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Mayor seeks Vis Valley navigation center

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San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee today introduced legislation seeking to create three new Navigation Centers, or homeless shelters, on the edge of Visitacion Valley and in the city’s South of Market neighborhood.

The legislation package includes a lease for a 125-bed temporary Navigation Center at 125 Bayshore Blvd. and a plan to work with the California Department of Transportation to create other centers on state-owned properties in the city.

Potential locations for shelters on Caltrans properties include Fifth and Bryant streets and Division and 13th streets.

Navigation Centers are city homeless shelters that offer a less-restrictive atmosphere for homeless residents, allowing them to bring pets and possessions on site and remain with their partners, as well as access to city services and potentially to longer-term housing.

The city opened its first such center as a pilot program in the Mission District in 2015, and has since opened others in the Civic Center, Mission District and Dogpatch neighborhoods as well as a smaller facility at San Francisco General Hospital.

The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing also plans to open a 25-bed Navigation Center for homeless women in the Bayview District and 70 supportive housing units for formerly homeless veterans at the Auburn Hotel as well as a new 140-bed Navigation Center in the South of Market neighborhood, according to the mayor’s office.

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