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Supervisor Matt Haney has reintroduced a proposal that would require  navigation centers in every San Francisco district.

Haney advanced the legislation at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting that would require the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing to establish within six months two centers in districts that currently do not have one. The department would then have two years to add centers in remaining districts.

He introduced the proposal just hours after touring the new Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center in his district.

Ching Wong/SFBay Shelter beds are seen at the Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, December 17, 2019. (Ching Wong/SFBay)

Haney said at the board meeting:

“While we must continue to create more housing exits, people who are living on the streets tonight cannot wait for the new housing to come online.”

The proposed legislation would further define what a navigation center is and require most services and amenities offered at current centers as a minimum, Haney said.

Expanding on the current system, Haney’s bill would offer individuals an initial 90-day stay with an ability to stay until they successfully exit homelessness.

Currently, individuals are given an initial 30-day stay with an option for renewal.

Ching Wong/SFBay Supervisor Matt Haney speaks during a press conference at the Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, December 17, 2019. (Ching Wong/SFBay)

Haney, along with supervisors Hillary Ronen, Shamann Walton and newly sworn-in Supervisor Dean Preston, gathered Wednesday at a press conference in front of the Civic Center Navigation Center in unified support of the proposal.

Preston said constituents he’s spoken to are eager to create a navigation center in District 5.

Preston said:

“For me coming into office this week, getting a Navigation Center in District 5 is one of my top priorities.”

Noting that she has welcomed centers in District 9, Ronen said:

“Now we are saying that it is time for the rest of The City to step up as well.”

Ching Wong/SFBay Steve Good, right, executive director of Five Keys Schools and Programs, gives a tour at the Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, December 17, 2019. (Ching Wong/SFBay)

Mayor London Breed made it clear Tuesday during a tour of the new Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center that her priority is identifying land in any district where housing or shelters can be built.

Breed announced months ago that The City will open a navigation center in the Bayview by the end of next year.

The mayor’s spokesperson Jeff Cretan said officials are also finalizing a lease at 888 Post St. in Supervisor Aaron Peskin’s district that will be tailored towards homeless youth.

Including the new facility along the Embarcadero, there are now seven operational navigation centers throughout San Francisco.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn covers transportation and City Hall in San Francisco for SF Bay. Email: jerold@sfbay.ca. Twitter: @Jerold_Chinn. Instagram: jeroldwashere.

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