Direct Homeless Exits Through City Programs

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Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing

FY 2017-18
Result: 1,601 exits
Target: 1,620 exits (Permanent Supportive Housing = 820, Homeward Bound = 800)

FY 2016-17
Result: 1,596 exits
Target: 1,570 exits (Permanent Supportive Housing = 820, Homeward Bound = 750)

This metric combines exits from homelessness through programs that were formerly operated by the Human Services Agency (HSA) and the Department of Public Health (DPH) through the end of FY 2015-16. Beginning in FY 2016-17, these programs were merged under the new Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH). These programs include permanent supportive housing, subsidized housing with case management services, and Homeward Bound, which assists homeless individuals in reuniting with family or friends. This metric is important because permanent supportive housing and Homeward Bound are the city’s key programs that directly create exits from homelessness for some of San Francisco’s most vulnerable citizens.

How the City is Performing

The chart above displays all permanent supporting housing placements and clients served by Homeward Bound through March 30, 2018. The number of permanent supportive housing placements is down slightly compared to previous years. As of March 2017, the City was slightly below it's projection for achieving 1,620 exits from homelessness by the end of FY 2017-18 (June 2018). The number of individuals reunited with family and friends through the Homeward Bound program was slightly above average compared to previous years, but the number of individuals and families placed in permanent supportive housing was below average for that period.

San Francisco met its FY 2016-17 target with 1,596 individuals exiting homelessness through permanent supportive housing or the Homeward Bound program. 

HSH will continue working towards implementing a coordinated entry system for the City’s supportive housing portfolio through FY 2017-18. The goal of the coordinated entry system is to assess and identify families and individuals in order to best match client needs to housing exits, prioritizing those most in need of the intervention. Coordinated entry is being used for placing homeless veterans and will soon be used for families as well. HSH plans to fully implement a coordinated entry system in 2018.

Future increases in placements in permanent supportive housing will depend largely on available funding to open new sites and the timeline for construction of new units. Each new site that is opened leads to an immediate spike in placements as the site is filled for the first time. After that, placements only occur when a unit becomes vacant. There are currently a number of new buildings in HSH’s supportive housing pipeline. As opening dates for new units are confirmed, it will be possible to identify when placement spikes are likely to occur.

How Performance is Measured

Housing Placement data is summarized by program type and reported by the individual housing providers through the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH). HSH maintained a database to track clients served by the Homeward Bound program. The database contains a report that summarizes the number of clients served by month. These programs were previously administered through the Human Services Agency and Department of Public Health. HSH took over all data collection and reporting functions for these programs during FY 2016-17.

The number displayed on the scorecard page represents a fiscal year-to-date sum.

Below are the permanent supportive housing programs included in the Homeless Exits Though City Programs performance measure:

  • Master Lease: DHSH leases single room occupancy (SRO) buildings and contracts nonprofits to provide property management and supportive services. Some buildings are funded through Care Not Cash (CNC), an initiative passed by San Francisco voters in 2004 to transfer some of the city’s cash assistance to homeless persons to investments in supportive housing. DHSH only refers CAAP clients to CNC buildings. DHSH refers both CAAP and non-CAAP clients, many of whom are Supplemental Security (SSI) recipients, to the non-CNC buildings.
  • Shelter+Care: The Shelter+Care Program provides rental assistance to chronically homeless single adults and families with disabilities related to severe mental health, substance abuse, and disabling HIV/AIDS. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds the rental assistance, and San Francisco uses local general funds to provide the supportive services.
  • Local Operating Subsidy Program (LOSP): The Mayor’s Office of Housing finances new developments that are owned by non-profit organizations. DHSH controls tenant referrals to each site and provides both an operating subsidy and supportive services funding.
  • Direct Access to Housing (DAH): These sites, formerly operated by DPH, target low-income San Francisco residents who are homeless and have special needs. DAH is a “low threshold” program that accepts adults into permanent housing directly from the streets, shelters, hospitals and long-term care facilities.
  • Homeward Bound: The Homeward Bound program pays transportation costs to reunite homeless persons living in San Francisco with family and friends willing and able to offer ongoing support to end the cycle of homelessness.

These figure excludes some housing placement programs and other data that were recently added the HSH portfolio. The Controller's Office is working with HSH to update criteria and validate criteria for this metric, and will report new results as they are available.

Additional Information


Please click first on the chart above and then click the “Download” button in the bottom right corner of the visualization to view and download the data displayed in the chart.