers say it seems to be the norm.

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5:43pm

Tue December 11, 2012
Health, Science, Environment

Finding alternatives for homeless encampments

One of several tents under the I-280 on-ramp at 5th and King, in San Francisco.
Mary Rees

As California sloshes through its rainy season, homeless people around the Bay Area are looking for places to stay dry. In San Francisco, the spaces under freeways are popular, and groups of homeless people sometimes band together for their mutual protection. Still, as you might expect, living on the streets isn’t safe or easy.

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6:05pm

Mon December 10, 2012
Transportation

Get to school on a walking school bus

A walking school bus heads to an elementary school in Missouri.
Under CC license from Flickr user MoBikeFed

There's  a place in the urban East Bay where you might have to look twice to spot the school bus. That’s because it’s a special kind of bus: kids get off to climb trees and pick strawberries along the way; the drivers don’t need a special license; and -- most importantly -- it runs on sneaker feet, not wheels.

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5:57pm

Tue September 11, 2012
Health, Science, Environment

By hook or by crook, urban farmers plant their seeds

It’s a Saturday morning at a formerly vacant lot in Richmond. The sun warms the ground. Rows of fruit trees bend in the breeze. A raised bed made of cinder blocks harbors vegetable plants. Andromeda Brooks carefully plucks weeds from her raspberry patch, offering the young plants encouragement. This is Happy Lot Farm and Garden. 

Less than a year ago, this 14,000-square-foot lot, zoned for low-income housing, lay empty, except for the litter.

“Nothing has really been done on the lot for well over ten years,” says Brooks.

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