Monday, November 28, 2005

Updating the Homeless scorecard

On Michael Krasny's Forum program of Nov. 17 on KQED-FM, Mayor Newsom announced that the city has "housed" 1070 formerly homeless people in the past 18 months under Care Not Cash and what he calls the "direct access to housing" approach. In last Friday's SF Chronicle story ("814 Homeless Given a Ticket Out," Nov. 24, Kevin Fagan), we learn that the city's Homeward Bound program has put 814 homeless people on Greyhound bus outahere in the last 10 months. The current score: add Care Not Cash's 1070 to Homeward Bound's 814 and you get a total of 1884 homeless people that the Newsom administration has gotten off the city's streets in the last 18 months, more than 100 a month. 

You will never see this information in BeyondChron, the SF Weekly, or the SF Bay Guardian. The Guardian's Tim "Ideology" Redmond may hate it, but the reality is that Mayor Newsom is off to a very successful start in dealing with homelessness in San Francisco.

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At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Lev said...

100 a month doesn't particularly seem like a lot ...
I think I passed 10 on my way up the block to my house just a few minutes ago, which is 8 more than it was last month.
I think I'll need see a lot more persuasive stats before I buy into "a very successful start".

At 8:21 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

100 a month is pretty good if you're starting from zero, which is where we were with the Brown administration. Newsom was starting from scratch and has had to basically reorient city government to deal with homelessness at all. Recall too that Care Not Cash didn't go into effect until May, 2004 because litigation held it up in the courts until then, even though Newsom took office in January, 2004. In short, he's off to a good start. If the city can maintain the 100 a month average, the problem will be solved within a few years. Of course it isn't that simple, and people are always arriving, too. My impression is that there are fewer homeless on the streets overall, and the numbers seem to bear that out. Good start, but a long way to go, and Newsom seems to understand that.


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