Mayor London Breed Announces New Efforts to Protect Public Safety and Combat Anti-Asian Violence in San Francisco
City to expand the Street Violence Intervention Program in partnership with API non-profit organizations with new community safety teams in several neighborhoods and extend a program to accompany seniors to medical and personal appointments
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced new efforts to advance public safety in San Francisco and provide targeted support to members of San Francisco’s Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community. The first is an expanded community safety teams program that will provide outreach, support, and engagement in key neighborhood corridors throughout the City. The second is the extension of a program to accompany seniors to medical and personal appointments.
“San Francisco, like many areas around California and the country, has seen unacceptable violence targeting our Asian and Pacific Islander residents,” said Mayor Breed. “In an effort to create a meaningful and sustainable response to protect our residents we’re providing a proactive, culturally competent, community-based response. Our goal with these two programs it to build trust among our diverse communities and increase public safety for everyone in San Francisco.”
Community Safety Teams Program
Mayor Breed is announcing a new initiative to create community safety teams that will serve as a proactive presence providing outreach, support, and engagement in key neighborhood corridors throughout the City. This effort will be accomplished through an expansion of the Street Violence Intervention Program (SVIP) and partnership with community organizations rooted in San Francisco’s API communities.
The collaboration between SVIP and API community-based organizations will ensure these teams are culturally-competent and can collectively advance the work of building racial solidarity while also increasing public safety. The community safety teams will begin working in the following neighborhood corridors:
- Leland Avenue in Visitacion Valley
- Grant and Stockton Streets in Chinatown
- Clement Street in the Richmond
- San Bruno Avenue in the Portola
- Larkin, Eddy, Turk, Ellis, Golden Gate Streets in the Tenderloin
The City is working to create the teams as quickly as possible and expects that the teams will be in the neighborhood corridors no later than the beginning of summer. Following the initial phase of this program, the City may expand the program to additional corridors and neighborhoods including those in the Sunset, Outer Mission, and OMI communities.
Senior Escort Program
The Mayor is also investing in continuing a senior escort program, which provides individuals to accompany seniors to medical and personal appointments, such as going to the bank, grocery store, or doctor’s office. This program provides seniors with the added security of having a companion when walking around or taking transit. This program is currently focused in Chinatown, and the City will work with senior service centers and providers in other communities to assess interest in expanding to other areas of the City. Seniors interested in this program should call the Department of Disability and Aging Services (DAS) Resource Hub at (415) 355-6700.
“San Francisco is stepping up to combat anti-Asian violence and provide our most vulnerable with real resources during this difficult time,” said Assemblymember David Chiu. “I applaud Mayor Breed for taking this action to protect our API communities and keep all San Franciscans safe.”
“I thank Mayor Breed for her leadership in expanding the Street Violence Intervention Program (SVIP) and partnering with the Coalition of Community Safety and Justice (CCSJ) to continue our work to serve the myriad needs of our community,” said Sarah Ching-Ting Wan, Executive Director, Community Youth Center of San Francisco. “As we respond to the immediate challenges faced by APIs in the City, in lieu of increased vandalism, burglaries, violence, and acts of hate, this community-centered approach will build on multi-cultural solidarity between different groups enabling the outreach team to work with the community to provide resources and aid for people in need. The expansion of SVIP is an encouraging step towards bringing our diverse communities together to prevent violence in the city, especially towards vulnerable and marginalized groups.”
“To provide immediate relief and reassurance to our seniors, Self-Help for the Elderly will bring back the Senior Escorts Services so our staff can accompany our seniors to the banks, doctors’ appointments, grocery shopping and other important errands,” said Anni Chung, President and CEO, Self-Help for the Elderly. “Many thanks to Mayor Breed for supporting this emergency measure for our seniors during these very challenging times.”
Other Recent Community Safety Efforts
Today’s announcement builds upon two recent initiatives that Mayor Breed and other City officials announced to prevent repeat offenses and gun violence in San Francisco. In February, Mayor Breed and other City partners announced an agreement among the justice partners to implement coordinated efforts to prevent individuals from committing repeat offenses in San Francisco. San Francisco is also moving forward with an initiative aimed at preventing gun violence as part of an effort with the San Francisco Police Department and SVIP.
San Francisco has also received a $1.5 million California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant over the next three years to help reduce shootings, break the cycle of recidivism, and to build trust between the community and the Police Department.
That program will start by identifying individuals who are most at risk of either engaging in gun violence or falling victim to gun violence and will connect them with SVIP to receive services and support. SVIP is on the ground, in the community, working with at-risk individuals by providing mentorship, guidance, and a path forward that does not involve violence. SVIP engages not only with the individual, but with their family and their support network to get them out of situations that can lead to violence and instead set them on a path to success. SVIP is currently in the process of identifying approximately 30 individuals who are the most at risk of either engaging in or becoming a victim of gun violence.