George Koster



Homeless In San Francisco Part One

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This episode was first broadcast on KCSF in 2015. This episode is the first part of our Homeless in San Francisco series.

Homeless in San Francisco - Part One of Three Parts

This episode was first broadcast on KCSF in 2015. In this episode, we feature the voices of, Chris Shaeffer, Program Director of City College of San Francisco’s Homeless At-Risk Transitional Students Program also known as HARTS. We also hear the voice of Angel Maya a City College of San Francisco student who is using the services of HARTS as well as Sammie Rayner the Co-Founder of Handup.

Here is some context of the Homelessness situation in San Francisco in the 2015-2016 time period when this episode was first broadcast:

• In 2004 then-Mayor Gavin Newsom launched the Ten Year Plan to Abolish Chronic Homelessness in San Francisco. Ten years and over 1.5 Billion Dollars later 19,500 homeless people (about the size of the Castro neighborhood) have been moved off the street

• But, in the 2014 survey of Homeless citizens, the number has remained almost the same over the past 2 years at around 6,686 people to a high estimate of 8,000 or almost 1% of the population of the City of San Francisco

• Homeless Citizens have gone up 27% in some neighborhoods because of the pressure from gentrification. The population has become more visible in encampments, and open drug markets in neighborhood containment zones such as Civic Center and South of Market neighborhoods

• The homeless population has become sicker older and includes more families

• Students - children that are homeless in Calif doubled since 2010 and there are over 20 Thousand homeless students in the SF Bay Area

• According to Ben Kauffman with the Office of Pupil Services at SF Unified School District around 4% of students are homeless which is estimated at over 2,000 students in the City of San Francisco

In this episode, we feature the voices of Chris Shaeffer and Sammie Rayner.

Chris Shaeffer


Chris Shaeffer, Program Director of HARTS City College of San Francisco’s Homeless At-Risk Transitional Students Program. He founded the Homeless At-Risk Transitional Students program in 1992 because he recognized that homelessness was not only a city-wide and national problem – it was a challenge for students in higher education. For City College’s homeless students, he has been the heart of the HARTS program

Sammie Rayner


Sammie Rayner is a Co-Founder and leads Partnerships for, a crowdfunding platform for people in need in the U.S. HandUp members can use their donations on basic needs like food, clothing and medical care through partnering human service organizations.

Before joining HandUp, Sammie founded and served as Executive Director for Lumana, a microfinance organization in Ghana which was acquired in 2013 through a partnership with one of West Africa’s largest microfinance institutes. She has been honored by at the Seattle World’s Fair as a "New Hero" for her work as a social entrepreneur, completed a World Affairs Council Fellowship, and spoken at several major conferences and events such as Stanford’s Social Media on Purpose. Sammie is passionate about market-based solutions to poverty and using technology as a tool to create human connections that strengthen communities.

HARTS (Homeless At-Risk Transitional Students Program)

HARTS is City College of San Francisco’s Homeless At-Risk Transitional Students Program.

The mission of the Homeless At-Risk Transitional Students (HARTS) Program is to serve students who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing housing insecurity by providing student-centered academic support services designed to remove barriers to student success, decrease the achievement gap and assist students in reaching their full potential for academic success by realizing their educational goals. We provide student-centered academic support services which:

  • Increase access for students

  • Facilitate inclusivity in the college community

  • Maximize student equity

  • Close opportunity gaps

  • Eligibility and HARTS Program application

Find out more about this organization:
Maraea Natua Master
Program Coordinator
Direct: (415) 452-5234
Main Office: (415) 452-5355

Application for HARTS Program

Phelan Campus - 50 Phelan Ave., Room C205, 94112


Our Purpose
HandUp was created to use technology and the power of human relationships to fight poverty and is now part of South Oakland Shelter’s mission to build communities that end homelessness.

What We Do
HandUp’s charitable giving platform provides nonprofits and donors in the community with a new, simple, and direct way to make an impact on poverty.

About SOS
The HandUp platform is operated by South Oakland Shelter (SOS), a Metro Detroit-based homeless services agency. Since 1984, SOS has worked to end homelessness for individuals and families in crisis. SOS implements housing first programming, works with a community of 70+ faith congregations to provide year-round emergency shelter, operates a variety of rental assistance programs with supportive services, and builds supportive and affordable housing. SOS has successfully used the HandUp platform to empower those it serves in addressing financial barriers to housing and long-term stability, and now operates HandUp to enable agencies in Metro Detroit and beyond to do the same for their clients.

How It Started
HandUp was originally founded in August 2013 in San Francisco by Rose Broome, Sammie Rayner, and Zac Witte. The idea started as a simple side project focused on doing something positive about visible street homelessness in SF. With the support and encouragement of Tumml, Project Homeless Connect, and so many others, this idea became a full-fledged organization attracting funding from some of Silicon Valley’s most experienced investors and foundations. After working in a close partnership with SOS for three years, HandUp was acquired by SOS on November 1st, 2017.

Help Someone Today:

Donation / Fundraising

To make a donation to the HARTS Program to support homeless students, please send funds to City College of San Francisco’s Controller Office Attention: Clement Cheung that you want to direct your donation to HARTS program through the mail to 33 Gough Street San Francisco, Ca 94103. Or email Clement Cheung at or call her if you have any questions at 415-241-2368

The HandUp National Fund supports homeless people and neighbors in need fundraising on HandUp across the United States. When you contribute to this fund, 100% of your donation goes toward meeting basic needs like food, clothing, and housing.



To find out more about This Non-profit check out our videos:

I know I have the drive and I know that one day there would be Dr. Angel Maya and that’s why I’m pushing I’m studying and I know it may be a long journey, but I will get there.

This has been an Alien Boy Production.


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