- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

White House chief of staff Denis McDonough flew to San Francisco last week to help the city conduct its biennial homeless count.

Mr. McDonough, along with Mayor Ed Lee and Trent Rhorer, director of the city’s Human Services Agency, joined a small group of counters Thursday night, spending 1½ hours walking around downtown, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The paper said it was the first time such a high-ranking White House official had ever helped the city with the count.

“Male, over 25,” Mr. McDonough said as Mr. Rhorer jotted down the information in a notepad, the Chronicle reported. “Female, 18 to 24.”

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Mr. McDonough told the Chronicle.

“What I see here, what we just walked through, this is a problem,” he said. “But this is the same sort of challenge we face all over the country. The numbers tell the story. And that’s why this count is so important.”

The biennial count is required of every city in order to qualify for federal funding for homeless programs. San Francisco’s 2013 count reportedly found 6,436 homeless people in the city, only 19 less people than the count before. This year’s tally won’t be released until summer, organizers told the Chronicle.

Mr. McDonough’s team reportedly counted 144 homeless people in eight square blocks near City Hall. The chief of staff said he was sent to San Francisco because the president wanted to hear a firsthand account of what the city is doing, the Chronicle reported.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide