San Francisco

SF Residents Launch GoFundMe to Fight Proposed Site For Homeless Navigation Center

Residents along San Francisco's prized Embarcadero have launched a GoFundMe campaign to keep the city from opening a homeless navigation center at Seawall Lot 330.

Mayor London Breed is pushing the site near city landmarks such as the San Francisco Ferry Building and Oracle Park, and the community has pushed back.

The GoFundMe effort solicits residents of South Beach, Rincon Hill, Bayside Village, East Cut and Mission Bay for financial contributions to a legal fund to fight against the navigation center.

The campaign, dubbed Safe Embarcadero For All, had collected $62,550 toward a $100,000 goal as of Friday morning. But it has competition.

A counter-campaign called "SAFER Embarcadero for ALL" was started Thursday by William Fitzgerald. It has raised $35,000 of a $50,000 goal towards San Francisco non-profit Coalition On Homelessness in 20 hours, after raising its target.

"We're fighting an effort by residents of one of the richest neighborhoods in San Francisco to block a homeless shelter on a parking lot," Fitzgerald wrote on the campaign.

Breed proposed the location earlier this month, saying the site fills a need: helping homeless residents nearby and offering certain amenities to them. Neighborhood politics, she said, shouldn’t play a role.

"Every part of the city has to share in on what we need to do in terms of providing shelters, providing affordable housing, providing more housing in general," Breed said at a March 12 Port Commission meeting.

The Port of San Francisco owns the property.

Resident Cory Tan, for one, is concerned about safety. "There will be no drug use inside, but they allow drug users, so where do you think they're shooting drugs?" Tan said.

Adam Thomas, a who lives in the area, said he would be more interested in a smaller center.

"It depends on the size," he said. "At a small navigation center, a case worker can focus on a case-by-case basis."

The Port Commission will consider a lease agreement in April. Final approval of the mayor's shelter crisis legislation, which clears the way to build shelters faster, is expected Tuesday.

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