Data shows San Francisco has second highest homeless population in United States

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- ABC7 News is joining forces with more than 70 other local news agencies for the San Francisco Homeless Project. It is a plea for city leaders to do something about homelessness in the Bay Area's most densely populated city.

RELATED: ABC7 is proud to participate in the San Francisco Homeless Project

San Francisco leads the Bay Area in homelessness. The number of people on the streets of the city is nearly twice the number in San Jose, and three times the number in Oakland. But statistics go beyond the Bay Area.

A graph shows San Francisco ranks second to New York in homelessness. There are 795 people per 100,000 residents. New York has 887, followed by Seattle with 487, and Philadelphia with 384.

Most of the people on the streets of San Francisco come from the city. According to the city's homeless survey, 71 percent were actually living in San Francisco when they lost their homes.

RELATED: SF mayor reacts to media coverage on homelessness

San Francisco continues to be one of the most expensive places to live in the country. According to real estate site Zillow, part of the problem is that San Francisco has failed to build enough housing to meet the current demand, sending home prices and rents up.

"There's no easy answer, unfortunately, one thing that you can consider is zoning laws," said Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell. "Making it easier to actually build in a city that is highly zoned or highly regulated, and San Francisco is certainly one of those cities."

Renters outnumber homeowners in San Francisco. According to Zillow, the average renter in San Francisco spends 41 percent of their income on an apartment, lives paycheck-to-paycheck, and saves nothing for an emergency.

PHOTOS: Plight of the homeless in San Francisco

And those numbers certainly don't bode well for the growing homeless population. The number of street homeless has been about the same in the last few years. However, the number of total homeless has gone up to about 6,500.

ABC7 is proud to participate in the "SF Homeless Project" with more than 60 other media outlets. A letter of intent was released Monday.

Click here for ABC7's full coverage on the SF Homeless Project.
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