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Comparing 4 ‘Social Impact Bond’ Projects

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.

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No Vacancy for the Homeless

Dozens of residential hotels have rooms to spare, but it is a seller’s market, and city officials cannot force owners to rent. At last count, 4,353 people were unsheltered in San Francisco, with 1,827 empty rooms in private SROs.

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How to Fill All the Empty SRO Rooms

Master leasing of single-room occupancy hotels in San Francisco has housed thousands of homeless people — and done so in hotels that are, by and large, a huge improvement over those of a generation ago. But hings  could be better.

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Nomads by the Bay: Homeless Camp Faces Cycle of Displacement

The story of  Box City reflects the city’s shifting approach to homeless encampments and the impact on their residents. Many believed the navigation centers — touted as a model of moving people from “street to home” — would lead to long-term housing. But they were left demoralized and jaded about the government’s ability to help them.

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A Legacy of Criminalizing Transience and Homelessness

The California Legislature enacted the state’s first anti-vagrant statutes in the mid-19th century, targeting Native Americans and Mexican-Americans. Since then, policymakers and voters have regularly acted to rid city streets of people who are homeless or indigent. This brief timeline highlights some key years and actions.

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‘Quality of Life’ Citations at Record Lows

As San Francico police respond to more calls for “quality of life” volations, citations have declined sharply in recent years, and the courts have been throwing out warrants for violations, quietly decriminalizing homelessness citywide, an analysis of city records shows.

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More Homeless Returning to Streets From Navigation Centers

Two years after the city launched its navigation centers, fewer than a quarter of the nearly 1,200 people who have passed through have been placed in verified long-term housing, and more are returning to the streets, an analysis of city records shows. The most common outcome is a one-way bus ticket to another city.