The Week in Community Development—July 12

News from—and affecting—the community development world. This week: San Francisco's Next-Level Homelessness Crisis | Florida's Poll Tax | More...

homeless people
Photo credit: Franco Folini via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

We’re not sure what the level after ‘crisis’ is, but it seems San Francisco’s homeless situation qualifies that it be raised. A San Francisco Chronicle article reports that the city’s preliminary homeless count—showing a 17 percent increase—was not great, but was better than some neighboring counties. It turns out that the final count, had it been carried out in a way similar to previous years, would have shown a more accurate increase—of 30 percent. A newly adopted count does not include certain groups, like people who were in jail or the hospital at the time of the count.

Be prepared: ICE raids are expected to begin this Sunday in major cities across the country. We thought it’d be a good idea to share this story again, especially if you own or manage affordable housing in major cities. It’ll show you what you should do if ICE shows up at your doorstep looking for someone, and what other organizations are doing. Do you have protocols in place for your staff?

Last week, Shelter Shorts highlighted that the once-prohibited (and currently-repugnant) practice of ‘convict leasing’ was being utilized by some states that have been hit hard by the administration’s immigration crackdown. To further carry us back through time to the pre-Civil Rights era, Florida has brought back the poll tax. The legislature’s bill, which Governor DeSantis signed into law late last month, requires that people pay all court fees and fines that they incurred with a conviction, or lose their right to vote. The ACLU is fighting back and arguing the law’s illegality, especially because it goes against Amendment 4, a ballot initiative that the people of Florida passed, restoring voting rights to over one million Floridians.

What we’re reading: this Next City article about how more foundations are going beyond grantmaking to advance racial equity, and truly putting their money where their mouth is

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