San Francisco Homelessness Crisis Increases Despite $1.1 Billion in Spending

Homeless tents, Unsplash
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San Francisco will have spent $1.1 billion on homelessness in the fiscal year 2021–22, which is more than many other cities’ entire operating budgets. Yet homelessness, crime, drug abuse, and the quality of life in San Francisco have only gotten worse because there is no accountability in the city’s government, so spending continues to increase with no end in sight. Homeless people comprise about 2.2% of the city’s total population of about 860,000, and roughly $57,000 is spent on each homeless person annually. The facilities provided to homeless people are enormously inflated and the cost is passed to taxpayers.
San Francisco will have spent $1.1 billion on homelessness in the fiscal year 2021–22, which is more than some city’s entire operating budgets. Yet homelessness, crime, drug abuse, and the quality of life in the city have only gotten worse.

According to an analysis by the Hoover Institute, since the fiscal year 2016–17, San Francisco has spent over $2.8 billion on homelessness, but year after year, the number of homeless in the city continues to spike, as do opioid overdoses, which outnumber Covid deaths as the city has become one of the most dangerous in the US.

The number of homeless in San Francisco has increased from 12,249 to 19,086 since 2016 equaling roughly 2.2 percent of the city’s total population of about 860,000 which is over 12 times the national average. That amounts to roughly $57,000 spent on each homeless person annually.

The analysis pointed out that “there is little or no accountability within the city’s government to evaluate the efficacy of its spending. Some of the city’s programs are so poorly managed that some homeless people likely prefer living on the streets to the facilities that are being provided to them at enormously inflated costs to taxpayers.”

The San Francisco Chronicle recently investigated San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH). The agency funds nonprofits that rent hotel rooms and provide aid for homeless people in approximately 70 hotels. The program costs taxpayers roughly $160 million annually.

According to the outlet, in 16 of these hotels, the city failed to oversee and evaluate the program which created “a pattern of chaos, crime, and death.”

San Francisco’s permanent supportive housing did not fair any better. The analysis revealed that of the 515 tenants within permanent supportive housing that were followed by the city, 25 percent died while in the program, 21 percent returned to homelessness, and 27 dropped off the grid. The remaining 27 percent moved in with family or friends or into another taxpayer-subsidized building.

In 2020 and 2021, at least 166 people died from drug overdoses in the hotels, which accounted for 14 percent of all confirmed overdose deaths in the entire city.

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Ragnar D.
Ragnar D.
3 months ago

The Christian community provides a very practical structure for forming and maintaining a functional and prosperous society. Knowing the Bible, having strong traditional families, not stealing, and avoiding substance abuse go a long way in avoiding homelessness and other social maladies. The anti-Christian people reject this philosophy but then demand that productive traditional Christians PAY FROM THEIR OWN POCKETS to fix the disastrous consequences of the unbelievers’ misbehavior.

Jack coburn
Jack coburn
3 months ago
Reply to  Ragnar D.

I don’t see it as a problem of unbelievers. The Prisons are 98% Christian

Ragnar D.
Ragnar D.
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack coburn

Prisons being 98 percent Christian is a phony statistic that you made up. Prisoners identify as Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Native American religion, Wiccan, Satanist, agnostic, and atheist.

Charles Robinson
Charles Robinson
3 months ago

Has this been a purposefully orchestrated melt down of San Fran, so to turn the city into a completely revamped smart city, as invisioned in the WEF’s, “You will own nothing and be happy”, ( or on drugs).