Tipping Point Steps up with $100 Million Initiative to Reduce Chronic Homelessness by Half

Leading Poverty-Fighting Organization Makes Largest Philanthropic Contribution Ever To Address Homelessness In Partnership with City

Contact: P.J. Johnston, (415) 260–8417
Nate Ballard, (415) 235–6283
Marisa Giller, (314) 630–4123

SAN FRANCISCO — Today, Tipping Point Community announced a first-of-its-kind effort to reduce chronic homelessness in San Francisco by half within five years.

Tipping Point has set a goal of raising $100 million in private donations to fund the initiative, supporting both non-profit organizations and efforts by the City and County. The investment, overseen by the Tipping Point Board of Directors, will represent the largest amount of private money raised to address homelessness in the city’s history.

The San Francisco-based nonprofit, which focuses on fighting poverty in the region, has already raised $60 million towards achieving this goal. In partnership with the City of San Francisco, Tipping Point will implement a three-pronged strategy to serve this high-risk population by:

  • Creating new housing units
  • Attacking the root causes of homelessness, including improving how people flow into homelessness from the mental health, child welfare and criminal justice systems
  • Boosting the capacity of the public sector

“Our goal is very clear: we aim to reduce chronic homelessness by half, within five years. It’s time for an all-hands on deck approach — the public and private sectors must work together in a new way,” said Daniel Lurie, Tipping Point’s CEO and Founder. “It is unacceptable that in a region with such creativity, wealth, and generosity that thousands of people are living on the streets. Homelessness is a humanitarian crisis, and the issue of our time.”

Chronic homelessness refers to an individual that has been on the street for more than a year and has a mental or physical disability. On any given night in San Francisco, as many as 2,000 people fit this definition.

Last June, Tipping Point launched a new policy team focused on building cross-sector partnerships for the common good, and named chronic homelessness as its first focus area. The team is working side-by-side with the City and County of San Francisco, and a variety of local service providers to achieve the initiative’s goals.

“There is no silver bullet to solve the complex issue of homelessness,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “We want new ideas to address this issue, and must tackle it from all angles. Tipping Point is bringing enormous private sector resources to help the City expand programs proven to be successful in moving people off the streets and connecting them with resources they need.”

Tipping Point has been collaborating with leaders from the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, the Human Services Agency, the Department of Public Health and the Housing Authority to determine the areas of greatest need.

Working with civic leaders, Tipping Point has already launched programs in each of the three focus areas:

  • Help create more permanent housing. Tipping Point is partnering with the non-profit agency, Brilliant Corners, and working with city officials at the Department of Homelessness & Supportive Housing, the Housing Authority and others to identify and coordinate safe, affordable and permanent housing. This program will benefit individuals in supportive housing who are now ready to take the next step to self-sufficiency and move in to their own apartments. 
    Residents receive “light-touch” support, while freeing up supportive housing units and shelter beds for others. The city program, dubbed “Move On,” will be expanded with the resources from Tipping Point.
  • Attack the root causes of homelessness. Individuals with mental health challenges are often admitted for psychiatric treatment and then discharged because there are not enough “step-down facilities” to accommodate them. Tipping Point has already granted $612,000 to bring the Department of Public Health’s new Medical Respite and Sobering Center to completion, which will add 34 respite beds. These beds will serve individuals with acute psychiatric needs who require specialized treatment not available at emergency shelters.
  • Boost the capacity of the public sector. Tipping Point has funded two staff positions for two years at the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. These Tipping Point Fellows help implement strategies from the inside and utilize “smart data” to coordinate citywide systems in order to better track and manage how services are delivered.

More programs will be developed and announced in the months ahead, and fundraising will continue until the $100 million goal is met and beyond.

For more information about Tipping Point’s chronic homelessness efforts, go to www.tippingpoint.org/policy.


About Tipping Point Community

Tipping Point Community fights poverty in the Bay Area. They screen non-profits rigorously to identify and invest in the most effective education, employment, housing and family wellness organizations. In addition, Tipping Point looks for opportunities to partner with the public sector to leverage its impact for the common good. Since 2005, Tipping Point has raised more than $150 million and helped put 23,000 people on the path out of poverty in the last year alone. Its board covers 100% of operating costs, so every dollar donated goes where it’s needed most.