Despite the recession, San Francisco successfully combats homeless problem

Charles Feldman

The city of San Francisco is notching a miraculous win. Despite the recession, it's managed to shrink its homeless population for the first time in 30 years.

In 2004, San Francisco launched an ambitious ten-year plan aimed at ending homelessness in the city by greatly expanding its social services and creating 3,000 permanent housing units as substitutes for shelters.

Now at the six-year mark, San Francisco's mayor, Gavin Newsom, is claiming the city is more than halfway toward its goal, having thus far created almost 1,700 housing units. He also noted that, since 2004, more than 19,400 volunteers have participated in "Project Homeless Connect," which offers legal, health and other services to the city's poor.