A new Hummingbird Place homeless drop-in center could spring up at Valencia Street’s current Salvation Army Mission Corps Community Center, and while some neighbors are skeptical, the opposition is nowhere near as fierce as it was for the Embarcadero Navigation Center.
We informed you over the weekend that a Salvation Army facility at 22nd and Valencia Streets was under consideration to be turned into a homeless shelter, or more specifically, a behavioral health and drop-in center branded under the city’s Hummingbird Place program. As shelter bed facilities can be pretty divisive issues in this town, this facility held another community meeting Thursday night that Missional Local reports was attended by more than 100 people. While there was some opposition articulated, this particular shelter looks on track to be approved at this Wednesday's Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee for a $404,000-a-year lease to provide 30 beds.
This Salvation Army Mission Corps Community Center is not to be confused with the retail thrift shop Salvation Army Family Store, located some four blocks south on Valencia at 26th Street. This particular Community Center is used more for free meal servings, Bible studies, and other such community programs.
(2/2) shared about the impact that programs like Hummingbird have made in their lives. By providing more safe and welcoming indoor spaces, we can transform lives and improve conditions for all in our communities.https://t.co/214ioUR0AQ— Rafael Mandelman (@RafaelMandelman) February 28, 2020
The location straddles Supervisor Hillary Ronen’s District 9 and Supervisor Rafael Mandelman’s District 8, but Mandelman is taking on the heavy lifting of selling the neighborhood on the facility. “It is a step in the right direction,” Mandelman told Mission Local ahead of a separate community meeting earlier this month. “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.”
These current beds to which he refers are at a similar 27-bed Hummingbird Place facility at SF General Hospital. Though the rollout of that program drew some pretty furious response too, not because of homeless phobia, but because it evicted a large number of residential mental health patients.
And while many Valencia Street neighbors seem supportive of the shelter, Mission Local writes that “applause erupted” after some of the opponents’ arguments against it, including one father who said, “I have two young kids and I’m just a little scared.”
Still, the new Hummingbird Place facility looks to be humming along, and if approved in committee next week, could be open by April.
Image: Google Street View