Helping renters keep their homes is key to maintaining the fabric of a neighborhood.

An innovative housing clinic in the Lower Polk District of San Francisco designed to prevent homelessness has won the prestigious Downtown Achievement Pinnacle Award from the International Downtown Association (IDA). And partial thanks goes to two UC Hastings alumni who got the project off the ground.

Originally an idea put forth by District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin, the clinic is the result of hard work by Gabriel Bellman ’05, Director of Graduate Advising in the UC Hastings Career Development Office, and Kevin Thomason ’94, who is now director of the clinic. “The clinic’s primary mission is to help vulnerable residents save their homes by avoiding eviction,” Bellman said. The clinic provides tenants and landlords services to avoid litigation, including education, counseling, referral services, mediation and other forms of constructive conflict resolution.

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