Community in Crisis

San Francisco mayor tours navigation center on eve of HUD Secretary visit

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Mayor London Breed toured a navigation center on Monday that just added another 60-beds to shelter the homeless.

This comes on the eve of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson’s visit to San Francisco as he seeks solutions to the homeless crisis.

“We have seen a significant under-investment in affordable housing in our state and I think that’s had a direct impact on homelessness,” Mayor London Breed said. 

This reaction comes after the mayor got a look at the newly added beds of the Division Circle Navigation Center, which bumps up the facility’s capacity to sleep 186-people.

“Our goal is to make sure as we move people off the streets that we have places for them to go and that’s what this place is all about,” Breed said. 

This addition gets her closer towards her goal of creating 1000 new shelter beds by the end of the year.

With these new beds, she’s up to 346 so far, and another 450 are either taking shape, like the new 200-bed navigation center being erected on the Embarcadero or in the pipeline.

She toured the facility with Vallejo’s mayor who is looking to open a 125-bed navigation center in his town next year.

Breed also talked to one of the center’s current occupants, Paul Forbes, who moved in the center in January.

“I’m just very very grateful for navigation centers to be here because it provided me with a place where I can sleep at night off the street,” Forbes said.

During Tuesday’s visit by the HUD Secretary, it’s expected that Carson will be showing support for homeless opportunity zones which would give participants tax incentives for investing in the rehabilitation of those areas.

“I’m open to anything that’s gonna help get people permanently housed and so what that entails from my perspective is getting more housing built and providing subsidies that help us get housing built because we know that it takes money to get them built,” Breed said.

She says while shelters like this one are important, affordable housing is even more so and needs more investment from the federal government.

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