Marshman: Housing crisis ‘On the Table’ — but what good is talking about it?

By Barbara Marshman

The Bay Area’s housing crisis was “On the Table” last Wednesday. To be precise, it was on 790 tables, with 7,000 people gathered around them.

People with ideas. People hoping to learn. People who face heartbreaking daily struggles to survive here and were just grateful for the chance to talk about it — sometimes in tears.

And sometimes bringing me to tears.

“On the Table” was a project of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the Knight Foundation. The idea was to recruit individuals and organizations interested in housing to host a discussion group over breakfast, lunch, coffee or dinner: Nothing like food to make a gathering come alive.

Community Foundation CEO Emmett Carson says when they started planning this, 2,000 participants seemed like a reasonable target. Good thing they waited to order food.

And while their focus was Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, word spread. Groups in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley also convened discussions.

And the purpose of all this talking? – See more.

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