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November 6, 2019

Clean San Francisco

San Francisco Travel is always concerned about issues that affect the visitor experience. As San Franciscans, we also care deeply about people in need. You may already be familiar with the challenges facing our city and many others around the country; but you might not be aware of the innovative partnerships, organizations, and individuals in the Bay Area who are leading the way and making a positive impact in the City by the Bay.

Use this page as a resource to educate yourself, attendees and stakeholders about what’s happening in San Francisco.

July, 2018 - January, 2020

  • On January 21, 2020, Mayor London Breed announced that violent crime was down six percent from the previous year, saying, “We’re on the right track—with the lowest homicide rate since 1961—but we still have more work to do make our entire city safe, and I’m looking forward to working with the Police Department to continue improving public safety.”
  •   On Nov. 25, 2019, Mayor London N. Breed announced the extension of a pilot program for the first three 24-hour Pit Stops, which has shown promising results since it began in August. The 24-hour, staffed restrooms will continue so City leaders can evaluate the potential to continue or expand the program in the upcoming City budget. Preliminary results from the pilot program show that roughly 25% of all flushes at the three locations are happening during the nighttime hours, representing a clear demand for overnight restrooms. The Fiscal Years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 budget included $8.1 million in new funding for Pit Stops. This funding was for seven new portable Pit Stops throughout the City, and expanded hours at existing locations based on an analysis of 311 cleaning request data and the usage of existing facilities.
  • On Nov. 20, 2019, Mayor London N. Breed and HealthRIGHT 360 announced the opening of 72 new residential step-down beds on Treasure Island for people who are continuing outpatient substance use treatment and are at risk of homelessness. The beds are part of Mayor Breed’s efforts to expand the number of mental health and substance use treatment beds throughout the city and will be operated as part of HealthRIGHT 360’s Recovery Residence Program. Residential step-down beds are one type of behavioral health bed in the City’s system and provide a safe and stable place for people to live as they continue outpatient treatment for substance use disorders.
  • Mayor London N. Breed announced the opening of 20 new beds at the Civic Center Navigation Center, bringng the total number of Navigation Center beds at Civic Center to 113. The new beds will be used to address homelessness in the area, with a particular em phasis for people at the cross-section of homelessness, mental illness, and substance use disorder. October 31, 2019
  • Mayor London N. Breed announced the addition of 60 new beds at the Division Circle Navigation Center in the Mission, which brings the total number of beds at Division Circle to 186. The new beds will be used to address homelessness in the area, with a particular emphasis for people at the cross-section of homelessness, mental illness, and substance use disorder. September 16, 2019
  • Mayor London N. Breed has announced the first steps in a long-term plan to provide care for people who have severe mental illnesses and substance use disorders and who are also experiencing homelessness—with a focus on a population of nearly 4,000 people. The initial steps of the new initiative will provide enhanced care coordination, create a multi-agency pilot to streamline housing and health care for the most vulnerable, and increase access to behavioral health services by expanding hours of the City’s Behavioral Health Access Center. September 4, 2019
  • According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Safe Cities Index (2019),San Francisco is the third safest city in the U.S., after Washington D.C.and Chicago, and 13th in the world.
  • BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) has received a funding infusion via a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). BART has been awarded $1.7 million to pay for continued police patrols on trains traveling through BART’s busiest stations. August 15, 2019
  • The 2020 budget includes funding for a pilot Ambassador program which will bring retired San Francisco police officers back onto the street to support visitor and public safety in the Union Square neighborhood. August 1, 2019
  • In July 2019, the City allocated $4.2 million to the HSOC program to expand their services and impact, which will continue to provide a “service first” approach to address unsheltered homelessness and unhealthy street behavior
  • The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on July 17, 2019 to create the newest Downtown Community Benefit District (CBD), which follows on recent votes to renew two existing districts: North of Market/Tenderloin CBD and the Union Square Business Improvement District (BID). In total, the three districts will raise nearly $12 million per year over the next ten to 15 years to address the cleanliness, safety, and promotion of their communities. The newly formed Downtown CBD and the renewal of the North of Market/Tenderloin CBD and Union Square BID will provide a range of services for residents and businesses, including: • Trash and graffiti removal, sidewalk sweeping, pressure washing, and installing new trash cans; • Organizing events and activations of public spaces and sidewalks; • Public and pedestrian safety programs centered around hospitality; • Public art programs and way finding signage; • Services to connect people with social services and provide information to visitors; • Marketing and promotion of neighborhoods as community, business, and regional destinations.
  • The Board of Supervisors voted on June 25, 2019 to reject two California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) appeals that were filed against the proposed Embarcadero Shelter Access for Everyone (SAFE) Navigation Center. Mayor Breed proposed building the SAFE Navigation Center in March 2019, and the San Francisco Port Commission approved the project on April 23, 2019. With the Port Commission’s approval and the CEQA process now complete, the City can begin construction on the SAFE Navigation Center at Seawall Lot 330
  • On June 4, 2019, the Board of Supervisors passed legislation introduced by Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Rafael Mandelman to strengthen the City’s conservatorship laws in order to provide care and treatment for San Franciscans most in need, who currently suffer from severe mental health and substance use disorders. The legislation is part of Mayor Breed’s efforts to improve the City’s response to those in need of mental health and substance use treatment.
  • On May 30, 2019 Mayor London N. Breed announced a new $11.9 million investment in programs to promote cleanliness on San Francisco’s streets as part of her upcoming budget for Fiscal Years (FY) 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. This funding adds new Pit Stops, BigBelly trash cans, and increased street cleaning, with targeted investments in priority areas throughout the City. In order to increase cleanliness, $8.6 million would fund 7 new staffed portable Pit Stop public toilets, as well as 80 new BigBelly trash cans throughout the City, with targeted investments in high-need areas. The funding would also expand service hours at existing Pit Stops across the City, and maintain the 2 Pit Stops and 20 BigBelly trash cans that opened during the current budget cycle in highly-trafficked commercial areas. In total, this would fund an increase of 100 trash cans and 9 Pit Stops since Mayor Breed took office. An additional $3.4 million in funding would enhance targeted street cleaning in neighborhoods. This includes expanding the Tenderloin Clean block sweeper program by adding an afternoon and evening shift seven days a week. It would also continue the weekend expansion of the Tenderloin Clean and SOMA Clean programs, and maintain Downtown Streets teams in the Mission and the Haight. These workforce development initiatives employ formerly incarcerated, homeless, and other hard-to-employ individuals to do targeted street cleaning in high-need neighborhoods. Finally, it would add funding for the Chinatown Clean program to operate five days a week.
  • There are 17 Community Benefit Districts (CBDs) located throughout the city. Each offers services such as security, cleaning and homeless outreach. These are separate from programs operated by the City and are funded by properties or businesses within those districts.They respond rapidly to requests for service, similar to 311 calls but often even faster. For details, see
  • Governor Gavin Newsom announced on May 21, 2019 the formation of the Homeless and Supportive Housing Advisory Task Force and its co-chairs Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Earlier in the month, the Governor released his May budget revision which included an unprecedented $1 billion to fight California’s homelessness crisis. The budget would increase emergency aid for local jurisdictions, make money available to cities and counties directly and fund permanent supportive housing or innovative approaches like motel and hotel conversions.
  • Mayor London N. Breed announced a new $5 million investment in homelessness prevention to address the rise of people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco found during the January 24, 2019 Point-In-Time Count.
  • UCSF has received a $30 million donation to launch a rigorous academic research program on homelessness. This new effort aims to build an evidence-based body of knowledge in the field; to train the next generation of homelessness researchers; and to serve as a resource for policy makers and others trying to solve the problem.
  • The City, through the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, currently offers temporary shelter to 2,500 people per night through traditional shelters, stabilization beds, Navigation Centers and transitional housing. In addition, they maintain housing for 9,000 people through permanent supportive housing.
  • Every two years, San Francisco is required to conduct a homelessness Point-in-Time Count by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The HUD count, which was conducted on January 24, 2019, counted 8,011 homeless people, both sheltered and unsheltered, in San Francisco
  • There are currently five Navigation Centers with a total of 495 beds. (Goal: to provide 1000 shelter beds by the end of the year.)
  • 68 new psychiatric beds have been provided (Goal: to provide 100 new psychiatric beds by end of the year.)
  • 40 new medical respite beds have opened increasing the number from 35 to 75.
  • All documented unsheltered families have been sheltered.
  • On February 12, 2019, the Board of Supervisors approved $220 million to fund affordable housing, behavioral health and homelessness initiatives. This money will go towards constructing new housing sites for people experiencing homelessness, emergency homeless shelters, expansion of existing Navigation Centers, and additional healing and recovery beds.
  • San Francisco Travel Association, through the Moscone Expansion District, has hired a non-profit organization, Downtown Streets Team, to provide extra cleaning services around the Moscone Center area starting on March 15, 2019. This program hires unsheltered people to provide cleaning services in exchange for basic needs stipends such as housing and food. Over 1,600 people have found housing or jobs through this program.
  • Effectively ended all large, long-term tent encampments; began working to address vehicular encampments.
  • Implemented HOM-Stat, a reporting mechanism, to better measure progress against goals.
  • In partnership with other City departments, created a system to quickly identify and house high users of multiple systems that are priority for supportive housing.
  • 37 police officers graduated from the Police Academy. Read More
  • Lowest Levels of violent crime in 50 years. Read more
  • UC Study finds police foot patrols helped to decrease larceny crimes. Read More
  • 97 new streetlights have been installed in the Tenderloin community. A community with more streetlights is a safer, healthier and more-connected place for everyone," said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. Read More
  • SF Gets $3M state grant for mental health, drug abuse services for homeless. Read more
  • Local tech companies contribute large sums of money to local nonprofits for the betterment of the community where they work. Read More

Items listed below are funding and initiatives that were approved prior to June 2018.

  • $60 million for new homeless services, temporary and permanent housing through the San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supporting Housing (SFDHSH).
  • $27 million of $600 million dedicated to homeless programs in the California State budget to the SFDHSH.
  • $6 million dedicated to Street Medicine Team to address substance abuse and other health issues through the Department of Public Health.
  • $16 million for street cleaning services, expanded Pit-Stop public restroom locations, additional needle clean up and disposal staff/locations, and other new programs and equipment through the Department of Public Works.
  • $44 million over two years in additional investments for emergency response measures.
  • $300 million for long-term improvement projects, including street resurfacing, sidewalk repair, and improvements to the park system coordinated by a variety of City departments.
  • The San Francisco Police Department has budgeted to add 250 officers over the next four years.
  • San Francisco Travel has contracted a Director of Safety and Security who deploys 10B (uniformed, off duty) street patrols during major conferences and events and received positive feedback from each group that has worked with this new resource.
  • In late 2017, the City created the Healthy Street Operation Center which combines efforts of the Department of Public Health, Department of Public Works, San Francisco Police Department and the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing so there are professionals working in the same office to better manage how the city deals with and responds to calls and conditions on the streets.