From homeless to housed: March Snapshot

Luisa Montes March 18, 2021

Every month, we track the number of people who exited homelessness in San Francisco so we can determine if we are on pace to meet our housing goals for the year. Staying on top of this information helps us ask the important questions – of ourselves and others – to make sure we are doing everything possible to get people off the streets and into homes.

Our latest data shows that 84 people exited homelessness in San Francisco in January. This is a positive start to the year but it is just over ½ the number of people we need to exit on a monthly basis to reach our ambitious housing goals this year. In effect, we are starting 2021 largely where we left off in 2020 — falling short of our housing goals.  San Francisco has shown tremendous resiliency since COVID-19 struck one year ago. And, with the introduction of the vaccine rollout, we have also shown an ability to cut through bureaucratic red tape and move with urgency.  We must bring that same sense of urgency to the work of housing our unhoused neighbors. 

This month, we recognize the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 Shelter in Place orders enacted on March 16, 2020. Seemingly overnight, life in San Francisco changed drastically, and it became impossible to ignore the economic and racial inequities entrenched in our city. The concept of housing as healthcare took on enhanced meaning, and our partners in government, philanthropy, and community organizations mobilized to meet immediate health and safety needs. 

When our campaign launched in 2019, we championed the belief that solutions to our most pressing issues are a collective responsibility. Now, as we reflect on this one-year milestone, we look to the future knowing, more than ever, that emerging from crisis will take all of us.

We will do our part by continuing to provide you with important information about the City’s homelessness response efforts. We will let you know how many people exited homelessness every month and whether they are adults or families. For those of you who want a deeper dive into the data, we will also share more about what types of housing interventions are being utilized to secure more housing units. And, because we can’t effectively address homelessness unless and until we address racial disparities, we will highlight the inequities that exist in our homelessness response system and the steps that are being taken to address them.

We are also closely tracking the number of people who moved from Shelter-in-Place hotels into permanent homes. In November 2020, the City of San Francisco set an ambitious goal to move more than 2,000 people into homes in a four-phase process that ends in October 2021. 

The end of the first phase is approaching at the end of March, and our analysis shows that the current effort is already off pace. We must remain committed to moving these individuals into homes or risk falling further behind in our annual goals.

We need you! All In is a campaign built on the people of San Francisco, and here’s how you can show up for our unhoused neighbors: 

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