In an effort to mitigate San Francisco homelessness, one district supervisor believes some respite exists in the Mission District — more specifically, inside The Salvation Army Mission Corps Community Center at 1156 Valencia Street.
As reported by KRON4 and Mission Local, District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman introduced a proposal to adopt the 1156 Valencia Street property's lease for $404,000 per year, which would allow the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) to use the space as a 30-bed, 24-hour behavioral health relief center for homeless San Franciscans during the next three or so years. The project would operate, in tandem, as a branch of the SFDPH's Hummingbird Navigation Center project.
(1/2) The Department of Public Health will be holding another community meeting to discuss the proposed behavioral health respite, Valencia Street Hummingbird Place, next Thursday, February 27th at 6pm at 1156 Valencia. I will be attending along with representatives from the— Rafael Mandelman (@RafaelMandelman) February 21, 2020
“Having a facility in the neighborhood where people could be brought off the streets, get some shelter and also get some behavioral health services seems to me like a win,” Mandelman said of the ideated facility to KRON4, which would work as both a drop-in and to-schedule community touchstone, offering a wide array of services — mental health treatment, sustenance, shelter, access to showers, an outlet go get clothing and personal care products, etc..
Should this shelter come to fruition, the proposed second Hummingbird Place would “more than double" the organization's existing bed count, which currently sits at 29; the only other facility is located on the General Hospital campus on 23rd and Potrero Avenue.
“Though the 30 beds being proposed at 1156 Valencia would more than double our current stock of Hummingbird beds, it still barely scratches the surface of the overall need,” said Mandelman. “That said it is a step in the right direction.”
As of now, the project received $3 million from Tipping Point, a non-profit that fights poverty in the Bay Area, to help secure the lease and see the needed renovations and updates through. Because, alas, San Francisco’s homelessness epidemic isn’t a should we or should we not help type of crisis — it’s a how do we solve this kind of quandary.
“From my perspective, the question is not whether or not we do this,” Mandelman adds to Mission Local. “It’s how we do it but making sure that we do it in a way that’s sensitive to the community’s needs.”
Multiple news outlets indicate that there's still a need for a hearing before the SFDPH and the city's budget committee in March to finalize things, but a public community meeting is scheduled for this coming Thursday, February 27th, at 6 p.m. at the Salvation Army location. However, should the project be given a green light, the SFDPH hopes to open the Valencia Community Hummingbird Place later this spring.
Currently, there are 9,700-plus homeless individuals in San Francisco, according to The Chronicle, with that figure growing annually. And while a litany of recent forward-motioned actions — the announcement of over 1,000 shelter beds in SF; the recent successes of the Moms4Housing; overnight safe parking programs going online for car dwellers — have alleviated the issue, ending housing instability in the Bay Area requires a multi-pronged commitment.
And, yes: erecting a Hummingbird Place at the Salvation Army branch would be one such attentive tine.
Image: Screenshot via Google Maps