Homeless Policies and Funding FAQs

What services does the City provide to move people out of homelessness?

The City of Berkeley is creating a Housing Crisis Resolution Center (HCRC) to help homeless people and those on the brink of homelessness by conducting intake, triage, assessment, prioritization, and matching to housing in one centralized system. Read more about the HCRC here, and read the rationale for the HCRC here.

To access a comprehensive list of homeless services in Berkeley, go here.

How much does the City spend on services for the homeless?

It is hard to quantify how much the City spends but it is in the magnitude of millions of dollars per year for homeless and mental health outreach, homeless prevention through support services once people are housed and on-going clinic based services to keep people stable and healthy.  In addition to that, other departments address problems related to the homeless including

  1. Fire for emergency transports to hospitals;
  2. Police for civil standby by at times when mental health outreach is attempting to help homeless people who have a history of violence towards others or themselves or are required to enforce no trespassing laws at property owners’ request when the homeless camp on private property;
  3. Parks Department staff who encounter homeless people in City parks and are required to clean up discarded materials;
  4. Public Works staff who are required to do major clean ups of abandoned encampments on city sidewalks and along city creeks, and this often involves removing used syringes and steam cleaning due to human waste;
  5. City Manager staff costs for coordinating departments, ensuring that homeless rights are upheld and making sure that abandoned personal property of the homeless is handled in a manner consistent with the City’s legally vetted policies and procedures for tagging and storing such belongings;
  6. City Attorney staff time for consultation and legal opinions to staff relative to addressing problems associated with the homeless and encampments.