RECENT PROJECTS

150 MINUTES OF HELL

The scope and ferocity of California wildfires has changed radically over the past few years: Dozens of people have been killed, records for devastation have been shattered, and suburban neighborhoods — even entire towns — have been leveled.

The Carr Fire, however, brought something even more frightening. What began as a dangerous but rather ordinary inferno in the northern reaches of the state spawned a fire tornado the likes of which California had never seen, a phenomenon that offered a warning about the horrors the warming climate can unleash.

A DISASTER IN PLAIN SIGHT

Fentanyl is devastating San Francisco, and city leaders have failed to control it. The death toll is staggering, and many of the city’s dead have been found within blocks of each other in the Tenderloin and South of Market. 

To better understand the impact of the fentanyl crisis, we spent a year tracking the drug's rise in San Francisco — and following some of those locked in its grip as they try to survive the sprawling epidemic on their own.

BROKEN HOMES

San Francisco spends millions of dollars to shelter its most vulnerable residents in dilapidated hotels. With little oversight or support, the results are disastrous.

ONE DAY, ONE CITY, NO RELIEF

San Francisco spends more than $300 million a year fighting homelessness. Yet it’s not working – at least not enough. Amid a housing shortage, rampant drug addiction and a failing mental health care system, the everyday crisis on our streets has intensified.

In June 2019, 36 Chronicle journalists spread across the city to document a typical 24-hour period in this epidemic, witnessing an unrelenting cycle of striving and suffering, of some people finding their footing and others falling through.

RISING REALITY

No metropolitan region is tied as powerfully to its natural setting as the Bay Area, where a vast body of water ringed by hills links and defines our nine counties and the 7.75 million people who live within them. That makes sea level rise not just a vital environmental concern, but a planning and political story that touches many communities along the shoreline.

CLASS OF 2020

The Chronicle photo staff turns its cameras on seven Bay Area high school seniors navigating a path to graduation and beyond. The team started the project in the fall and continued through winterspring and summer to document the teens as they prepare to step into the future.