SF's Homeless Problem

NKlein82's picture

The closing of the Transbay Terminal has brought new light to San Francisco's Homeless Problem.  As a resident and student in the Tenderloin for the past couple years, I am very familiar with SF's homeless problem.  But it is not just people in the Tenderloin, Hunter's Point or SOMA that are familiar with this problem.  San Francisco has one of the highest homeless populations in the country.  This is despite how much work both City Hall and the city as a community has put into to trying to solve this crisis.  It is time for us to think outside of the box.  So I'm putting it to this community:  What Do We Do to Solve the Homeless Problem in San  Francisco?

NKlein82's picture

Homeless Vets

One aspect of this homelessness problem is the number of veterans among the homeless.  No matter how you feel about the wars that have produced the veterans of the past 40 years, we need to take care of these men and women who have seen horrors that no person should see.  Homeless veterans are a huge portion of the homeless population.  These are major problems that we as a community need to reevaluate.

gcotter's picture

Existing services for homeless vets

I am of the impression that we have a number of existing service for homeless vets that already exist.  There's the VA hospital for one.  While I agree that homeless vets deserve attention, shouldn't we be directing this problem to the Government?  Veteran issues, including homelessness, should be addressed by the bureau of veterans' affairs, and if homelessness isn't within their purview then Americans should lobby to add this to the federal mandate for vets.  I don't see this as a problem that SF taxpayers should be forced to pay for.

gcotter's picture

Homelessness in SF

As mentioned by NKlein82, SF has one of the highest homeless populations in the country.  One reason is because we provide so many services - which is not a bad thing - but this encourages people from other parts of the country to come here when they become down and out.  Some come from the East or Midwest and some come from other parts of California.  

Each year SF publishes how many people have been gotten off the street and into housing.  Yet, magically,  the number of people who are homeless never decreases.  Somehow, no matter how much housing is found and how many homeless are housed, the number of homeless seems to remain at 6,000 - 8,000 (depending on who's counting).  One would think that if we provide housing for 1,000 a year that in 8 years we'd have no more homeless.  But we can barely stay even.  We are and should be responsible for taking care of homeless people who became homeless while they were living in SF.  But people who became homeless when they lost their job in NY, Texas, AZ, etc., should be utilizing the homeless services back where they lived when they became homeless.  It isn't fair to SF residents to be expected to take care of our homeless and the homeless from the rest of the country.

NKlein82's picture

That should be a federal mandate!

You have a great point, gcotter.  Veterans have given a service to the country as a whole and for years veterans have received unequal benefits across the country.  It should no longer be just health that the federal government must provide for these brave and damaged people, but also housing.  Paying for veteran housing might also help to reduce the cost of TriCare.

Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137