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While I accept the latitude that Recorder editorials offer for the expressing of strong opinions, Andrew Zacks’ op-ed on the Frye v. Tenderloin Housing Clinic case ["Nonprofit law firms can't ignore rules," Jan. 6] was simply a vicious and defamatory attack on our organization. Among the most outrageous of these libelous charges are his claims that the clinic is “one of the city’s most frequent evictors,” and that we send tenants “straight into a spiral of homelessness.” As Zacks well knows, and as the Recorder could have confirmed with a single phone call or by checking our Web site (www.thclinic.org), the clinic is the city’s largest provider of housing for formerly homeless single adults. The clinic leases and manages over 1,400 Single Room Occupancy hotel rooms, including those that are widely regarded as among the highest quality low-cost housing in the city. These formerly homeless tenants are offered an array of case management services specifically designed to maintain their housing and prevent them from returning to homelessness. The program is funded through city contracts and monitored closely by the city’s Department of Human Services. Contrary to Zacks’ statements, this program is the city’s primary effort for alleviating homelessness. Unfortunately, some of those leaving the streets and shelters fall into problems and must be evicted either for nonpayment of rent or violent nuisance behavior. The clinic makes every effort to develop a payment plan for tenants behind in rent so that they can maintain their housing. Some newly leased hotels have included tenants who have not paid rent for months, and will not work with management to develop a payment plan. The circumstances of these evictions are quite different from those of the countless elderly and long-term low-income tenants that Zacks and his colleagues evict under the state Ellis Act. The clinic’s attorneys regularly represent these tenants who, if it were not for the clinic’s efforts, would be forced to leave the city as a result of Zacks’ evictions. Increasing the supply of supportive nonprofit affordable housing is widely viewed as the best strategy for ending widespread homelessness. The fact that a small minority of those entering such housing will end up being evicted does not change this fact. The Pacific Legal Foundation joined with 70 other legal organizations in siding with the clinic against Zacks in the Frye case. This is a telling indication of his credibility within the profession. Randy Shaw Executive Director, Tenderloin Housing Clinic San Francisco

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