Jul 28, 2023 - News

Report: San Francisco's homelessness rate trailed Oakland, L.A. in 2022

Photo of a hole in clothed wire showing a view of a homeless encampment filled with tents

A homeless encampment in downtown San Francisco as seen on April, 14, 2022. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

San Francisco has one of the highest homelessness rates in the country, according to a new analysis of 16 peer jurisdictions by the San Francisco controller.

State of play: Oakland, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Berkeley had (in that order) the highest counts of people experiencing homelessness per 100,000 residents in 2022.

  • These four cities also had higher rates of unsheltered homelessness compared to other cities of similar size.
  • "Most jurisdictions on the West Coast saw increases in total homelessness between 2019 and 2022, while many East Coast jurisdictions reported decreasing total homelessness," per the report.

By the numbers: In 2022, San Francisco had 298 temporary shelter beds per 100,000 residents, less than the average of 361 per 100,000 residents.

  • That same year, an estimated 8% of people experiencing homelessness in the city identified as being in families that included children under age 18 — much lower than the average of 23%.
  • But the city also had an estimated 13% of persons experiencing homelessness who identified as youth, above the average of 9%.

Of note: San Francisco and Berkeley both reported a decrease in overall homelessness (3% and 5%, respectively) from 2019 to 2022 even though most other California jurisdictions recorded increases.

The big picture: The city has rolled out several new affordable housing initiatives this year. A nonprofit is also piloting a new guaranteed basic income program that advocates say could make a dent in the crisis.


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