San Francisco Buying Alcohol for Homeless with Taxpayer Money

San Francisco is reportedly paying for beer and vodka under a taxpayer-funded pilot program.

The city’s Department of Public Health runs the Managed Alcohol Program (MAP) to give doses of alcohol to the addicted.

Officials hope the program will “keep the homeless off the streets” and decrease incidents of emergency services.

“Experts say the program can save or extend lives, but critics wonder if the government would be better off funding treatment and sobriety programs instead,” Fox News reported.

The California Health Care Foundation said it is “one method to minimize harm for those with alcohol use disorder.”

“By prescribing limited quantities of alcohol, the model aims to prevent potentially life-threatening effects of alcohol withdrawal, such as seizures and injuries,” the foundation added.

The program was established during 2020 and now operates inside a former hotel in the Tenderloin district and has a $5 million annual budget.

Last month, a state audit revealed that California spent $24 billion over the past five years to combat homelessness without consistently tracking whether the massive expenditure improved the situation.

The homelessness crisis in California has become increasingly visible, with makeshift tents lining streets and impacting businesses across cities and towns. Approximately 171,000 people are homeless in California, accounting for about 30% of the nation’s homeless population.

Despite the significant investment in more than 30 homeless and housing programs between the fiscal years 2018 and 2023, the state lacked reliable data to fully comprehend why the problem persisted in many areas, according to the state auditor’s report.

“The state must do more to assess the cost-effectiveness of its homelessness programs,” State Auditor Grant Parks wrote in a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers.