SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Soon to open centers in San Francisco will be geared toward addressing one of the city’s most vexing problems: How to help the homeless get off the streets.
Several navigation centers just got the green light from city supervisors.
On Tuesday night, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed legislation with the hope that six new navigation centers would help solve the city’s homeless situation.
The idea is that instead of giving homeless individuals just a place to stay the night, it’s supposed to match them up with social services.
Sam Dodge, the deputy director of San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness, said “We’ll bring people into our system of care and wrap around them and help move them towards housing.”
So far, the city only has one center. It works to connect people with social services and housing and has helped more then 500 people since it opened last year.
But the problem is that a lot of the neighborhoods that might be on the receiving end say it’s only got to create problems for them.
Kristin Swanson, a resident of the city’s Dogpatch neighborhood, said she recently heard in the news that a woman was stabbed by a homeless person downtown.
“So we’re always concerned about our safety, our health and being secure,” Swanson said.
Swanson’s neighborhood is one of the areas being considered, along with Civic Center, to house the new navigation centers.
They’ll be paid for with taxpayer dollars and run jointly with community outreach groups.
City officials say it is a permanent solution towards ending homelessness, but some neighbors are worried.
Swanson said there is already so much going on in Dogpatch with all the people under the freeways and along the on-ramps.
“Sometimes late at night or when there’s nobody really around, it can get scary,” she said.
Dodge, however, isn’t worried that the navigation centers will hurt the city’s neighborhoods.
“We’ve proven that this can be a real asset to a neighborhood and these kind of residential programs bring good things to a neighborhood and not the negative things they may fear,” he said.
The other four areas to host the new navigation centers have yet to be determined, but it may be that homeless shelter will have to be converted into navigation centers.