Opinion
A Different Kind of Gender War: Period Poverty During Conflict
Visible • May 28, 2024
In this op-ed, Alma Yates, MSW, the Education Program Manager at the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, and Lourdes Johanna Avelar Portillo, PhD, an alumni postdoctoral fellow with the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, call to recognize menstrual health as a human right. Many countries and the United States have tried implementing initiatives that address menstrual health inequities, but "period poverty" continues, especially in armed conflicts." Dr. Portillo and Ms. Yates write, "Everyone who menstruates –  in conflict zones and refugee camps, in shelters and unhoused – needs and deserves access to necessary information, sanitary products, and facilities to manage their periods safely and with dignity." This op-ed was published as part of the Public Voices Fellowship in partnership with The OpEd Project and funding from the California Health Care Foundation.
The Government Must do More for Older Americans Facing Homelessness
The Fulcrum • May 22, 2024
In this op-ed, Tom Murphy, the Senior Director of Communications for the National Alliance to End Homelessness, and Yolanda Stevens, program and policy analyst for the National Alliance to End Homelessness, call Congress to do more for older Americans facing homelessness. Older adults are the fastest-growing age demographic of people experiencing homelessness. They highlight the need to reconcile the stereotypes against older adults experiencing homelessness. "Leaders must also commit the resources to ensure that homeless systems can meet the needs of an aging population." they wrote. This op-ed was published as part of the Public Voices Fellowship in partnership with The OpEd Project and funding from the California Health Care Foundation.
Why Criminalizing Homelessness Won’t Solve It, and What Policymakers Should Do Instead
Local News Matters • May 15, 2024
In this op-ed, Claudine Sipili, one of the Lived Expertise Advisory Board co-chairs, highlights the need for compassion and innovation to the growing homelessness crisis. She outlines the devastating impact of criminalizing homelessness and the need to focus on evidence-based solutions that prioritize the well-being and dignity of people experiencing homelessness. "Addressing the homelessness crisis requires a balanced and comprehensive approach that combines short-term relief with long-term solutions. While shelters and temporary assistance can help meet immediate needs, they must be coupled with efforts to expand affordable housing, decriminalize homelessness, and address the structural inequalities that perpetuate poverty." Ms. Sipili writes. This op-ed was published as part of the Public Voices Fellowship in partnership with The OpEd Project and funding from the California Health Care Foundation.
Opinion: This Tough-on-Crime Proposal won’t Solve California Retail Theft, but it Would Crowd our Prisons
Los Angeles Times • May 7, 2024
In this op-ed, Meghan D. Morris, PhD, MPH, an associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco, explains that the proposed Homeless, Drug Addiction and Theft Reduction Act will not solve California's retail theft, but instead crowd Californian's prisons. She outlines how Proposition 47, which passed in 2014 to revise penalties for nonviolent lower-level drug offenses, reduced the state's prison population and reinvested funds in counties. Dr. Morris writes, "We risk losing another generation to the consequences of incarceration that we’ve finally begun to tackle." This op-ed was published as part of the Public Voices Fellowship in partnership with The OpEd Project and funding from the California Health Care Foundation.
What If States Paid People to Stop Using Drugs and Smoking?
MedPage Today • May 4, 2024
In this op-ed, Maya Vijayaraghavan, MD, MAS, director of the UCSF Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, calls for contingency management to reduce tobacco and substance use. She emphasizes that the US is grappling with two interwoven crises of addiction, tobacco use, and opioid and stimulant-related overdoses. Contingency management is underutilized because of legal, logistical, and philosophical reasons. "Through integration, these technical assistance centers could increase opportunities to utilize such effective treatment in community settings." Dr. Vijayaraghavan writes. This op-ed was published as part of the Public Voices Fellowship in partnership with The OpEd Project and funding from the California Health Care Foundation.
The Rising Tide: Bear Witness to Families Swept into Homelessness
The Fulcrum • April 29, 2024
In this op-ed, Claudine Sipili, one of the Lived Expertise Advisory Board co-chairs, highlights the intensifying homelessness crisis impact on families in the US. She writes about her own experiences, emphasizing the need to put real-life stories and perspectives front and center. "As a nation, there is an ethical imperative to ensure every family has a safe, stable home. This is about restoring fundamental human rights that allow communities to thrive, not handouts or government overreach." Ms. Sipili writes. This op-ed was published as part of the Public Voices Fellowship in partnership with The OpEd Project and funding from the California Health Care Foundation.
Physicians Like Me Must Oppose Medical Discrimination Against Methadone Patients
Truthout • April 28, 2024
In this op-ed, Leslie W. Suen, MD, MAS, an assistant professor of medicine in the UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital, calls upon physicians to oppose medical discrimination against methadone patients. She highlights how methadone patients are routinely denied the care they need, exacerbating health disparities. "It’s far past time for every stakeholder to recognize their responsibilities and provide equal access to all patients, regardless of their medical condition or treatment." Dr. Suen writes. This op-ed was published as part of the Public Voices Fellowship in partnership with The OpEd Project and funding from the California Health Care Foundation.
The Streets: America’s Hidden Retirement Home
US News & World Report • April 18, 2024
In this op-ed, Margot Kushel, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative at UCSF, highlights that those who are often living in homeless encampments are frail older adults. She outlines the health impact of homelessness on aging and why so many older adults are experiencing homelessness. "Now is the time to create an America that doesn’t abandon its elders. In doing so, we will not only improve the world for those experiencing homelessness, but create a future that is better for all." Dr. Kushel writes. This op-ed was published as part of the Public Voices Fellowship in partnership with The OpEd Project and funding from the California Health Care Foundation.
Adding Middle Eastern or North African on the U.S. Census Provides Critical Benefits | Opinion
Newsweek • April 17, 2024
In this op-ed, Ryan Assaf, PhD, MPH, a postdoctoral fellow with the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, highlights the benefits of adding Middle Eastern or North African to the US Census. He emphasized the diverse culture in the MENA communities and the importance of separating Middle Eastern or North African from White. "When Middle Eastern or North African is included as White, we lose any insight to the impact MENA communities experience." Dr. Assaf writes. This op-ed was published as part of the Public Voices Fellowship in partnership with The OpEd Project and funding from the California Health Care Foundation.
Affordable Housing is the Solution to Homelessness, Not Criminalization
The Hill • April 12, 2024
In this op-ed, Margot Kushel, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative at UCSF, and Gregg Colburn, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Washington, call for providing subsidized housing with services to people experiencing homelessness. They outline the lack of access to housing, the increase in rent, and the ongoing challenge to provide permanent housing. "The answers to homelessness are clear. It is critical that policymakers in local, state and federal governments use their power to address the acute affordable housing shortage that plagues communities in every state in the nation." Dr. Kushel and Dr. Colburn write. This op-ed was published as part of the Public Voices Fellowship in partnership with The OpEd Project and funding from the California Health Care Foundation.