SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – New data shows overall homelessness in San Francisco is down 3.5 percent from 2019 to 2022. The city also saw a 15 percent decline in “unsheltered homelessness,” its most significant decrease since 2005.
Despite these declines, the study also revealed that one group in particular is suffering significantly more from homelessness than others. Ivan Corado-Vega with San Francisco’s Latino Task Force says he’s not surprised by new city data showing that there was a 55 percent increase in Latinos experiencing homelessness from 2019 to 2022, with Latinos only making up 16% of the city’s population.
“This has been a disaster so we knew that this was coming,” he said. “We had been sounding the alarm. We had been asking for support and this is why the Latino Task Force came into existence because we knew that COVID was not only going to impact the health of our community but economically it was going to devastate us.”
Corado-Vega says during this time, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, many workers lost their jobs in restaurants, hotels and office spaces. However, he says the Latino community was in crisis long before the pandemic, as market-rate housing development has made it increasingly difficult for working-class people of color to make ends meet.
“The market rate pressures that are put on housing in our neighborhood just continues to increase so people are literally priced out,” he said.
He said the Latino Task Force quickly learned that the resources and access for their community are lacking, as 83 percent of unhoused folks in the Mission District were not on a homeless housing waitlist known as Coordinated Entry, according to a survey done by the task force.
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“We need to be able to access those services and we need to be the front door that any Latino community member can walk through and be able to access those services,” Corado-Vega said.
Corado-Vega says the Latino Task Force is currently working with the city to improve access and resources for the Latino community. Meanwhile, the study also revealed that African-Americans made up 38% of the total unhoused population.