Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

SF mayor’s gay homeless czar Bevan Dufty quits

Bevan Dufty (Courtesy SF mayor's office)

Bevan Dufty (Courtesy SF mayor’s office)

The gay man who has served as San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s homeless czar since 2012 unexpectedly quit today.

In a surprise announcement this afternoon (Monday, October 12), Lee said he had appointed Sam Dodge as the interim director of the office known as Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement or HOPE for short. Dodge had been serving as deputy director under former HOPE Director Bevan Dufty, who formerly had served as supervisor from District 8.

“You have to give residents hope, and I look forward to working with Sam in his new capacity to champion our city’s efforts to combat homelessness,” stated Lee.

Dufty had ran against Lee for mayor in 2011 and was one of the only candidates not to attack Lee during the race. His hiring to oversee Lee’s homeless policies was hardly a surprise, as Lee had told the Bay Area Reporter during the mayoral contest that he would welcome Dufty being a part of his administration if he won election to a full four-year term.

Dufty told the B.A.R. that he decided to step down to spend more time with his family. He informed Lee of his decision last Wednesday and his last day on the job will be Friday, November 6.

“My partner and my child had been on me since I turned 60 to retire. This is a great time in the sense the Navigation Center is doing so well as a new model to respond to street homelessness” said Dufty, referring to the new center recently created to move entire encampments of homeless people off the streets and into supportive housing.

For three decades Dufty has worked at City Hall in various capacities. He began as chief-of-staff to lesbian former Supervisor Susan Leal and then went to work in the administration of former Mayor Willie Brown before winning his supervisor seat.

Lee praised Dufty for his years of service to the city in the announcement about Dodge’s hiring.

“I thank Bevan for his commitment to making a real difference in people’s lives and tackling the challenges of homelessness in our city, and for implementing this new Navigation Center model of care and compassion for residents on our streets,” stated Lee. “I also thank Bevan for his more than 30 years of public service and for mentoring and preparing Sam for this new challenge.”

In addition to helping Dufty launch the Navigation Center, Dodge was also involved in the planning and implementation of the Mayor’s Streets to Homes initiative, whereby the city is master leasing 500 units of supportive housing for formerly homeless people moving out of the Navigation Center in 2015.

According to the mayor’s office, the first of those units are already welcoming residents, and the full 500 SRO units will be available by the end of the calendar year.

Dodge worked at the Tenderloin Housing Clinic for more than six years, beginning in June 2000 as a tenant organizer and was then promoted to program manager in December 2001 when the Central City SRO Collaborative was founded. Dodge was also a labor organizer for SEIU and the California Nurses’ Association.

He holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Columbia University in New York City.

— Matthew S. Bajko, October 12, 2015 @ 2:01 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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