News Releases
The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

Mayor Lee Announces New Navigation Center & 200 Additional Homes To Help Homeless

Expanding Navigation Center Model to Second Site at Civic Center Hotel with 93 Units to Provide More Homeless Services & Support throughout City; Adding 200 Permanent Supportive Housing Units

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced that the City will open a new Navigation Center and lease an additional 200 units of housing for the homeless. The new Navigation Center, which will begin accepting clients in two months, will be located at the Civic Center Hotel, which will be expanded with additional supportive services. Mayor Lee also announced the addition of 200 new units to the City’s supportive housing portfolio to provide additional exits to clients of the Navigation Center system.

“Living on our City’s streets is unhealthy and unsafe, and we are helping people stabilize their lives and end their homelessness through our Navigation Centers,” said Mayor Lee. “In the last year alone, we have helped nearly 400 homeless San Franciscans leave the streets by removing barriers that prevent people from accessing the services they need to turn their lives around. Working together with the Board of Supervisors and partners like the Interfaith Council and Community Housing Partnership, we are doubling down on homeless programs and services we know work to improve the lives of people in need.”

The Civic Center Hotel, a Single-Room Occupancy Hotel owned by the UA Local 38 Plumbers Union Pension Trust Fund, will be rebuilt as part of a larger development project by Strada Investment Group that will include 550 units, more than 25% of which will be affordable housing, including a 110 unit supportive housing project with Community Housing Partnership for formerly homeless people and existing residents of the Civic Center Hotel. This partnership between Local 38 and the City will continue to revitalize Market Street while preserving housing options for the most vulnerable and lowest-income. Presently, Local 38 is currently under contract with Community Housing Partnership to activate the building to help the City end homelessness for its residents, for the next two years, until the development begins.

“We are proud to help the homeless and the City as partners in this effort to resolve homelessness for people,” said UA Local 38 Plumbers Union Pension Trust Fund Chairman Larry Mazzola, Jr.

“Community Housing Partnership exists to help homeless people secure housing and become self-sufficient; we are excited for this opportunity to help more individuals experiencing homelessness stabilize their lives and move towards self-sufficiency,” said CHP Executive Director Gail Gilman.

The first Navigation Center located in the Mission District opened in March 2015 to provide comprehensive services and programs for the adult homeless population. Since its inception, the City has helped 399 people move off the streets, including 64 clients who are currently being served. Of the 399 formerly homeless, 126 have found exits through Homeward Bound, 128 have been moved into supportive housing, 11 have been placed into stabilization units and three have been placed into residential treatment.

The Navigation Center program is showing that street homeless residents are resolving their homelessness. With this success, Mayor Lee is partnering with Community Housing Partnership to expand the Navigation Center model to a second site at Civic Center Hotel located at 20 12th Street to serve 93 clients.

The Navigation Center model helps homeless people, many living in encampments, who have stayed out of shelters because they do not want to be separated from a partner, friends, or even their dog, to find permanent housing. Clients are expected to have a brief stay before moving on to housing or residential treatment. It is comprised of single-story buildings with dormitory-style living quarters, shower and bathroom facilities, laundry facilities, counseling offices, and a 24-hour dining room.

The Navigation Center is the City’s pioneering approach to help homeless people reconnect with loved ones at home, move off the streets and into stable housing or residential treatment programs and get access to the services they need to stabilize their lives.

The Navigation Center is an important piece in solving the housing crisis for the longest term homeless individuals who face multiple challenges to returning to housing. The City has co-located services for health care and entitlement benefits to help ensure success for those having the most difficult time navigating the system of support.

At the current Navigation Center at 1950 Mission Street up to 75 people can be assisted at a time, and staff are on the grounds at all times. The Center connects people with social services and long-term housing or, if the individuals wish, helps them access Homeward Bound, a City program that reconnects them with loved ones or friends. Episcopal Community Services and Mission Neighborhood Resource Center (MNRC) with the Human Services Agency, Health Department and Project Homeless Connect are providing services at the Navigation Center.

The Navigation Center was initially supported with a $3 million donation from the San Francisco Interfaith Council, which funds the first year of the Navigation Center pilot, providing 24/7 counselors to intake new clients, provide meals and safe shelter, and connect homeless people with critical social services. As part of the donation, $1 million is funding the master leasing of SRO units around the City for homeless clients who transition out of the Navigation Center. The City budget already commits $2.5 million a year to the continuation of the Navigation Center pilot program, which includes cost of moving to new location.

Mayor Lee is also challenging the private sector to match with an additional $3 million at least dollar-for-dollar, and created the first-ever “Navigation Partnership Fund” to receive private and philanthropic donations and that only appropriates the money once the City spends its share of the match similar to the Mayor’s Fund for the Homeless, creating accountability for the donors.