Yeah I’m surprised to see this posted without mention of the Michael Shellenberger work on this topic. I actually think the above analysis hints at it: Why is there so much homelessness concentrated downtown here?
The elephant in the room is that many people who have hard drug habits prefer to live in encampments in central cites, and the authorities in the Bay Area (especially SF) are supportive of them doing so.
There are also a lot of people with housing insecurity due to the challenges of affording rent, but those are not the people living in the visible encampments.
What was it that made you know or decide it was time to throw in the towel?