PHOENIX - The City and County of San Francisco has invested $4.5 million into a public/private partnership aimed at reducing homelessness.
Mayor Ed Lee and homelessness service provider Hamilton families announced the $30 million P3 Friday.
In addition to San Francisco's investment, the Heading Home Campaign has received funding from the philanthropists and non-profits, including a $10 million challenge/matching grant from Marc and Lynne Benioff. Marc Benifoff is the founder, chairman and CEO of San Francisco-based Salesforce.
"Together we will move hundreds of families into permanent housing, ending the trauma of homelessness for so many children in San Francisco," said Lee. "The Heading Home Campaign is a fantastic example of civic leaders, non-profits and the city working together to make San Francisco better for all its residents."
Through Heading Home, a portion of a family's rent will be paid directly to the landlord for up to 18 months and families will work with staff to find apartments, move in and then stabilize in their new community with ongoing support services. Rapid re-housing assistance is offered without preconditions — like employment, income, absence of criminal record, or sobriety — and the resources and services provided are tailored to the unique needs of the household. Case managers will connect with families on at least a monthly basis to ensure they are following through with their plan, increasing their income, and connecting in the community.
Combating homelessness has been a major focus for San Francisco: the city believes that about 1,800 children in its public schools are homeless and many estimate the number of homeless adults in the city to approach 7,000. San Francisco voters last month approved the redirection of about $260 million of bonds originally authorized for seismic improvements in 1992 toward affordable housing by a 76% margin, and Lee announced in September that nearly $11 million of affordable housing loans would be made with funds from the city's voter-approved $350 million 2015 affordable housing general obligation bond measure.
The city's efforts are coordinated by the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, created this year.
"Through the Heading Home Initiative the city will be able to dramatically change the trajectory of families experiencing homelessness," said Jeff Kositsky, director of the department. "Moving families to permanent housing within 90 days will improve the lives of parents and their children, while improving the shelter system's ability to accommodate the shelter needs of families in crisis."