Sometimes it’s easier to understand what we do by reading what others have published.

“It’s about attacking the homeless issue at the root instead of after the fact,” said LPCBD executive director Christian Martin.

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The CIS is engaged in nothing less than the preservation of home, hearth, and community. It does so by introducing compassionate, cooperative, interest-based negotiation into an increasingly toxic and stressful world of renters and building owners.

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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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Every eviction creates utter chaos and trauma for the people being evicted. I know; I was evicted. It was abrupt and unexpected. It took time to get an affordable rental again. Afterward, it got me thinking. Why couldn’t there be a resource all in one place where I could get information, advice, and help to resolve the issues that had led to my eviction, which ended with my stuff piled into garbage bags on the sidewalk?

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The Lower Polk Tenant Landlord Clinic (TLC) is an innovative homelessness prevention program serving the historic Lower Polk district of San Francisco. The clinic’s primary mission is to help vulnerable residents save their homes by avoiding eviction. It does this by providing tenants and landlords services to work out problems collaboratively, without destructive litigation.

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