How many homeless? Figures differ
The federal Housing and Urban Development Department publishes point-in-time data on the number of homeless people in most U.S. cities. While San Francisco’s total homeless population increased only slightly, the number of unsheltered individuals increased 56 percent, from 2,790 individuals in 2007 to 4,360 in 2015.
The Department of Public Health’s Coordinated Care Management System tracks all homeless people who use medical, mental health or substance abuse services in San Francisco. While it shows a decrease in the total number of homeless accessing health services, Public Health data also suggest the city’s homeless are getting older and sicker, and have spent longer on the streets. San Francisco homeless count The biennial homeless count provides detailed information on homeless adults in the city. The figures are different from HUD’s point-in-time estimates due to differing methodologies.
The San Francisco Unified School District tracks all students who are marginally housed – a definition of homelessness broader than HUD’s.