Supervisor Aaron Peskin. (Mira Laing/2017 Special to S.F. Examiner)

Navigation Center for homeless youth planned for District 3

A long-awaited shelter for Transitional Age Youth could finally open its doors by next fall

A long-awaited Navigation Center serving homeless youth could soon find a home in District 3, city officials said Wednesday.

The Department on Homelessness and Supportive Housing has for some time had a goal to open a center serving Transitional Age Youth (TAY) between ages 18 and 24. The most recent target was to open one by the end of this year.

While that deadline will not be met, Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who represents District 3, confirmed to the San Francisco Examiner that a deal to open a youth-serving Navigation Center is “on the verge of being signed” with the owner of a three-story building at 888 Post St.

Peskin had announced his intention to locate a Navigation Center there in June, as previously reported by the Examiner.

The site, once home to the “House of Fans” business, is located in Lower Nob Hill, near the Tenderloin area. The plan is to provide some 75 beds on the building’s top floor.

The middle floor will provide job training and other services for “people in transition,” while The City and the building’s property owner will lease the ground floor to Goodwill, which recently moved its operations to 750 Post St., according to Peskin.

The City has long eyed District 5 for the TAY Navigation Center, where there is a large population of homeless youth, but has so far not located a site there.

This would be the first Navigation Center in Peskin’s district.

“The most important step is that the community embraces the proposal, helps shape it and becomes comfortable and that is an effort that is underway,” said Peskin. “This is not going to be a top down proposal. It will be a ‘community up’ proposal — that’s what I have been working on for months.”

Plans for the center were discussed at a stakeholder meeting held at the First Congregational Church on Wednesday. Peskin described the meeting as “remarkably productive.”

“We had a meeting tonight where literally every community leader cautiously embraced this concept,” he said. “Everyone wants to take care of their unhoused neighbors.”

While the lease is not yet finalized, Peskin said that a number of community meetings are planned for January to gather input. The lease agreement will eventually have to move before the Board of Supervisors for approval.

If all goes as planned, Peskin said that the center could open its doors in late 2020.

A total of seven Navigation Centers are currently operating in San Francisco, including a newly constructed 200-bed center that will open its doors to the homeless on The City’s Embarcadero at the end of the month.

On Tuesday, District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney, whose district includes the Embarcadero and already contains three Navigation Centers, re-introduced legislation that would mandate Navigation Centers in every supervisorial district.

lwaxmann@sfexaminer.com

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