Supervisor David Campos's previously announced legislation that mandates the creation of six new homeless navigation centers like the one already in the Mission, all within two years, received unanimous support from the Board on Tuesday. Provisions that would have allowed for safe-injection sites for intravenous drug users and a so-called "wet shelter" where alcohol would be allowed were stripped out of the legislation, however, at the behest of new homeless czar Jeff Kositsky technically the incoming head of the new Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. Kositsky said he needed more time to review other similar shelters and how they operate, as the Examiner reports, adding, "I’ve never heard of a wet shelter before. I’ve heard of wet housing."
Back in March, the Board unanimously approved a declaration of a "shelter crisis," something typically done in times of natural disaster, in order to free up public land and federal funding for the creation of new homeless shelters.
Slightly behind schedule is a second navigation center at the former Civic Center Hotel, which we also heard about back in March. It is set to start taking in more homeless individuals within two weeks, after already taking in 36 over the last couple months. The building has space for 86 people total.
As the Chronicle reports, the ordinance also has a provision for a "housing revenue plan," because a previous draft had not emphasized enough that navigation centers don't solve the problem of permanently housing people. Funding sources now need to be identified to create the supportive and traditional housing needed to house the 8,000 homeless who the mayor has pledged to house during the remainder of his term.
An earlier proposal for supportive housing for chronic alcoholics that allows drinking, brought by onetime mayoral hopeful and former supervisor and homeless czar Bevan Dufty, was derided as being "bunks for drunks," and has yet to take shape. The argument is that some 225 chronically ill and alcoholic individuals cost the city $13 million annually as it is, accounting for at least 2,000 annual ambulance calls. Seattle has already created such a "wet house" and claimed in 2010 that it was saving them $4 million a year.
Previously: Campos's Shelter-Crisis Declaration Now Has Veto-Proof Majority
San Francisco's Homeless Navigation Center Plan, By The Numbers
As New Department Of Homelessness Takes Shape, Report Advocates For Tracking System