Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center Slated To Open By End Of Year In San Francisco

San Francisco Mayor London Breed
San Francisco Mayor London Breed

The 200-bed SAFE Navigation Center will soon provide temporary shelter and services, adding to Mayor Breed’s goal of opening 1,000 new shelter beds by the end of next year

Tuesday, December 17, 2019, San Francisco, CA — The Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center, a 200-bed facility to provide temporary shelter beds for unsheltered individuals, will open by the end of the year. Mayor London N. Breed, Senator Scott Wiener, Assemblymember Phil Ting, and Supervisor Matt Haney toured the facility today, along with community members and service providers.

The SAFE Navigation Center will help get people off the streets and connected to the social services and care they need. The project is a key part of the Mayor’s commitment to open 1,000 new shelter beds by the end of 2020. Once the Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center is at full capacity, the City will have opened 566 shelter beds toward that goal.

SAFE Navigation Centers build off the best practices of existing Navigation Centers, while making them more scalable and sustainable. They include temporary residential facilities, onsite support services, and provide a critical alternative to unsheltered homelessness. SAFE Navigation Centers welcome partners and pets, provide safe storage for belongings, 24/7 access, and trauma-informed care.

With the Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center, there are now seven Navigation Centers in San Francisco, providing approximately 720 beds. The Navigation Centers have served over 5,000 people since they launched in 2015. The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) oversees the development and operations of the City’s Temporary Shelter system which includes Navigation Centers. HSH will partner with Five Keys, which will operate the new facility, and currently operates the Bayshore Navigation Center. San Francisco Public Works managed the design and construction of the project.

Senator Wiener recently championed and passed legislation to streamline the development of Navigation Centers throughout the state. Senator Wiener’s legislation to streamline the approval of navigation centers was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, as part of Assembly Bill 101, a budget trailer bill. Previously part of Senate Bill 48, this policy aims to ensure that homeless individuals and families throughout California have reasonable access to shelter, including navigation centers.

As Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, Assemblymember Ting was instrumental in securing new state resources for homelessness services. In 2018, San Francisco received approximately $28 million in one-time resources from the state to address homelessness. In 2019, under Assemblymember Ting’s leadership, the state included $650 million in flexible one-time funds for shelters, permanent supportive housing, and other related services. These resources have been essential in supporting the expansion of navigation centers, like the Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center, as well as long-term solutions like rapid rehousing. The passage of Ting’s Assembly Bill 932 in 2017 also allowed San Francisco to enact an ordinance to expedite the local approval process of temporary shelters on public land.

The Navigation Center will begin serving 130 individuals, which mirrors other existing Navigation Centers in San Francisco. Following the opening, the SAFE Navigation Center will add an additional 70 beds over a six-month period to reach 200 beds. The area surrounding the Navigation Center will receive an increased presence of beat officers. The lease for the SAFE Navigation Center is for an initial two years, after which the Port Commission will have the option to extend the lease for an additional two-years.

During the first two years of operation, the City will issue quarterly reports on the unsheltered homeless count in the outreach zone, cleaning operations, crime statistics, and program utilization and outcomes.

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