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Mayor Lee Announces City’s New Department of Homelessness & Supportive Housing & Appoints Jeff Kositsky Director

Mayor Appoints Nationally Recognized Leader to Help Ambitious Goal of Ending Homelessness for 8,000 people in Next Four Years

San Francisco, CA—Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced the Department of Homelessness & Supportive Housing the City will launch on July 1st and appointed Hamilton Family Center Executive Director Jeff Kositsky to lead the new Department that will help homeless residents permanently exit the streets and move into housing and services. The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing will help achieve Mayor Lee’s goal to help at least 8,000 people out of homelessness forever through strategies that stabilize people’s lives through the City’s nationally recognized housing and support services and building a system that ends a person’s homelessness before it becomes chronic.

“Moving forward with progressive approaches on mental health, expanding the successful Navigation Center program, creating a Department to coordinate these and other efforts, with the nation’s best minds working with us, we can make homelessness rare, brief and one-time here in the City of Saint Francis,” said Mayor Lee. “All of the ingredients for success on ending homelessness for thousands of our fellow San Franciscans are already here, but it will require cooperation like never before. I am confident that Jeff will provide the stewardship to bring all the passion and energy from our service providers, advocates, national experts and our City departments and work together to end homelessness for at least 8,000 residents in the next four years.”

Jeff Kositsky is a nationally recognized leader in innovative homeless services and has over 20 years of experience managing nonprofit organizations in San Francisco. Since 2013, he has served as the executive director of the Hamilton Family Center. During his tenure, the organization expanded its rapid re-housing program and developed an innovative partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District to prevent and end homelessness among school children and their families. From 2001 to 2010, he was executive director of Community Housing Partnership, a nonprofit affordable housing developer in San Francisco. He has served on several nonprofit boards, including San Francisco’s Coalition on Homelessness and the Treasure Island Development Authority Board of Directors. Kositsky holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and International Relations from American University in Washington, D.C. and a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Texas.

Mayor Lee set a goal to move at least 8,000 people out of homelessness forever by the end of his second term by housing families, veterans, the long-term homeless, and through Homeward Bound and long-term care for the seriously mentally ill. In December, Mayor Lee announced the creation of a new City agency with the budget and the mandate to solve street homelessness. Barbara Garcia, the Director of Public Health, Trent Rhorer, the Director of Human Services, and Sam Dodge, the Director of HOPE, who have all implemented some of the most forward-thinking, progressive homeless policies in America, were tasked to develop the new Department with service providers, homeless advocates and national experts.

The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing will launch on July 1st. The new Department is expected to have approximately 110 staff members, largely transferring from the Department of Public Health and the Human Service Agency. This will bring together under one roof the multitude of City services from outreach – including the Homeless Outreach Team – to shelter and supportive housing.

The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing’s budget will be approximately $165 million annually and will be introduced as part of the Mayor’s proposed FY 2016-17 and 2017-18 budget. It will encompass the majority of homeless spending in the City which is primarily expended through contracts to non-profits to provide services and interventions from outreach through supportive housing. A portion of Citywide spending on homeless services is not expected to move to the new Department including medical services and specific public safety and domestic violence programs. The budget of the new Department will be considered and approved by the Board of Supervisors through the normal budget process.

Through the provision of coordinated, compassionate, and high-quality services the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing will work toward the goal of making homelessness in San Francisco rare, brief, and onetime.