Newsom Announces 2009 Homeless Count

01/16/08 - Mayor Newsom and the City’s Human Services Agency (HSA) have announced plans to conduct San Francisco’s bi-annual city-wide homeless count on Tuesday, January 27, 2009, from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. As in past years, hundreds of volunteers will fan across San Francisco counting people living on its streets.

The City’s goal is to cover the entire geographic area of the City and County of San Francisco. On the same night, the City will also conduct a census of homeless persons living in shelters and other city sponsored programs to help establish a more comprehensive accounting of the extent of homelessness in San Francisco.

"Having an accurate count of our homeless community is essential in determining the effectiveness of our homeless outreach efforts," said Mayor Newsom. "We’ve got a long way to go toward ending chronic homelessness in San Francisco, but this count will help us to continue in the right direction."

According to Trent Rhorer, Executive Director of the Human Services Agency, "The count helps us as we refine our plans to address homelessness in our City, and analyze the effectiveness of current programs."

The street homeless count, which is required of all cities and counties receiving federal homeless assistance funding, is conducted once every two years. San Francisco’s last homeless count conducted in January of 2007 revealed that the City’s point-in-time homeless population numbered 6,377.

To achieve the count, planners have divided the City into 150 counting routes. Volunteer counters will travel the routes by foot or by car, noting all homeless persons observed on tally sheets. The Human Services Agency is leading the effort with vital collaboration by the San Francisco Police Department, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Public Works, and the Recreation and Park Department. Numerous non-profit agencies have participated in community meetings to help plan the count and will encourage their staff to participate in the count as volunteers.

The organizers of this year’s Homeless Count still need volunteers to help count homeless persons and to perform administrative and clerical tasks on the night of the count. Those interested in volunteering can contact or call (415) 558-2346. Further information about Homeless Count is available at

Posted on January 17, 2009 | The comments to this entry are closed.