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Tipping Point and Mayor Lee Pledge to Reduce Chronic Homelessness by Half

Private partners will contribute $100 million over the next five years, adding to Mayor’s efforts to address homelessness in San Francisco

Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Tipping Point Community, a private poverty-fighting organization, have launched a $100 million initiative to reduce chronic homelessness by 50 percent within the next five years in San Francisco.

Partnering with Tipping Point is part of Mayor Lee’s multifaceted approach to combatting homelessness in San Francisco. Since he took office, nearly 11,000 residents experiencing homelessness have been housed, and he has worked with private funding partners such as Tipping Point to expand upon successful City initiatives. 

“Chronic homelessness is an incredibly complex issue and I have called upon our philanthropic partners to join us in addressing the challenges facing our city,” said Mayor Lee. “Tipping Point has responded to that call for action by bringing their considerable private sector resources to help the City expand our successful homelessness programs. Together, we will achieve our goal of moving people off the streets and connecting them with resources they need. I want to thank Daniel Lurie, the Board of Directors and the staff at Tipping Point for their bold vision and their commitment to this issue.”

“Our goal is very clear: we aim to reduce chronic homelessness by half, within five years,” said Daniel Lurie, Tipping Point’s CEO and Founder. “It’s time for an all-hands on deck approach – the public and private sectors must work together in a new way. It is unacceptable that in a region with such creativity, wealth, and generosity that thousands of people are living on the streets. Homelessness is a humanitarian crisis, and the issue of our time.”

Along with making a significant public investment, Mayor Lee has championed philanthropic partnerships to help address the issue of homelessness in San Francisco. Private organizations have contributed more than $136 million to homelessness programs, which includes Tipping Point’s $100 million pledge.

This initiative between City agencies and Tipping Point represents the largest amount of private money ever committed to addressing homelessness in San Francisco. Chronic homelessness refers to individuals living on the street for more than a year with a physical or mental disability. Currently, about 2,000 people match this criteria in San Francisco.

Tipping Point has already invested $60 million as part of the campaign, which aims to reduce chronic homelessness by creating new housing units, investing in mental health, child welfare and criminal justice systems and working collaboratively with public agencies. Tipping Point is working with the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, the Human Services Agency, the Department of Public Health and the Housing Authority on this endeavor. 

“People experiencing chronic homelessness are among the most vulnerable in our community,” said Barbara Garcia, Director of Health. “They can be high-utilizers of emergency services, which is costly and does not provide them with the best care over time. The new initiative with Tipping Point will improve the circumstances of chronically homeless people and strengthen the health care system that cares for them, resulting in better care and more efficient delivery of services, which will benefit all San Franciscans.”

“This new partnership between the City and Tipping Point Community is a game changer,” said Jeff Kositsky Director of the Department of Homelessness and Supporting Housing. “Building upon our foundation and the great work that we are doing to end homelessness, Tipping Point is joining the City’s efforts at an exciting time. We will be able to leverage their investments with proven and new solutions to the homelessness crisis that we face as a city.”

Mayor Lee has also overseen efforts to address family homelessness by working with Hamilton Families and philanthropic groups on the Heading Home Campaign. This initiative, which includes $30 million in private funds, aims to end chronic family homelessness in San Francisco and has found housing for 124 families to date. The City has contributed $4.5 million to the program, which is in addition to the $35 million it spends annually on family homelessness.

Philanthropic groups have also donated $6 million to the City’s Navigation Centers, a low-threshold shelter model, pioneered in San Francisco. People with pets, partners and possessions are all welcome at Navigation Centers where they can begin their journeys out of homelessness. Recognized as a best practice in addressing street homelessness by the National Alliance to End Homelessness and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Navigation Center model has been replicated in other cities across the nation.  

Mayor Lee has also pledged to end chronic homelessness among veterans in San Francisco. In the last two years the City has housed more than 700 veterans. This past winter, 75 new permanent supportive housing units for veterans were opened.

In addition to philanthropic support for the City’s homeless programs, the City has secured additional federal and state dollars to invest in proven solutions and design and implement new strategies to tackle long-standing challenges.  

This year the City received a record $31 million in Continuum of Care grants, including funding for permanent supportive housing for veterans and rapid rehousing projects for families and youth.  The City was also selected by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to participate in the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP).  The City received a $2.9 million grant to help end youth homelessness through the YHDP program.

All the programs are coordinated under one roof through the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH). Mayor Lee created the HSH in 2016 to streamline services for San Franciscans experiencing homelessness.