Tuesday, May 26, 2015

SF LGBT Homeless Shelter Opens June 17 in the Mission

The four-year long and tortuous route to begin operations at the two-dozen bed shelter for homeless LGBT folks, located at 1050 South Van Ness Avenue near 22nd Street, may soon reach its destination. As regular readers know, I've watchdogged this project after reading reporting from Seth Hemmelgarn at the BAR, and have often decried the lack of visible action, information and leadership from David Campos.

You'd expect an elected official who started his City Hall career in 1999, going from the City Attorney's Office to the Police Commission to the Board of Supervisors, would know how to press levers of power, but we're talking Campos here.

This note from Wendy Philips, the executive director of Dolores Street Community Services which has the contract to operate the shelter, heaps praise upon Campos and other City officials and that is part of her job. My task, however, is to pull back the curtain and request Campos' and his staff's emails about the shelter and see what they reveal.

Let's look at Mayor Ed Lee's energetic photo-ops, in an election year, putting the gloss on cutting ribbons at various housing and shelter projects.

There's the Navigation Center at Mission and 16th Street, the youth residence in a former hotel over in the Marina, a presser at the vets' statue next to the War Memorial Opera House promising give every homeless vet a place to live off the streets, the opening of veterans' housing at Mission Bay, and a few other events dutifully documented by the mayor and the media.

(Photo credit: Rick Gerharter.)

Expect a bit of civic hoopla at South Van Ness and 22nd come June 17, right smack dab in the middle of Pride. Philips' letter:

The shelter is scheduled to open on June 17th so the homeless folks would be able to move in that day. The construction is still in progress, including the ADA upgrades but the plan is for everything to be finished so all necessary inspections can be completed before folks are scheduled to move in.

As for City agencies and officials keeping their promises, I would say absolutely. Key leadership has been provided by Supervisor David Campos and his staff, Mayor’s Director of HOPE Bevan Dufty, and the Human Services Agency.

We have also had great support and cooperation from the Department of Building Inspection and the Mayor’s Office of Disability, as well as the SFPUC and SFFD, all of whom have responded very quickly to requests for inspections, modifications, etc.

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