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Groundbreaking: San Francisco to House its Homeless Population in the Metaverse

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SAN FRANCISCO - As the homelessness crisis continues to grow in America’s cities, San Francisco is taking a unique & cost effective approach to tackling the problem.

Decentraland’s mostly empty metaverse is partnering with San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) to bring much needed virtual housing to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

While some have argued that Web 3.0 use-cases have yet to fully present themselves, this San Francisco project is helping to disprove that narrative.

The groundbreaking program gives San Francisco’s homeless population a free Decentraland avatar and an NFT that entitles them access to a one room efficiency in the metaverse. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Friday in Decentraland to inaugurate the opening of the Metaverse’s largest permanent supportive housing building.

Neal Stephenson Jr., one of the first residents at the site, seemed more perplexed than grateful - likely still not understanding how truly fortunate he was. "I am hoping for hand up, as opposed to a hand out," said Mr. Stephenson before continuing “but I don’t see how this really amounts to either.”

At the ribbon cutting event, the tearful avatar of Shireen McSpadden, Executive Director of San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, noted “this is not a place where someone lives for a couple of months and moves on,” pausing to wipe away tears and compose herself, “this is a forever home & a place to build a virtual life.”

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