Sunday, September 29, 2019

Dr. Joshua Bamberger On Homelessness: "Autonomy is Critical for Health"

The major points from last night's talk by Dr. Joshua Bamberger, keynote for the Festival of Belonging:

1. We need massive Federal investment in low income housing. It hasn't been done right since the 1970s. Until then, we can only wait and deal with the 10% of the problem as we can.

2. Autonomy is critical for health. Enforcement actions are unhealthy for humans without homes.

3.  The main cause of the homeless crisis is the economic gap between rich and poor.

4.  Health concern about encampments is unfounded. They are a concern for those who live in camps but they are no danger for those who are housed. (Needles, Hep C, Typhoid? He debunked them all.)

5. Shelters are a very partial answer, similar to hospital emergency rooms.

6. There's no evidence that mandatory treatment improves outcomes for people with addiction or mental health problems.

7.  There’s an emergency in seniors who have had jobs and homes all their lives, who are now becoming homeless.

8. We need to invest in programs that keep homeless people alive and safe until we can get the Federal investment to build the houses we need.

Dr. Bamberger was recently appointed as Associate Director of UCSF's $30 million Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative.  As a primary care physician and Master of Public Health, Dr. Bamberger has been working with San Francisco's homeless population at the Downtown Clinic and SF Health Department for nearly 30 years.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    I’m Kymberlee King and you may have heard of my story. I pleaded for help with an eviction case that would hurt my family and I. I’ll be brief in my refresher. Almost 2 years ago, I lost my daughter followed by a divorce, loss of jobs, bankruptcy and hospital stays that would diagnose me with severe recurring depression with psychosis and PTSD with anxiety. I would attempt suicide 3 times within one year. Because of this I had fell behind in rent but had caught myself back up. 

    The problem came when the homeowners were not please with how payments were being accepted and decided they wanted me out. Well Georgia tenant landlord laws favor the landlords. So despite my late answer to an eviction filed a day late, every plea I had and raised was ignored. You see, I had actually paid my rent to the agent as usual. However, unbeknownst to me he was nolonger the agent.  The realtor was. So after the first attempt at an eviction was thrown  out (the realtor didn’t show), the homeowner informed me of the change.  I received my money back from the previous owner but the homeowners refused to give me new deposit information. And lucky for them I filed my answer a day late. It was a rough month for me as it was my daughter’s death anniversary so I had my other dates wrong. 

    After several appeals, it was ruled in their favor despite my proof of payments, lack of notice in change of agents and records of communication. On 7/15/19, I would be evicted from my home and once again in the hospital. The attending officers can attest to the panic attack followed by the overdose. My kids and I would become separated and homeless while I battle my condition. I know struggle getting my kids to school and work and not crying throughout the day. I look at places I can no longer get because of a bankruptcy and an eviction. And cry more. 

    I asked for help in so many places with so many people to hear “there’s nothing we can do”, “cal these people “ or my favorite “I’ll call you back”. We know how that ends. When does the help kick in? When I’m successful at a suicide attempt? When I can no longer find my kids? When I join the others under the bridges? When?

    Now I’m seeking more than a home. I’m seeking justice for the many more like me facing or have faced wrongful evictions based on these laws. Yes I more-so need a home ASAP but how many are screaming for help like me to only be ignored?  How many more times will we think inside the box and wash our hands or turn away from pressing situations? When do we think creatively and outside the box?  When do we do more than we think we can or want? When do we say it starts with me?

    I’m looked as being wrong because I filed paperwork a day late. My truth was silenced because of one day. And my future is tarnished because of one day.

    Help me get a home with a $5 gift. I’ve lost so much, I can’t lose my kids to. I’m humbly asking you to ask yourself, “what can I do?” “What if it were my family?” I’m asking for your empathy not your sympathy. 

    I’ve also included my a link below to register and share for free hairstyles.

    Thank you for all you do and your understanding. 

    Kymberlee King