Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Task Force - January 15, 2015 - Minutes
SRO TASK FORCE
Meeting Minutes January 15, 2015
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
1650 Mission Street, Room 431
Members Present: Rosemary Bosque (DBI); Amelia Rudburg (Non-profit SRO Operator/Manager); Angela Chu (Chinatown SRO Collaborative); Dan Jordan (Tenant Representative); Nicolette Alexander (Tenant Representative); Pratibha Tekkey (Central City SRO Collaborative); Sam Patel (SRO Operator); Scott Walton (HSA); Wolfgang Stuwe (DPH Housing & Urban Health); Yvonne Mere (City Attorney’s Office)
Excused Absences: Bruce Burge (SRO Operator); Raul Fernandez-Berriozabal (SRO Families United Collaborative)
Minutes: Nicole Rossini (DBI-HIS)
1. Call to Order:
Meeting was called to order at 9:04 a.m.
2. Roll Call/Determination of Quorum:
There was a quorum.
3. Approval of Meeting Minutes for July 17, 2014 and December 18, 2014
There was a motion to approve the July 17, 2014 minutes with corrections by Scott Walton and seconded by Wolfgang Stuwe. The July minutes were approved unanimously with corrections.
There was a motion to approve the December 18, 2014 minutes with corrections by Nicolette Alexander and seconded by Dan Jordan. The December minutes were approved unanimously with corrections.
Rosemary Bosque noted that a link would be provided on the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) website for the December presentation handouts along with the meeting minutes.
4. Administrative Announcements:
Rosemary Bosque stated that she had no announcements and opened the floor to the members.
Dr. Johnson Ojo announced that the Department of Public Health (DPH) had hired a psychiatric social worker to be work with people at risk of losing housing. The psychiatric social worker will act as the liaison to Community Behavioral Health Services (CBHS), Department of Public Health (DPH), and Adult Protective Services (APS).
Yvonne Mere asked if the social worker is available for inspections.
Dr. Johnson Ojo stated the psychiatric social worker will be following up on Notices of Violation (NOV) and related inspection. The goal is to assist clients accept services to preserve tenancy in their current housing.
Rosemary Bosque introduced Matt Czajkowski, who will be providing with administrative support for the Task Force for this meeting.
5. Safety in SROs: Next Steps
Scott Walton suggested that Task Force should develop a directory of resources that would provide information that the Task Force has gathered that could be helpful to SRO occupants and operators He suggested that the directory could be produced in multiple languages, and be useful for 3-1-1 and 2-1-1.
Sam Patel believed that the directory would be a helpful as a tool for hotel occupants and operators.
Rosemary Bosque stated that the directory could cover multiple disciplines, include contact information and short description of the services provided.
Nicolette Alexander stated that 3-1-1 is a great service, but often times the operators do not explain where customer requests are being transferred. The directory would be another way to approach the problem of finding services.
Dan Jordan stated that he believed that the directory would be helpful, in that 3-1-1 does not always answer the occupants’ needs.
Rosemary Bosque stated that the directory will allow the Task Force to disseminate the information obtained from previous meeting and guest speakers, as well as, additional information that the Task Force gathers. She asked that Task Force members email suggestions to her.
Wolfgang Stuwe stated that he believed the directory would be helpful in SROs that provide support services.
Dr. Johnson Ojo stated that the Department of Public Health (DPH) receives numerous calls requesting services related to SROs. DPH has a list of a wide-variety information given to the callers.
Rosemary Bosque suggested listing services by departments or by topic.
Scott Walton suggested that the idea is not a book, but to touch on the services tenants may be eligible for. Develop a resource directory useful to SRO operators and occupants.
Angela Chu stated that such a directory would need to be kept up to date. The Task Force would need to look into having the directory translated. There are organizations in Chinatown that should be included as a provider of information to operators and tenants.
Yvonne Mere stated she believed the directory would be useful provided the information is regularly updated.
Pratibha Tekkey stated the Task Force should review existing example, such as, information provided by DPH. The directory should also include resources and services to direct SRO tenants to other housing opportunities, in that, the collaborative gets this type of request frequently.
Amelia Rudberg stated that the directory would be useful especially in buildings without support services.
Rosemary Bosque stated that she would develop a draft for the next meeting.
Dan Jordan stated, regarding SRO safety, that he was concerned about unauthorized individuals gaining access to the SROs because of inoperative security gates. This issue is particularly problematic at night when the staff is not always at the front desk.
Rosemary Bosque stated the Task Force has discussed the issue of security gates before, suggested that individuals contact the DBI with these complaints since the San Francisco Housing Code includes security. She stated that she would follow up with Dan Jordan after the meeting.
6. Report from SRO Collaboratives
Chinatown SRO Collaborative: Angela Chu stated that the San Francisco Housing Authority opened the Public Housing waitlist for applications, with are only a few days to apply. The collaborative has been helping over two hundred and fifty (250) SRO tenants with registration.
Central City SRO Collaborative: Pratibha Tekkey noted that tenants are reporting an increase in lockouts as a result of interim absences due to hospitalization or other issues. The tenants return to find they are unable to enter their units. In this situation, it has been difficult to assist the tenants due to the need to sort out the facts of the situation. Also, displaced families are coming in after evictions, but shelters are full. The collaborative is difficulty obtaining solutions.
Nicolette Alexander stated that a roster of private/non-profit and public SROs with current vacancies would be helpful. She further stated that St. Anthony’s has a list they provide weekly.
Scott Walton stated that some organizations focus on updating SRO vacancies. The Human Services Agency is involved in a project locating available units, but it is a difficult and time consuming process.
Rosemary Bosque stated that this information is only useful if it is up-to-date.
Pratibha Tekkey stated that families are not coming from SRO hotels. They are instead coming from supportive housing where the tenant has moved in the family. This is not allowed. The tenant has been given notice that the family could not live there. The Tenderloin does not have a high population of families in SROs.
Angela Chu stated that the population of families in Chinatown SROs is increasing.
Dr. Johnson Ojo requested a list of SROs with families so that DPH release this to available services.
Scott Walton noted Raul Fernandez-Berriozabal had stated in the December SRO Task Force meeting that the survey conducted by the SRO Families United Collaborative was finished, and that the data would become available after compiling was completed.
7. Prioritization of Future Meetings
Rosemary Bosque stated that there would be a representative from the SF-Marin Food Bank at the next meeting. She further suggested having representatives from the Rent Board and the Police Department (SFPD) to update the Task Force regarding Visitor Policy. In addition to, she was researching services available at Parks and Recreation regarding possible wellness programs.
Prabitha Tekkey asked who would be invited to speak.
Rosemary Bosque stated that Delene Wolf would send whomever she decided from the Rent Board. She asked for Yvonne Mere’s assistance in requesting a representative from the SFPD.
Pratibha Tekkey suggested that the representative from SFPD should be from a precinct with many of SRO Hotels.
Scott Walton stated that he believed the previous police representative came from the Mission. He suggested that future representatives from the Chinatown/Tenderloin precincts would be helpful.
Nicolette Alexander stated that SFPD approach related to the Visitor Policy change from precinct to precinct, so all related precincts should be represented.
Yvonne Mere stated that there are ten (10) San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) districts and five (5) districts contain SROs. She stated she would assist the Task Force chair with invitations to the districts with SROs.
Dr. Johnson Ojo stated that there currently high rates of Shigella in the SROs. Fifty percent (50%) of cases reported are residents of SROs. The residents are being infected by poor sanitation. Sani-wipes may be distributed. DPH is working with SRO operators to help with sanitizing, hand washing, and distributing pamphlets to the tenants. There have been almost eighty (80) cases per month up from approximately seven (7) to eight (8) a month.
General Public Comment
The meeting adjourned at 10:08 a.m.