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How SF Will Allocate $1 Billion in Homelessness Funding

Emily Cohen, interim director for strategy and external affairs at the department, talked with “Civic” about where these investments are being focused — more than half of the funds are earmarked for housing — and why. A count of people visibly unsheltered on the street that takes place on one night every two years tallied about 8,000 people in 2019. Cohen said city programs have helped some 25,000 people exit homelessness since 2005.

Outreach workers stand at a Tenderloin intersection wearing reflective vests and pulling a rolling cart with a sign reading “free COVID-19 vaccinations here.” This team administered 23 single-dose vaccines during an afternoon shift on Jul. 15, 2021.

Outreach Effort Brings Vaccines Directly to Tenderloin Streets

During the pandemic, Code Tenderloin has distributed everything from water to masks to food. With the arrival of the vaccine, they have collaborated with health care providers from the University of California, San Francisco and the nonprofit service provider Glide to try to overcome barriers to vaccination by walking the streets, offering immunizations on the spot.

A group of people pass by a tent pitched against the side of a freeway ramp.

Invest in Temporary, Permanent and Preventive Measures to House Homeless, Report Says

“Civic” spoke with Tomiquia Moss, founder and CEO of AllHome, a regional organization working to disrupt cycles of poverty and homelessness and to create more economic mobility for extremely low-income people. Moss describes the need for more investment across different interventions to reduce the pressure to prioritize those who have the most complex and chronic needs over those who could exit homelessness with shorter-term help, or over prevention strategies.

Two toilets sit on a movable trailer on a street in San FRancisco's Mission District.

City’s Popular Portable Toilets Frequently Moved or Closed

While the number of 24-hour Pit Stop public bathrooms increased 16-fold at the beginning of the pandemic, keeping them in place has proven to be a challenge. Many high-traffic Pit Stops — some used more than 1,000 times per month — are being relocated, and Supervisor Mat Haney wants to know why.

White boxes are painted on a stretch of asphalt, with each box containing a tent.

Housing Elusive for Residents of Haight’s Sanctioned Campsite

The site in an old McDonald’s parking lot at the edge of Golden Gate Park opened in May 2020 with 40 spots, becoming the city’s second sanctioned tent camp.

On June 16 it shuts down. The question now is where to move site residents, many of whom have called the Haight neighborhood home for decades and don’t want to leave.

A Homeless Outreach Team worker inspects a handwashing station and finds that it needs to be refilled in the summer of 2020, at a time when coronavirus health and safety guidelines emphasized hygiene, not masks, as the best method to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Pandemic Limited Shelter Options, Frustrating Homeless Outreach Workers

Members of San Francisco’s Homeless Outreach Team — also known as the “HOT team” — walk neighborhood beats to offer support, information and referrals to services to people living on the streets. During the pandemic the resources available, particularly shelters, changed significantly. Mark Mazza, outreach manager for the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, talked with “Civic” about how those changes influenced the outreach team’s work.