SAN FRANCISCO—On Monday, June 8, the parking lot of Everett Middle School became the third “Safe Sleeping Village” of San Francisco, established to keep the city’s homeless population safe and healthy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The safe sleeping site is accessible to homeless San Franciscans in District 8. The site will remain open until mid-July upon the return of Everett Middle School faculty and staff who will have to begin planning for the school year.
The Everett Middle School site reportedly has bathrooms, showers, and hygiene stations, staffed with on-site janitors to keep the areas clean. Everyone who accesses the site will have their temperature taken regularly and is given equipment to shield them from contracting the virus. Meals have been provided by the Salvation Army.
The resolution to establish safe sleeping sites was originally sponsored by San Francisco Board of Supervisor Rafael Mandelman and was approved by the Board of Supervisors on April 28. As stated in the resolution, the sites are intended “to encourage social distancing, improve sanitation, and slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Along with the Everett Middle School location, the city has set up safe sleeping sites at the Civic Center on Fulton Street and on the corner of Stanyan and Haight Streets in a former McDonald’s parking lot. The city has determined 42 other potential spots to install these villages, but these sites have not yet been approved.
Mandelman tweeted on Thursday, June 4: “If our initial safe-sleeping villages are successful, we need to be prepared to do more. The human need is vast, & our neighborhoods are getting impatient.”