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Antoinctta W.

The Baldwin House # 234
74 Sixth street
Scln Francisco, Calif., 94103
Pkbh&- I41%5?52-4809-;faw:1415-562-26Hl E-mik -th&miiwing.cmn


Mh m g h IEis is a d t y to t d n t a b building searrity, bu&unhbmtely it was removed
~ ~ T H C t m k m x ~ o n o f t k S e a ~e dc1 a~ ~ ~ t h c s e c n t . a y r i s l c s t o i k e m r e a
tM,itnmkettsepEacblooLlikeajaiL" A n d j ~ t h i s ~ u m & ~ w a s d i s c l l s s i n g t h i s m s t c e r w i t h ~ t h e
*Is current Mmaga, and he said ffLaf the lwer Gate wouldn't happen, THC
thduithkslikeajail" T h ~ r a t i o a a l e i s s o ~ l a m e ~ i t w o u l d b e ~ k i f ~ ~ ~ d M
totrumpbbmicsafietyddiesweke. ~ a a I n n e r G a b ~ t h e p l a o e l o o k l h a j a i l b t r u e o r
nut is irrelevant,the di is that the inner gate is esseatial fw M Is e w . UnfaWmtely, it is tbis sort
other p m b b dkuwd in Chis Wtr. At any rate, r e g d k m ofhow people &el about it, its I dis a hDge
h o t e i n o w ~ , a n d i t R e a d s t o b e r e p ~AndIhmrthatHousingwntstogetridoflhe~
s ledatthemmmd of KarenCarrera,rha Ciiy
gateatthe ~ H o t e l e v e n t h o u g h t h i i w a W
Attorney who was dealing with the swamp that ihe W o n was in the mwrths w h g THC's takewerof
the place back in '97. Completely, the wroag direction to p.

As sbwld be welt known to anyone involved with SRO HotelmaqemaG the g d s c a o~f drugs and
o w d l misbchaviouc w h i i i s part ofSixth Street, will easily come in off the stre& d hito thc Hatel
~ s l r r t r o a g v i g ~ i s r s i s r b d t o k e p i t o uF
r .o r t h i i ~ o n , t h e p r b n a r y ~ o f t h e F ~ ~ i s
b keep ttmse iwohd in thb o f Yotel. To be mare ofwho is cwning and going, the
~ront~eskneedsto~enerall~ b e m a n d i s t a t e , m d ~ i s b @ e ~ r t h - Zn
d i i h to ~our reglar signing visitors in and out,we a h have to deal with a morass of lrhii r e p m t e d
in part by the following list of forms that we have to deal with

Televisioo Sign-Up Sheet

Savice Providers' TracL'mg Sheet
K b Station SigkUp Shset
Hotel ~ o c / I ~ Log o b
~ K e y S i ~ S ~

In addition to c h i therean four c h i ~ i ofsvisitors. are:

Regular Daytime Visitors

OvmQght Visitors
Wended Overnight Visitors
Consecutive Overnight Visitors

Each ofthese needs to b hacked somewhat d i M y , and,&ng to the cunfusion, the Consecutive
Overnights do not need to sign in and out; they can come and go as if they live there. And many do
essentiaIly Iive here, if one has both Extended as well as Consecutive Overnights, people are "visiting" for
twenty days and nights a month. This is likely a safety issue in its o m right, as of course none of these
visitom get the background check that tenants do. So aEE this requiresnxognizing out of an aften endless
flow of in and out Itraffic, who lives here and who doemft, (there'salways a few new tenants, new faces to
Further confUse things) which visitors need to sign in and out and which don't, etc. All the above, combined
with the lack ofa back-up gate make it impossible to effectively keep p p I e h m sneaking past the Front
Desk and into the Hotel.

111. Ertabline: Drug and Prostitution Activity:

g-- *- -_. -- --
The removal ofany practical downside to a tenant's violation ofthe visitor rules has led to a situation where
it is even more impossible to control who comes into h e Hotel, When such violations happen, tenants get
"written up" and at some point put on a 30.Day No-Visit list. However, this has recently had any
effectiveness removed. As you can see in the attached meeting notes, we cannot refuse to sign in someone,
even if we know that they do not intend to visit the person who is signing them in, but are going to the room
o f someone who is officially on rhe 30-Days No-Visit list. In addition, this having to sign people into room
we know they really aren't going to also extends into visitors seeking to stay overnight with a tenant who has
exhausted their monthly allccation of overnights. Along with this, I see would-be visitors come to the Front
Desk, not howkg the room number or last name of who it is they wish to visit. Again, these have been
signing in with willing tenant4 who sometimes clearly do not know them,(sometimes a dollar or two is
exchanged for the favour) once signed in they head upstairs and are free to roam the balls, knockingon
doors, etc. Finally, tenants a n come down and sign their visitors out, without Ehe visitor being present, for
all we know the visitor is still up somewhere in the building. The cumulative effect of all this is that it has
become impossible ta consistently be aware of who is actually in the building md to inswe a reasonable
degree of physical safety.

When Management becomes aware that drug dealing or prostitution is going on in a particular room, it m
take months to Evict that individuai. So that their activities do not add further disruption in the Hotel
during h i s time, it is imperative to disrupt their "business activity"to the maximum extent possible. This
means a flat "'No Visitors" for such parties. Not just for 30 days but for the remainder of the time they m
resident in the Hotel. And if they say this is against the Uniform Visitor policy, all Management needs to do
is to tell the offending tenant that they are welcome to contest your decision at the Rent Board-if, of course
they are willing to defend their drug or prostitution activity. 1 can guarantee you, none wiEl want to confront
you at the Rent Board, and Management's decision will remain in force. Failure to take action like this
while knowingly allowing people ro engage these activities is enablingand Facilitating it, pure and
simple, and we need to stop this.

IF you go down to the Seneca, at virtually any time, from first light to well after midnight, you will see haif
a dozen or so people hanging out on the street in h n t of the Hotel. At times m - p chain have even been
brought in and p p l e are just sitting around. Mast of these people are former residents or visitors of the
Seneca who have been Evicted or 86d. They are also part of the Sixth Street dmg scene, as they were of the
Seneca's back before they were Evicted or 86d. Of course she reason they are continually out in Front i s the
presence of their drug buddies still resident in the Hotel. This arrangement needs to be broken up. the
Seneca needs to get Stay-Away orders on these people, to shut down this drug-link between the street and
various residents of the Seneca.

Another issue that facilifates this activity is that we now accept virtually any type. of ID. The worst of this is
that we now have to accept jail. prison, and jail "hospital;bracelet" IDS.A lot of the jail issues on Sixth
Street are behind dnrg activity; it should be abundantly clear that allowing someone in the building that is
just out ofjail is probably NOT a good idea for the overall safety and well-being of the Hotel, Yet mother
issue is the fact that earlier restrictions on requesting overnight visitors are all now gone. Originally, a
tenant wanting an ovemight wouid have to inform the Front Desk of his fact by Noon of the day in
question, and would have to supply the name of the intended guest. Now, Noon has been moved up to 900
P.M., and, worse, no name need be furnished, the tenant merely needs to "seserve an overnight.'"

LV. Qualihr o f TenmB + Worthlessness of Screening:

The following experience I h d at Seneca pretty much spz&s for itself.
I was working alone at the Sen- and m u n d 6:OO P.M., Tamam, the Manager called. She asked me to
"keep an eye"on a new tenant, someone who had just moved in that day. 1 asked what the issue was, why
this heads up? Tamara said that when they were doing the backgound check the tenant's previous landlord
informed her that the reason she evicted this person was bemuse the individual had set fire to their unit. I
asked Tamara what possessed THC to rent to this prson in light of this infomation, and Tamara said that
since the previous landlord wouldn't write this on paper, she cou1dn1tprove it, and the~coul_dn"tfyyhe,

Renting to someone you know has a recent history of Arson? This is batshit mazy. Since when do you
hare to have a reason COT not renting to a particular individual, let alone have to prove anything. W h y does
Housing consistently adopt the responsibility of justifying every negative decision they have to make? They
are Management and that alone is sufficient justification. This perceived need to self-justify everything is a
substantial overalI hindrance to operations anyway, but when it permits a !mown Arsonist to h o m e a
tenant, well, this is just scary.

V. Self-Defence Issues:
Unfortunately, pm of the reality that any of us working in the SRO Hotels has to deal with is the occasional
aggressive or violent tenant or visitor. Several times in the past year we have had irate individuals jump
over/come behind the Front Desk,one of these incidents happenedwhile I wss alone on duty. However,
there is a "zero-tolemce'+e~dingmaking any physicaI contact with tenantslvisitors. Just how much this
actuaIIy would be applied to someone defending themself has never been made clew, but there is certainly
real doubt; when the tenant jumped over the Front Desk and hit me with the roll of paper; I was told "You're
lucky you didn't have to hit him." If this zero toIemce policy extends ta -1e coming behind the desk or
assaulting staff, we are essentially being denied the right to defend ourselves. Cerkinly, I could see a s@
person injured in such an incident claiming in the inevitable personal injury lawsuit that would ensue that
they felt inhibited from defending themself as they would get disciplined for this by THC, and that this
contributed to the extent of whatever injuries they sustained.

V Loss of Institutional Memoy:

These problems have been worsening and metastasizing for years. Seeing the degree of &over at various
levels of management during this time, it appears that a lot of this problem involves the lack of any real
institutional memory. As new people come to work in the policy-making levels of the housing opetation,
each wants to "do"something "'forthe tenants"; the latest policy-makers are unaware that they are addhg
more on top of what their predecessors have done, and the cumulative effect over the years of this process
goes unrecognized, until the operation devolves into the dysfunctional morass it is today.

vn. What n d s to be done:

Not a31 this can t
x done immediately, some things will require changes to the Uniform Visitor Policy, others
may require changes in tenant [eases,for others a 30-Day Notice should suffice, but at the minimum:

A. Reinstall the Inner Gate in the Seneca over by where the old safe is currently located. The layout needs
to be so that someone coming aboard talks to the Front Desk, signs in or whatever first, THEN is b d in
through the Gate.
B. Quit accepting any ID not specifically mention& in the Uniform Visitor Policy, especiallyjail, prison
and hospibl bracelet IDs, or xeroxes of any IDs.

C. Get rid of the Extended and ConsecutiveOvernights. It is impossible to keep any a c c m track of
visitors when some are essentially living here for twenty days a month, where some need to sign In and out
and others d o n t

D.Plug up all the lobphaies in the visitor situation, as described in Section 111above.
E.Get some Stay-Awq orders and eject the crowd of druggies (former Sen= residents and visitors) f h m
in front of the Hotel.
F, Get +id of the plethom ofsign-in and tracking sheets listed in Section I.

G. End f5e practice of allowing tenants to sign aut their visitors when we have no idea if the person has
actually left or is still hiding out in the Hotel.

H.Make tenants requesting Overnight Visitors do so by 12:W Noon, and supply the intended visitor's
name, the practice of Yeereing" an unidentified Overnight has to be ended.

I. Institute a permanent visitor ban on tenants you have mason to believe are engaging in drug or
prostitution activity.

J. Get rid of the appeal process for visitor and other purely personal issues. Visitor issues must be resolved
quickly and on site. The highest level of appeal should be the site Manager of the relevant building They
are the only ones who will know the people and the situation involved, and who have the ability to make a
reality-based decision. The problem with the appeals is hat those hearing the appeal don't h o w those
involved or the situation, but they DO know that they have fundamenta1philosophical problems with the
simple fact that there are visitor rules and restrictions at dl, and this leads to distorted decision-making.

K. Work with our new Supervisor, Jane Kim,to hit a sort of te-set button on the Uniform Visitor Policy
and end the annual cims where the Pol icy is amended every year at the Rent Board. This is an entirely
r i g .game, and bas allowed the original policy, bad as that was, to be constant1y watered down, further
hampering Management's ability to control the situation while at the same time mandating things such as
the Consecutive Overnights, which are a serious problem.

VIII. Conclusion:
As youmay recall, back in the Fa!! of 1998, d i i n the Seneca was still under private control. the manage-
ment was so atrocious that some basic improvements had to be made before THC could Master-Lease the
place. For this purpose, you had introduced me to Dr. Mahendra Dave so that he could bring me aboard the
Seneca to try to get a handle on the worst of the problems there. This was done; I worked at the Seneca for
some months, during which the key troublemaking tenants were identified and evicted. Other problems
were sufficiently addressed, and swn THC was able to take over the operations of the Hotel. You also set
me up with the owners of the Mission HoteI for a like purpose back In the Spring of 9 7 . All this worked
out well, but if 1 restricted my options in dealing with these basic issues as THC Housing reswicts theirs.
none of this would have k n possible, nor would I have been able to dean up Baldwin House as 1 did back
in '95 and 96. Altogether too many policies and practices actively enable precisely those activities that it is
the primary responsibility of Management to abate, For some reasgn, Housing seems completely infected
with a world-view and values system that is entirely incompatible with the safe and functional operation o f
an SRO Hotel. Certainly. any Management that has serious moral and ethical problems with doing things
like telling someone they can't have a visitor, something hat i s really SRO Management I0 1 level stuff, is
going to be severely compromised in carrying out even routine functions. And since it is THC-wide
policies that are to blame for all this, it is logical to assume that these problems are present in all the hotels.
not just the Seneca. As it is to-day, the Seneca at least is a textbook example of how NOT to run an SRO
Hotel. It also should be noted that the onsize Managers, Dave, and Tamara before him, and the onsite
Managers of the other hotels are not ta blame for any of this, the problem originates from higher up in the

Since all these pmblems are self-imposed, here should, other than some procedural issues, be nothing
tangible blocking any of the fec~mmendationsabove. The real problem is that wing ta discuss this stuff
with Housing is like trying to argue about religion, logic will get you nowhere as the rationale underlying dl
this has long since become doma, from which Housing seems unwillingto remove its focus.

At any rate, I can formally attest: That under the current conditions, it is imwssible to operate B e Seneca
with an^ assurance of aenerrtl safetv. It is pbpically impossible ta control who gets in the building, and
until we rid ourselves of all the extraneous agendas that have begn piggy-backed onto the basic one of
running the Hotel, nothing will change. Finally, it has to be accepted that an SRO is NOT a "regular
apartment", and that attempting to treat it like one will only lead to a bad end.
-_ -- -- PI .-4

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