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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  April 23, 2018 3:00am-4:01am PDT

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there are some states that have right to shelter, so their rates of sheltering are very high, because it's in the state policy they have to shelter homelessness. they have significant numbers of people who are not sheltered, particularly in the seasonal weather they might have in those jurisdictions. san francisco, has hovered around 42% of sheltered since 2013. now, this data here is looking at the data that we get from hud. its jurisdictions are managed by the federal government in what is called continuums of care and these cross county boundaries. on the previous slide we looked just at cities. here we're looking at counties and the subpopulation. these exact percentages might differ slightly than what is in the san francisco point in time
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count, and that's because san francisco has a more rigorous counting method than required by hud. this gives comparison how we are with other cities in the four major categories. we're higher than some of our peer jurisdictions. when looking at services and strategies, this is something you're going to want to look at. for veterans, we're about the same as other jurisdictions. homeless people and families were a lot lower than our peer jurisdictions in this category. and traditional aged youth, we're about double of what our peers are. so just to generally take a step back. homelessness is one of the areas where the public and policymakers and departments are interested in getting firm numbers around these things. we've been working closely with the department of homelessness and supportive housing to expand the performance measures we're tracking. so taking a look at how they
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match the strategic framework and the homelessness response system. we have outreach services, that is the health outreach, how many encounters do we have? they're going to look at temporary shelter. for many of the measures, they're looking at the subpopulation, whether it's an adult, family, traditional aged youth. problem solving is another standing for trying to stop people from becoming homeless. housing solutions, whether it's permanent or rapid rehousings. as well as the housing ladder. these are the areas we're working with the department to get measures. i have a performance overview handout i provided. we'll get you numbers for 2017 as well as halfway through 18 to see what the counts are. some of the other measures we've been tracking for several years, one of them is problem solving. so in this case, we're looking at a couple of examples of
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programs we can do. what are the opportunities that we can prevent people from entering the system and resolve homelessness without the need for services? one of them is a one-time grant to maintain housing. this is what we've done over the last few years. homeward bound connects friends and family. we've been doing this program for a long time in san francisco. you can see the trend over time. and then the last one, is permanent supportive housing, the city has been making tremendous investments on this topic. right now there is roughly 7400 permanent supportive housing units with another 1250 coming up in the pipeline over the next four years or so. so we're tracking this by placements within supportive housing by fiscal year for adults and youth as well as families. i want to make a quick note these do not include the federally funded supportive housing placements.
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we took a look at benchmarking, using the hud data, we tooked a look at how many beds -- we look a look at beds. washington d.c. which is a little behind us, we by far have the most amount of permanent supportive housing beds per residents which is a policy choice the city has made. are there any questions? >> supervisor cohen: thank you. supervisor fewer. >> supervisor fewer: thank you very much, so when we were looking at our definition of homeless and we're looking at peers, so are we using same definition of homeless, what is a homeless individual as our peers? >> yes, hud does have standards what they define as homeless. that is what is included.
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>> supervisor fewer: so we're using hud standards? >> yes. for some of the benchmarking, yes. >> supervisor fewer: so when we're looking in comparison to our peers, we're using hud data? >> correct. that first one that i showed which is total homelessness and the shelter rates, those we went out to different cities and looked at their point in time counts. the reason we did that, the hud data comes more at a county level, so if we want to compare ourselves to seattle, we found when we looked at king county in the hud data, they were really low. and when we were able to go straight to seattle, if we really want to look at city to city. >> supervisor fewer: when we're doing our own assessments of how well we're doing, san francisco uses an expanded definition of homelessness. for example, people living in sheros, families tripling up.
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when we're looking at our own benchmarks, are we using the definition of hud or are we using our own definition, which is an expanded definition, more expanded than what hud defines as homeless. >> what i'm presenting today is the expanded definition. >> supervisor fewer: when you're doing your benchmark measures, you're using expanded version, is that correct? >> for homelessness and the shelter and unsheltered rates, yes, homeless. for the subpopulation we're using the more narrow definition because that is only available through the hud data set. >> supervisor fewer: and it is data by race? do you collect any of this data by race, or by any kind of demographics at all? >> i would defer that question to the department of homelessness and supportive housing. we are not tracking that fine of
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a level yet, it's something we're looking into. >> supervisor fewer: when you look at this measure and say we can go onto performance score cards, on those cards, are we categorizing demographics also? >> there, we are not. there you have to go to the department of homelessness. the report they issue every other year. we're in the process of expanding what we're showing on the score card. >> supervisor fewer: i have a suggestion that we do it by demographics, so we see the population of san francisco effected and the population is being served. >> thank you. >> supervisor cohen: supervisor yee? >> supervisor yee: thank you, chair cohen. i'm looking at the slide for the permanent supportive housing graph. i noticed that since 2015,
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fiscal year, 15, the number of families that are receiving this help has gone way down, is there -- am i reading it wrong? >> you're not reading it wrong, what happened during that time period, a lot of units came online, so once those became full, tamount of people placed went down. i would ask the department why. i don't know the answer to that. >> supervisor yee: ok. can the department answer that? >> supervisor cohen: let's reserve and we'll ask them that. i have a question for you, don't pack up. the purpose -- the reason we
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started with this particular presenter from the controller's office is to set the context to frame the entire question so we know exactly what we're looking at. it's important to capture the data and use it as a tool to evaluate our effectiveness in meeting our mission to home, house homeless people. so we've got a lot of work to do. on some points we're meeting our mark and doing exceptionally well, but there are more areas we need to develop more time energy and resources. but overall, how are we doing? is our strategy working? i'm not asking for subjective opinion, i want you to pay attention to the data and interpret it for us. overall, how would you give us a scoring of, you know, are we meeting the mark? >> i think that's a very difficult question to answer, because there isn't one measure that is going to say you're
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solving homelessness or addressing it in the right way. what we're trying to do is look at the program level to look at these counts. every year in the mayor budget book, we put in targets for what that performance will be and as we develop the work more, we're going to start thinking about what are the targets so we know based on what the budget is, do you think we're going to do "x" number of services. >> supervisor cohen: when did we start documenting our targets? what year was that? >> it depends on the measure, so for supportive housing we've been doing that for ten years. i can go back five years to see our targets. we have been looking at the whom ward bound. we've been looking at onetime grants. as these things are in different departments, there were different tracking mechanisms. now there is one department and
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one system, we're going to be doing more of that work, so i can't answer the question of how we're doing. i think what is really important right now is setting the baseline, because there a lot of these numbers we don't know about. the department is going to propose what they think are the right strategies like you were talking about in the introduction of do you want to target one population, target everyone? and that's when we can start to come up with targets with what do we expect with the funding level. >> supervisor cohen: has the city's targets been in previous years, you mentioned some type of data that goes back five years, but i think a fuller picture would be ten years. >> i'll have to look up that information, i don't have it with me right now. >> supervisor cohen: are you able to give a sense, are we on the right path? do we need to abort? move in a new direction? >> i would feel uncomfortable answering that because we're starting to get into the weeds
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and set the baseline for what is companied. and as the framework is put into place, we can start to measure. we can look at the budget initiatives and start to track closely over time what changes are actually made by which strategies are put in place. >> supervisor cohen: how long have we been setting the baseline? >> really, just this year actually. >> supervisor cohen: thank you, i appreciate your presentation. >> chair? >> supervisor cohen: yes? >> supervisor yee: thank you. for the onetime grants to maintain housing, it shows on the yellow board they're adults or youth and then the purple bar is the families. so i'm just curious, do we know the number, the head counts? is a family count as one, but
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there are three or four people versus the family, versus an adult that seems to be helped one by one? >> i'll have to get back to on that. in some of the cases we're tracking family members, and other cases families served, let me get back to you an on that one. >> supervisor yee: that's important to me to know to make a better comparison, one person versus another person. >> supervisor cohen: thank you very much. the next department we're going to hear from is -- the next presentation is from jeff co-sitski. jeff, before you get started, i have some questions that i'm going to throw out there to frame the conversation. first, do you as a department
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have a strategic process for how you prioritize cases? that's my first question. for example, do you prioritize families? do you prioritize veterans? do you prioritize people you believe to be "more easily housed". i don't know if there is such a thing, but i'm throwing this out there to get our juices flowing. do you prioritize people with mental illness? and when we think of framework for prevention, framework about encampments and emergency services and exits to housing, where does the bulk of the money go. and then finally, should we stay the course, or do we need a tactical shift? with that, the floor is to you. >> thank you very much, supervisors and thank you for calling this special hearing and recognizing the seriousness of this problem, it's nothing short
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of a catastrophe and human tragedy that is playing out on our streets every day, faeging the lives of -- affecting the lives of thousands of people, including affecting our neighborhoods. i want to thank the staff of hsh as well as our sister departments and our nonprofit partners who are here who work so hard every day working to help as many people as we possibly can to exit homelessness. going to talk briefly about what our strategies are as a department. then talk about the outcomes we've had to date and where we think we need to go next. so as you see in this picture, and to answer your first question, supervisor, prior to the formation of the department, we had a very fractured system of silo programs with no clear system of prioritization and very difficult for people experiencing homelessness who were often unintentionally given the run around trying to find the right services. what we're trying to do is move
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to a system that looks like this, through something called coordinated entry, which we have the ability to assess everybody who is experiencing homelessness, help prioritize people into the right intervention so that individuals have no other option other than getting permanent supportive housing are the ones that get it. and those who will do well in shorter term interventions will get those. the goal of this, and i think to the question before about setting goals and benchmarks, previously the city has had many goals for individual programs. we're trying to set large goals that i think we need to be judged against these goals which we have laid out, which is reducing chronic homelessness 50%, youth homelessness 50% and ending family homelessness and street encampments and the controller's office has other things they want to measure, but
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at this time this is how we measure our success. i want to talk about some of the challenges and our responses to those. this slide here, i'm going to sum up in one sentence, because i have a lot of slides. and we need to move quickly. every week, hsh and our partner agencies house or help 50 people exit homelessness. whether it's through homeward bound, permanent housing, rapid rehousing, but every week there is 150 newly homeless people on the streets. many get assistance from us, but we run in place if you will, because the large number of people who end up homeless in san francisco, whether they came from san francisco, or somewhere else, it's not the issue here. it's the fact that we have a large number of newly homeless individuals and we need to address that problem. the way we're proposing to do
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that is starting to invest in two new areas in the city, one is around coordinated entry. that i spoke about. the other is focusing on problem solving or prevention and diversion. how do we prevent people from becoming homeless? and how do we divert them back to the last safe place they stayed? and whether that's homeward bound or someone who just needs a security deposit or someone who needs to get their car fixed so they can keep their job. this needs to be a big focus because the numbers don't add up. 50 people housed every week, 150 newly homeless. this is one of the reasons why we're struggling. another struggle that i think is apparent to many of us, we have a large number of unsheltered homeless people in san francisco according to hud's numbers, 63% of the homeless population. we're about in the middle for the west coast, but compared to the rest of the country, that's a high number. our solution to that is
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expanding temporary shelter and i know many will have questions about this, so i won't get into the details, but it's about better coordinating our work with the department of health, the doesn't of public works and the police department to find people on the streets who need our help, to wrap services around them and get them to a place of safety to reduce the number of people on the streets. so it's a combination of expanding our temporary shelter but also using it more effectively through better coordination. another challenge is the only solution to homelessness is a home. san francisco does have more permanent supportive housing per capita than any other city in the u.s., but the demand still far exceeds the supply. one of the ways we're addressing this is through the housing ladder, providing vouchers to people living in supportive housing so they can move out and make room for people living on the streets. and to answer the question about
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the looked like we're serving for people in the past than we are now, that's because we're opening up more housing. it has more to do with the loss of state funding for housing development, the loss of redevelopment agencies or the spend-down of the mhp funds. so we're seeing 800 units turn over every year, but we'll see additional 100-200 because of the moving on. >> supervisor cohen: i want to recognize we have a full house. and i want to just announce there is an overflow room set up for anyone who does not have a seat in the chamber. if you go to room 263, there is plenty of seats, a television, you'll be able to hear everything that is transpiring here in the committee. and as this room continues to get smaller, you'll be able to move over. so at this point, if you're not seated and you're standing, just
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go out the hall, the members of the sheriffs department can direct you, 263, just across the hall. thank you. >> another challenge is mental health. about 40% of the people experiencing homelessness are at severe or high risk of medical complication, including mental health, addiction. we're responding to this through the whole person care program, a medi-cal program through the department of public health and it's to coordinate the services. and things are moving the right direction. we're working better together than i've seen for a long time and are using both. just sitting down in a room together but using technology to improve the way we're able to help that the most needy are getting prioritized for services
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and housing. the other challenge which we already sort of implied before is that for many years, san francisco had a sort of fractured silo of programs, spread across multiple departments with no single strategy in place to decide how we're going to use our resources to reduce homelessness. we have amazing programs and they helped 25,000 people over the past years, but we haven't been able to bend the curve and see a reduction in the count. two of the ways we're responding to that is improving how we're using data. we're trying to merge 15 different databases. and also, working to use the system of coordinated entry of assessing people, prioritizing them and referring them to the right location. and just want to point out to your question about whether this is the right strategy or we need to reset. this is a brand new strategy. and wanted to point out that the former director of the agency on
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homelessness, barbara poppy, i sent you a letter stating her support for our strategy, how it compares to others and this is the direction that both san francisco and nationally we need to be heading in. >> supervisor cohen: is she still serving in the united states homelessness agency? >> no, she is not. some of the outcomes, you can read these slides on our own. these are the number of people served since the department was formed. i think our work is starting to show progress between 2015 and 17, we saw 13% reduction in youth homelessness, 12% in family homelessness and 30% in chronic veteran homelessness. i encourage them to verify this, because there should be independent body, every other big city on the west coast and
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in the u.s., in the past two years has seen increases in homelessness. and for the first time in ten years, homelessness has gone up nationally, but in san francisco we saw a slight decline. but you will see many of our neighbors around us are seeing 30-40% increase in homelessness where we saw a slight reduction. i'm not going to say 1% reduction is a victory, because it's absolutely not. the only time we should celebrate is zero, but it's an indicator we're moving in the right direction. i want to talk to you all about the budget and our capacity as a system. as you see here on this slide, our budget is approximately this fiscal year, $250 million. it's important to point out that nearly two-thirds of that -- actually two-thirds of the operating funding goes to housing people. so when we talk about 7500
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homeless people and spend $250 million on it, that's not correct. we're housing almost 10,000 people in our 7400 units of supportive housing and the march of the funding is going for that purpose and that's the right purpose and the right place to make the investment, because the solution to homelessness is a home. we do spend 17% of our budget on temporary shelter which we have 2300 beds, you can stay for one night, up to one bed you can stay until you find housing. it's a big and complex system. 8% of the funding is on street outreach. 3% on health care services. and then capital and administration. i think this next slide is really important. i want to say this is estimate. we're still -- i believe it is close enough to share with you and i think the theme is accurate, we are under-spending on homeless youth.
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they make up 18% of the homeless population, but the direct expenditures to serve them is only 5%. homeless youth are able to serve, 18-24-year-olds can use the adult system, but they're not well represented in that system and this is an area of important public policy decision the city needs to make. and appreciate the attention some of you have given to this issue in recent years. i think just also want to thank my staff and many other people we have brought in a bunch of new resources. know our budget is large, but i want to point out much of it comes from other sources. and since we formed as a department, we've brought in $17 million of new state funds, $13 million of federal funding. $20 million general obligation bond funding for upgrading some of our shelter and opening up a new resource center. and then in partnership with philanthropy have raised $130
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million. so we're working hard to bring in new resources because i don't believe the local government on its own is going to be able to solve this problem and we need our partners at all levels of government and the private sector to help out. and they have been. this next slide here is just a list of what we currently have in our system. and then the next slide i want to point out to you, this is important to note, it's something to be proud of, where the bay area has -- we at san francisco has 24% of the homeless population, we have 30% of the shelter and 44% of the bay area permanent housing. we clearly have made important investments. this calls for better regional collaboration and working with the counties around us so they're addressing the problem with the same energy that we are here in san francisco. and lastly, i want to talk about some of the gaps we think exist in the system and some of the
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policy decisions that need to be made. we're focussing on a number of areas, one is problem solving. we need to build out the front end of the system. that is just critical. we -- we're never going to be able to solve the problem if we have 150 newly homeless every
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-- they're not able to hire people due to competitive wages. we're asking them to, we want to prioritize the sicker and longer term homeless individuals into our permanent housing, that requires them to have more services for those individuals. and they're answering the call, but they can't keep answering the call if we don't provide them with more resources. i want to point that out as important. i want to say, we have identified gaps in the system and we've made progress towards filling those gaps. we've added 50 new problem solving grants which were experimental, short-term rent subsidies that have been very effective. we added 326 units of permanent
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supportive housing. 214 temporary shelter and navigation beds and added 350 new slots in the moving on initiative. there are cloorl more gaps that -- clearly more gaps that need to be filled and we're working with the mayor's office to weren't our budget and strategies how to fill the gaps. lastly, want to talk about what our recommendations would be around policy areas to focus on. i want to thank the bla for their excellent report they put together. we concur with their recommendations on some of the focus areas they have laid out. we also believe we need to continue focusing on and this is frankly a non-financial item, but we need to continue focusing on making the systems change, as hard as it is to move to this fractured system to a coordinated effective system, i think that's incredibly important. most of the funding from that comes from hud, because they
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mandate the city's move toward a coordinated system and they're providing funding to make that happen. we need to explore options for lower cost temporary shelters, because clearly we need to get more people off the streets. problem solving and short-term intervention is a major area we need to focus on, and capacity building in our programs and ensure the sustainability of our nonprofit sector. thank you very much. i'm sure you'll have a few questions. >> supervisor cohen: thank you, appreciate that. before we go onto the committee and take questions, i just want to again, to the people that are standing up here, it's a fire hazardment i can't have you standing up. there is room over here in the second row. squeeze in, or you can be the lucky winner and go to the overflow room that is 263, right across the hall and you'll be able to sit comfortably. thank you for honoring that request. if you can't find a seat, we
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have one for you across the hall. with that, i'd like to recognize president london breed. >> president breed: thank you for being here today. i had a couple of questions specifically about your budget and budget ask. and i was wondering if it included, since you mentioned that we need to do more on the front end to address prevention, did it include an increase in the subsidies for providing grants to individuals for making sure that they're able to hold onto their homes? >> so again, we're still working with the mayor budget office to finalize the request, but we have emphasized this and i know that mayor farrell has spoken about the importance of building out that front end system. we'll have more specific requests when we present the budget to you in a few months, but yes, that's a priority for us. >> president breed: i constantly hear that money runs out very quickly. and so do you have any idea when
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the beginning of this fiscal year starts, after what particular month is all of that money gone and is there estimate of needed revenue for that particular fund for the purposes of making sure that it lasts through the fiscal year? >> so we -- i want to say, eviction prevention is an important thing we do, but it's not always homelessness prevention. so a lot of people who get evicted don't end up becoming homelessness. >> president breed: do you know the percentage? >> i don't. but what we're trying to do is target the eviction prevention toward families and adults who we know will become homeless if we don't provide that assistance. we need 850 to 1,000 more slots of problem solving assistance. it can be a wide range of things, again, helping somebody fix their car to keep their job, or paying back rent or getting
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them connected to legal services. i think the question about the overall demand, i don't have an answer. >> president breed: supervisor jeff sheehy and i have legislation, is there any discussion about possibly including any funding for that particular purpose in the upcoming budget as the prevention strategy as well? >> not in our particular budget. >> president breed: and there weren't any discussions about this? >> about the right to counsel? >> president breed: yes. >> no. >> president breed: and in the upcoming budget? >> not in our budget, and that would be the mayor and community and housing develop, rather than the budget. >> president breed: but it is a prevention strategy as well for homelessness? >> yes. >> president breed: i'm wondering why there is no conversation around it. >> i believe it's happening with
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ohcd. but we believe that anything that can help people not risk becoming homeless is important strategy. >> president breed: is there any way you could at a later date provide data to help us understand exactly of the folks who are evicted or the folks lepped with the -- helped with the subsidies, what does that mean in the number of people were helping? >> we can provide you that data as well as analysis how many people need the assistance that aren't getting it. we have that information. >> president breed: that would be great. >> and also we could talk to you had how many people are getting evicted and ending up back on the streets again. all those things need to be factored into homelessness prevention and evictions. >> president breed: the other thing i wanted to ask is about the shelters and what is
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preventing the shelters from being 24 hours? >> so most of our shelters, although not all, are 24-7. some of them are not 24-7 due to funding and others are not due to the fact they're in spaces that are used for other purposes, like in the basement of a church, or a gym at a church. i believe we're going to be working on some of those shelters that can't be used 24-# to a place where we can have them open 24-7. we agree that's an important part of the shelter system. they remain open and people can sleep when they need to and have a place to go to when they need to. people sometimes work at night and need a place to sleep during the day. we're onboard with that and moving in that direction. we have two of the shelters that are not 24-7 become 24-7 next
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fiscal year. >> president breed: the other question, transitional aged youth. i know that we definitely need to allocate more resources for transitional aged youth, but i think we're running into challenges for providing housing for this population, which we did at the booker t. washington community center where only half of those units went to tau and i'm concerned because if we're providing opportunities for this population, how are we going to effectively address that if -- it took years to get to that point. a lot of drama. associated with getting the housing built. and it just really -- i mean it was great, and 50 units is wonderful and there are people that are housed, but what is the
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real connection between this particular population and providing dollars to your department? what is the real connection to make sure if we're talking about adding more youth aged housing, how are we going to make sure they have access, a real chance of accessing the housing? >> i think first of all, again, want to thank the bla for their report and direct everyone to their recommendations which we fully concur with around the need for more rental subdisfor youth as well as a navigation center for youth. the strategy is different for young folks. while we have housing in the pipeline opening up over the next five years, i don't know the exact number. unless one of my colleagues can find that before i'm done talking. but we need to focus on the idea, we have home-sharing where
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people are willing to rent a room out to people experiencing homelessness. it's effective in the u.k. we're excited about that. but this idea of short-term represent subsidies that last 2-5 years for young people, connected with education and employment opportunities is very critical. i believe that we can and should do better than telling a young person move into this subsidized housing and then stay there. we need to be focused on how do we get them into a housing situation where we can help them increase their income so they can remain housed on their own and without the need for support? these are pinocchios the beginning of their -- folks in the beginning of their lives and need to focus not just on the employment piece, but the education and jobs piece that i think is critical. we just left a meeting with some of my nonprofit partners trying to advance the idea next fiscal year around really ramping up
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our work around rapid rehousing for youth connected to really serious employment. and i think we've been talking to many of our local employers, really it's been wonderful to hear them say we'll step up, we'll set aside 50 jobs for the program, we have people to work for us and you've got people looking for jobs. >> president breed: it would be helpful to understand the specifics of your current budget ask, how they relate to improving the ability for you to do more and what that means and just the data, so that we can have, or at least i can have a better understanding of what is needed to address some of the issues that i know you deal with every single day. so thank you for your presentation. >> when we work those details out with the mayor budget office, we'll have that for the next presentation in a month or so.
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>> president breed: thank you. >> supervisor sheehy: thank you, jeff, for your presentation and your hard work. i know it's been a struggle to make a dent. i appreciate that you've kept us level. and it's been wonderful working with you. i do want to note that the funding we got for tay with mayor lee, you put that to good use, we've housed 25-30 kids, which opened up slots all the way down the ladder and the funding for the lgbt center has served 250-300 young people, six days a week, so thank you for operationalizing that. i have a couple of questions and the main thing is the recommendations you've put together with the budget and legislative analyst. very supportive and supervisor -- president breed was talking about this. the subsidies for youth.
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and then the navigation center. have you been in conversations with probation chief nbas? i was talking to him today and he identified cottages at the juvenile probation center that could be repurposed and we target 90 folks here. he said around 100. it could be augmented to meet the needs. some of the services have been provided to the young people in the juvenile probation center, by the way, excellent work by chief nance, one of the best departments in getting great outcomes for young people. is this something that might be a place? we've been talking to this for a year.
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there continues to be a gap. there is one kid -- we talked about this kid -- we got him to the mission nav center early on, but that wasn't the right space to him. i wanted to ask about that. we have to keep going back and forth. if you can give me information about this host -- i forget the name. host homes. i've talked to people who have expressed an interest in that. so someone from your team can drop me an e-mail how to connect people to that and i want to say how much i appreciate your work. >> thank you very much, supervisor, and we appreciate your leadership on this issue of transition aged youth. president breed, to answer your question, there are 67 transitional age in the pipeline that will open up in the next 3-4 year. and then to your question about navigation centers, we have looked at that site.
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we continue looking at that and other sites. we agree that is a gap. and our friend we have in common, i think you're right, the center we sent him to was not the right environment. we need to create a space that is especially for that population and my staff are very adamant about this and remind me almost every day. we are working on identifying a site and funding to provide a tay navigation center. >> so we'd be able to do that if we were to make within the process the allocation that was recommended by the budget and legislative analyst? >> i believe that would be up to chair of the committee as to how to proceed. >> supervisor sheehy: but if we did that, that would do the trick? >> i don't know that it would do the trick, but we concur with that recommendation and would also point out it is in legislation passed by the board of supervisors in 2016 that we
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open up a tay center and we are aware of the need for that to happen. >> supervisor cohen: thank you. supervisor yee? >> supervisor yee: thank you, chair cohen. similar question that i had earlier, when we look at data for families. i'm trying to get a better handle, where there is a family unit has one, or is it counted as two members in the family or three or five? because i'm looking at your own intermay gos, which if i don't know the definition, it's hard to understand. and then, of course you have the
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estimated expenditures by population. again, families for children, so are we just counting a family as one regardless of how many members in the family? >> this is a bit confusing, perhaps unnecessarily so. i appreciate the fact that the controller's office used the hud data and compared us, because it's a good comparison and shows some of our successes in that area, but it doesn't fully capture the whole problem. the hud data is number of people in families. so when we do the point in time count, it's reported as the number of individuals who are in families, however, when we talk about placements, we're talking about a family unit that is being placed without regard for the number of individuals. the other thing to make this just a little more confusing, the school district has -- the u.s. department of education has a different definition of family
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homelessness than hud does. they count unsheltered families, families in shelter and that's what hud counts, but they also count families in sros and families doubled up not by choice. hurray, u.s. department of education. city of san francisco, when we look at the u.s. department of education, definition, the problem with this is until we have our data systems up and running, it will be another year before we have good data on this, we're forced to pull data together and look ott our point in time count and extrapolate what is going on and the issue is, when they count a family as homeless, if that family is housed during the school year, they don't identify that. and we're working them on a data-sharing agreement to get a better handle. i don't think we have a good
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handle on it, but i can tell you whereas our percentages look good compared to other communities, i think our point in time said 583 people who are in families who are homeless. the number of families we count as homeless, is much, much higher than. they were talking about close to 2000 students who are experiencing homelessness. which is lower than it was at its peak, but it's still much higher than what it had been for many years that it stuck at 800 and then jumped up very high during the recession. we'll wok on getting better data. your office has asked us about this before. we will keep you posted. >> supervisor yee: ok. related to schools, and school children, and families, i read
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in the paper, like everybody else, that there is some thought about using visa school to possibly do temporary shelter for the families. and i looked at estimated costs of that and i'm -- first of all, let me ask another question first. when you help families or individuals with the rent subsidies for instance, how much do you normally -- what is the average? >> that's an excellent question. one moment. average cost for onetime assistance through rapid rehousing is about $35,000 a family. if a family is in permanent -- that's one time usually spent over an 18 month period of time. to have a family in permanent housing is going to cost $35,000
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a year and that's permanent subsidy, as long as they're living in the unit. usually average of ten years. >> supervisor yee: that's helpful, because when i thought about the total cost per year to run this for 20 families, then it's pretty much averaging $35,000 per family. and i guess if it's the same amount as helping them live in a regular apartment or somewhere, i mean, that would be my preference, not to live in a gym of a school. and it's nothing permanent where you can do anything, except sleep there. has anybody thought about the cost benefits of what is being suggested at the school? >> yeah, thank you for that question. we have put lot of thought into this. it's not apples to apples, because the shelter we're
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talking about would cost if i remember correctly, $40 per person per night. to provide that shelter. which is very low relative to the cost of some of our others, but it's important to know that the turnover, those will turn over every 90 days, so they're going to serve more than one person in the beds. and they serve a different purpose. anyone, whether it's family, transition aged youth, is going to have a hard time being able to find work, being able to do their homework, being able to go to school, look for a job. and shelters provide a platform in which family, individual, or youth are able to get stabilized, take a deep breath, be safe, have a good meal. and there is plenty of studies that show that kids who are in stable shelter do much better
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academically than kids not in a stable environment and moving around from place to place. i agree with the premise, where we should be investing our money is in housing, but i do believe people get into emergency situations and having responses to those is also important. >> supervisor yee: my understanding was that the 20 families were families in which there are children or a child was going to that school. >> very early in the exploratory phases of this, and no decision has been made around a budget ask. we have a long list of priorities. so i don't know exactly what the plan would be around numbers. we've roughed out a budget just to get a general idea of what it would cost based on our other shelters, but as far as the actual program design, we're not ready to have that discussion at
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this time. >> supervisor yee: i hope you consider my thoughts on this, whether or not the benefits of this is worth it. i don't want to make an argument here, i could, but you know, but i think we should consider that. >> again, it's a policy decision about we're having it prioritized where do we want to invest? but while we're on the topic, i want to say how appreciative i am of that school community for reaching out to us. i went to a meeting with them expecting to be -- people to want to say, how are you going to solve this problem? and instead what i got was, we have a problem, a solution and would like to partner with you on that. very rarely do people offer to welcome people experiencing homelessness into their communities. many people do, but often times
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we face resistance. and regardless of whether or not we do this, i want to acknowledge that school community for being willing to even consider something like that. it was really incredibly touched by that gesture. >> supervisor yee: i totally agree. and i just want to also be -- want us to be transparent with the school community if we're thinking beyond the 20 families they're thinking of in the school. i have a few other questions. when you had that temporary shelter at pier 80, i went to visit, what i felt there was a sense of calmness with the people that were there. and i know we lost that site. i'm just wondering, is there any possibility anywhere in san
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francisco where we could do something similar? because this seems like it was a place where the homeless felt, individuals felt comfortable there. >> yeah, i believe with enough will and enough money, we can do lot of things and pier 80 was a really good model. it was a pilot set up for el niño and what it did provide was -- well, the infrastructure setting it up ended up being expensive, but the operations, in terms of the staffing and how much we invested was low cost. it was low barrier to entry and calm and flexible place and people really liked it. i think something like that could offer a great alternative to encampments. our stance is, we shouldn't be asking people to leave a place unless we have something else to
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offer them. two-thirds of the people we offer shelter to want to accept it. and having more places is important. and investing a tremendous amount of money in temporary solutions is probably not the best place to invest our money. we should be investing also in housing solutions for people. so if there is a way to find to create lower cost kind of no frills, but safe and warm, with some food for folks that they can come and go as they please and not necessarily be required to engage in services in any way, i think that holds potential for addressing the street homelessness crisis we have. >> supervisor yee: thank you for that thought. and then one issue that you have not addressed or spoken about is really those families and individuals that live in their cars, or vehicles. and if anything from my district, i have more of that
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than individuals living on the streets. is there anything thought about what to do, generally speaking, people who live in their vehicles, live in their vehicles, but most of the complaints come in regards to the residents is more of basically there is no rest rooms for them, or there is nowhere to dump their garbage, so it's thrown outside the vehicles. is there any thought about possibly having -- what do you call those things? car -- >> safe parking program. >> car towns or whatever. >> we have looked at a whole variety of options and other ideas. and we've been working with both mta, with andy thornily and
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emily cohen from the staff and people currently sleeping in their cars have been involved in the discussion over the past few months around what some options might be. we will present a pilot program as a potential. again, it's sort of a policy decision about how this fits into what we want to do with limited amount of resources, but we're impressed with the program in santa barbara. that has a safe parking program spread across multiple churches and facilities and it's been effective. and certainly is an issue in san francisco. and we certainly don't want to force people out of their cars and into our shelter system because the system is already full. if we can find a way to make this work for folks as they're looking for permanent housing, we need to do that and again, are working on it and went through a community process that i think was thorough. and we'll present that as a policy option in the future.
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>> supervisor yee: ok. this other question is really on the replacement shelter in the bay view. i understand there has been many challenges to locating another site. has there -- rather than try to lease and get kicked out, so forth, is there any thought about just buying a place? >> unfortunately, supervisor cohen had to step out, because we've been in discussion with her about this and she's been very supportive of our effort to find a location and it's been a challenge to find any kind of real estate for anything in san francisco. and finding it for a shelter is especially challenging. i agree if there is an opportunity to purchase rather than lease, it would be much more economical. so we have been advocating strongly with the mayor and other cities to pass a bill that would bring in 1.5 to $2 billion of onetime funding to address
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homelessness in cities in california. should that funding become available, that would be one of the excellent uses of that fund. so absolutely something we're looking at. unfortunately -- the reality is, our general obligation bond would have been a goodeous of that, but that is fully programmed to update the shelters that the city currently owns, as well as the rehabilitation of 440 turk for our offices and access point. >> supervisor yee: the legislation or bond measure that the governor is putting through, is it $3 billion pore this november? -- for this november? >> i am not aware of that. we've been really focused on -- there are four or five bills specifically about homelessness. there are two competing bills -- i'm sorry, i'm aware. this is no place like home funding. >> supervisor yee: right. >> prop 63


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