San Francisco Nonprofit Pledges $100 Million to Battle Homelessness

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A homeless encampment in San Francisco's Mission District.  (Brittany Hosea-Small/KQED)

A San Francisco-based nonprofit has pledged to raise $100 million to reduce chronic homelessness in the city, widely known for its sidewalk tent encampments amid multimillion-dollar homes.

Tipping Point Community said the money will come from private donations and go toward affordable housing and homeless services provided by other nonprofit groups as well as government.

The office of Mayor Ed Lee says it's the largest private commitment ever made in the city to combat homelessness.

"There is no silver bullet to confronting homelessness. We need new ideas to address this issue and must tackle it from all angles," Lee said in a statement. "We’re going to ... work hard on the fact that we have private sector participation. That makes everybody lift their game up."

San Francisco Nonprofit Pledges $100 Million to Battle Homelessness

San Francisco Nonprofit Pledges $100 Million to Battle Homelessness

The mayor's office reports there are about 2,000 people in the city who are chronically homeless.


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines the chronically homeless as people who have been living on the streets for more than a year and have a disability such as drug addiction or mental health issues.

Daniel Lurie, Tipping Point's chief executive and founder, wants to cut the number of chronically homeless in half. He says such poverty is unacceptable in such a wealthy region.

"Homelessness is a humanitarian crisis and the issue of our time," Lurie said in a statement.

In an interview with KQED, Lurie noted the high costs of building housing, and indicated and openness to finding other solutions.

"Right now it costs $500,000 and five years to build one unit of supportive housing, that cannot stand," he said. "There’s new ways of building these days. There’s modular. We want to work with unions. We want to work with the city to find sites that are available. There are options."

Tipping Point said in a press release that it has already raised $60 million. The group's board of directors will oversee the money.