This Homeless Shelter in SF Costs More Per Bed Than an Airbnb or Hotel

A new homeless shelter in San Francisco costs more to run per bed a night than the average nightly rate at a local hotel or Airbnb rental.

The Pier 80 homeless shelter three miles south from downtown will cost the city $1 million each month for the two months it will be open, CBS 5 reports. With 29 days in February, the shelter will cost $34,482.75 a night to run. When dividing that amount by its 150 beds, it will cost $229.88 a night per bed.

That costs more than the average nightly rate of $225 for Airbnb rentals in the Bay Area, according to SFist. The city would thus hypothetically save money were they to house 150 people in the average local Airbnb unit for the entire two-month period instead of having built and operated the shelter.

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Based on the city’s expectation that 225 people would stay at the 150-bed shelter per night, the amount per head would then be $150 a night. However, SFist’s Hotwire search of hotel rooms in the city finds that mostly range in price from $110 to $140 a night over this weekend.

Even worse for the city, only 20 people showed up to stay at the shelter upon its opening last week, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. That less-than-capacity number means the average cost per person staying at the shelter is even higher.

The shelter, which is essentially a tented hangar,  was built to be temporary emergency housing for locals in the face of El Niño rainstorms, which haven’t happened so far.

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Trent Rhorer, executive director of San Francisco’s Human Services Agency, told CBS 5 the high cost of the shelter is at least partly due to employee costs.

“We have case workers here, shelter staff, as well as security,” he said.

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