SAN FRANCISCO—In March, the San Francisco News reported on possible new housing for the homeless proposed by SF Mayor Edward M. Lee for the Civic Center Hotel as a location that could offer housing for up to up 93 people and would serve as the city’s second navigation center and would offer more than just shelter.
On Tuesday, June 28, Mayor Lee announced the official opening of the Civic Center Hotel. The Navigation Center 2 building is owned by the UA Local 38 Plumbers Union Pension Trust Fund and will be rebuilt in two years to include 550 homes with 110 permanently affordable homes for formerly homeless people and current residents of Navigation Center 2.
Like its counterpart that opened in the Mission District more than a year ago, the center is a one-stop complex where homeless can be moved straight off the street with their belongings and partners and quickly routed into permanent housing. The center has more counselors than a traditional shelter to provide consistent aid.
According to city officials, and reported by the SF Gate, as of early May 2016, the 75-bed Mission Navigation Center had sheltered 468 people, and 84 percent had found permanent housing. The Civic Center Hotel will strive for the same success rate.
“Living on our City’s streets is not healthy or safe,” said Mayor Lee. “Although we have housed and provided services for thousands of people already, we still have work to do. The Navigation Centers are an important piece in solving homelessness for those individuals who face multiple challenges to returning to housing.”
According to a press release from the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (DHSH) Director Jeff Kositsky announced on June 28, the creation of the Encampment Response Team (ERT) to provide services for people living in encampments on city streets. The ERT will be responsible for identifying and tracking encampments, delivering community outreach to neighbors, and implementing outreach and shelter placement.
“Just like many San Francisco residents, I’m concerned about the impact of encampments in our community. The camps are unsafe and unhealthy for people living in them and are highly disruptive to our neighborhoods,” said DHSH Director Jeff Kositsky. “The new Encampment Response Team will ensure our residents living in encampments receive the shelter and services they deserve and that our neighborhoods remain safe and healthy for families and everyone. The department is deeply committed to this initiative and to addressing encampments in San Francisco.”
The Board of Supervisors voted this month to open 4 more Navigation Centers over the next two years. The new Civic Center Hotel has 12 counselors and case managers that reside in the building. They will also be aiding 48 permanent residents who were living in the hotel before it was renovated and were allowed to stay.
By Ryan Dyrud and Donald Roberts