News Releases
The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

Mayor Lee & Supervisor Farrell Announce Milestone Accomplishments in City’s 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness

Mayoral Executive Directive to Coordinate Broad Efforts & Continue Housing First Policy with Goal to End Chronic Homelessness in San Francisco

Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Supervisor Mark Farrell today announced milestone accomplishments in San Francisco’s 10-Year Plan to Abolish Chronic Homelessness including: the City investing over $2 billion in homeless housing and services since 2004 to significantly reduce the number of San Francisco’s chronically homeless; development of 2,699 new units of permanent supportive housing with 407 additional new units planned and in the pipeline by 2017; and the placement of 11,362 homeless individuals into permanent supportive housing programs. Mayor Lee and Supervisor Farrell also announced the creation of the San Francisco Inter-Agency Council on Homelessness (SFICH) to coordinate the City’s response to homelessness, create consistent and transparent data metrics to share progress, and to maximize the effectiveness of Federal, State and private contributions to end homelessness. Mayor Lee and Supervisor Farrell made the announcement at the Mercy Housing 1180 4th Street Family Apartments construction site in Mission Bay, which features 150 affordable rental homes for very-low and low-income families, including 50 units for formerly homeless households.

“Ending chronic homelessness in San Francisco is a bold goal and one that we are striving for every day,” said Mayor Lee. “We must do even more to help our most vulnerable residents by taking a ‘Housing First’ model and build on the effective strategies, policies and programs that have brought our City so far already. Through housing or family reunification, the City has already helped more than 19,000 people leave the streets in the past decade despite the dealing with one of the worst recessions in a generation. We know our City is moving in the right direction, by creating affordable and service-intensive permanent housing and creating a more efficient and coordinated approach, and the San Francisco Inter-Agency Council on Homelessness will build on the legacy of the 10-Year Plan. We know chronic homelessness has not been abolished, and we know more needs to be done, but we will continue to make the necessary investments in the people of San Francisco for everyone that calls our City home and keep San Francisco families in their homes.”

“In the City of St. Francis, we have an imperative to do all in our power to continue work to end homelessness,” said Supervisor Farrell. “Our City has made tremendous progress, but we know there are still far too many living on our streets and shelters with no place to call home. I will continue to be a leader at the Board of Supervisors in working to implement and strengthen programs, policies and services that have been proven to produce the best outcomes for those experiencing homelessness, so we can continue to reduce our homeless population in San Francisco. We must continue challenge the status quo and be bold in our approach and vision to end homelessness in San Francisco.”

“On June 29, 2004, we gave the 10-Year Plan to Abolish Chronic Homelessness to Mayor Gavin Newsom. It was the product of an intense six month study of proven practices in other states throughout the nation. Our job was to apply theses proven methods, add to them from our own San Francisco expertise and immediately go to work for San Francisco’s chronic homeless population,” said former Supervisor Angela Alioto. “I am delighted at these amazing successes and the housing of people we were told could never be housed. The key to housing chronically homeless people is permanent supportive housing, and supportive meaning mental health services. It works, it’s hard to do, but we, the City of San Francisco, are determined to stay on the successful path of abolishing chronic homelessness in the City of Saint Francis. Thank you to Mayor Lee, Supervisor Dufty, Federal Homeless Czar Philip Managno and to all the members of the 10-Year Plan of 2004. All I have to say is: How sweet it is!”

San Francisco has made great strides in housing people who are chronically homeless since the adoption of the 10-Year Plan to Abolish Chronic Homelessness on June 30, 2004. At the time, the number of chronically homeless adults in San Francisco, typically those who are disabled and have been on the street the longest, was estimated to be around 3,000. The 10-Year Plan committed and organized resources from various City departments and agencies to confront the problem of chronic homelessness. Creation of affordable and service-intensive permanent housing remains the top priority and most cost-effective option for ending homelessness. Major accomplishments and key efforts the City has made to meet the goals of the 10-Year Plan from the past decade include:
•    Between 2009 and 2013, the number of chronically homeless in San Francisco declined by an estimated 51 percent (from 4,039 in 2009 to 1,977 in 2013).
•    San Francisco has created 2,699 new units of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless adults, seniors, families and transition aged youth.  An additional 407 units are planned and in the pipeline, coming open to homeless persons by 2017.
•    A total of 11,362 homeless persons have been placed in the City’s permanent supportive housing programs.
•    The Homeward Bound program (designed to reunite homeless persons living in San Francisco with family and friends elsewhere who are willing and able to offer ongoing support to end the cycle of homelessness) has served over 8,000 homeless persons.
•    The City has increased its investment in permanent supportive housing and other services to aid homeless persons.
•    A 30 percent decrease in veterans homelessness from 2011-2013, as a result of the strong federal partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

With the robust economic recovery and focus on affordability, Mayor Lee set forth an aggressive housing goal of 30,000 new housing units by 2020 with at least one-third of those units being affordable to low- and moderate-income families, support for rebuilding and revitalizing public housing across the City, and investing millions in rapid rehousing and eviction prevention to help fight the rising rate of evictions and to make sure low-income tenants do not become homeless.

Mayor’s Lee proposed FY 2014-15 and FY 2015-16 budget includes over $11 million in new investments to continue and increase transitional and supportive housing by 419 units. New supportive housing units will be targeted at some of San Francisco’s most vulnerable populations, including Transitional Age Youth, seniors, veterans, families, and single mothers. This funding also includes support to rehabilitate and make available vacant units at the San Francisco Housing Authority.

The Mayor’s proposed budget includes a total of $29 million in additional funds for homeless services across the continuum of need, including: eviction prevention; shelter services; housing for transitional age youth, veterans, and seniors; mental health services and supports; and barrier removal and other supportive services critical to helping homeless individuals and families not only become housed but also move towards greater permanent stability and self-sufficiency. Mayor Lee is directly responding to increased needs through increased funding for the San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team (SFHOT) including a street medicine team and flexible housing placements, aggressive enrollment in MediCal, and the CARES (Contact, Assess, Recover & Ensure Success) initiative that provides a new comprehensive Citywide approach to helping residents suffering from severe mental health and substance abuse issues. New funding for homeless mental health services in the Mayor’s proposed budget totals $8.5 million.

Mayor Lee’s proposed FY 2014-15 and FY 2015-16 budget also contains new funding for supportive services for homeless families and individuals. In the next two years, the City will invest an additional $4 million for shelter services, including backfilling federal HUD losses to three San Francisco shelters; providing enhanced security services and funding for standards of care to ensure shelters remain safe and dignified spaces; and funding to open a new women’s winter shelter to provide 30 beds for women for 15-weeks between November and February. San Francisco is also launching an innovative coordinated assessment model in the Shelter + Care System to target housing for people who have been homeless the longest, and planning to establish a comprehensive 100-bed emergency shelter in the Bayview and 24-bed shelter focused on the LGBTQ population.

Mayor Lee and Supervisor Farrell today also announced an Executive Directive, creating the San Francisco Inter-Agency Council on Homelessness (SFICH) to collect and utilize data more effectively and to collaborate on the City’s important efforts underway to reduce homelessness. Modeled after the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), SFICH will coordinate the City’s response to homelessness, create consistent and transparent data metrics to share progress, and to maximize the effectiveness of Federal, State and private contributions to end homelessness.

Led by former Supervisor Bevan Dufty, the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Opportunities, Partnerships and Engagement (HOPE), SFICH will consist of City Department heads and Citywide elected officials with support from other relevant Mayoral staff and State and Federal partners. SFICH will work with its partners to:
•    Establish and maintain effective, coordinated, and supportive relationships with every City agency working to reduce homelessness;
•    Organize and support effective implementation of the five year strategic plan developed by the Local Homeless Coordinating Board;
•    Continue to support policies contained in the 10-Year Plan to Abolish Chronic Homelessness that have been deemed effective;
•    Develop effective portals to local programs and initiatives;
•    Establish and maintain productive communications with the Board of Supervisors and other elected officials;
•    Establish partnerships with public and private sector stakeholders; and
•    Monitor, evaluate, and recommend improvements in serving those experiencing homelessness and disseminate best practices.

The City will continue the 10-Year Plan’s core strategies of expanding permanent supportive housing and also focus on other complimentary efforts to combat homelessness in San Francisco. In the next five years, the Mayor’s goals are consistent with those set out in 2004 in the 10-Year Plan to Abolish Chronic Homelessness: increase access to stable and affordable housing, increase economic security, improve health and stability, retool the homeless emergency response system, and improve leadership, collaboration, civic engagement, and public-private partnerships. For more information on the 10-Year Report on the 10-Year Plan to Abolish Chronic Homelessness, go to: