Community in Crisis

Officials propose turning Salvation Army into new homeless shelter in San Francisco

San Francisco Homelessness

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — San Francisco’s proposal to turn the Salvation Army on Valencia Street into a homeless center is not going well for a business owner who works directly across the street.

“It won’t benefit the neighborhood because of the type of people that will come in,” Business Owner Jorge Vega said. “They will come in and out of the place and obviously be in this neighborhood and people who visit this area will be afraid to come.”

Others who live in the neighborhood are for the project.

“I think as long as they’re going to make sure the staff onsite are aware of the responsibilities and aware of the neighborhood in general, it could be a good thing to get people off the streets and get people back to normal life,” Keith Stevens said.

“We need to treat people, we need to give them help in order to heal from the trauma of being on the street,” Amy Fairweather said.

District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman introduced a lease for 404,000 a year to the board of supervisors.

“Having a facility in the neighborhood where people could be brought off the streets, get some shelter and also get some behavioral health services seems to me like a win,” Mandelman said.

The center would be a hummingbird place that will provide 30 overnight beds and serve drop in clients for those struggling with mental health and drugs.

“We can’t just keep walking around San Francisco and looking the other way when we see people who are very very sick,” Fairweather said.

There still needs to be a hearing before the Public Health Department and the budget committee in March.

So far, the project received $3 million from the tipping point non profit who fights poverty in the Bay Area.

“From my perspective, the question is not whether or not we do this,” Mandelman said. “It’s how we do it but making sure that we do it in a way that’s sensitive to the communities needs.”

There will be a community meeting next Thursday night for those who want to weigh in on the proposal.

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