SF Weekly reports on Downtown Streets Team, recognized as a "best practice" by statewide agencies
We are proud to partner with Downtown Streets Team as part of our Tenderloin Clean Team. A while back, we shared Stephon's story as just one of the many examples of how DST changes lives while keeping our neighborhoods clean. If you're interested in supporting their work in the neighborhood, contact us. An update on Stephon: he's been promoted by Block by Block and is working to launch a new team in Japantown. We're sad that he's not in the neighborhood, but quite proud that he continues to develop his leadership skills while being rewarded for his hard, earned work.
From the article by SF Weekly staff writer Ida Mojadad:
Every weekday morning, a group of people in yellow shirts gathers on Market to clean up streets in dire need of attention. While many people blame the city’s homeless population for the littered sidewalks, the people in the yellow shirts live on the streets themselves — and they’re working their way back from the margins.
In the past two years, these crews in bright-colored shirts have cleaned up more than 580,000 pounds of debris and 29,000 needles from places like Union Square, the Mission, and Civic Center, as part of the Downtown Streets Team (DST). Workers show up each day for four hours, receive a gift card they can use on basic needs, then work with a case manager to connect with housing or permanent jobs.
“There are no paths directly from the streets into workforce development,” says Brandon Davis, DST San Francisco project director. “Our goal isn’t just to provide social services — it’s to legitimately change the face of homelessness and dispel the myths around them.”
After years of supporting itself through grants, the organization received a big endorsement that may affect its operations in the long term. Last week, the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties’ Joint Homelessness Task Force recognized the Downtown Streets Team as a “best practice” for its effective support of people experiencing homelessness . . . read more at SF Weekly.