SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted on February 8 to approve Mayor London Breed’s proposal to open a new shelter at 711 Post Street for adults experiencing homelessness. The vote to fund the master lease and operations of the Ansonia Hotel will allow the site to be used as a semi-congregate shelter, with 123 units ranging from singles to quads able to shelter approximately 250 people.
“It is going to take all of us working together as a city if we want to achieve our ambitious effort to move thousands of people off the street and into shelter and permanent housing,” said Mayor Breed. “The approval of the lease at 711 Post not only allows us to build on the progress that we have made over the past two years to add new hotels for housing and shelter, but it also provides us an opportunity to recreate a temporary shelter model that further meets the needs of all of our homeless residents.”
San Francisco conducted a search for properties that would allow long-term semi or non-congregate shelter options that build off the lessons learned at Shelter in Place hotels, allowing the implementation of a new type of shelter model. 711 Post is expected to provide shelter in a building with private and small rooms, community space, and high-quality amenities rather than a traditional congregate facility. Other amenities include a lobby and front desk, basement, community area, commercial kitchen, dining space, laundry room, office space, security camera system, elevator, lockers and storage, and bathrooms and showers on each floor.
“Shelter is a critical and core component of our Homelessness Response System,” said Shireen McSpadden, Executive Director, Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. “With our concentrated efforts at the Tenderloin Linkage Center, there is an increased urgency to expand our shelter capacity to people experiencing homelessness who are ready to exit the street.”
The site will have 24-hour staffing, services, and daytime case management provided by non-profit partner Urban Alchemy, who was selected due to their recent success managing Shelter in Place Hotels, Safe Sleep programs, and community ambassador programs. The contract with Urban Alchemy will include funding for street activation and monitoring in the surrounding area 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, focusing on discouraging loitering and preventing encampment activity and disruptive behavior outside of the shelter.
“The 711 Post model is an incredible opportunity to provide a stable shelter with resources for those in need, and to ensure cleaner, safer streets in the surrounding neighborhood,” said Lena Miller, CEO of Urban Alchemy. “Urban Alchemy is committed to delivering our holistic approach — embracing our unhoused neighbors who need safe spaces, and embracing the neighborhood so the quality of life improves for everyone.”
The lease of 711 Post Street builds on Mayor Breed’s Homelessness Recovery Plan by helping San Francisco create additional shelter and housing for homeless residents as the city emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The city will expand capacity in the Homelessness Response System and aims to make 6,000 placements available for people experiencing homelessness by expanding housing options. Details on Mayor Breed’s Homelessness Recovery Plan can be found here: sf.gov/data/homelessness-recovery-plan.