After a two-month extension, San Francisco plans to shut down the temporary (albeit popular) homeless shelter on Pier 80, even though our city's housing crisis remains deeply problematic.
If you recall, the homeless shelter was set up as an emergency response to Tent City that sprang up on Division Street under the 101 overpass earlier this year during the city's Super Bowl bacchanalia.
SF Weekly has more:
Originally intended to house 150 sleeping mats inside the giant tent, 30 beds were added due to the demand. However, Mayor's Office of HOPE Director Sam Dodge told KQED in March that some 50 folks remain at the site, a number he reiterated to the Chronicle in late May.
So where will they go for the summer? The obvious conclusion is: back to the street, unless they are able to land a supportive housing unit.
Much controversy swirled around the homeless before the shelter’s opening. San Francisco officials were criticized for clearing homeless people out of parts of the city where Super Bowl 50 activities would be taking place in January and early February, which led to several "tent cities" popping up around town — the largest of which was under the U.S. Highway 101 overpass at the border of SoMa and the Mission District, which was cleared out after the big game left town.
Pier 80 shelter will close July 1.
As far as new housing for the homeless goes, it is reportedly in the pipeline.
SFist spoke with Sam Dodge, director of the new Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, and reports back that "94 units in the National Hotel at 1139 Market Street 'should be ready in July,' and that another 52 units at the Crown Hotel at 528 Valencia Street are hopefully going to be available for occupancy in August."
SFist goes on to note that an additional 102 rooms at the Winton Hotel in the Tenderloin should be ready sometime this fall.
As far as the housing problem in San Francisco, many are too quick to criminalize our homeless population as a tough-love tool for recovery. This past Friday, for example, the Castro Country Club, a sober space in the city's LGBT neighborhood, and a neighboring residence were vandalized by a presumably unwell individual.
In lieu of calling for the suspect's head on a platter—or coming down on the entirety of the city's easy-target homeless populace—Terry Beswick, aforementioned next-door resident, took to Facebook to make this point crystal.
- Pier 80 Shelter To Close July 1 [SFist]
- City Preparing to Close Pier 80 Homeless Shelter [SF Weekly]
- Mayor Lee Plans to Remove All Homeless Camps Following Shooting [Curbed SF]
- S.F. ‘tech bro’ writes open letter to mayor: ‘I shouldn’t have to see the pain, struggle, and despair of homeless people’, ‘riff raff’ [Washington Post]