SAN FRANCISCO (BCN)
San Francisco city leaders are celebrating $10 million in state funding for two new Navigation Centers to help the homeless in the city’s southeast neighborhoods and near the South of Market and Mission District.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to accept and spend the money on Tuesday, and they announced the development Wednesday morning during a news conference at the Central Waterfront Navigation Center, located at 600 25th St.
The two new facilities — at 125 Bayshore Blvd. and Division Circle — will serve people living in encampments who’ve been unable to access services like intensive case management or health care and drug treatment programs at traditional homeless shelters.
The centers have a proven track record of getting people into stable housing, according to city officials.
“The Mission neighborhood is experiencing a serious public health crisis due to the drastic increase in the number of tent encampments,” Supervisor Hillary Ronen said in a statement. “Navigation Centers work,” Ronen said. “They give homeless residents a chance at a new life, and they improve the cleanliness and safety of our streets.”
Wednesday’s announcement came after state Assemblyman Phil Ting secured the Housing and Community Development funding through the Assembly Budget Committee in response to discussions between Ronen and the late Mayor Ed Lee.
Ting said homelessness is a statewide issue, and that just offering housing is not an adequate solution.
“Navigation centers are an essential part of the equation because they provide critical support services to help homeless individuals off the streets long-term,” Ting said.
“By opening more Navigation Centers, we will have greater success in moving people out of tents and into housing,” Ting said.
There are already five Navigation Centers scattered throughout San Francisco. The first one opened in March 2015.
The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing determines access to the program on a case by case basis. External referrals and drop-ins are not accepted, according to city officials.
There are an estimated 6,700 people experiencing homelessness in the city on any given night, according to a count conducted in 2015.
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