SF officials and residents face off at heated meeting on homeless shelter

Laura Wenus : misisonlocal – excerpt

Crowd of people who didn’t get into the meeting were promised a second meeting. Photo by Zrants

At an emotional community debate Monday night some 200 Mission residents squared off with top city officials and one another over the burdens and benefits that a temporary homeless shelter will bring to a neighborhood severely impacted by tent encampments.

At issue is the city’s plan to place a Navigation Center – a low-barrier homeless shelter that offers its clients on-site access to supportive services – in a vacant lot and electrical building at 1515 South Van Ness Ave. The property will then be developed into mixed-use housing.

“People are stepping over homeless people, they are finding needles, this Navigation Center is only going to create a bigger problem because it is not a solution, it is only a patch on the problem,” said one nearby resident.

But those who spoke in support for the temporary homeless shelter at a Monday night’s public hearing, said any solution is better than the status quo…

“The decision has been made,“ said Ronen, adding that the Navigation Center will likely be up and running by June 1 and it will be open from six to nine months.  Last month, Ronen struck a deal with the site’s developer, Lennar Multifamily Communities, to allow city use of the space as a homeless shelter until construction permits for the 157-unit housing project are finalized…(more)


Uncertainty Lingers for Mission Fire Victims as City Aid Runs Out

By Laura Waxmann : missionlocal – excerpt

Gabriel Medina, policy director at the Mission Economic Development Agency, proposes housing solutions for tenants displaced by two major Mission fires.

Tenants displaced by two major Mission fires gathered at the Brava Theater on Saturday for a holiday dinner, sponsored by community donations, and to discuss new housing solutions. Many of the low-income tenants and families suffered devastating losses after the fires, and most are still in need of permanent housing – some of them urgently so.

Over a warm buffet and tamales, with a volunteer santa handing out donated gifts to affected children, the fire victims voiced frustrations over their housing insecurity and the lack of progress in the reconstruction of their burned buildings. The Mission Economic Development Agency, which has counseled many of the victims on their needs, led the discussion.

With the two year-anniversary of the 22nd and Mission fire coming up next month, some “60 people will lose their temporary housing,” said MEDA’s policy manager, Gabriel Medina.

Most of those displaced by that fire, and some of the tenants displaced by the 29th and Mission fire, were housed using the city’s Good Samaritan law, which allows landlords to offer displaced tenants temporary housing at reduced rates without committing to rent-control leases in the long term, said Medina.

But the program caps after a 24-month period, after which the displaced tenants will have to seek new living arrangements… (more)

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