SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A parking lot on the Embarcadero that sits within walking distance of luxury condos and just south of the Bay Bridge could be home to hundreds of homeless people under San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s new plan.
The proposed waterfront site at Piers 30/32, currently owned by the Port of San Francisco, would feature a 200-bed navigation center, or short-term shelter. It would provide health and housing services, round the clock stays, and allow pets and partners.
If the Port Commission green lights Breed’s project, she would have it open by the summer. and expect it to operate for four years.
“We have a huge homelessness problem in this part of our city. People who are living on our streets and alleys and doorways. This will actually be a solution to that problem,” said District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney.
Haney says half of the city’s 3,500 homeless people are in his district.
“Parking lots are important, but places for people to live where they’re inside, in shelter, I think are that much more important, particularly on city-owned land,” he added. “We have a lot of city-owned parking lots, I think this is a piece of land that can be used to address our most urgent problem as a city.”
This navigation center would be the largest location in the city.
“I’d be okay with it. I think it’s great that we help anybody we can, so I’m alright with it if it’s the best solution for the city,” said SoMa resident Mark Williams.
Others aren’t so sure.
“I think it’s amazing but I’d prefer it to be somewhere where there’s less…it’s not as populated. It’s always busy right around here,” said San Francisco resident Laurel Scovie.
The Port Commission will hold an information hearing on the use of the lot on March 12. The community will also have a chance to share its input.
“I actually think we need to go a little more extreme with housing out here. I make six-figure salary and live paycheck to paycheck,” said SoMa resident Steven Brunwasser. “And by extreme, I mean compassionate. We need to take care of these people.”
The commission will consider approving the plan in April.
On Monday, the mayor released a statement on the navigation center.
“The waterfront has a number of challenges around homelessness. And by bringing this safe navigation center to the area, we can work to address these challenges and get our unsheltered residents on a path to housing and stability,” the statement read in part.