Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Closing Time For a Homeless Shelter 

Wednesday, Jun 8 2016

It's closing time for San Francisco's emergency homeless shelter at Pier 80, where many denizens of the former "Tent City" went when their shantytown was demolished following the Super Bowl.

But city officials say the shelter is closing on a high note.

Sam Dodge, up until recently Mayor Ed Lee's homeless czar, tells SF Weekly the city is trying to replicate the shelter — a converted storage shed left over from the America's Cup — just not at Pier 80.

"We're looking around for other good opportunities to expand shelter capacity," says Dodge, who will become second-in-command at the city's new Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing.

Pier 80 is for now a good model to follow. More than 250 people went through the shelter and were placed into housing, Dodge claims.

"We've had some veterans. We've had some long-term homeless people who are a good fit with the navigation center," he says. "We had some people on the county adults assistance program who are eligible for Care Not Cash housing. We've had a number of people take advantage of our homeward bound program and reconnect with friends and family."

That would seem to underscore the need for these kinds of solutions in a city with more than half of the estimated 6,600 homeless residents living on the streets. But perhaps in a more central location.

The site faced some criticism by shelter occupants and homeless advocates for its isolated location at the foot of Cesar Chavez Street south of Dogpatch. The shelter was originally supposed to be open only through the wet El Nino-fueled winter, but its popularity led to a two-month extension.

Dodge said the remaining 50 or so shelter dwellers will be helped into more permanent housing by the July 1 closure date.

Some of that could be the more than 300 new units of supportive housing the city plans to add this year, Dodge said, although he told SFist most of the units will not be available until August and the fall.

Some city leaders think progress on homeless issues is too stagnant. Supervisor John Avalos has proposed several measures this year, most recently a charter amendment to create a 24-year Homeless Housing and Services Fund with an initial $11.5 million that could reach $47.75 million in subsequent years.

Meanwhile, it appears to be back to the streets for the Pier 80 residents who are waiting for shelter. Let's hope they saved their tents.

About The Author

Max DeNike


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"