Fewer People Experiencing Homelessness in San Francisco

In a first since 2015, the number of people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco declined from the year prior, according to preliminary analysis of the city’s most recent Point-in-Time count.

May 17, 2022, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Homelessness

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“[N]ew data released Monday showed that San Francisco’s unhoused population has fallen 3.5% since 2019, the first such decline the city has reported in years,” report Andre Picon and J.D. Morris for the San Francisco Chronicle.

“The data shows the total number of unhoused residents in San Francisco at 7,754, a 3.5% drop from the 8,035 homeless people counted in 2019 when the city saw a 17% spike. The number of unsheltered people in tents and cars dropped 15%,” according to the article.

San Francisco officials attributed the reported 15% overall drop in the unsheltered homeless population to significant increases in shelter beds and supportive housing resources, "including a 24% increase in available shelter beds over the past three years,” add Picon and Morris.

The news comes despite predictions that homelessness would spike during the pandemic. Similar point-in-time counts for other parts of the region showed increasing numbers of people experiencing homelessness. For example, "Alameda County’s homeless population increased by 22% since 2019, jumping from 8,022 to 9,747, according to that county’s one-night count,” according to the article.

San Francisco’s Point-in-Time count took place on February 23, 2022. The process for this year’s count implemented a substantive change: instead of volunteers, homeless service workers conducted the survey.

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