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Towards a New Understanding

Groundbreaking BHHI Study

The California Statewide Study of People Experiencing Homelessness

The UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative (BHHI) has released the largest representative study of homelessness in the United States since the mid-1990s, providing a comprehensive look at the causes and consequences of homelessness in California and recommending policy changes to shape programs in response. 

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New Special Report

Toward Equity: Understanding Black Californians’ Experiences of Homelessness

This report explores who in the Black community experiences homelessness, how they lost their housing, their experiences while homeless, and the barriers they face to regaining housing. It is the second in a series of deep dives into CASPEH data that BHHI will release. Additional report topics include Intimate Partner Violence, and the forthcoming Aging and Homelessness, Latino/x Experiences of Homelessness, and Behavioral Health and Homelessness.

Turning evidence into action to prevent and end homelessness 

The UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative (BHHI) provides accurate, timely, policy-oriented research about homelessness for local, state, and national policymakers and practitioners.

Learn More

181,000+
Californians experience homelessness daily
68%
of homeless Californians are unsheltered
7,754
people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco
21%
of homeless people across the US are older than 55
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Benioff Homelessness Housing Initiative
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Our Approach

To shape the most effective policies and practices in housing and homelessness, we incorporate the voices of people experiencing homelessness into our research, program design, and policy recommendations.

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Our Impact

We conduct rigorous research to create effective, equitable, and evidence-based solutions. Our studies develop in dialogue with communities to have a direct impact on issues they face.

Webinars

Event
Black Californians’ Experiences of Homelessness: Findings from CASPEH

Black Californians are nearly four times more likely than White Californians to experience homelessness. Join the UCSF Benioff Homelessness & Housing Initiative for a webinar to learn about the…

Virtual Event
Videos
Webinar: Intimate Partner Violence & Homelessness: Findings from CASPEH
January 17, 2024
Domestic violence, frequently referred to as intimate partner violence (IPV), is a common precipitant of homelessness. Join the UCSF Benioff Homelessness & Housing Initiative for a webinar to learn mo...
Videos
Webinar: Creating Authentic, Effective Partnerships between Organizations and People with Lived Experiences: Lessons from CASPEH
November 15, 2023
The UCSF BHHI recently released a report on the largest representative study of homelessness in the United States since the mid-1990s—the California Statewide Study of People Experiencing Homelessness...

Latest Op-Eds

Opinion
Doing Away With Needle Exchange Programs Won't Prevent Drug Use
Medpage Today
February 12, 2024
In this op-ed, Ryan Assaf, PhD, MPH, a postdoctoral fellow with the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, highlights the importance of using harm reduction strategies. He outlines the use and i...
Opinion
Housing Should Be a Human Right
Chicago Sun-Times
February 11, 2024
In this op-ed, Kara Young Ponder, PhD, director of community engagement and racial justice at the UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, calls for housing to be a human right. She outlines ...
Opinion
Most Unhoused Youth Are Invisible. How Do We Bring Them Out of the Shadows?
San Francisco Chronicle
February 4, 2024
In this op-ed, Marguerita Lightfoot, PhD, MA, Associate Dean for Research at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, highlights the need to make youth experiencing homelessness more visible. She outline...

"There is no medicine as powerful as housing."

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Margot Kushel, MD
Director, UCSF Benioff Homelessness & Housing Initiative

"The gravest threats to health are due to poverty, discrimination, and particularly homelessness. Here at UCSF, many dedicated researchers have devoted their careers to addressing these health inequities. The Benioffs’ continued leadership on these issues, exemplified by this generous gift, will further energize our efforts, and strengthen our links to communities in need at the local, state and national levels."

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Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor, University of California, San Francisco

"The world needs a North Star for truth on homelessness. The UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative will be that North Star, providing the latest research, data, and evidence-based solutions to ensure we’re investing in programs that will help solve the homelessness crisis."

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Marc Benioff
Marc Benioff