< Go back to the COVID-19 Data and Reports home page.

Rehousing & Exits from SIP Hotels (Alternative Shelter Program)

In March 2020, a shelter-in-place order was issued by the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH) due to the community spread of COVID-19. The City activated the first Shelter-in-Place (SIP) hotel in April 2020, as a temporary emergency measure to provide a safe place for individuals who were at the highest risk for severe disease. Over the intervening months, the City expanded the emergency SIP program to include 25 SIP hotel sites. Read more about the City’s entire Alternative Shelter Program that includes congregate and Isolation & Quarantine sites.
These SIP hotel sites were opened as part of California’s statewide Project Roomkey program. Despite only having 5% of the state’s homeless population, the SIP hotels San Francisco opened and filled represent nearly 20% of all non-congregate hotel rooms operated through Project Roomkey.
Now, as the City moves from response to recovery, guests in the temporary SIP hotels will be supported through an urgent and unprecedented rehousing effort. The City is dedicated to ensuring people in SIP hotels are offered stable exits from the temporary pandemic shelter system with a focus on placing guests in the Rehousing Cohort into housing. The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) and City partners identified specific “rehousing” resources to support this effort. This page offers an overview of the complex process. More detail can be found on the HSH website and the SIP Rehousing Proposal as of December 2020.  
This page shares the following information:
This page is about the unprecedented effort to connect Shelter-in-Place (SIP) hotel guests to housing.
Visit the Homelessness Recovery Plan page to learn about the Mayor's plan to expand housing for people experiencing homelessness.
Visit the COVID-19 Alternative Shelter Program page to learn how the City opened temporary shelters in response to the pandemic.
Visit the Shelter Recovery page to learn how the City works to increase bed capacity in the existing shelter system.

SIP Rehousing: Program Overview

SIP Rehousing involves moving people from the temporary SIP hotel sites into a variety of housing options.
The SIP Rehousing process begins with a Problem Solving Screening and Coordinated Entry Primary Assessment to determine the most appropriate rehousing option. HSH, with best practice guidance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has also launched Pandemic Prioritization, which qualifies guests who are COVID vulnerable to become eligible for certain housing resources even if they are normally not prioritized through the Coordinated Entry Primary Assessment. In the next step of the guest rehousing process, the rehousing team works with the guests to match them to a resource that meets their needs and status. The team will help each guest prepare necessary documentation and, when ready, transport them from their hotel to their destination.

Who are the guests in the SIP Hotels, including those in the Rehousing cohort?

The dashboards on this page categorizes guests into three distinct cohorts:
  • Exits Pre-11/2020: The Alternative Shelter Program launched in March 2020 and brought thousands of guests into SIP hotels. Over the course of the summer and fall, some of these guests exited the hotels for a variety of reasons. The formal rehousing process began in November 2020. All guests who exited their SIP hotel placement before the formal rehousing process began are categorized as the “Pre-November 2020 Cohort.”
  • Rehousing Cohort: The guests in SIP hotels as of the initial launch of rehousing form what is known as the “Rehousing Cohort.” These guests have a commitment of resources to support them to exit SIP hotels to stable housing options. The rehousing effort will continue through the end of 2021.
  • Intakes Post-11/2020: In January 2021, the Biden Administration issued new FEMA guidance ensuring funding of SIP hotel costs through September 2021, and Mayor Breed issued a policy of maximizing SIP capacity with new intakes of COVID-vulnerable individuals to “backfill” rooms exited by prior guests. New intakes after November 15, 2020 form this final cohort. While these guests will be assessed through a similar process and will be offered stable exits available in the system, they are not guaranteed priority for housing resources. When FEMA funding ends and the City closes hotels, these guests may exit to housing, problem solving, shelter, or other stable options.
The data below shows the characteristics and status of guests in SIP hotels, with buttons to allow filtering by cohort. Not all the characteristics are available for all guests. In particular, Pandemic Prioritization only applies to the Rehousing Cohort and is not shown for the other cohorts.
  • Click the little "i" button on the top right corner for more information and data notes.
How to use this dashboard:
  • Use the < > arrows at the bottom of the dashboard to switch between the TWO pages of the dashboards.
    The first page of the dashboard below reports on the status of these guests as they go through the rehousing process.
    The second page of the dashboard reports on the demographics of the guests. 
  • Use the green buttons at the top left to switch between cohorts.
  • Use the green drop-down filters on the bottom left to look at the data for guests of certain SIP statuses, CE (Coordinated Entry) statuses, assessment statuses, demobilization phases, or household types.
  • Click the little "i" button on the top right corner for more information and data notes.

Where did SIP Hotel guests exit to? 

The transition from SIP hotels to housing during the COVID-19 pandemic reflects the City’s belief that Housing is Healthcare. The work of rehousing uses a disaster rehousing model to support guests transitioning from SIP hotels into a variety of permanent housing interventions quickly. This model focuses rehousing efforts to act with urgency, connecting people in need immediately to housing resources, removing onerous documentation requirements and accessing needed public benefits and support quickly. Rehousing exits include Permanent Supportive Housing, Rapid Rehousing, and Problem Solving exits, as described below. Learn more about the availability of each of these types of exits on the Current Housing Pipeline dashboard.
The following dashboard identifies exit destinations among SIP hotel guests in the rehousing process, including demographics of guests who have exited to housing. Guests in any of the three cohorts described above may exit to housing or a stable option. All stable exits from SIP hotels are labeled as Rehousing Exits, regardless of whether the guest is in the Rehousing Cohort or one of the other cohorts (see the sidebar in the dashboard below for this measure).
How to use this dashboard:
  • Use the < > arrows at the bottom of the dashboard to switch between the TWO pages of the dashboards.
    The first page shows a summary of the exit destinations of the exited guests.
    The second page of the dashboard reports on the demographics of the exited guests. 
  • Use the green buttons at the top left to switch between cohorts.
  • Use the green drop-down filters on the bottom left to look at specific sites, demobilization phases, or exit months
  • Click the little "i" button on the top right corner for more information and data notes.
Note on "Other Exits"
The Rehousing Proposal assumes that all guests in the Rehousing Cohort will be supported to find a stable exit, primarily through permanent, long-term, or short-term housing or housing subsidies. These are labeled as “Rehousing Exits” on the dashboard. Guests in any of the cohorts may exit to Rehousing Exits, and may also exit to a variety of other settings and for reasons other than rehousing, such as voluntary exits (“bed abandonment”), moving to an institutional setting (e.g., hospital, treatment, jail), and death of the guest. Occasionally, a guest may transfer to a congregate shelter setting. These transfers are generally due to life/safety reasons (such as guests identified by health department clinicians as being safer in a congregate setting). The data may also show some short-term exits identified through problem solving conversations, such as staying with family.  Such exits may be paired with short-term rental assistance grants to support a guest to find stability in that temporary setting. While guests frequently transfer to alternate SIP sites (such as for safety reasons or ADA accommodations), these transfers are not reflected as exits in the data, as guests are still being served through the SIP system. HSH and the CCC continue to work with contracted providers to improve data quality and the tracking of exit reasons in the data system.

Glossary of Terms

Please visit this link to open a glossary of terms that may be helpful to users in understanding the program. The document will continue to be updated as more terms become relevant.