Community in Crisis

Bay Area’s homeless problem could be solved with $12 billion, report says

San Francisco Homelessness

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The Bay Area has the third-largest homeless population in the United States.

The tab needed to solve its most persistent problem? A one-time investment of $9.3 billion, according to a new report.

The funds are going to dramatically increase the Bay Area supply of emergency shelters, modeled mostly on Oakland’s community cabin, expand rental assistance to keep people from becoming homeless in the first place and boost the creation of permanent supportive and affordable housing.

They are also calling for increasing safe parking sites for those living in vehicles and upping the investment into mental health and substance abuse programs.

Their solution also comes with an annual cost of $2.5 billion.

The funds would be coming from the feds, the state, and a proposed regional $10 billion ballot measure.

But it’s going to take more than money.

It’s also going to take political will.

They are calling on California to declare a shelter crisis in cities whose unsheltered homeless population is over 10%, thereby preventing them from blocking shelters from being built.

“So there’s a fear among cities if you build shelters the neighboring jurisdiction will utilize your shelter services. The correct answer isn’t to not build shelters it’s for everyone to build shelters together it’s in tandem so we know that every community is doing its part to shelter its own residents.”

According to the report, about 80% of those living on Bay Area streets lost their housing in the counties they are now homeless in.

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