'Heart Bear' by Fnnch, 2021
18 x 24 Inches
Archival pigment print on 300gsm archival cotton rag fine art paper.
Limited Edition of 232 (#161/232)
Hand-signed and numbered by the artist.
ABOUT THE ART
San Francisco has a homelessness problem. It has many causes — poor housing policy, geographic constraints, failures of our education system, insufficient mental health and addiction support, and more — and so there is no single solution. I am, however, inspired by the work of Downtown Streets Team, which helps people out of homelessness by providing a reasonable path to employment.
That path begins with an opportunity to volunteer on a team that works collaboratively on beautification projects. If you live in San Francisco, you have probably seen people in yellow shirts picking up trash. These are Team Members. They receive a non-cash stipend for this work to help cover their basic needs. Those who show up and work reliably move up to Team Leads, then Managers, supervising others. DST provides everyone case management and employment services to help them find housing and a job.
I like this system because, as I said, it is "reasonable". DST lets someone demonstrate dedication and reliability, huge advantages in employment. And while a job does not instantly end homelessness, job loss and other economic shocks are one of the leading causes of homelessness, so it's a huge step the right direction.