SF Homeless Project: Can business make a difference?

Just outside San Francisco City Hall, across Market Street from a cluster of shiny new tech offices, a nonprofit called Downtown Streets Team assembles sidewalk cleaning crews staffed by homeless residents for daily shifts paid in food vouchers.

A few blocks away, Code Tenderloin offers boot camps for homeless and low-income job seekers, with volunteer teaching assistants from neighboring Mid-Market tech companies.

Rounding out the roster of local homeless services funded or otherwise supported by area businesses and their employees are Lava Mae’s portable showers, Glide’s needle exchange kits and St. Anthony’s technology lab, among others.

So why, despite record public spending and a plethora of promising private efforts like these, is one of the richest cities in the country still plagued by sprawling tent encampments, sidewalks littered with syringes and violent altercations on public streets during broad daylight?

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