San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed today announced that this week San Francisco will open 300 new shelter beds as part of its ongoing shelter expansion efforts. These 300 beds were funded in the City’s most recent budget and are spread across a number of existing locations that are adding capacity. With this addition, San Francisco will now have more than 3,850 beds active in its system, with more funded in the last budget coming online by the end of the year and early next year.
Since Mayor Breed has been in office, San Francisco has expanded its shelter capacity by over 60%, with more beds in the pipeline that will increase that number. Future planned expansions include another 30 beds being added before the end of the year, as well as the planned opening of two cabin communities, once of which will include a safe parking site next year.
“Expanding shelter is essential for helping people off the street and keeping our neighborhoods cleaner and safer for everyone,” said Mayor London Breed. “As we do the work to go out in the community to address encampments, it’s essential we have places for people to go where they can be safe indoors. These beds will help people who are struggling with homelessness stabilize and hopefully get on a path to more permanent housing.”
“This shelter expansion is a testament to the city’s unwavering commitment to providing a safe and secure haven for people experiencing homelessness in our community,” said San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing executive director, Shireen McSpadden. “These additional beds will not only offer immediate relief to individuals in need but also serve as a stepping-stone towards their journey to stability and self-sufficiency.”
These shelter beds are accessed by people seeking shelter and used by San Francisco’s Street Outreach Teams and our Healthy Streets Operations Center (HSOC) as they go out in neighborhoods to offer shelter, bring people indoors, and clean up encampments. So far this year, HSOC teams have helped 1,500 people go directly from the street into shelter as they’ve cleaned up encampments. This is in addition to the thousands of others who access San Francisco’s shelter system through other avenues.
By bringing 300 more beds online, HSOC will have more beds to offer as they clean up encampments across the city. Under the recent Ninth Circuit clarification, the City can enforce laws when people refuse offers of shelter. San Francisco will continue to lead with offers of shelter, but will not allow people to remain camping on the street when they refuse offers of shelter.
Shelter is only part of the equation for solving street homelessness in San Francisco. The City remains a leader in offering housing options, serving over 14,000 people per night. San Francisco has more permanent supportive housing than any other county in the Bay Area, and the second most permanent supportive housing per capita of any city in the country besides Washington, D.C.
San Francisco has also implemented new strategies to bring down vacancies in its permanent supportive housing portfolio, including its new Street to Home program which expedites the housing placement process for people moving directly from the street into housing. Thanks to these improved strategies, San Francisco has seen a 32% decrease in the number of vacant units in its site-based permanent supportive housing portfolio.
San Francisco was the only county in the Bay Area that saw a reduction in homelessness between 2022 and 2019, with a 15% reduction in unsheltered homelessness and a 3.5% reduction in overall homelessness. Since then, the City has launched Home by the Bay, a 5-year strategic plan to continue to reduce homelessness overall.