SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A San Francisco Supervisors’ committee held another hearing Wednesday on homelessness; the same week the full board approved $1.4 million for the city’s homeless outreach.

One issue the committee hearing examined is getting people to move up the “housing ladder” to make room for other homeless in need of resources. San Francisco has 700 shelter beds and thousands of transitional and semi-permanent supportive units for the homeless.

Supervisor Mark Farrell identified one problem as being how to create a meaningful upward and onward housing ladder.

“The idea is you want people to keep climbing up the ladder to make space available for the people that are currently on our streets. Having it clogged up makes no sense at all,” he said.

Human Services director Trent Rhorer said some homeless worry about paying higher rent and others get settled where they are and don’t want to leave even if better housing is available.

“In the world of sticks and carrots, the carrot is a really nice housing unit that’s yours forever as long as you pay your 35 percent of income and rent. If you’re offered that once or twice and turn it down, maybe you lose access to your long-term bet,” he said.

There’s also an ongoing concern about homeless people on the streets who refuse offers of shelter. The money approved by the board this week is supposed to help on that front.


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