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New coalition promises new way to tackle homelessness in San Francisco

By Tim Johns

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    SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — On Wednesday, a new coalition called the Urban Vision Alliance officially launched in San Francisco.

The group brings together 32 partners from both the public and private sectors.

Their goal is simple, to address the city’s pervasive homelessness problem once and for all.

“People feel like it’s hopeless. People feel that homelessness is intractable. Homelessness is unsolvable,” said Urban Vision Alliance CEO, Gabriel Baldinucci.

The group says that its unique public-private funding model differentiates it from previous attempts to stop homelessness.

“We’ve seen alliances that produce policy. We’ve seen alliances that raise money and write checks. But we actually haven’t seen alliances that unlock the private sector to play a leadership role,” Baldinucci said.

Allowing the Urban Vision Alliance to provide housing and other wrap-around services for more people at lower costs.

One provider, the Salvation Army, says as a part of the partnership they’re working to add 1,500 beds.

“Providing housing, providing good paying jobs, providing support, all in a sober living environment is something that we think the city and county of San Francisco needs,” said Theo Ellington.

This is welcome news to leaders in the city government, many of whom say it’s their constituents’ top worry.

“It is an economic challenge. It is a humanitarian crisis. It is something we have to get a handle on,” said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman.

And with the problem seemingly getting worse year after year, the coalition says they’re determined to make a meaningful change.

“At the end of the day, we want to put folks on a path so that they no longer need assistance, they’re no longer dependent. And we can really have an opportunity to restore hope and dignity in so many folks that have lost their way,” Ellington said.

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