News Release: Board of Supervisors Unanimously Approves Lease for 200-Bed Navigation Center

Mar. 3, 2020

Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Matt Haney sponsored legislation to create a SAFE Navigation Center in the Upper Market area for people experiencing homelessness

San Francisco, CA — The Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved the lease for a new approximately 200-bed SAFE Navigation Center at 33 Gough Street. Mayor London N. Breed and Supervisor Matt Haney sponsored the legislation to create the Navigation Center to serve people experiencing homelessness.

The 200 beds at the Upper Market SAFE Navigation Center are part of Mayor Breed’s initiative to add 1,000 new shelter beds in San Francisco by the end of this year.

“With the approval of this lease, we are one step closer to creating 200 new places for people experiencing homelessness to get off the streets, into shelter, and on the path to housing,” said Mayor Breed. “The location of this new Upper Market SAFE Navigation Center will help us meet people where they are, and more easily connect people who are suffering on our streets with the help they need.”

“This project demonstrates how we can creatively provide services and shelter on an interim basis where affordable housing will break ground in three years,” said Supervisor Matt Haney. “This is a neighborhood that will benefit tremendously from opportunities to get unhoused people off the street and transitioned into housing and services.”

The SAFE Navigation Center model provides low-barrier, high service shelter so people can come inside with partners, pets and their possessions, with 24/7 access and trauma-informed care. The site for the Upper Market Navigation Center is located in the McCoppin Hub area between Gough and McCoppin Streets, which is at the intersection of several neighborhoods, including the Mission, Hayes Valley, SoMa, the Lower Haight, the Castro and Duboce Triangle. Once constructed, the Navigation Center will first focus on providing shelter and enhanced health services to people who are homeless in the immediate area.

“Everyday, our teams talk with people living unsheltered who are desperate to come in doors and begin their journey out of homelessness” said Jeff Kositsky, Director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. “We need more shelter and more housing exits from homelessness of every kind. We are deeply grateful to the community surrounding 33 Gough who showed up with excellent questions, concerns and significant support as well as Mayor Breed and Supervisor Haney for their leadership.”

The property was previously occupied by the City College of San Francisco and is available for a three-year interim use before it is developed into affordable and middle-income housing. The Board authorized the lease of the property for three years, with an annual rent of $1.26 million. The City’s Real Estate Division negotiated the terms of the lease with the property developer, Integral Group.

“The Navigation Center is an important project that will protect the homeless and give them the stability they need to transition to more permanent housing,” said Dalila Sotelo, Vice President and Western Region Managing Director of Integral’s Community Development Division. “I applaud Mayor Breed and the Board of Supervisors for their vision and leadership in helping the homeless and addressing key housing issues.”

The City hosted multiple community discussions about the project, including a small neighborhood stakeholder meeting, and two large community input forums on January 27th and February 10th. The input forums included representatives from the Mayor’s office, Supervisor Haney’s office, the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH), staff of Supervisors offices from surrounding communities, and numerous neighbors and community stakeholders.

“We are both thrilled to support the Upper Market SAFE Navigation Center, in a structure that would otherwise be vacant,” said community members Parker Day and Vanessa Gregson. “Not only have we personally seen the positive impact that Navigation Centers can bring, but there is an incredible need for the life changing services they provide. Our neighborhood’s Navigation Center will be a way out of homelessness for many, and we couldn’t be prouder to support it.”

This January, Mayor Breed announced the next phase in the City’s efforts to address homelessness, with a goal to open at least 2,000 additional places for people experiencing homelessness over the next two years. These placements will include Permanent Supportive Housing, scattered-site supportive housing, master-leased housing, behavioral health beds, and expanded shelter and drop-in center capacity.

Mayor Breed’s initiative recognizes that housing is a core part of the Homeless Response System. In order to get people off the streets and into shelter, the City needs to focus on expanding Permanent Supportive Housing as well as Rapid Rehousing, Housing Ladder and Problem Solving exits from homelessness to improve flow across the system and open up spaces in the shelter system.

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