Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2017

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good

First Advisor

Erin Grinshteyn, PhD

Second Advisor

Karin Cotterman, Director, Engage San Francisco Initiative


In a city where housing is scarce and prices continue to rise, the lower income residents of the Western Addition are in panic. Historically, the Western Addition/Fillmore is ground zero for Urban Renewal. This community is still bouncing back from the negative effects of the out migration of Black residents, Japanese internment, and rapid gentrification. For twenty years, this part of the city was known as Harlem of the West due to its world-renowned Jazz and Blues composers, and is informally known as “Tha ‘Mo”. San Francisco has set the tone nationally for public, mixed income, and private housing that is known today. Literature reviews have highlighted the links between poor health outcomes, onsite services, and housing models in major cities like San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Boston. This paper will explore my VISTA position with the Engage San Francisco initiative, housed out of the University of San Francisco’s McCarthy Center, and the Success Center San Francisco in their career services office, located in the heart of the Western Addition-Fillmore District. I will pose questions, highlight barriers to access and providing services, offer some solutions through community identified needs, but most importantly increase thoughts and conversation on what community service providers, nurses, public health workers, and city officials can do to expand the use of existing services. As services providers and future health practitioners, how can we ensure that target populations have a means of accessing services while in crisis such as finding stable, affordable homes? How can we prevent an oversaturation of services as a solution to community problems? How do we work with communities where Maslow's hierarchy of needs are severely compromised? How can we create consistent housing models for public and mixed income tenants on a national scale, that will support onsite service providers and encourage positive health outcomes in residents?