HomeRise folks at City Hall

Public Policy & Community Organizing

To break cycles of homelessness and poverty in our community, residents and supporters are using their voices to influence local and state policies, like increasing affordable housing. Residents are sharing their experience of life on the streets to shape San Francisco’s policies.

Raising Voices

Our Public Policy & Community Organizing (PPCO) program empowers our residents, who are stabilizing their lives after years of homelessness, to become civic leaders. We believe people who have experienced homelessness are uniquely equipped to develop solutions to prevent homelessness. Residents regularly tell stories at City Hall and at the State Capitol, passionately rally neighbors and fellow community members to gain support on critical issues, and speak out to break down barriers and misconceptions regarding homelessness.

Addressing Homelessness from All Angles

Our residents work alongside organizing staff to unite San Francisco on major issues impacting our community like housing, mental health, access to education and more. We advocate all year-long to fight for social justice and the rights and well-being of our residents and community members.

We can’t do this work alone. Changing the system takes a village. Join our movement and together we can build a brighter, more equitable future for San Francisco.

Our Impact

Lasting change happens when we work together. Alongside our residents and supporters, we have made great strides for our city and community. Some of our accomplishments include:

  • December 2021: #30RightNow – Legislation was passed requiring a 30% of income maximum rent standard for all supportive housing; funding was provided in FY21-23 budget to reduce these rents.
  • November 2021: Shelter In Place Hotel Acquisitions – Three hotels, the Mission Inn, Eula Hotel, and the Panoramic, used to house homeless folks from the impact of Covid-19, were approved by the BoS Budget and Finance Committee to be converted into permanent supportive housing.
  • July 2021: CART (Compassionate Alternative Response Team) – Community organizations and advocates won $3M in last year’s City budget. CART proposes to eliminate use of police officers as first responders to homelessness. Learn more here: CARTSF
  • March 2020: Mental Health SF
  • June 2019: SF became the first county in the nation to stop generating revenue from incarcerated people and their families
  • Nov. 2018: Passage of Prop C. to fund more supportive housing and mental health services
  • May 2018: Elimination of criminal court fees for low income San Franciscans, wiped out $32 million dollars in debt, the first city in the nation to do this
  • Aug. 2017: City College free to all San Franciscans

To learn more about the PPCO team’s impact or to find out how you can join in support of their work, please reach out to:

Community Organizing: Orlon’s Story

After experiencing homelessness, Orlon moved into CHP housing, found CORE, and shaped his life to fight for the rights of marginalized communities. In 2014 he graduated from Urban Habitat’s Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute. Today he sits on our Board of Directors. Orlon sat down with us one sunny afternoon to explain CORE in his own words.

Getting my housing was like an out of this world experience. Going where no woman has gone before. Not knowing how this second chance was going to turn my life around, I took this leap of faith and changed the trajectory of my life forever.

Juthaporn’s Story