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Catholic Charities of San Francisco,...

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Advocates & Faith Leaders to City: We Need Housing for Pregnant Homeless Women


A broad coalition of San Francisco homelessness advocates and faith leaders this week sent letters to Mayor Mark Farrell and the city’s mayoral candidates asking them to commit to an administrative policy change that will allow pregnant homeless women to qualify for family housing in the critical first trimester of their pregnancy.

San Francisco, CA, June 01, 2018 --(PR.com)-- A broad coalition of San Francisco homelessness advocates and faith leaders this week sent letters to Mayor Mark Farrell and the city’s mayoral candidates asking them to commit to an administrative policy change that will allow pregnant homeless women to qualify for family housing in the critical first trimester of their pregnancy.

Homeless pregnant women in San Francisco must currently wait until their third trimester to qualify for family shelter, unless they are deemed medically at risk, under San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (DPSH) policy. Few qualify, according to Coalition on Homelessness Executive Director, Jennifer Friedenbach.

In the first 4 1/2 months of this year, 229 homeless pregnant women registered with the Homeless Prenatal Program in San Francisco, according to Executive Director and Founder, Martha Ryan. The Gabriel Project, a Roman Catholic outreach to pregnant women, almost solely serves homeless women in San Francisco.

Each of those unborn children is at risk, and their mothers are vulnerable to further health complications, if they don’t get care in the first trimester.

All homeless pregnant mothers are “high risk” for miscarriage, preterm birth, or other health issues while their children are at risk for developmental delays or other physical problems if they don’t get good care early in pregnancy, according the 2017 report, “Housing, Pregnancy & Preterm Birth in San Francisco: A community-academic partnership for research, policy and practice,” conducted under the auspices of San Francisco State University and with the UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative, Benioff Community Innovators, and other partners.

Below are the names of the 38 faith leaders and advocates who signed the letters sent this week to Mayor Mark Farrell, Supervisors London Breed and Jane Kim, former state Sen. Mark Leno, and Angela Alioto, formally requesting the city change how it classifies pregnant women so they can qualify for family shelter in their first trimester. The 38 signatories are:

Abu Qadir Al-Amin
Imam
SF Muslim Community Center

Marsha Attie
Cantor
Congregation Emanu-El

Rabbi Ryan Bauer
Congregation Emanu-El

Rev. Greg Bonfiglio, SJ
Pastor
St. Ignatius Church

The Rev. Dr. Ellen Clark-King
Executive Pastor and Canon for Social Justice
Grace Cathedral

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone
Archdiocese of San Francisco

Kelley Cutler
Local Homeless Coordinating Board

Deacon Rory Desmond
Archdiocese of San Francisco
St. Stephen Parish

Jane Ferguson Flout, D.Min.
Director of Strategic and Community Partnerships
Catholic Charities

Rev. Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J.
President
University of San Francisco

Kathy Folan
Director of Family and Youth Ministries
St. Dominic’s Catholic Church

Jennifer Friedenbach
Executive Director
SF Coalition on Homelessness

His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco
Deacon Michael Ghiorso
Director
Permanent Diaconate Ministry and Life
Archdiocese of San Francisco

The Rev. Mary Carter Greene
Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministry
Grace Cathedral

Diane Gutierrez
Gabriel Project Angel
St. Ignatius Church

Deacon Eddy Gutierrez
St. Ignatius Church

Ellen Hammerle
Division Director, Homelessness and Housing Services
Catholic Charities

Janet Healy
Coordinator
SF Gabriel Project

The Rev. Mark W. Holmerud
Bishop
Sierra Pacific Synod,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Father Michael Hurley, OP
Pastor
St. Dominic’s Catholic Church

Bishop Emeritus William Justice
Archdiocese of San Francisco

Rev. Ronald Kobata
Resident Minister
Buddhist Church of San Francisco

R Arik Luck
Ben and A. Jess Shenson Cantor
Congregation Emanu-El

Dolores Meehan
Co-Chair
Walk for Life West Coast
Lorena Melgarejo
Executive Director
Faith in Action Bay Area

Jilma Meneses
Chief Executive Officer
Catholic Charities of San Francisco, Marin
and San Mateo Counties

Rabbi Sydney Mintz
Congregation Emanu-El

Eva Muntean
Co-Chair
Walk for Life West Coast

Nancy Nielsen, Deputy Director
Lutheran Social Services

Michael G. Pappas, M.Div.
Executive Director
San Francisco Interfaith Council

Mario Paz
Executive Director
Good Samaritan Family Resource Center

Martha Ryan
Founder and Executive Director
Homeless Prenatal Program

Deacon Christoph Sandoval
Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption

Valerie Schmalz
Director, Office of Human Life and Dignity
Archdiocese of San Francisco

Rabbi Jonathan Singer
Senior Rabbi
Congregation Emanu-El

Rabbi Beth Singer
Richard and Rhoda Goldman Senior Rabbi
Congregation Emanu-El

Joe Wilson
Executive Director
Hospitality House

Additional supporters include:
Christina Alvarez
Executive Director
The Gubbio Project

Helen La Mar
Executive Director
Providence Foundation

Tomiquia Moss
Executive Director
Hamilton Families

Gwendolyn Westbrooke
United Council of Human Services

Causa Justa Just Cause
St. Anthony’s Foundation

For more information, please contact:

· Martha Ryan, Founder & Executive Director of Homeless Prenatal Program, martharyan@homelessprenatal.org, 415.546.6756.
· Deacon Rory Desmond, rory.desmond@christophermf.org
· Jennifer Friedenbach, Executive Director of Coalition on Homelessness, jfriedenbach@cohsf.org, 415.346.3740.
· Liza Cardinal Hand, Catholic Charities Communications & Marketing Manager, lhand@CatholicCharitiesSF.org, 415-972-1223;
· Jilma Meneses, Chief Executive Officer Catholic Charities, jmeneses@catholiccharitiessf.org, 415-972-1287;
· Ellen Hammerle, Division Director of Homelessness & Housing at Catholic Charities, ehammerle@CatholicCharitiesSF.org, 415.972.1344.
Contact Information
Catholic Charities
Liza Cardinal Hand
415-972-1223
Contact
www.CatholicCharitiesSF.org
Martha Ryan, Founder & Executive Director of Homeless Prenatal Program, martharyan@homelessprenatal.org, 415.546.6756; Deacon Rory Desmond, rory.desmond@christophermf.org; Jennifer Friedenbach, Executive Director of Coalition on Homelessness, jfriedenbach

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