Renovation of Sergeant John MaCaulay Park

Current park structures during Halloween event hosted by La Voz
Display of expected renovations.

Through the Let’sPlaySF! Initiative, a partnership between Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Parks Alliance, that aims at inspiring creativity and play for better health throughout the City, Sergeant John Macaulay Park is set for renovation.

13 parks have been designated to undergo renovation, and being in the Tenderloin, makes Sgt. Macaulay Park a critical project for the community. Broadly speaking, the Tenderloin is known for its diversity, working class residents, and high population of youth. Noticeably, urban youth are inhibited by the limited supply of open space, so the renovation of the park should spark an increase in the amount of time youth spent exercising outdoors.

The park has served as a hotspot for parents and their children, but it also serves as a central location for events hosted by La Voz Latina and CCSRO Collaborative. In 2012 La Voz began activating the park through weekly cleaning events. Since 2014 Cultural events like Dia De Los Muertos, Halloween and Nuestra Cultura have taken place on a yearly basis.

Through community surveys, locals have displayed a collective concern over safety around and in the park, especially during the daker hours of the day. Fortunately, improvements including park regulation through stewardship and light post installations around the Tenderloin prior to the parks construction project have improved the sense of safety around the neighborhood. Small changes like these deem necessary to improve the sense of safety, health and happiness in the Tenderloin Community.







New Streetlights Brighten Tenderloin

After 7 years of resident and community organizing, 97 new streetlights were finally installed to illuminate the dark streets of the Tenderloin.

Funded by the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) Van Ness project as part of the community benefits agreement that started in 2011, the Tenderloin Streetlights Project faced several setbacks over the years. Set to complete in 2016, the project failed to secure a bid from contractors. The project contract was finally awarded to Bay Area Lightworks in 2017. However, the installation was delayed again due to an issue between San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and PG&E where the latter charged $107,000 for connection fees.

After the dispute was settled, the project faced a series of supply problem from the parts manufacturer. Tenderloin stakeholders were notified that installation will be delayed to early 2019. Knowing how dark the streets will be especially during the winter season, stakeholders from Central City SRO Collaborative, Tenderloin Community Benefit District, UNITE HERE! Local 2, Lower Hyde Neighbors, and other residents organized to meet with the SFPUC Commission and demand accountability for the oversight.

After a long back-and-forth with the SFPUC project managers, the historic lights were finally installed shortly before the holidays. Residents and businesses were ecstatic because of the improved safety the lights will bring to the neighborhood. Alex, owner of Empire Market at the corner of Eddy and Leavenworth mentioned, “I’ve been here [almost] 30 years, from 1994. It has been dark. In my experience, when it is bright, there are no people doing drug activities. It makes a big difference.”

The lights were installed along Eddy, Larkin, Hyde, Leavenworth, in addition to the historic lights already existing on Taylor and Mason.


SRO Tenants Secure Big Victory Over USPS Mail Delivery

In October of 2017, the USPS stopped their usual delivery service to two of our residential hotels: the Jefferson and the Elk hotels. Instead of sorting letters and parcels to individual mailboxes, mail couriers drop off a stack of mail to the front desk for our staff to sort.

This change of service posed major security and privacy issues. Residents who are mostly comprised of seniors and people with disabilities started losing their Social Security benefits, doctor’s appointment reminders, and other important mail.

Residents, tenant organizers, and community organizers after securing the restoration of services by USPS to the Elk and Jefferson Hotels

After months of communicating with the San Francisco postmaster Abraham Cooper and weekly visits to the post office without any implemented results, WE’VE HAD ENOUGH!

March 26, the residents of Jefferson and Elk organized an action at the local post office located at Pine and Larkin. With the support of Central City SRO Collaborative community organizers, we demanded USPS to restore proper services and stop discriminating against tenants in low-income housing!

The USPS staff complied and the centralized delivery service we have been demanding since last year was finally restored!






Central City SRO Tenant Leaders Celebrate Black History Month

A day of educating, organizing, and reflection, tenant leaders and staff at Central City SRO Collaborative celebrated their first annual Black History month.

Leaders watched a clip of James Baldwin debating William Buckley Jr. at Cambridge University in 1965
A day of reflection, learning, and organizing for our staff and tenant leaders
Seneca Hotel Tenant Organizer Shirley Jackson sharing her experiences