SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco Port Commission voted to approve the operation of a temporary SAFE Navigation Center on a portion of Seawall Lot 330 in the Embarcadero on Tuesday evening.
The approval is for two years with an option to extend for two more if the center meets “good neighbor policies” and “reduces the unsheltered homeless count in the South Beach neighborhood,” according to a press release put out by Mayor London Breed’s office.
The proposal was spearheaded by Breed and San Francisco supervisor Matt Haney, whose District 6 will house the center. Breed announced the proposal on March 4 and since then, a debate around the center (and the issue of homelessness) has ensued across the community and the city.
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The San Francisco Police Department will add two beat officers every day of the week to patrol the area.
“This SAFE Navigation Center is an important part of our plan to help our unsheltered residents get off the streets and into shelter and services,” said Mayor Breed in the statement.
“We simply need more Navigation Centers, more permanent supportive housing, and more affordable housing throughout our City if we are going to change the conditions on our streets and help those in need, and I look forward to working with all of our Supervisors to make that happen.”
Mayor Breed announced late last year that she plans for the city to add 1,000 new shelter beds in the city by 2020, with 500 of them being built this summer.
The new Embarcadero navigation center will have the capacity to serve up to 130 individuals before gradually expanding to serve up to 200. Construction of the site is expected to start in June, managed and designed by San Francisco Public Works.