An update from the Chronic Homelessness Initiative
An update from the Chronic Homelessness Initiative
Dear Colleagues,
The last time you passed someone obviously suffering on the street, you might have doubted that there was anything that you could do; doubted that a phone call to 311 would make a difference. And, for good reason. For too long, we have struggled to meet the behavioral health needs of thousands of our unhoused neighbors. But now, because of the Our City, Our Home (OCOH) Committee recommendations, the City budget, and the work of Mental Health SF, we are seeing historic investments to expand behavioral health care in our city. Those investments include expanded crisis response teams, new harm reduction therapy options, significant increases in a range of treatment beds, and an increased emphasis on ensuring that services lead to permanent exits from homelessness.
We have had the honor of partnering with the SF Department of Public Health to invest $3 million to open Hummingbird Valencia, the second behavioral health respite center for people experiencing homelessness. Read the latest CHI Spotlight below for more details and a video tour of this facility.
Hummingbird Valencia is an exciting example of what can happen when we work across systems and innovate the way we deliver services for people with mental health and housing needs. We know the need in our community is great, and CHI is proud to play a key role in helping our city deliver solutions that can meet the scale of the issue in new ways. 

In community,
Andrea Evans
Director, Tipping Point Chronic Homelessness Initiative

Where It’s Happening: Hummingbird Valencia

Hummingbird Valencia provides a valuable opportunity to direct resources to prevent chronic homelessness. Thousands of unhoused San Franciscans navigate mental health and substance use challenges, and connections to stable housing and ongoing care can be elusive. This reality exists not only on our streets but throughout California, where we face a lack of residential treatment facilities and programs for residents with behavioral health challenges.

To meet this need in our city, Tipping Point partnered with the San Francisco Department of Public Health and invested $3 million to open Hummingbird Valencia, a new psychiatric respite center that offers people experiencing homelessness, mental health issues, and substance use challenges a low-barrier place to get connected to care.

Hummingbird Valencia hosts day guests who may come in to rest, talk with counselors, and get connected to medical care and social services. There are also 30 beds for overnight clients. Unlike other programs, length of stay is not pre-defined or limited. Instead, Hummingbird Valencia focuses on an individual’s needs, to make it easier to connect to continued treatment and stable housing. Since it opened in late May 2021, Hummingbird Valencia has hosted 97 overnight guests and provided services for 485 day-guests.

By combining one-on-one peer support and professional staffing, Hummingbird Valencia helps clients stabilize, connects them to social services, and offers an opportunity for referral to longer-term treatment and recovery at programs throughout the city. The Salvation Army is providing the property at 1156 Valencia St., and PRC provides services onsite as an extension of its existing Hummingbird Place at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

As the State of California prepares to make unprecedented investments in mental health and housing services, Hummingbird Valencia is a powerful example of weaving together resources from the City of San Francisco, philanthropy, and community-based organizations to strengthen services for behavioral health needs and reduce suffering on our streets.

What We're Reading 

The San Francisco Bay Area has a rising homeless population. On any given night, an estimated 35,000 individuals are without a place to live. Meanwhile, the cost of living continues to climb. Much effort has gone into resolving the crisis, to little avail. But now, there's new hope that those with an insider's perspective can make that much-needed difference. Featuring CHI’s Community Advisory Board and Andrea Evans. (PBS Newshour)
Shireen McSpadden took the helm last month as the director of San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. McSpadden is coming to the department at a pivotal time. At last count, the city had more than 8,000 people experiencing homelessness, and experts have predicted that number could grow as a result of pandemic-related job losses. (KQED)
Unsheltered homelessness—which includes people who live in cars, parks or abandoned buildings—has been rising for the past few years. The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that 226,000 Americans were living unsheltered in December 2020, up by 30% since 2015. (The Economist)
Members of San Francisco's Homeless Outreach Team — also known as the “HOT team” — walk neighborhood beats to offer support, information, and referrals to services for people living on the streets. During the pandemic, the resources available, particularly shelters, changed significantly. Meanwhile, our collective understanding of what would work best to contain the spread was changing too. Mark Mazza, outreach manager for the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, shares how those changes have affected members of this team. (Civic – Apple Podcasts)

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.
Share this briefing
powered by emma
Subscribe to our email list.