San Francisco's Homeless System Revolving Door

Author: Department of Criminal Justice Studies
September 4, 2020
Dilara Yarbrough beside cloth tents
Photo Credit: Department of Criminal Justice Studies

Professor Yarbrough's Research is Featured in a New Report about San Francisco's Homeless System Revolving Door

In collaboration with Bay Area colleagues and the Our City Our Home Coalition, SFSU faculty members Dilara Yarbrough (Criminal Justice Studies) and Chris Hanssmann (Gender and Women’s Studies) released a new research report with comprehensive recommendations to transform San Francisco’s homeless service system. Based on interviews with over 600 people experiencing homelessness, the report details how unhoused people cycle through the city’s shelters, drug treatment and mental health care services and back onto the streets. The study finds that unhoused people seeking shelter and care often encounter barriers to access. The absence of long-term housing options means that most people who use the city’s services end up cycling between streets and temporary shelters. The report findings will help prepare local officials for the release of funds from a local tax on large corporations doing business in San Francisco to fund housing and services (currently tied up in court). 

Prof. Hanssmann and Prof. Yarbrough worked with local organizations led by transgender women of color to co-direct a segment of the study focused on how criminalization contributes to the poverty and vulnerability of transgender people, and how San Francisco’s homeless service system must change in order to provide safe and gender-affirming housing and care. As federal laws and policies of the Trump Administration and Ben Carson’s Department of Housing and Urban Development endanger transgender and immigrant communities in particular, this report details evidence-based recommendations for local policy to ensure human rights for these marginalized groups. 

Here's a link to a KQED story featuring Professors Hanssmann and Yarbrough's findings.

The report has been covered by a variety of local media outlets and is available electronically here. The press conference and presentation of report findings may be viewed here.