San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee cut the ribbon Wednesday on the latest homeless Navigation Center — the third the city has opened. They are integral to Lee’s mission of fighting an epidemic of homelessness.
“We are responding to the situations on our streets by taking bold steps to move our residents into settings where they can reclaim their lives,” Lee said.
The facility, located on 25th Street in the Dogpatch neighborhood, will provide 64 beds for the homeless, beginning next week. Navigation Centers are different from normal shelters because they allow residents to bring in their partners, pets and all of their possessions. Residents will have access to case management, health care and drug treatment programs.
Jeff Kositsky, director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, said the opening of the Dogpatch center has been a collaborative effort between the Department of Public Works, the Port of San Francisco, Episcopal Community Services, the Providence Foundation and the neighbors of Dogpatch.
A fourth Navigation Center with 120 beds is scheduled to open in the Mission District on June 19. Three additional Navigation Centers will open after that in the South of Market area, on South Van Ness Avenue and at San Francisco General Hospital.
The first Navigation Center opened in March 2015 at 16th and Mission streets, and the second set up shop at Market and 12th streets in June 2016.
From Kevin Fagan of the San Francisco Chronicle:
Combined with conventional shelters, the city will then have 2,105 temporary beds to offer street people — the first time the total will top 2,000.
San Francisco’s last official street count, taken in 2015, listed 3,500 people who had no temporary beds, jail cells or other shelter among the total of 6,700 people in various forms of homelessness. Among those without shelter, 1,700 were chronically homeless, meaning they’d been on the street a year or more and struggled with substance abuse or other difficulties.