Homelessness

Mary Rees

Last fall we reported on the impromptu community that grew up on a spit of land in the East Bay known as the Albany Bulb. Homeless people put up tents and wooden sheds all over a grassy former landfill with gorgeous views of the Bay.

Bulb campers said that even though they didn’t have conventional houses, they did have a group of people that took care of one another, shared meals, and hauled water together.

Steve Rhodes/SF Public Press

On any given night in the U.S. there are more than 600,000 people who are homeless.  In San Francisco, the government estimates there are about 6,400 people living on the street or in shelters.  The numbers have increased only slightly over the past few years, but with the lack of housing in the city, many are wondering what the county is doing to help. Bevan Dufty,  works with the mayor's office as  the Director of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement  or HOPE.

Photo by Julia Scott

A medley of people wait for the San Francisco Public Library to open in the morning. Students on a deadline. People who really need a library book. Retired folks. And people checking email.

As the doors open, patrons stream into the atrium at the main branch near the Civic Center in downtown San Francisco. Some head to their favorite reading nook; others to computers to start surfing the Web.

A Homeless Person Tells His Story

Feb 4, 2014

While I was at a stop light, as is increasingly the case, there was a sad-looking person with a cardboard sign asking for money. I rolled down my window and as I gave him a buck, I asked him why he was wearing a Cal Berkeley hat.  On the Feb. 9, 2014 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, he'll tell his story.

Photo by Mary Rees.


On the west side of the city of Albany, there’s a peninsula jutting into San Francisco Bay. It’s beautiful there, right on the water, with hiking trails and beaches looking directly out toward the Golden Gate Bridge. On that piece of land, there’s a broad hilly mound covered in brush, grass, trees, scattered concrete slabs, and rebar that’s come to be known as the Albany Bulb.

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