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Reducing Chronic Homelessness in San Francisco.

Chronic Homelessness Initiative

2017 - 2022

Launched in 2017, the Chronic Homelessness Initiative (CHI), powered by Tipping Point, was the largest private investment to address chronic homelessness in San Francisco’s history. A five-year initiative ending in June of 2022, CHI was driven by collaborative efforts between local government, nonprofit service providers, individuals with lived experience, and philanthropy to create lasting change.

$100 Million Invested

Over the course of five years, Tipping Point targeted investments in three specific areas:

Create More Housing

Prevent Homelessness

Optimize Public Systems

Initiative Overview

CHI’s five-year effort was aimed at reducing chronic homelessness in San Francisco by 50%. When Tipping Point started CHI in 2017, we estimated that if we added 1,400 new PSH (permanent supportive housing) units on top of the 800 new PSH units planned by the City, we would see a 50% reduction in chronic homelessness by the 2023 PIT Count. In the years that followed, CHI invested in a diverse range of solutions for people who were chronically homeless as well as those at risk of chronic homelessness. We exceeded our goal by launching programs leading to 1,700 new placements into PSH, plus hundreds of other housing units for unhoused San Franciscans. The City has likewise exceeded its goal, creating more than 1,000 PSH units. However, there were unanticipated increases in the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness, especially between 2017 and 2019. As a result, we do not expect to reach the 50% goal by January 2023.

CHI made incredible strides toward cutting chronic homelessness in San Francisco. In addition to funding new housing and behavioral health strategies, CHI piloted new strategies that have started to change the way that the City of San Francisco responds to homelessness. Our efforts have also developed accountability within the City to encourage the response system to be more transparent, equitable, and strategic.

Investment Evaluation

Since the launch of CHI in 2017, the Urban Institute, an internationally-recognized research institution, evaluated the initiative to measure progress toward the goal of cutting chronic homelessness in half by 2022, and the impacts of specific programs CHI launched. The following evaluation analyzes the final results of Tipping Point’s investment and details key learnings and successes of the largest private investment to address homelessness in San Francisco’s history.


Developed Housing Faster + More Cost Efficiently

We acted nimbly to pilot new strategies while keeping a focus on long-term, sustainable impact. We created the prototype for how to build permanent supportive housing (PSH) at two-thirds the cost and in half the time as the previous standard.


Promoted New Solutions to Increase Housing

We provided seed capital to launch a 200-person flex pool that rents vacant private units to individuals experiencing homelessness and provides case management and supportive services. The City will pay the ongoing cost of housing for all of the flex pool pilot participants and plans to spend over $50 million to expand the program to over 1,000 individuals by the end of 2023.


Addressed Behavioral
 Health Needs

We funded Hummingbird Valencia, a psychiatric respite center in the Mission District, which added 28 new overnight beds for those experiencing homelessness and behavioral health crises. This building, along with the bed optimization report—another CHI-funded effort—helped improve the City’s ability to make planning decisions about the type and number of treatment beds needed across the entire system of care.


Moved 200 People into Independent Apartments

We piloted the Moving On Initiative, which moved almost 200 people who no longer needed supportive services out of PSH and into their own independent apartments subsidized with federal vouchers, freeing up space in PSH for residents who needed supportive services.

CHI Grantees

3rd Street Youth Center and Clinic

Abode Services

All Home

Bay Area Community Services

Bay Area Legal Aid

Bayview Hunters Point Foundation

Brilliant Corners

Conard House

Delivering Innovation in Supportive Housing (DISH)

Episcopal Community Services

Felton Institute

Freedom Forward


HomeFirst Services of Santa Clara County


Hospitality House

Larkin Street Youth Services

Miracle Messages

On the Move

Positive Resource Center

San Francisco Department of

Homelessness and Supportive Housing

San Francisco Department of Public Health

Housing Accelerator Fund

San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project

San Francisco SafeHouse

Transgender Gender-variant Intersex

Justice Project

Swords To Plowshares

UCSF – Citywide

United Council of Human Services


Initiative Partners

Bay Area Legal Aid

Brilliant Corners

Episcopal Community Services


Larkin Street Youth Services

Mercy Housing

On the Move

Positive Resource Center

San Francisco Adult Probation Department

San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing

San Francisco Department of Public Health

Housing Accelerator Fund

San Francisco Housing Authority

San Francisco Human Services Agency

San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development

San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project

San Francisco Sheriff’s Department

Transgender Gender-Variant Intersex Justice Project

Urban Institute

Community Boards

Marc Trotz

National Innovation Service

John Snow, Inc.

Funders Together to End Homelessness

Housing Impact

We believe that San Francisco can be a community where everyone has a safe place to call home. While CHI has come to a close, Tipping Point continues to play a key philanthropic role in addressing homelessness in San Francisco. Explore our housing investments in San Francisco and across the Bay Area.