San Francisco Launches Effort to Reduce Family Homelessness

San Francisco Launches Effort to Reduce Family Homelessness

The City of San Francisco has announced a public-private partnership aimed at dramatically reducing family homelessness in the city.

The Heading Home campaign, a $30 million public-private initiative between the city and county, the San Francisco Unified School District, Hamilton Families, and other local nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, plans to house eight hundred homeless families by 2019 with the help of rapid re-housing rental assistance. Through the initiative, a portion of a family's rent will be paid directly to the landlord for up to eighteen months as families work with Heading Home staff to find an apartment, move in, and get acclimated to their new community with the help of ongoing support services. 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 successfully connecting to the community.

To date, the campaign has raised $15 million in private funding, including a $10 million challenge/matching grant from Marc and Lynne Benioff and $4.5 million from the city and county. Other contributions to the campaign have come from Salesforce.org, the Hellman Foundation, Google.org, Mikkel Svane, Cari Tuna and Dustin Moskovitz, the San Francisco Giants, the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr., Fund, and Congregation Emanu-El.

The initiative builds on a partnership between SFUSD and Hamilton Families that was established in 2014 as well as the city's ongoing efforts to address homelessness. Since 2015, the city has seen a 20 percent reduction in the number of homeless families with children enrolled in its schools. The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing will continue working to improve the service delivery system for homeless families and plans to add more than three hundred new units of housing to serve this population.

"Together we will move hundreds of families into permanent housing, ending the trauma of homelessness for so many children in San Francisco," said Mayor Ed Lee. "The Heading Home Campaign is a fantastic example of civic leaders, nonprofits, and the city working together to make San Francisco better for all its residents."