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Sixth SF homeless ‘navigation center’ opens in SoMa

San Francisco opened its sixth homeless Navigation Center on Fifth and Bryant streets near the on-ramp of Interstate 80 in the South of Market neighborhood.

The new 84-bed facility will help homeless referred by The City’s Homeless Outreach Team or Encampment Resolution Team in providing medical services, on-site showers, meals, property storage, and a place to work with case managers to find permanent housing.

A row of empty beds lined up inside the new Bryant Navigation Center in San Francisco, Calif, on Wednesday, January, 9, 2019. Jerold Chinn/SFBay

The new facility will also reserve 20 beds for women, who will have a separate living and sleeping area, said Kathy Treggiar, director of programs with Episcopal Community Services.

Episcopal Community Services, which already runs the Central Waterfront Navigation Center, will also operate the SoMa facility.

Tech giant Google donated $3 million to help with the construction costs of the facility.

Showers are available for people living inside the new Bryant Navigation Center, which opened in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. Jerold Chinn/SFBay

Mayor London Breed joined community members, District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney, and Assemblymember Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, to celebrate the opening of the Bryant Navigation Center.

Breed made a commitment last October that The City will open 1,000 shelter beds by 2020. The 90-day emergency shelter waitlist currently has 1,132 people signed up.

She said she knows the goal is ambitious, but said people need to place to stay for more than a day:

“We have to places to go where they are able to stay for 24 hours and not be told they have to leave in the morning.”

The Mayor’s Office said that as of December of 2019, 621 individuals transitioned out of a Navigation Center and into permanent housing and another 121 individuals were able to transition into temporary housing.

The Bryant Navigation Center officially opened its doors in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. Jerold Chinn/SFBay

The City’s Homeward Bound program, which tries to reconnect homeless individuals with family members, helped 1,234 people exit homelessness.

Breed said:

“Since the navigation centers have been in existence, it has really been a great place to transition people into more permanent housing.”

The new facility sits on Caltrans land that The City is leasing at an affordable rate thanks in part to Assembly Bill 857 by Ting.

Division Circle Navigation Center, which opened in August 2018, also sits on Caltrans land being leased to The City.

Ting said:

“It’s now a on ramp on to a different life.”

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