Beyond Homeless: Finding Hope


SPECIAL GUEST: Mary Theroux, is director of the documentary Beyond Homeless: Finding Hope. Mary is the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Independent Institute.

A new film directed and narrated by CA conservative think-tank Independent Institute’s Chairman and CEO Mary Theroux highlights San Francisco’s homeless issue and compares it to a system that is working in San Antonio, TX called Haven for Hope. Haven for Hope is a public/private initiative on a large campus which provides housing, treatment, life skills and much more (Mary’s keyword for this is transformational services.) Haven for Hope is sort of a one-stop-shop that has proven results, taking people off the streets of downtown San Antonio. Mary would eventually like to start such a campus in the Bay Area, as she thinks this model can work here in Northern California.

From Mary Theroux, the Director:

“San Francisco Mayor London Breed and city officials are celebrating the supposed decline in homelessness shown by this year’s Point-in-Time Count. Yet a closer look reveals the 15% decline figure being celebrated is simply the number of “unhoused residents” of the city, with the numbers in shelters increasing by 18%. So, while San Francisco has directed millions into Project Roomkey and other housing options, recent revelations show that many of those so housed would have been better off left in the streets.

San Francisco needs more shelter options, most importantly residential programs that provide transformational services, but it is clear that the city is not a competent housing provider.

Conditions in housing under San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) equal the worst of those described of early 20th century tenements: mixing unstable populations suffering from untreated severe mental illness and addiction with those pursuing recovery, broken elevators trapping wheelchair-bound residents in their rooms, black mold, cockroaches and rodents, feces in common showers, clogged plumbing, and more. As one resident characterized his building: “This place is really evil.”

Four walls do not a treatment program make, and San Francisco residents and taxpayers need to demand true accountability for the $1.2 billion the city is spending annually on homelessness—not simply reconsideration by city leaders of “a possible ballot measure to provide better oversight of the city homeless department.”

Beyond Homeless: Finding Hope provides a clear outline, rooted in peer-reviewed research, of alternative approaches that result in actual, radical declines in homelessness, and a path for those experiencing homelessness to transform their lives and achieve their full potential.”

BIO: Mary is the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Independent Institute. She serves on the National Advisory Board of The Salvation Army and has been a director of nine corporations and three foundations. Her business success has been chronicled in Business Week, Forbes, Savvy, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle. She has authored dozens of policy articles, is co-author of the policy report and upcoming book Beyond Homeless, and produced the accompanying documentary, “Beyond Homeless: Finding Hope.”

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