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SOMA supportive housing project provides 50 new beds for the formerly homeless

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The former Minna Lee Hotel now provides 50 supportive housing units for formerly homeless individuals in the South of Market area. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

A 50-unit supportive housing project for the formerly homeless that officially opened in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood Wednesday is already nearly full.

The Minna Lee, a former single-room occupancy hotel at 149 Sixth St. that sat vacant for 17 years after a fire, has reopened this summer as a housing project offering on-site services to formerly homeless residents after renovations. It will be operated by the nonprofit Episcopal Community Services and Delivering Innovation in Supportive Housing with the help of $4 million in city funding from the two-year budget signed earlier this month.

Forty-eight of the single-room units, which come equipped with a bed, dresser, sink, microwave and mini-refrigerator, are already occupied, with the last two expected to be filled by the end of the month, officials said.

SEE RELATED: SF to lease 50 supportive housing units for homeless at SOMA’s Minna Lee Hotel

“This is gonna mean a lot for 50 residents, people who have sadly been struggling with homelessness right here on the streets of our city,” Mayor London Breed said at a grand opening celebration Wednesday. “Although this is amazing for the 48 people who have already moved into the Minna Lee,we know that there is still more work to do.

The City currently has more than 7,500 units of supportive housing, which is intended to provide a step off the streets and out of shelters for those requiring services. Another 1,300 units are in the pipeline.

Jeff Kositsky, director of the Department of Homelessness, called supportive housing projects like the Minna Lee “critical to our work to reduce homelessness.”

“Permanent supportive housing effectively ends homelessness for some people with critical service needs who would otherwise stay on our streets,” Kositsky said in a statement.

Mayor London Breed and Jeff Kositsky, director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, applaud the opening of Minna Lee, a new affordable housing facility for formerly homeless individuals in the South of Market area on Wednesday, August 22, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

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