Mayor Lee Announces New Housing for Chronically Homeless Veterans
New supportive housing buildings will provide essential housing opportunities for chronically homeless veterans and will move San Francisco closer to ending chronic homelessness for veterans
Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Jeff Kositsky, Director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) announced today the City’s plan to end chronic homelessness for veterans in San Francisco.
“No one who has served our country should be homeless in our City and these 75 new units will bring us one step closer to eradicating this situation,” said Mayor Lee. “Over the last two years we have housed over 700 chronically homeless vets and we are committed to continuing this work. Chronic veteran homelessness has no place in San Francisco.”
In 2014 First Lady Michelle Obama challenged cities across the country to end veterans’ homelessness. San Francisco accepted this challenge and has made important progress toward the goal of ending chronic homelessness for veterans, housing over 700 homeless veterans in the last two years. There are approximately 300 more chronically homeless veterans to house in San Francisco.
This fall and winter San Francisco will open 75 new units of supportive housing for veterans. Supportive Housing is a nationally recognized best practice in ending chronic homelessness that combines long term affordability with onsite social services ensuring that residents can maintain their housing and improve their health. The additional 75 units of supportive housing will cut the number of homeless vets living on our streets and shelters to 225.
“By making important improvements to our system, prioritizing housing placements for highly vulnerable veterans, and with the continued support and commitment of all local and federal partners, I am confident that San Francisco can end chronic homelessness for veterans,” said Kositsky.
The Crown Hotel at 528 Valencia Street opened on October 27th with 50 new units of supportive housing, 30 of which will house veterans. The Winton hotel at 445 O’Farrell Street is slated to open this fall and will include 104 new units, including 45 units for veterans. The Crown Hotel and the Winton Hotel will be managed by the Tenderloin Housing Clinic (THC).
“The Tenderloin Housing Clinic is excited to partner with the Department of Homelessness and Supportive housing on these supportive housing buildings. Together we’re making great strides in ending chronic homelessness for veterans and can’t wait to welcome the vets to their new homes in the very popular 16th and Valencia Street neighborhood, the improving Mid-Market, and less than a block from the Hilton in an exciting part of the Tenderloin,” said Randy Shaw, Executive Director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic.
One of our most successful measures to house chronically homeless veterans in our community was the opening of 250 Kearny Street, a supportive housing project that houses 126 chronically homeless individuals with a combination of federal and local resources. We are replicating the success of 250 Kearny this fall and winter at the new sites that will open: the Crown, and the Winton.
These projects demonstrate our ability to house homeless veterans in the community. By leveraging federal housing programs like HUD-VASH and Shelter Plus Care together with local resources we can provide the long term affordable housing and support services that veterans need to exit homelessness and thrive.
Ending chronic homelessness for veterans will require a community wide effort that calls on private landlords and management companies, nonprofit organizations, and local and federal government to come together to put the needs of highly vulnerable veterans at the forefront of our work. Our recent success is due to our strong partnerships with the San Francisco Housing Authority, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and our City’s talented service providers.
On November 17 the Homes for Heroes collaborative will be hosting a landlord engagement event at City Hall to recruit private landlords to join the fight to end chronic veteran homelessness. The Homes for Heroes collaborative includes the City, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the San Francisco Housing Authority and local nonprofit partners. To learn more and to rsvp please visit: http://bit.ly/landlordengagement
About the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing: The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) aims to prevent homelessness when possible and end homelessness for people experiencing homelessness through the provision of coordinated, compassionate and high-quality services. Established in 2016, HSH consolidates and coordinates citywide homeless serving programs and contracts.
About Tenderloin Housing Clinic: The Tenderloin Housing Clinic’s mission is to prevent tenant displacement, preserve and expand the City’s low cost housing stock and to provide comprehensive legal assistance to low income tenants. The Clinic is successful in fulfilling this mission by providing free legal services, securing SRO units through the Master Lease program and offering comprehensive support services to our clients.