Welcome to ECS of San Francisco

Ending homelessness begins by giving someone a home.

At Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco we help over 7,000 homeless and low-income people every year. We provide housing, jobs, shelter, and essential services to help someone get off the street and stay off the street.

For over 30 years, we have worked to enable those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless regain their stability and dignity, and have seen some great success.

Dear Friends,

This morning's San Francisco Chronicle carried an article addressing the challenges of operating housing for formerly homeless people in 100-year-old single room occupancy hotels. The article accurately reported that The Crosby Hotel, one of Episcopal Community Services' six master-leased supportive housing locations, was cited with more than 100 code violations by the City in the past 23 months, about three-quarters of them filed in 2015. We aggressively abated and received clearances on all but 12, and half of the remaining problems have been addressed but not yet signed off by the City. The article also noted the remarkable turnaround of the Henry Hotel since ECS assumed operations there in 2015, and an accompanying story highlighted the excellence of Bishop Swing Community House, which we developed and opened in 2009.

The Crosby is a 124-unit single room occupancy hotel, built in 1912, which houses 150 formerly homeless single adults and couples. The property is attractive and has benefited by extensive work during the past year, including reroofing, new windows throughout, and interior painting of the entire facility. At the same time, our response to individual maintenance requests has been too slow or inadequate in many cases, occasioned by unusually high turnover in the property manager position there -- a disservice to The Crosby community which, as the article notes, also suffered the loss of a beloved resident in 2015. Our delay in discovering her body understandably eroded tenants' trust and contributed to staff turnover.

In early October, at ECS's request, our property management partner moved a seasoned staff member from one of our other sites to The Crosby. With new on-site leadership, the response to tenant requests has improved markedly. We hold ourselves to a standard that articulates that "design, construction, appearance, physical integrity, and maintenance of our program sites provide an environment that is welcoming, attractive, sustainable, functional, safe... and conducive to participants' needs." While we meet that standard without difficulty at our newer sites, it is a greater challenge in our older master-leased buildings. We look for continuing improvement in property operations and tenant satisfaction, as we also continue to attend to our tenants' personal needs with robust case management services.

Our experience shows that, with proper attention, aging hotels can be safe, clean and dignified settings that contribute substantially to alleviating homelessness in San Francisco. They are needed.

Ken Reggio
Executive Director

ECS is a major provider of shelter, housing, and support services for homeless and formerly homeless people in San Francisco, Please contact ECS's Director of Programs Kathy Treggiari or Executive Director Ken Reggio to learn more about our work or to visit any of our program locations.

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