SAN FRANCISCO (KBCS)— San Francisco lawmakers have begun a series of hearings on homelessness in the city, which focuses on cost-effective strategies to house the homeless.
San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell wants to look at how the city is spending its money on the homeless.
“We have just over 1,500 shelter beds right now; 1,600 in the winter here in San Francisco that consume about 10 percent of our homeless budget (as a city, approximately $17 million).
Farrell said the intent of the emergency shelters is to temporarily create situations to stabilize individuals and to give them a place of respite off of the streets.
Bevan Dufty, director of the city’s office on Housing Opportunity Partnerships and Engagement, noted that it’s important to examine how San Francisco allocates resources that go toward homelessness.
“What we don’t look at, is how much we’re spending on police costs and how much we’re spending on street-cleaning costs and how much we’re tying up the courts with minor infractions that prevent people from accessing housing and just really wrap people into a justice system that is not where they belong.”
The Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Finance Committee’s hearing on cost effective strategies for helping the homeless is the first in the series.