San Francisco Mayor London Breed is well on her way to reaching her goal of creating 1,000 new shelter beds by the end of 2020.

By the end of the year, The City expects to have added a total of 1,065 shelter beds offered through a combination of navigation centers and behavioral health centers, and middle school gyms for homeless students and their families.

At the site of what will become a center for transitional-age youth,  providing 75 beds for young adults between the ages of 18 and 24, the mayor announced that a new 200-bed navigation center is in the works. The new facility at 33 Gough St. will add space that exceeds Breed’s initial 1,000-bed goal.

The City has so far added 566 shelter beds since October 2018. Previously approved projects in various opening stages and the new navigation center will increase that number by 499, bringing the bed total to 1,065.

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)

Breed said:

“We know we have a challenge with homelessness and along with building new housing, it’s important we have more places for people to go to get the services and support that they need.”

Building on the success, the mayor is now committing to securing placement options for at least 2,000 homeless individuals over the next two years. Breed said:

“Whether that is navigation center beds, or sobering centers, or safe injection sites, or mental health stabilization beds. Whatever that is, we need to expand those opportunities so that we can really make sure that we make an impact of what you see on the streets.”

The 2019 Point in Time Count reported that more than 8,000 people are experiencing homelessness throughout The City.

Gigi Whitley, deputy director for the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Services, said the recent expansion of shelter beds was the largest in the last 30 years. Whitley said the ultimate goal is get individuals out of shelters and into housing.

Jerold Chinn/SFBay Mayor London Breed announced that she will meet her goal of creating 1,000 new shelter beds by 2020 at a press conference in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, January 15, 2020.

Whitley said:

“Temporary shelter is a core component of The City’s homelessness response system, but it is only one component. We recognize housing is the solution to homelessness and we must create more permanent exits from homelessness from all creative means possible.”

Shelter beds opened since October 2018:

  • 200 beds at the Embarcadero Navigation Center
  • 128 beds at the Bayshore Navigation Center
  • 84 beds at the Bryant Street Navigation Center
  • 60 beds at the Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8 Community School
  • 60 bed expansion at the Division Circle Navigation Center
  • 20 bed expansion at Civic Center Navigation Center
  • 14 behavioral health beds at Humming Bird

Source: San Francisco Mayor’s Office

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to jerold@sfbay.ca or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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