SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A recent count of San Francisco’s homeless population revealed a decrease in the number of chronically homeless from last year, a city agency announced Wednesday.

On Jan. 27 more than 300 volunteers identified 6,455 homeless, compared to 6,514 in 2009, according to the San Francisco Human Services Agency.

KCBS’ Rebecca Corral Reports:

In a more dramatic decrease, a follow-up survey of 1,024 of the homeless identified revealed a drop in chronic homelessness—from 62 percent in 2009 to 33 percent this year.

Agency officials credit the drop in chronic homelessness to the city’s strategic efforts to target the issue.

“In 2004, San Francisco adopted a focused strategy to work with chronically homeless individuals and families,” said Trent Rhorer, executive director of San Francisco Human Services Agency in a statement.

“By placing the chronically homeless in permanent housing with supportive services through San Francisco’s ‘Housing First Program,’ we have made significant progress to end chronic homelessness,” he said.

A biennial homeless count is federally mandated for all jurisdictions receiving funding by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, agency officials said.

San Francisco City and County receive $18 million in McKinney/Vento federal funding, which goes to support homeless services, agency officials said.

Apart from being federally mandated, agency officials said, the survey is critical to the city’s planning for homeless services.

Of the homeless counted—the majority of whom were black and white single men—agency officials determined that 3,106 were living on the streets or in a vehicle and 3,349 were living in some sort of shelter, including transitional housing, jails and emergency shelters.

The follow-up survey also revealed that 27 percent of those surveyed had become homeless elsewhere and then moved to the city.

The largest percentage of homeless in the city, around 40 percent, were found in District 6, which includes the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods. The smallest percentage was found in District 7, which includes neighborhoods west of Twin Peaks.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

Comments (6)
  1. Nicole Harris says:

    I see the volunteers out there working very hard and I commend them. For a small group of the homeless, they don’t want to be out there and they want help. Then there are many who are choosing the lifestyle, choosing to sit and drink beer and smoke pot all day in their groups with dogs and cats tied to ropes connected to their backpacks. A lot of people are told San Francisco is the place to come to live on the streets because of the ‘sweet deals’ they get. This is unfortunate for those who abuse the system, but for others who really, truly need it, it’s a good thing.

  2. Bill Costley says:

    How many years has the City been keeping stats on the homeless?
    Have any of the the criteria for who is classified as homeless changed? If so, how?

  3. Bloodhounds says:

    That’s only 64 less homeless since 2009. They probably died on the streets. God help all of us!

  4. Roger says:

    Before I moved to SF I was sympathetic to helping others, especially homeless. After living in SF fro two years, after having so many negative encounters with all these homeless parasites I can honestly say that we need to get rid of them. Homeless people stealing, screaming at all hours of the day, asking you for money every single day, what a horrible place homeless make San Francisco. San Francisco is great, but it would be even greater without this parasites.

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