New report aims to improve services for unhoused in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — It’s a new report aimed at improving the system that matches unhoused people with appropriate housing-related services in San Francisco.

Over 80 people with lived-experience of homelessness took part in the study.

“Our goals on this was really to understand why people who are experiencing homelessness are being matched with resources that don’t get them out of homelessness. That don’t solve the problems that they are facing,” said Organizing Director of San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness Ian James.

A new coordinated entry — shifting from scarcity to accessing real needs.

That is the title of a report — a year in the making — by the Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco.

Coordinated entry is the system the city of San Francisco uses to match unhoused people with resources that range anywhere from permanent housing, a temporary housing subsidy, to a bus ticket out of town.

James gave an example of the problem with the matching algorithm.

“For example, disabled seniors who were matched with a two-year subsidy, and anyone can tell within a brief conversation, this person would not be able to take over that rent after two years. Different cases that didn’t make sense is what turned us onto this issue,” James said.

“The coordinated re-entry system should be focusing more on family needs, and not pushing people out of the city,” said Tina Collins who is a case manager at Code Tenderloin.

“You have to find your own housing, and if you don’t find it within those 90 days, well then you’re out of luck and you’re back in the same situation that you are in,” Tracey Mixon who is a peer organizer for the Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco.

Coalition on Homelessness coordinated entry report came up with 35-recommendations to better assist those in need of housing.

Organizers say the results will be forwarded to the San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing in hopes of improving the matching process

“Giving people avenues to express the needs they have a successful placement,” James said.

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