After an appeals court judge ruled against the neighborhood group that has been fighting the new Navigation Center on the Embarcadero, the mayor says it could open for its first homeless guests sometime next month.
California Superior Court Judge Ethan P. Schulman issued his decision Monday, saying that the group Safe Embarcadero For All's motion to halt the project was denied. Judge Schulman cited that as of 2011, the city and the Port of San Francisco were not required to seek State Lands Commission approvals for uses of seawall lots like the one proposed for the Navigation Center. This was a final appeal attempt on environmental grounds by the neighbor group, which has been fighting to stop the construction of the temporary homeless shelter since it was first announced in March.
In a tweet on Monday, Breed hailed the decision, and made a dig at the neighborhood group's name, tweeting, "Big news today as the courts denied the last remaining claim in the lawsuit challenging the construction of the SAFE Navigation Center on the Embarcadero! By the end of the year the Nav Center will be open and operating, helping people get the care and shelter they need!"
Big news today as the courts denied the last remaining claim in the lawsuit challenging the construction of the SAFE Navigation Center on the Embarcadero! By the end of the year the Nav Center will be open and operating, helping people get the care and shelter they need!— London Breed (@LondonBreed) November 26, 2019
Breed faced tough talk from homeowners in and around the portion of SoMa near the Embarcadero lot, which is at the intersection of Bryant and Embarcadero. Talking to a neighborhood meeting in April, Breed said, "It's always going to be a bad plan when it's in your neighborhood," adding that she already had a shelter in her neighborhood.
The battle over the Navigation Center heated up briefly in the local media as the neighborhood group sought to use a high-profile case of a woman being attacked outside her building by a mentally ill homeless man to argue for why the Navigation Center would make them less safe.
As KPIX reports, the new Navigation Center, built as a temporary structure that's meant to stand for two or three years, will provide 200 new shelter beds for homeless individuals. Under the Navigation Center model, individuals can check in along with their pets, loved ones, and belongings, and do not have to check out every day as at traditional shelters. Meanwhile, they can receive services, including mental health and drug counseling, while preparing to transition into more stable housing.