On any given day in San Francisco, many city departments play a role in keeping our neighborhoods safe, and helping people experiencing homelessness on the streets.
The City’s Healthy Streets Operation Center (HSOC) is responsible for addressing large encampments and outreaching to encampments to make sure COVID-19 safe sleeping guidelines are followed.
These guidelines include:
- Tents and structures cannot make sidewalks impassable, create fire hazards or be within 6 feet of a doorway, functioning window, or public facility.
- Unsanitary or excess items in an encampment cannot create safety or health hazards.
- Tents cannot interfere with pedestrian traffic on commercial corridors or recreational areas.
HSOC is only able to resolve encampments when the City has an adequate number of sheltering alternatives. Therefore, some encampments may not be able to be resolved right away.
The San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team (SFHOT) supports the Healthy Streets Operations Center (HSOC) via a specialized Encampment Resolution Team (ERT). SFHOT provides regular outreach and engagement to the most vulnerable individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness by offering them appropriate and available resources. Through their partnership, SFHOT and HSOC implement a services-first approach to encampment resolution. The SFHOT ERT outreaches to people living in large encampments, connects them to services and health care, assesses them for housing and places them into available shelter programs. HSOC also conducts bi-monthly counts of tents, structures and vehicles, which are available on an online dashboard.
The Street Crisis Response Team is a collaboration between the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH), the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD), and the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) to provide the most appropriate clinical interventions and care coordination for people who experience behavioral health crises in public spaces in San Francisco in order to reduce law enforcement encounters and unnecessary emergency room use. Each team includes one community paramedic, one behavioral health clinician and one behavioral health peer specialist. Some 911 calls regarding people experiencing behavioral health crises will be routed to the Street Crisis Response Team. More information on Street Crisis Response Team is available online here.