Architecture for Humanity - SF
Thursday, January 29, 2004
Jay Shaft & Chance Martin DELIVER THE FACTS in The Real State of the Union.

"Since the year 2000, the homeless population in America has increased by approximately 50%. In 2003 the homeless population increased by approximately 15% on a national average. Every year since 1999 the homeless population has increased by 10-15%. While it is hard to track the total number of homeless, each year at least 5.5 million people experience homelessness at some point.

Since 2000 every major US city has reported an increase in homelessness of between 35-50%. Most cities are not able to keep up with the increased demand for services from the increases in the homeless and hungry. Due to budget shortfalls many cities have had to cut back on necessary services such as homeless shelters and housing programs for low-income families, and emergency food centers.

The average wait to get in to public assisted housing was 22-26 months in 2003. Most low-income families have been on the waiting lists for an average of 14 months and are still waiting for adequate housing to become available. It is estimated that an additional 2.3 million people applied for public housing in 2003.

60% of all new cases of homelessness are single women with children. 15% of all new homeless cases are families with children. Homeless families comprise 40% of the total homeless population. 41% of the homeless population are single men, 14% are single women, and 5% are unaccompanied minors."


This article makes a good case for what is needed to address the mentally ill contingent of homeless cringing in our SF streets. And as The California Budget Project, an advocacy organization for low- and middle-income residents, found that the state's affordable housing crisis has reached emergency status, the Trinity Plaza battle is heating up with more protests until the Board hears Supervisor Daly’s anti-demolition ordinance coming up that aims to disallow demolition of low-income rent-controlled properties of 20 units or more.

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