As some of you may know, the Lower Polk Tenant Landlord Clinic (TLC) was founded in 2017, with the generous support of the Office of Supervisor Aaron Peskin. It works to keep people from becoming homeless. It does this by helping keep tenants sited in their current place of abode. Part of a larger coalition that includes UC Hastings College of the Law, and the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Conflict Intervention Service, the TLC coalition has helped hundreds of Lower Polk and Tenderloin families avoid homelessness since it was founded..

The TLC Director is a UC Hastings alumni, and was recently invited to participate in the Hastings Hack Homelessness Hackathon. Sponsored by Hasting’s own LexLab, the purpose of the Hackathon was to explore ways to use technology to help end homelessness. The Lower Polk Community Benefit District is proud that the TLC Director, and the TLC itself were mentioned in this recent article about the Hackathon.

Kevin Thomason, a UC Hastings graduate and director of the Lower Polk Tenant Landlord Clinic, returned to his alma mater to participate in the hackathon, introducing an idea he described as “a little crazy,” but not so crazy that it couldn’t be done. In fact, he pointed out, a similar initiative is already underway in Denver.

“Basically you use crypto to create a labor-bidding agora for people experiencing homelessness and people experiencing poverty,” Thomason says. He explained that you combine a second idea in that “the money in that parallel economy is also shared with them, similar to how Miami—and soon NYC—use crypto to generate real cash.”

Say a business owner needs window cleaning. He or she can use the app to solicit bids. The bidder is compensated in tokens or cash upon completing the task.

Guiding Thomason’s idea development is a philosophical belief that poverty and wealth inequality are at the root of all social ills. “You fix those,” he said, “all the other ones start to fade.”

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For more information about the TLC, please email