Since their debut seven years ago, “social impact bonds” have generated $200 million in the United States and 14 other countries toward programs to reduce homelessness and related social problems. San Jose has already tapped into this new funding source, and San Francisco may in the future.
Governments have been looking for an effective, cost-efficient way to house their homeless populations, especially the high-need individuals straining public resources while out on the streets. Social impact bonds offer a novel public-private partnership that might work.
Against the backdrop of recent right-wing violence, the organizer of the now-canceled Crissy Field “free speech” rally said he just wanted San Francisco’s moderate “good liberals” to reject the city’s “intolerance” and embrace his message of peace and love. Dubious, officials and counterprotesters sent him a different message.
The weeklong S.F. Homeless Project, a coordinated reporting effort by nearly two dozen outlets, offered up some ideas that could contribute to the overall aim of ending homelessness — or at least proposals that could help homeless individuals cope better with life on the streets.