On Monday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed proposed a waterfront locale for a new Homeless Navigation Center, putting up Seawall Lot 330 near the Bay Bridge and Pier 30 as a potential spot for 200 new beds.
Since the Port of San Francisco owns the parcels, the Port Commission would have to approve the plan.
According to a press statement, “The proposed waterfront site would be the Mayor’s first SAFE Navigation Center, [...] allowing guests to bring their partners, pets, and belongings with them and providing support to connect residents with services and permanent housing in a setting.”
Launched in 2015, the Navigation Center program focuses on “homeless residents who are often fearful of accessing traditional shelter and services,” providing temporary shelter at the centers “while case managers work to connect them to income, public benefits, health services, shelter, and housing.”
At a 2018 city workshop, the Port called Seawall Lot 330 an “underdeveloped Port property.”
The locale has seen multiple proposed projects come and go over the years, including once being part of the Chase Center’s original location.
According to a 2016 memo, the mostly vacant property and nearby piers are used for occasional events, parking for Giants games and commuters, “periodic ship berthing for cruise and other visiting ships, and special events about six times per year.”
As for why the South Beach spot would be ideal for a Navigation Center, Mayor Breed notes that “the waterfront has a number of challenges around homelessness.”
The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing reported in 2018 that Navigation Centers placed 57 percent residents (more than 1,700 people since 2015) in housing.
However, as the Public Press noted in 2017, relatively few Navigation Center residents end up housed in the city, with the most common means of relocation being transportation to another city.