Many neighbors are asking: “what progress is the City making toward ending homelessness?” Thanks to Prop C, San Francisco has $1.3 billion in homelessness funding for 2021 – 2023. Yet, street conditions – with drug sales, drug use, and people sleeping and dying on our streets – do not seem any better. Here’s a report from the Mayor which provides more facts and figures than we’ve seen during the past two-plus years.
Homelessness has long been an issue for the Bay Area and one that was only magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an issue as complex as it is harmful. Some individuals find themselves unhoused because their home life was not safe, some struggle with addiction and mental health, while others are simply desperate for work. Because the people struggling with homelessness are so varied, so must be our response.
And while we have a lot of work to do, let me assure you: we are making a difference.
Right now over 10,000 people receive shelter and housing every day, and this past year in the midst of the pandemic we moved 5,700 unhoused individuals into safety by activating 25 hotels and other shelter-in-place settings. And more help is on the way.
Our current budget being put into action right now includes a $1 billion expansion of our Homelessness Recovery Plan over the next two years that will create an additional 10,000 placements and prevent over 7,000 households from entering homelessness.
This is an unprecedented financial commitment. From expanded housing solutions to additional City personnel to improved service delivery, our team now has the resources to end the crisis and be a national model for homelessness response.
But with resources, we need to have accountability. That is why we have recently launched a new website that will provide updates on how we are reaching our goals. And as we add housing and resources, we also have to be clear that if people have a place to go, we need to get them there. It’s not humane to leave people on the streets when we have options for them that are safer and can serve as a path to long-term stability.
We will continue being aggressive and innovative, providing services and pathways to permanent housing while also maintaining the safety and vibrancy of our community. That’s my commitment.
How Hotels Saved Lives
To manage shelter capacity loss, 2,600 emergency housing placements were created during the height of the pandemic to keep some of our most vulnerable residents safe.
Reaching People on Our Streets
Of the 4,648 individuals engaged by the Healthy Streets Operations Center between June 2020 and June 2021, 45% have been placed into shelter solutions.
Of those who were placed, more than 40% were in Shelter-in-Place hotels, and more than 30% were at Safe Sleeping Sites.
From April 2020 through June 2021, there was a 67% decrease in the number of encampments.
Since launching the Homelessness Recovery Plan, 2,662 new placements have been created – 44% of our goal of 6,000.