San Francisco

San Francisco's Homeless Moving to Other Parts of City: Study

It's no secret that homelessness in San Francisco is a chronic problem. But a new study released Friday shows something surprising: the number of people without a home is actually declining.

The new information shows two things: the number of homeless people in the city is going down by a small amount -- nearly 1 percent, but the numbers also show that the homeless are on the move and heading to other parts of San Francisco.

The study illuminates one night in January and tracked where all the homeless were in the city that evening. The problem the study shows is that people without homes are spreading into neighborhoods like the Inner Sunset, Lake Merced and the Richmond District.

On that night a record number of 136 homeless people were without shelter in the Richmond District compared to 77 counted in 2015.

City leaders remain optimistic.

"What this tells us is that the programs that we're doing are having an impact," said Randy Quesada, Department of Homelessness. "We see that we're investing public resources wisely and seeing the numbers go down."

Neil Moore, a 24-year-old who has been homeless since he was 16, said he has applied for housing.

"They said that I'm ineligible because I haven't been on the streets for a long time," Moore said.

For activist Kelley Cutler that's not a surprise.

"We're in a housing crisis," said Cutler with the Coalition for Homelessness. "The shelter wait list is now consistently over 1,100 people on the single-adult shelter list. And around this time last year was 700 and 900 -- so it's a big increase."

The city allocated $210 million in this year's budget to tackle homelessness. In next year's budget, this will increase to $245 million.

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