In 2010 the federal government set forth an ambitious goal to end chronic homelessness by 2015. Numbers have declined, but according to a 2014 HUD report, more than 570,000 people are still without homes in America—and 20 percent of those are in California. Urban libraries fill the void, sheltering the homeless by day.
Cities have responded to homelessness with new codes of public conduct and trespassing ordinances enforced on persons deemed to be disorderly, unkempt, or of foul smell. The San Francisco Public Library has directly addressed the situation—it was the first in the country to add a full-time social worker to its staff. Leah Esguerra reaches out to homeless patrons in the main branch of the library. “Libraries are the last bastion of democracy,” she says.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
A view into the lives of those many people ignore
California’s Homeless Find a Quiet Place