Mayor London Breed Celebrates Opening of New Bryant Street Navigation Center
New facility builds on Mayor Breed’s plan to open 1,000 new shelter beds and will provide care and services to 84 homeless residents
From Wednesday, January 9, 2019
San Francisco, CA— Mayor London N. Breed today celebrated the grand opening of the Bryant Street Navigation Center alongside Assemblymember Phil Ting, and partners CalTrans and Google.org. The Navigation Center will provide support and services for up to 84 clients at a time.
The Navigation Center opening helps advance Mayor Breed’s plan to open 1,000 new shelter beds by 2020. Bryant Street is currently the sixth Navigation Center open and operating in San Francisco. As of December 2018, Navigation Centers have successfully transitioned 621 individuals into permanent housing, found temporary placements for 125 others, and helped another 1,234 individuals exit homelessness through the Homeward Bound program.
“Addressing our homelessness crisis requires creating paths for people to get into housing and receive the care they need, which is why I’m committed to opening 1,000 new shelter beds in San Francisco. This Navigation Center not only expands our capacity to help our homeless population, it also provides separate, dedicated spaces for homeless women,” said Mayor Breed. “This project is another example of what we can accomplish by working with our state representatives and local partners to help our most vulnerable residents.”
Bryant Street is the second Navigation Center to be constructed on land leased from Caltrans, following the opening of the Division Circle Navigation Center in August 2018. Google.org provided a $3 million grant to help cover construction costs.
As a result of AB 857, introduced by Assemblymember Phil Ting, the City is able to use underutilized Caltrans locations like this one for emergency food and shelter programs at affordable rates. Assemblymemeber Ting additionally helped secure $27.6 million in funding through the Homeless Emergency Aid Program, which will be used to support existing navigation centers, adult and transitional age youth rapid rehousing, and shelters replacement.
“I’m excited to see another Navigation Center open on CalTrans property. State and local partnerships are the key to tackling San Francisco’s homeless crisis,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting. “That’s why I championed $500 million in last year’s state budget to establish the Homeless Emergency Aid Program. San Francisco has already received a $27.6 million program grant for more shelters and services, and I look forward to working with Mayor Breed to see the impact of this investment.”
Bryant Street is unique in that it provides 20 beds specifically for women in a separate wing of the facility that is only accessible to women, including a women’s only outdoor area. Navigation Centers are designed to serve San Franciscans struggling with homelessness who are often resistant to traditional shelters. Unlike traditional shelters, they allow people to bring their partners, pets, and belongings with them. In addition to room and board, case managers provide support to connect them with employment opportunities, health services, public benefits, and permanent housing.
“I would like to thank all of the partners that came together to make this new Navigation Center a reality,” said Jeff Kositsky, Director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. “Navigation Centers play an important role in the City’s homelessness response system providing a low-barrier point of entry for people on our streets. The dedicated resources for women here will bring additional trauma informed care to an especially vulnerable population.”
Like other Navigation Centers, access to Bryant Street comes from referral from the Encampment Resolution Team, which focuses on resolving long term encampments, and the Homeless Outreach Team, which provides care management and medical services to homeless individuals.
“We are grateful to Caltrans for stepping up and opening its land for this important project,” said San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru, whose team led the planning and design phases for the new Navigation Center. “The innovative partnership between San Francisco and the state is exactly what’s needed to help tackle one of our biggest challenges by moving people off the streets and into a supportive environment where they can get safe shelter and needed services.”
“Caltrans is proud to partner with the City of San Francisco on this project,” said Caltrans Director Laurie Berman. “When government agencies, elected officials, and the private sector join forces, we find greater success in addressing the needs of our fellow citizens in a compassionate and lasting way.”
Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco (ECS) will operate the Bryant Street Navigation Center. In addition to Bryant, ECS also operates the Central Waterfront Navigation Center and previously operated the original Mission Navigation Center prior to its closure in October.
“This Navigation Center is a critical tool in a broader effort to drive systemic change and solve problems of homelessness more effectively on a larger scale,” said Episcopal Community services Executive Director, Beth Stokes. “Navigation Centers provide low-barrier, low-threshold respite from the streets for a highly vulnerable population, in tandem with on-site case management, streamlined access to social services and coordinated entry into housing pathways. We are building the foundation of a new system to end homelessness and this lays a cornerstone.”
“We wanted to do our part to ensure that this Navigation Center became a reality," stated Google California Public Affairs Lead Rebecca Prozan. "Since 2014, we've provided $63 million of grants to the city's non-profit organizations, nearly a quarter of which has been directed to aiding homeless, and we're so happy that this latest $3 million grant from Google.org was able to cover the majority of the construction costs for the center and expedite the process of getting vital services to those in our community who need them most.”
The Homeless Outreach Team has already placed 34 guests at Bryant Navigation Center and will be working to fill it over the next few weeks.