Shelter beds opened as storm barrels into Bay Area

San Francisco is opening additional shelter beds at several sites throughout the city through Monday to help homeless residents get out of the rain, Mayor Ed Lee announced Thursday.

With the National Weather Service predicting several days of heavy rain, the city’s Human Services Agency is opening pop-up shelters at locations including Glide Memorial Church, Larkin Street Youth, Mission Neighborhood Resource Center and Providence Foundation, as well as at the Gene Friend Recreation Center in the South of Market neighborhood that can hold 125 men and women.

The pop-up shelters will provide sleeping mats, blankets, hygiene kits, meals and physical and mental health services and referrals, and at some locations people can bring pets and belongings inside.

In preparation for an anticipated wet El Nino winter, the HSA has already opened extra shelter spaces that will stay in effect throughout the winter at locations including Next Door in the Tenderloin, United Council of Human Services in the Bayview District, St. Vincent de Paul Society’s MSC-South in the South of Market neighborhood and at Pier 80.

“In partnership with our nonprofit service providers and the Interfaith Council, we are making sure people who are homeless have access to a dry and warm place to sleep, receive hot meals and access to health care and other services in the City of Saint Francis,” Lee said in a statement.

The Department of Public Health’s Homeless Outreach Team will be working to contact homeless residents and provide transportation to shelters.

Residents are urged to call 311 if they see someone in need of shelter.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood advisory for San Francisco, and residents are being urged to prepare themselves for possible power outages, flooding and other storm-related problems. More information can be found at www.sf72.org.