Approximately 1% of the U.S. population (3.5 million people) experiences homelessness over the course of a year. In the Bay area, there are approximately 35,000 homeless people; in San Francisco, estimates put the number between 7,000-15,000, which is the highest per capita rate of homelessness in any major American city.
There are some national organizations that provide services to homeless populations around the country. However, most of the work is done at the local level. Philanthropedia's focus is on nonprofits serving homeless populations in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. These organizations could include homeless shelters, housing providers, advocacy groups, former-foster youth service providers, family support service providers, and food providers.
Because of the large homeless population in the Bay Area, we decided to conduct research to find out which nonprofits were most effective in working with and helping this group of people. We ran this research in 2009 and surveyed 83 Bay Area homelessness experts (with an average of 14 years of work experience in the field) to identify those organizations that were making the biggest impact in the field.
*Identified as having the most impact at the local, Bay Area level by Philanthropedia's 83 sector experts with an average of 14 years of experience in the homelessness field.
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