"Unstable Housing is as dangerous for pregnancy as smoking", SF Public Hearing on Homelessness and Pregnancy

PTBi Collaborators

Matt Pantel speaking to the SF Human Rights Commission

Listen to the full audio from the meeting, here

On November 14th, PTBi was honored to participate and help conceptualize a public hearing hosted by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) of San Francisco on unsheltered pregnant women and families to understand strategies to address the growing visibility and unique challenges unsheltered women face.  

Several members from PTBi were asked to join a group of speakers from the Homeless Prenatal Program and City agencies. Among the presenters were:

  • Matt Pantell, a PTBi researcher, provided a brief overview of preterm birth and shared results from a paper he recently published describing the latest analysis of the California birth data, which demonstrated an association between housing insecurity during pregnancy and adverse birth outcomes. 
  • Brianne Taylor, the Program Manager for PTBi’s SOLARS study and a previous a member of PTBi’s first cohort of Benioff Community Innovators (BCI), shared information about the BCI’s Community-Based Participatory Research project on the impact of homelessness, pregnancy and preterm birth. 
  • Zea Malawa, Director of PTBi’s San Francisco Collective Impact program, Expecting Justice (EJ), discussed EJ's agenda and work the coalition is spearheading to address economic insecurity among pregnant Black/African American and Pacific Islander birthing people through income supplementation. 
  • Shanell Williams, PTBi’s Community Engagement Director, shared work from a coalition of partners from UCSF, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and various Community-Based Organizations, which addressed housing insecurity among pregnant persons and families, while also summarizing key short, mid-term and longer-term opportunities for intervention.
  • Hope Williams, a member of PTBi’s Community Advisory Board and Strategic Advisory Board, shared her personal experience being unstably housed during her pregnancy.

This hearing is just one of several steps to support policy action on this front. HRC hopes to have a joint meeting in March with the Health Commission, among other steps to increase the engagement of the Board of Supervisors and Mayors Office.

Read our Policy Brief on Housing Insecurity and Pregnancy

Housing Insecurity and Health of Pregnant People: A Research Brief for Policymakers