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Evaluation: Solutions to Chronic Homelessness

PUBLISHED: Mar 21, 2024

In June 2017, Tipping Point announced a $100 million commitment to reduce chronic homelessness in San Francisco by 50%. Our five-year Chronic Homelessness Initiative was the largest private investment to address homelessness in San Francisco history. The following report published by third-party social and economic policy research organization, the Urban Institute, is the culmination of that effort. 

The evaluation highlights the successes and challenges of the initiative, including:

  • Innovating and maximizing flexible resources: Tahanan—a groundbreaking, 100% permanent supportive housing (PSH) building that was built faster and with lower costs per unit than other similar PSH buildings in the City–served as a prime example of Tipping Point’s ability to move quickly using flexible, private resources and innovate in different ways to test new solutions.
  • Improving the systems that respond to homelessness: By helping strengthen relationships between the City and its partners, ensuring people who have personal experience with homelessness inform program design, and applying external pressure to ensure transparency and accountability, Tipping Point contributed to improvements in how the City and its nonprofit partners respond to homelessness.
  • Exceeding housing placement targets: During the initiative, the City and its nonprofit partners, including Tipping Point, housed 7,767 individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. The number of housing placements far exceeded the original goal of 5,500 placements. 
  • Underestimating the number of people entering homelessness: One of the challenges in meeting the goal of halving chronic homelessness was developing a holistic understanding of the number of people entering or becoming chronically homeless. Tipping Point funded prevention strategies and pilots in an attempt to address this challenge, but the scale of the inflow far outweighed the available resources and programs to meet the need.

We share this report for transparency, to celebrate the wins, and to shed light on lessons learned so San Francisco and other cities can build on this work in support of our neighbors who need it most. Explore the findings in the full report below.

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