An update from the Chronic Homelessness Initiative
An update from the Chronic Homelessness Initiative
Dear Colleagues,
As you may know, Mayor London Breed tapped Chris Block to revamp and streamline our process for housing people experiencing homelessness, with a specific focus on rehousing people exiting the Shelter-in-Place (SIP) hotels. We are confident that Chris will bring his solutions-oriented approach to this new challenge, and we look forward to continuing to work alongside him in our collective effort to end homelessness for more San Franciscans.
In so doing, we will certainly keep in mind his oft-repeated refrain “we need a solution set big enough to contain the challenge.” To that end, this month we share one example of how CHI is trying to enlarge the solution space: creating a shared housing model for people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco.
Shared housing is not new. In fact, most people in this city live with friends or family. Yet, for years, we have focused almost exclusively on finding or building housing that accommodates only one person, even when it is obvious that one person living alone can’t afford the rent. Shared housing options fulfill a stated need in the community and have already been successfully incorporated in other cities, including Oakland. Thanks to Chris’ vision, we are on the precipice of launching the model here.
Read on to learn more.

In community,
Andrea Evans
Director, Tipping Point Chronic Homelessness Initiativeorate shared f launching

Spotlight: Expanding the Solution Space

We now have the data to confirm that San Francisco’s homeless response system did not meet its housing goal for chronically homeless single adults in 2020. 
While COVID-19 exacerbated challenges to ending homelessness, the reality is, even pre-pandemic, our homelessness response system had not implemented the range of solutions that we need to address the myriad reasons why people become homeless in the first instance. For example, San Francisco has become a national leader in creating permanent supportive housing. However, many of these homes are in single room occupancy units (SROs) in the Tenderloin and South of Market. Living in a SRO does not work for many people, particularly families for whom the units are too small or for others who are anxious, particularly in a pandemic, about living in spaces where bathrooms and kitchens are shared.

However, developing alternative housing options for people experiencing homelessness is well within our reach. Building on the findings from our white paper, Shared Housing –A Rapid-Solution Option for Ending Homelessness in San Francisco, and associated mini-conference with experts from around the country, we now believe that we have the strategic partners to implement a shared housing strategy in San Francisco. A shared housing strategy provides a housing option that recognizes our biological need for a sense of belonging while also making the most of available housing in high-cost markets. We are in a prime position to use philanthropic funds to pilot strategies like shared housing that get people housed faster and cheaper, and our recent partnership with Bay Area Community Services (BACS) embodies this important approach.

Who's Making It Happen: Bay Area Community Services

A new grant to Bay Area Community Services will support a systems-level effort to implement shared housing in San Francisco and set a system-wide goal of housing 500 individuals via shared housing in the coming year. The one-year grant will establish a Shared Housing Collaborative, focused on a coordinated effort to make multi-bedroom units with common spaces a viable housing option for people experiencing homelessness. The project will simultaneously build the system infrastructure and help service providers adopt tactics, like roommate matching and conflict resolution, to ensure successful implementation. 
housing collaborative to increase permanent housing options for our community.”
“BACS is thrilled to bring a shared housing and client voice/choice framework to our decades-long success of supporting communities working towards solving homelessness. We are honored to step in and help San Franciscans and community partners implement a shared housing collaborative to increase permanent housing options for our community.” - Jamie Almanza, Executive Director and CEO, BACS
Jamie Almanza (she/her) has over 20 years of experience working in and leading social impact organizations, including 11 years as the Executive Director and CEO of BACS. BACS, founded in 1953, is a well-established organization with roots in mental health services and residential behavioral health treatment. In the last decade, BACS has invested in its infrastructure to address homelessness and housing insecurity.

Ms. Almanza oversees a large community-based organization that does whatever it takes to help community members find and sustain permanent housing, access high quality behavioral health services, and fight poverty and generational trauma. She is quickly building the team that will work specifically on shared housing strategies, giving San Francisco access to a model that has already been successful in other communities around the country.

housing collaborative to increase permanent housing options for our community.”

What We're Reading 

"The project at 833 Bryant St. is being built faster and cheaper than the typical affordable housing development in San Francisco, the ones that notoriously drag on for six years or more and cost an average of $700,000 per unit. This project will take just three years and clock in at $383,000 per unit." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Throughout the pandemic San Francisco has seen an increase in vacant apartments, now people experiencing homelessness are being placed into those empty units. It’s called the Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool, it launched in July and has already rehoused 75 people." (KPIX)
“This was a tragedy, and the systems that we have obviously didn’t work well to address this particular situation. Nobody should have to be alone like that in the street for that long. Let it be a wake-up call for all of us to keep our eyes open and not become numb.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

"Mayor London Breed is working on the city’s biggest expansion of permanent supportive housing in 20 years — one that includes more choice and could place more people outside of neighborhoods like the Tenderloin." (San Francisco Chronicle)

Chronic Homelessness Initiative Overview

There are approximately 3,000 people experiencing chronic homelessness on any given night in San Francisco. Tipping Point’s $100 million pledge marks the single largest private investment to address homelessness in City history. If you are receiving this email as a forward, subscribe here to receive this update monthly.
For 15 years, Tipping Point has invested in the most promising solutions to break the cycle of poverty in the Bay Area. Because our board covers our costs, 100% of donations go where they're needed most.
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