California is in the midst of a self-induced homelessness crisis that shows no sign of abating anytime soon. The crisis is especially acute in San Francisco, where Mayor London Breed has erected three tent cities to house about 300 homeless people.
The cost? About $61,000 a year per tent. All told, the cost of the program is $16.1 million. I guess in San Francisco, even the tents are first class.
The city is running a $650 million deficit and the tent city isn’t eligible for reimbursement by the government, so that money comes out of city coffers. If the homeless were housed in a first-class hotel, the federal government would gladly reimburse the city for that, but not for a few measely tents?
In the six “Safe Sleeping Villages” set up by the city of San Francisco during the pandemic, the cost of maintaining a single tent-camping spot is $5,000 per month, or $61,000 per year — more than it would cost to put each of these people in a market-rate apartment.
The insane costs of running these sleeping “villages,” which only have space for a total of 262 tents spread across the six sites, makes one immediately think of the criticisms that are leveled against the Homeless Industrial Complex, as conservative commentators are eager to call it. The revelation of the pricetag for the tent program — $16.1 million for the year — came at a budget committee meeting on Wednesday, as the Chronicle reports, via Abigail Stewart-Kahn, the interim director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing.