Homelessness is an issue around the country, but in the wealthiest major cities, like Seattle, New York, and especially San Francisco, it’s particularly bad. Gentrification, rising rents, and difficulty in purchasing homes especially affect Black Americans.
“Redfin, a Seattle-based real-estate brokerage, found that there wasn’t any metro area in the country where a median African American household had a comfortable amount of money to buy at least 50% of the homes on the market in 2018.”
That means in every major city in the country, more than half of all homes for sale were completely out of reach for Black American homebuyers. These and other reasons account for why nationally, homelessness affects Black Americans the most.
In San Francisco, where tech companies have made countless millionaires and a salary of over $100,000 is considered “low-income,” Black Americans are especially affected by homelessness. Overall, Black people made up about 13% of San Francisco’s population in 1970, but now make up less than 6%.
Despite being only 6% of the total population, Black people make up 36% of the city’s homeless population. And homelessness is especially bad in S.F., says Tipping Point, because there are so few shelters: “San Francisco’s unsheltered rate is nearly 64% while New York’s rate is below 5%.”
The solution to the homelessness crisis is much more simple than people tend to think, they say: “We know what works. Homes and an array of supportive services, from mental health to job training, help move people from homelessness to stable and healthy lives.”
That's why they launched The Chronic Homelessness Initiative in 2017, which aims to reduce homelessness in San Francisco by 50% by 2022. They are working in partnership with the City of San Francisco to create more housing, prevent homelessness, and optimize public systems.
All In, Tipping Point’s new campaign, aims to share information about homelessness in San Francisco and enlist residents to support.
For example, they share that housing people is cheaper than leaving them on the streets: “Providing an individual with housing [and] supportive services costs ~$35k per year, but providing for just the healthcare needs of [people] experiencing homelessness costs more than twice that.”
Often people want to support, but don’t want housing or services in their neighborhood. But Black people experiencing homelessness are more likely to be their neighbors, according to The View From Outside, a survey conducted by Tipping Point: “Nearly two-thirds of Black survey respondents have lived in SF for more than a decade,” they say.
Tipping Point is asking for supporters to go “All In” on ending homelessness in S.F. by signing the pledge on their website, which says to City Leaders and their fellow San Franciscans that they welcome these solutions and will support their expansion in their neighborhood.
Sign the pledge and let city leadership know you’re all in: www.sfallin.org/act!