Homelessness

Driving Regional Solutions

The Bay Area has the third largest homeless population in the United States, behind only New York City and Los Angeles County. The homelessness crisis is an increasingly visible human tragedy for those on the streets, and a policy failure which undermines the region’s quality of life and tarnishes its reputation. The Council’s Homelessness Task Force brings together private sector leaders to influence policies aimed at finally solving this inter-generational challenge.

We are focused on coalition building and regional solutions. The Council has a strong relationship with all of the Bay Area Caucus members in the legislature, and is recognized as a thought leader on housing policy. Few regional analyses have yet been conducted on the Bay Area’s homelessness crisis, and the Council is ideally suited to lead reform efforts. Our goal is to measurably reduce the number of homeless people on the streets of the Bay Area.

2019 Policy Activities

  • Complete first ever regional study of the Bay Area’s homelessness crisis through a partnership with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute and McKinsey.
  • Host regional convening of business and civic leaders to showcase homelessness study and discuss proposed solutions. The study is ongoing, but several potential activities include:
  • Encourage cities to scale homelessness services across jurisdictions.
  • Lead effort to reopen or expand state board-and-care facilities for homeless with serious mental health challenges.
  • Pass a “right to shelter” law (like Massachusetts and New York) that compels the city and state to provide shelter beds to all who are homeless by “reason of physical, mental, or social dysfunction.”

Task Force

Gary Meltzer, PwC; Sam Hawgood, UCSF; Mary Huss, San Francisco Business Times; Jim Levine, Montezuma Wetlands; Janet Lamkin, United Airlines; Yvette Radford-Tucker, Kaiser Permanente; Wade Rose, Dignity Health; John Del Santo, Accenture; Kausik Rajgopal, McKinsey & Co.

Policy Leads


Adrian Covert image
Adrian Covert

Vice President, Public Policy

415-946-8746

Amari Cowan image
Amari Cowan

Policy Associate

415-946-8704

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