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Suzanne Rivecca (San Francisco) collaborating with Homeless Youth Alliance (San Francisco) and Tides Center, fiscal sponsor

Award: $40,000 Literary Arts grant awarded in 2014

To be completed: 2016

Fiction writer Suzanne Rivecca is collaborating with Homeless Youth Alliance (HYA) to create a work of fiction about homeless youth in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury neighborhood.

For more than 40 years, the Haight has been a mecca for marginalized kids, who struggle against hard drug use, sexual violence, police harassment, and starvation. HYA offers the only comprehensive youth-targeted health and human services remaining in the neighborhood. Since it lost its lease in early 2014, it has operated as a mobile organization, offering youth support and resources on the streets, in the parks, and in temporary donated offices.

Suzanne Rivecca will immerse herself in HYA’s direct services, accompanying its outreach team twice each week to Golden Gate Park, as they engage and build relationships with youth. She also will accompany counselors and youth on interviews for transitional and permanent housing or benefits, court hearings, and appointments, ultimately transforming her immersion in HYA’s work into a work of fiction.

Suzanne Rivecca is a long-term San Francisco resident with six years’ experience working with social services organizations that serve the homeless. Her short story collection, Death is Not an Option, was published in 2010 by W.W. Norton.