San Francisco’s “tent village” program now cost taxpayers more per night than a hotel stay

by Jenny Mount · Mar 11th, 2021 12:02 pm

Last Updated Mar 12th, 2021 at 8:05 pm

San Francisco has started to realize that the homeless camps it authorized last May with its "sleep safe villages" program, have taken a financial toll on the city.

The six villages are essentially tent encampments spread across the city, made up of 262 tents that house about 300 people each. The villages were initially set up to shelter people during the pandemic who might otherwise sleep on the streets, but now the housing is costing taxpayers a lot of money.

Currently, San Francisco spends $16.1 million annually on the tent villages, making it a yearly cost of $61,450 per tent. That calculates to $5,120 a month. The average cost per night is less than what the city has been paying to put the homeless in hotels.

Since the tent villages are not eligible for federal reimbursement like the hotel program, the people of San Francisco and fellow Californians are responsible for the entire cost themselves.

The heavy financial burden is primarily due to the city not doing "a more thorough bidding process," according to officials.


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