International

San Francisco to spend 5 million USD in addressing worsening homeless problem


SAN FRANCISCO, May 17 — San Francisco Mayor London Breed Thursday pledged to spend 5 million U.S. dollars in addressing the city’s homeless crisis as official statistics showed that the number of the homeless has increased by 17 percent over the past two years.

Breed said the funds will be included in this year’s upcoming budget, which will cover the spending for efforts to “keep people from becoming homeless and help newly homeless individuals quickly exit homelessness.”

“As I have been saying for years, we desperately need to build more housing, especially badly needed affordable housing and supportive housing, because we know that high housing costs contribute to an increase in homelessness,” she said.

According to the mayor, the money will be used to pay for interventions to fight homelessness, including relocation programs such as family reunions, moving-in assistance and flexible goals to fund housing and employment.
Breed’s pledge coincided with the release of a federal count Thursday which indicated that the city is witnessing a double-digit growth in the number of homeless people since 2017.
According to the tally, San Francisco has 8,011 homeless people, both sheltered and unsheltered, up 17 percent over the past two years.
“The initial results of this count show we have more to do to provide more shelter, more exits from homelessness, and to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place,” she said.
Breed promised to push for the drive to create more than 300 new shelter beds this year, and an additional 500 beds in 2020, for those without homes.
City officials have been taking measures to assist people living in vehicles in having access to necessary services and housing. – XINHUA