SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - With approval from the Board of Supervisor, a new law requires the City of San Francisco to open more navigation centers that can house entire homeless encampments. So far the program has received positive reviews. Under the new law, the plan is to open six more centers.
““I’m lucky I lived through it,” said Chris Bascome, who herself was homeless last year. She battled heroin addiction and says she’s been clean and sober and claims the city’s navigation center was her life raft.
“This is incredible. It is an answer to a prayer for a lot of us,” Bascome said.
This first-of-its kind one-stop navigation center on Mission Street takes in entire tent encampments and finds people services. Now city supervisors say they want to get six additional centers up and running within two years.
A second navigation center recently opened near Civic Center Plaza.
“It is not an answer to eradicating homelessness, but it's an important step in addressing encampments,” said Supervisor David Campos.
At a homeless encampment on Potrero Avenue, one of dozens throughout the city, several people told us more centers will give them a better chance at getting into one.
The future centers may consider targeting different populations such as veterans, teens or the elderly.
“I'd like to be inside somewhere. I can have a shower, nice food, someplace to relax,” said a homeless man who only identified himself as, Davey.
Homeless advocates say they'll have no problems filling up the new navigation center.
“The problem will be finding locations and neighborhoods that will accept them,” said David Campos
Some of our neighbors are going to have to be ok with some of the centers. For those who would rather not do anything about it, I would say the alternative is worse.
Since it opened last year, the navigation center has gotten about 400 people off the street.
After 20 years of homelessness, this couple says the navigation center has finally given them peace of mind.
“It is transitioning you back to thinking, and getting you used to a peaceful setting,” said Emmett Amos a homeless person. Eventually it could even lead to him having a home.