The first Homeless Navigation Center, a pilot project originally funded by a $3 million anonymous donation via the SF Interfaith council, opened up after some delays last year in the Mission. It's seen some early success in allowing homeless individuals to come in and stay along with their friends, pets, and belongings, and receive supportive services for indefinite periods. Subsequently, a new temporary shelter at Pier 80 started filling up in the past few weeks as sweeps of the tent city along Division Street began. But the Examiner is asking when we can expect another, full-fledged Navigation Center, as is Supervisor Campos, and the unsatisfactory answer to them is six months at the least.
“I think it’s outrageous that we are talking about six months,” Campos said, “It is unacceptable... I think it is cruel to move people out and throw away their belongings without a place to go,” he added, referring to the sweeps, which appear to have taken everyone off of Division Street by now, impacting about 300 people according to the Coalition on Homelessness.
The Navigation Center's goal, to move entire encampments — families, couples, pets, and all — and impose fewer rules and restrictions on them, has been much-lauded, but a new site for a second center hasn't been found yet. Further, last July we learned that the original Mission Navigation Center would eventually become 165 units of affordable housing, so that one will have to move in time as well.
The mayor’s homeless czar Sam Dodge says he's “trying to shrink” the six-month timeline a new center. “We were very close with one location and it fell through," he said. "It’s not like I haven’t been working on this.”