SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – San Francisco’s latest proposed homeless navigation center in the Bayview District does not appear to have intense opposition but not everybody thinks it’s a great idea.
At a community meeting at CCSF’s Southeast Campust, some neighbors of the proposed new navigation center had questions for city leaders.
“How is this navigation going to stop … if they refuse those services on site and go down the street and use whatever they use?” asked one resident.
The city has proposed building the 200 bed navigation center at 1925 Evans Avenue on a Caltrans parking lot in an area of the Bayview that has few houses, but quite a few small industrial businesses.
“I am sympathetic to the homeless, but I think it needs to be done properly,” said Ray Leong, owner of Safeco Electric Supply, Inc. Leong said he does not believe city leaders when they say their stats show crime goes down around a navigation center.
“These are probably data points from skewed statistics,” Leong said. “I do not trust that.”
Leong points out there is already a navigation center in the Bayview on Bayshore Blvd.
“You’ll notice that orbiting the navigation centers are encampments …Why have they not been able to take care of that?”
In fact, the sidewalks around the immediate vicinity of the Bayshore shelter are quite clean. But just in the next block, there are people living on the street. That said, folks familiar with this area say there are actually a lot fewer homeless people in the area now than there were a year ago.
“They’re spread out more, they hide out,” said Allen Jerger, a man who lives on the street near the center.
“We have to understand that sitting by and doing nothing is not an option,” said San Francisco Supervisor Shamman Walton who represents District 10 which includes the Bayview.
Walton said while the navigation centers will not end homelessness, they will help by temporarily getting hundreds of people access to city resources.
“Mental health support, substance abuse services … we’re fighting to make sure that we have this, so that the unhoused population in the Bayview have somewhere to go,” Walton said.