Solving homelessness starts with homes and services.

The conditions that people experiencing homelessness face are complex, but the need for a safe and stable home is universal.

A path out of homelessness

Stable housing is critical for any system to sustainably transition individuals out of homelessness. Shelters are important, but they are a temporary solution. There are approximately 1,400 shelter beds in San Francisco, and most shelters limit stays to 90 days. Because we currently lack housing for individuals to move into after shelter stays, many people cycle back and forth between shelters and the streets. Only stable, long-term homes with appropriate services can end homelessness.


San Francisco is known as a leader in developing innovative programs to care for people experiencing homelessness. Yet, without stable housing, it’s nearly impossible for individuals to successfully complete these programs and improve their well being. Just imagine—How do you keep a job when basic hygiene is a challenge? How do you stay healthy without adequate shelter from the elements? Stable housing is the cornerstone that enables individuals to make the most of supportive services, putting the necessary building blocks in place to lead healthy and productive lives.

How can we create more housing for people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco?

On average, it takes 5-7 years for any housing to be built in San Francisco. The thousands of people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco cannot wait seven years for a home. We need to be more creative in finding ways to build affordable housing faster and cheaper.

Not all about new buildings

We must take advantage of every single vacant unit that exists in San Francisco. Hundreds of units are available throughout the City—Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), spare bedrooms, and apartments in all manner of buildings can all be made available for people experiencing homelessness.

An engaged public is key

Government alone cannot solve homelessness. You have an important role to play. From attending meetings to support new construction, to conversations with your landlord about renting a unit to someone exiting homelessness, your voice is critical. We need you to tell your neighbors, colleagues, and public officials that the only way San Francisco is going to tackle homelessness is if we create homes of all kinds in neighborhoods across the City. We need you to go All In today!

Who is experiencing homelessness in San Francisco?

On any given night, there are approximately 9,800 people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco. And, over the course of one year, as many as 20,000 people access San Francisco’s homelessness services.

Addressing systemic inequality

A look behind the data reveals that some San Franciscans are more at risk of experiencing homelessness than others. This is the unfortunate reality for Black and LGBTQ San Franciscans. While the population of San Francisco is only 6% Black, approximately 37% of the people experiencing homelessness are Black. Likewise, the population of LGBTQ individuals is only 14%, but they represent more than 27% of those experiencing homelessness in our City.

Have unanswered questions on homelessness?

Read our responses to frequently asked questions.

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