The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) responds to an average of 179 homelessness-related incidents every day. These incidents lead to displacements, citations, and a direct disconnection from services and support, which leaves our unhoused neighbors feeling unwanted and disposable.
CART, the Compassionate Alternative Response Team, will end San Francisco’s current police response to homelessness and create a future of care, not criminalization. CART proposes a transformative response to homelessness that reduces criminalization and unjust harassment from police responders. The program is funded, but in danger of being placed under the Department of Emergency Management, where it is guaranteed to be another failed institutional response.
Placing CART in Behavioral Health, under the Department of Public Health, would align the program with the continuum of care that recognizes the underlying systemic issues within our community. The CART model will institute trauma-informed care by using a community-based approach. Through culturally relevant practices, peers with lived experience will provide access to services that ensure our unhoused community members receive the support they deserve.
We need advocates like you to raise your voices and demand that Mayor London Breed immediately implement CART as community care, health, and response.
Tyler Kyser (she/they)
Coalition on Homelessness
280 Turk Street San Francisco, CA 94102