Wealthy San Franciscans Want To Shut Down A Homeless Shelter

Wealthy San Franciscans Are Trying To Shut Down A Homeless Shelter

What would you do with $100,000? Pay off your student loans? Put a down payment on a house? Well, some of San Francisco's wealthiest residents are using it to shut down a homeless shelter.

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San Francisco residents are using crowdfunding techniques to reach their $100,000 goal to shut down a local homeless shelter — and what's most frightening is that they've surpassed that goal and are still going strong.

Organizing under the name "Safe Embarcadero for All," the group is raising the money to go towards the legal fees associated with fighting Mayor London Breed's project to fight homelessness in San Francisco. Major Breed was even quoted saying,

"People want us to address the challenges on our streets and help our unsheltered residents into housing, and I am committed to doing the hard work to make that happen. But it's incredibly frustrating and disappointing that as soon as we put forward a solution to build a new shelter, people begin to threaten legal action. I get that people have questions about the site, and we are happy to demonstrate how these sites work and the positive impacts they have had in other neighborhoods, but we all need to be willing to be part of the solution."

Mayor Breed sponsored legislation to fast track the building of this 200-bed homeless shelter which would be near Google's San Francisco office. However, there is a subtle irony that comes with the fact that the shelter would be located near Google. Considering that large corporations and tech companies in the area are blamed for exacerbating the long-standing homelessness issue in the area, it is an ironic turn of events that the homeless shelter would be placed next to one of the largest tech companies in the area. Imagine an oil executive whose office has a view of the lake his company has dumped toxins into.

San Francisco's major tech companies often take the heat for the growing homelessness issue because these companies further skew the income inequality by flooding the market with very high paid workers. According to a 2018 report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, income inequality in San Francisco has reached the point where a single adult with an annual salary of $82,000 or family of four with a $117,400 yearly income would qualify as low-income in the San Francisco area.

Unsympathetic towards these figures, the supporters Safe Embarcadero for All are specifically aiming their crowdfunding campaign at San Francisco's wealthiest residents who reside in South Beach, Rincon Hill, Bayside Village, East Cut, and Mission Bay. They claim that placing the shelter near tourist sites will be bad for the city due to increased crime and drug use. However, since there hasn't been any research on the effects of homelessness on tourism and a city economy which proves this to be true, most of these fears are rooted in stigmas associated with homelessness.

This story, unlike many of the other stories which get written about, actually has a positive plot twist. Another crowdfunding page, "SAFER Embarcadero for All," has raised $176,000 in an attempt to keep the building of the homeless shelter on track. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, the Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson, and even the company GoFundMe itself has contributed to the SAFER Embarcadero for All. This counter effort is raising awareness of the homelessness issue as well as the funds to fight for the homeless in court.

However, with the back and forth between citizens, hedge fund managers, executives, philanthropists, and even the Mayor, has caused a brewing contention within the city and the fate of the homeless shelter still remains unclear. Interestingly, the homelessness issue, though not a new one, has come to a boiling point at what seems to be the peak of the city's identity crisis. San Francisco has long been known as the hub of art, music, and open-mindedness but over the past couple, decades has shifted to be more associated with the major tech companies and corporate businesses which have driven out the art galleries and small businesses.

This shift in identity has not only worsened the homelessness issue but resulted in a complete turning of backs on the homeless This attitude of disregard for the homeless is clearly evident in the fact that the people attempting to shut down the shelter are the very same people who selfishly complain about the homelessness issue because they don't want to see it. In a situation like this, it is easy to see the mayor's frustration when there is no "winning" with this specific group of citizens.

This back and forth raises a larger question of how to take action to ease homelessness. Homelessness is not an issue which can be ignored any longer. A 2018 United Nations report cites that nearly 25% of the population of the world's affluent countries are homeless. In the U.S. alone, homelessness affects over half a million people, with California having by far the largest homeless population compared to any other state. With such a widespread issue, it is time that everyone shows some compassion and work towards effective solutions.

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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I Am Pro-Life, And I Am Tired Of Being Attacked For My Opinion

I am pro-life from a secular and logical standpoint.

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We live in a country based on free speech, so why are pro-lifers verbally and physically attacked for merely their stance on a controversial topic? Why is Instagram censoring pro-life voices? Social media users should be given both sides of the argument, then allowed to make an informed decision, but by showing them only pro-choice content, their opinion will be biased.

Harmless pro-life posts are being shadow-banned from popular hashtags, lowering reach and engagement. There is a problem when non-violent, non-hateful posts showcasing people holding up signs that say, "Voices for the Voiceless", are censored.

Why are pro-choicers allowed to share their opinions on social media and be praised, while pro-lifers lose followers for sharing a pro-life post? It is vital that people have different opinions, and shunning pro-lifers encourages homogeneity of political opinions. Pro-lifers should not lose friends. Pro-lifers should not be attacked. Pro-lifers should not be scared of speaking up for what they believe is right.

I am pro-life, but I respect everyone's opinion. Instead of shunning the opposite side, I try to hear them out and understand where they are coming from.

Instead of dismissing pro-lifers as being old white men trying to control women's bodies, why not hear them out and try to understand the reasoning behind their opinions?

I used to be neutral on the topic of abortion, until a month ago, when I saw something that completely changed my perspective. It was around the time Governor Kemp signed the fetal heartbeat bill in Georgia, and it was a hot topic, so I decided to do some research. I came across a sight called "Priests For Life". "Oh great", I thought, "This site is going to impose its Christian views of abortion on everyone." Once on the site, I clicked on a tab titled, "America Will Not Reject Abortion Until America Sees Abortion."

I clicked on the gallery, and was confronted with the cold hard truth. View the gallery with extreme caution, because the images/videos are VERY graphic.

From this site, I also discovered that planned parenthood harvests and sells the body parts of aborted babies. Keep in mind, Planned Parenthood, providing 1/3 of abortions in America, receives $500 million dollars yearly from taxpayers. Having taxpayers' money going toward reforming foster care would be a better idea in my opinion.

The Declaration of Independence states, "Endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". The difference in opinion on whether the law should protect unborn children is a major factor that divides the pro-life and pro-choice movements.

In my humble opinion, I believe an unborn child should be protected by the law once a heartbeat is detected. We cannot dehumanize unborn children with euphemisms such as "clump of cells" or "potential life". We were all once "a clump of cells", and we still are. Can you name one non-living thing with a heartbeat? There is none.

The level of development of a human does not detract from his/her rights. All lives matter!

The most common pro-choice argument is "My body my choice." Yes, your body your choice, but when it's not your body, it's not your choice. The baby has its own unique set of DNA, its own organs, its own limbs, brain activity and a heartbeat. Just because a woman carries a baby does not give her a right to end his/her life.

Some may say the fetus cannot survive on its own, but a 1 month infant cannot either. A one month old infant depends on the care of a mother or guardian, and if it were to be left without food or water, it would not be able to fend for itself. Someone on life support cannot survive without the incubator. Elderly people with dementia depend on the care of staff in senior centers for survival.

The parasite argument is also a common one. Basic biology can refute this one. An unborn child in the womb is not a parasite, because for it to be a parasite it would have to be a different species than the mother, which would cause an adverse immune response.

"Everyone has the right to choose," is found on almost every pro-choice protest sign, and yes I agree. You have the right to choose to do whatever you want, but the second your actions harm another human's rights, a line must be drawn.

A women's right to choose ends when her baby's right to life begins.

Another common argument that is condescending towards pro-lifers is that they are pro-birth but not pro-life. Tell that to the thousands of pro-lifers adopting multiple children, giving them the best possible life. Tell that to the people outside of planned parenthood with signs that say "I will take your baby." Tell that to the numerous churches helping pregnant women. Tell that to the government who is giving single mothers tax breaks, food stamps and countless other resources.

The foster system may be flawed, but that is not justify ending the life of a child. More than 18,000 American families successfully adopt newborn babies in the United States every year.

Regardless, suffering is inevitable; you cannot end a child's life because he/she will live a difficult life. Instead, legislation should be passed to improve the foster care system and the adoption process. When a child is not aborted there is always hope, a chance, a possibility.

Some "pro-lifers" say, "I am pro-life for my body, but pro-choice for everyone else". This reasoning fails in many ways. You never hear anyone say, "I would never abuse my child, but I would never take away a parent's choice of if they want to abuse their child or not". Being pro-life means advocating for the defenseless, which means every single child, not just your own.

Women can do whatever they want with their lives, as long as their actions do not end the heartbeat of another human being.

All over social media, you see people sharing posts that say the women will be sentenced to 99 years of jail for having an abortion and 30 years for a miscarriage, but this is false. Often celebrities are the ones using their platforms to share these false statements. People should also fact-check the things they see on Instagram before believing them.

One line all pro-choicers say is "No uterus, no opinion". Let's not forget the people who made abortion legal were old, white men. This line is hypocrisy at its finest. If the line was "No prostate, no opinion", World War III would break out.

Most people are outraged by the fact that majority of the politicians who signed the heartbeat bill in Georgia were men, but let us not forget that Georgia residents vote for these representatives knowing the policies they advocate for. Around 40% of Americans are pro-life, and around 40% of women are pro-life, but these percentages are significantly greater in Conservative states, which explains the election of conservative representatives in Georgia and Alabama.

Pro-choicers often paint an image of pro-lifers as men who want to control the bodies of women, but that could not be any further from the truth. Abortion allows men to use women and not be held responsible for the consequences. Banning abortion teaches men responsibility and loyalty.

The purpose of the pro-life movement is not to control a woman's body but rather grant an innocent, unborn child the fundamental right to life.

Regardless of my pro-life stance, I do believe abortion should be allowed in RARE cases; for example, when the mother's health is in danger.

I agree these anti-abortion bills put a lot of stress on the mother, so I am all for increasing the involvement of the father. Whether it be increasing the amount and frequency of child support payments or making the father co-parent, it takes two to create a child, so the father should pull his weight.

Dr. Martin Luther King Sr. once said, "Every aborted baby is like a slave in the womb of his or her mother. The mother decides his or her fate."

This article is not meant to shun anyone who has had an abortion or is pro-choice. I respect your stance 100 percent. The purpose of this article is to address the social media bias towards liberal views of abortion and the stigma of leaning toward the right on abortion. There is no one right answer to this debate. It is not always black and white; that is why the abortion debate has been going on for decades.

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