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.
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.
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.
Starting this fall, the Public Press is reporting on new and creative solutions to homelessness. And because we know we don’t have all the answers, we’re engaging the community to gather fresh ideas and inspire action.
City officials quickly learned that not long after a homeless encampment was cleared, a new one would often take hold in the same area. So they quietly added a team to keep encampments from re-emerging.
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.
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.
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.
The wait time for an emergency shelter bed for homeless San Franciscans has hit a record high, as growing demand outstrips availability, city records show. Among those waiting weeks on the list recently were someone 97 years old and three people in their 80s.
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.