Fremont Residents Disagree on Proposed Sites for Homeless Navigation Center

A public workshop at a church in Fremont drew dozens Wednesday night as residents attended to voice their concerns about two proposed sites for a homeless navigation center.

The city has been weighing were to put the proposed navigation center for about a month. The workshop on Wednesday night was the first of three events for the public to participate on the issue.

The crowd at the Harbor Light Church appeared to be divided into three groups, with each group wearing a specific color. Those who oppose the Decoto Road site wore blue, those who oppose the downtown site wore red and those who are for a navigation center being located anywhere in the city dressed in white.

“From Berkeley and Oakland, they put it in an industrial area and right now from their data it seems successful,” said Fremont resident Meng Lopez-Garrity, who opposes the Decoto road site.

Another Fremont resident, Stephani Lam, raised concerns about the downtown site and discussed a recent incident involving a homeless man attacking a resident in a building lobby near the Embarcadero.

“Of course, we want to pay extra attention to safety and how much it’s going to affect the downtown area,” Lam said.

Others were trying to convince their fellow residents to be more accepting of people experiencing homelessness in Fremont.

“I personally think there should be a homeless shelter in every district of Fremont,” one person said.

Kimberly Petersen, the Fremont police chief, also weighed in. “We’re not bringing them here, they’re already here,” she said. “These beds are going to be dedicated specifically to people recruited from the streets around the center.”

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