SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — After months of construction, San Francisco Mayor London Breed is expected to tour the SAFE navigation center on the Embarcadero this week. It is preparing to open by the end of the year.
“I come from New York and we live near San Francisco out of town, and they’re homeless people everywhere and, by and large, they’re fine people. They’re just having a tough time. And if there’s a solution, you got to try it,” said Isaac Stonberg of Campbell.
The solution was proposed by Breed earlier this year to combat the homeless problem. The 200 bed navigation center sits on a parking lot on the waterfront in one of the city’s most expensive neighborhoods.
The proposal outraged many condo residents in the area and a monthslong court battle followed. Last month, the group Safe Embarcadero For All unsuccessfully tried to block construction.
“For as many kinds of solutions that have been posed over the years, none of them really seem to make a difference or clean anything up, so I don’t think there’s too much optimism that putting an encampment right next to an apartment is going to make too much of a difference,” said San Francisco resident Billy Carlile.
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Back in August, a security camera captured a woman entering her condo in the area as she was attacked by a homeless man. It ignited a debate over crime and safety in the area.
Sugan Karthik lives next to the site.
“I mean it’s a necessity and I think every new development in the city’s got its pros and cons and the benefits that we get out of the navigation center shouldn’t be overlooked, just because of that one incident,” he said.
The San Francisco Police Department says it plans to step up security around the center.