San Francisco Has Spent Billions To End Homelessness And It’s Been A Total Disaster

Fourteen Percent Of All Drug Overdoses Occurred Within San Francisco's Taxpayer-Funded Housing.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 30: Homeless people are seen on streets of the Tenderloin district in San Francisco, California, United States on October 30, 2021. Last week on Tuesday, San Francisco housing project for homeless development is rejected by a majority of the city supervisors with an 8 to 3 vote.
Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The city of San Francisco’s housing for the homeless is so decrepit and dangerous, that at least one vagabond told the press that he prefers to sleep on the street rather than take advantage of the tax-payer-funded shelter.

In 2016, San Francisco launched a new program to end homelessness with a $160 million budget. That figure has since ballooned to more than one billion per year. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the city now pays non-profits to maintain and staff hotels purchased by the city. Homeless people are then offered rooms as shelters and despite the incredible amount of cash, the results have been entirely disastrous.

Richard Brustie, a homeless man in the Golden Gate City told the San Francisco Chronicle that he moved into one city-funded shelter with his girlfriend and “the kitchen sink had human s*** in it, and the hotel has black mold.”

The rooms are reportedly filled with mold and feces while also being the location of 14% of the city’s drug overdoses despite housing only 1% of the city’s population.

“So we said screw that, and we started sleeping on the streets,” Brustie added.

SF Chronicle also reported that “of the 515 tenants tracked by the government after they left permanent supportive housing in 2020, a quarter died while in the program — exiting by passing away, city data shows.”

Between 2020 and 2021, at least 166 people fatally overdosed in city-funded hotels which equates to 14% of all confirmed overdose deaths in the city at that time, according to the paper’s researchers.

While the program was intended to eliminate the abject poverty that leads to homelessness, there are now 56% more homeless people in the city than when the department launched the effort in 2016, the paper noted.

Critics say that the problem with the program is that not enough emphasis is focused on actually helping those placed in the hotels with needed assistance such as addiction treatment for drugs and alcohol. One facility that appears to be doing well is Kelly Cullen which is adequately staffed with nurses and is devoid of dilapidated conditions.

Mayor London Breed (D) now “has pledged to open buildings that look more like Kelly Cullen” and has created a “$1.1 billion budget for homelessness services and a windfall in state grants.” The SF Chronicle reported that she plans to use that money “to buy hotels with private bathrooms and, when possible, kitchenettes.”

San Francisco is not alone in its problems with spending billions on homelessness only to incur more homeless. Seattle has faced similar problems in the past.

In 2019, Townhall.com noted that journalist Christopher Rufo observed in City-Journal that the only way to end the homeless in The Emerald City is to break up what he called the “homelessness industrial complex.”

“With more than $1 billion spent on homelessness in Seattle every year, one should keep in mind Vladimir Lenin’s famous question: Who stands to gain?” Rufo observed. Rufo posited that city leaders, non-profits, and government agencies stood to benefit the most from the enormous budget.

Could that also be the case in San Francisco?

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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