SF Port Commission Approves Embarcadero Homeless Center

The San Francisco Port Commission voted Tuesday to approve a temporary homeless navigation center along the storied Embarcadero.

The center will be located on a portion of Seawall Lot 330 at The Embarcadero and Beale Street, the city said.

The approval is for two years, with an option to extend for two additional years if the center meets good neighbor policies and reduces the unsheltered homeless count in the South Beach neighborhood, the city said.

Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Matt Haney crafted the proposal, which sparked weeks of community outreach and conversations with stakeholders.

"This SAFE Navigation Center is an important part of our plan to help our unsheltered residents get off the streets and into shelter and services," Breed said in a statement. "We simply need more Navigation Centers, more permanent supportive housing and more affordable housing throughout our City if we are going to change the conditions on our streets and help those in need, and I look forward to working with all of our Supervisors to make that happen."

The center is part of the mayor's plan to add 1,000 new shelter beds by 2020, announced in October 2018, with 500 of them being built by this summer.

There are at least 1,000 people on a waiting list for shelter beds, said Jeff Kositsky, director of the city's Department of Homelessness & Supportive Housing. He said the department has received hundreds of phone calls and emails on the subject.

"This is a crisis of epic proportion, it's a humanitarian crisis,'' he said, adding that "one night sleeping off of the streets instead of on the streets is a success."

More than 4,000 people sleep unsheltered each night in a city of about 885,000.

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