According to the Chron, Gavin may be well known around here for his bold moves on behalf of gay marriage, but among other mayors nationally he's recognized for major achievements in the area of housing the homeless. There have been about 6,700 people housed during his tenure as mayor, through Care Not Cash (which celebrated six years in May) and other programs, and 5,500 or so have been sent home to other cities on buses under the Homeward Bound program. So despite there still being plenty of people in the streets (and particularly the touristy areas) of San Francisco, the numbers point to success. Or do they?
Despite these impressive numbers, the number of homeless people living on streets, in shelters, or in jails or hospitals hasn't changed since 2005. Gavin blames this in part on people showing up from other cities. Also, under Care Not Cash, many people who are receiving housing through the program are still out on the streets panhandling and appearing homeless, because they aren't getting much of any, you know, cash. The figures that Gavin cited back in '05 (2,100 people already housed, 84% of homeless taken off welfare rolls) don't sound so impressive five years later, when the numbers appear to be pretty circular. How much supportive housing can you create if the total number of homeless doesn't ever go down?
Anyhow, these are the current numbers.
12,210 People moved off San Francisco streets
6,692 Number of people housed
5,518 People sent home with free bus ticket