An Empowering Act of Love for the Homeless
A San Francisco-based nonprofit has pledged to raise $100 million to reduce chronic homelessness in a city widely known for sidewalk tent encampments amid multi-million dollar homes.
Tipping Point Community said the money will come from private donations and go toward affordable housing and homeless services provided by other nonprofit groups, as well as government agencies. The office of San Francisco Mayor, Ed Lee, says this is the largest private commitment ever made in the city to combat homelessness.
The money is being raised privately and will be doled out to city agencies including the recently created Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, as well as to some nonprofits, said Daniel Lurie, Tipping Point’s founder and chief executive officer.
Tackling the Issue from a Different Angle
San Francisco now spends up to $265 million a year to address homelessness through police, housing, street-cleaning, counseling and other programs. Nearly half of that money goes toward supportive housing — rooms or apartments for indigent people, with counseling and other services on-site to help them conquer the troubles that put them on the street.
Each chronically homeless person cost San Francisco taxpayers about $80,000 every year in ambulance rides, hospital stays, jail stints and other services — about four times what it costs to give them supportive housing.
Daniel Lurie, Tipping Point’s chief executive and founder, said that such poverty was unacceptable in such a wealthy region. “Homelessness is a humanitarian crisis and the issue of our time,” he said in a statement.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines the chronically homeless as people who have been living on the streets for more than a year and have a disability such as drug addiction or mental health issues.
The mayor’s office reports there are about 2,000 people in the city who are chronically homeless. Lurie would like to cut that number in half.
“There is no silver bullet to confronting homelessness. We need new ideas to address this issue and must tackle it from all angles,” the mayor said in a statement.
The nonprofit said in a press release that it has already raised $60 million.
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