San Francisco Homeless Needs Assessment


About the Study

In 2018, A ballot proposition to tax .5 percent on annual gross receipts over $50 million with funds earmarked toward helping the homeless passed with 60% of the popular vote in San Francisco. This amounts to more than $300 million additional funds to end homelessness in San Francisco. To guide the spending of this new funding, the Our City Our Home Coalition funded a community-based study to assess the needs of homeless individuals regarding homelessness prevention, shelter, mental health services, and substance use treatment. Together with Dilara Yarbrough of San Francisco State I co-directed the study, which was designed through a series of workgroups with service providers, city officials, advocates, and academics. The survey was carried out by 11 formerly homeless peer researchers, who were fully compensated and given extensive training. Surveys were conducted with 600 currently homeless individuals in San Francisco. In addition, 25 focus groups were held with 4-6 individuals in each. The study asked questions about causes of homelessness, experiences with social services, and what policy improvements and investments homeless San Franciscans felt would be most helpful for resolving their housing precarity. Participants were payed $20 each for their survey and focus group participation and peer researchers were paid $20/hour wage for their work. Data collection is complete and analysis underway by a team of six Bay Area university faculty members. The report is due to be released in December 2019 and will serve as a guide for the Prop C Implementation Committee.

SF Needs Assessment Survey Instrument

Research Team

Project Directors: Jennifer Friedenbach and Sam Lew (Our City Our Home Coalition and San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness)

Directors of Research: Chris Herring (UC Berkeley) and Dilara Yarbrough (SF State)

Project Manager: Olivia Glowacki (SF Coalition on Homelessness)

Peer Researchers: Anubis Daughtery, Ms. Earl, Megan “Roadkill” Johnson, Sue Melkonian, TJ Johnston, Tracey Mixon, Treasure L'Oreal, Sophia Thibodeaux, Nathaly Frias, Mielah McCormick, Jazmin Frias, Cesar Espinoza-Perez.

Focus Group Facilitators: Kelsey Ludwig (UNC Chapel Hill), Rani Mukherjee (UCSF), Mark Flemming (UC Berkeley), Pike Long, Olivia Glowacki, Nathaly Frias, Armando Garcia, Madison Rodriguez

Report Analysts and Authors: Jamie Chang (Santa Clara University), Mark Flemming (UC Berkeley), Chris Hanssmann (SF State), Chris Herring (UC Berkeley), Pike Long, Kelsey Ludwig (UNC Chapel Hill), Kat Saxton (Santa Clara University), Dilara Yarbrough (SF State), Olivia Glowacki.

Interns: Tee Hoatson (Stanford), KC Mukai (UC Berkeley), Cesar, Mei (Asian Women’s Shelter), Yojo (Asian Women’s Shleter), Ella-Rose Kessler, Sara Delucchi, Johnna Gadomski, Darcy Allred, Carlos Wadkins, Mike (el/la), Lisseth (SJI, Mujeres en Accion)

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