A Transitional Age Youth Navigation Center is opening at 888 Post St. in Lower Nob Hill. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

A Transitional Age Youth Navigation Center is opening at 888 Post St. in Lower Nob Hill. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

City opens first navigation center for transitional age youths

A new Navigation Center will provide shelter and other services for up to 75 young people experiencing homelessness, becoming San Francisco’s first such center exclusively for transitional age youths, city officials said Wednesday.

The new Lower Polk TAY Navigation Center is located at 700 Hyde Street and is set to open on Monday.

“This Navigation Center will be a place where young people can seek refuge from the streets and get connected to services and job training,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “This navigation center is designed to help get our young people on a better path and avoid an extended period of time on the streets. I’m grateful to all the partners who have worked together to create this navigation center and am looking forward to working with them as we continue the important work of advancing our Homelessness Recovery Plan and getting people into housing.”

The center is located in a newly renovated three-story building and offers sleeping areas, dining areas, all-gender showers and restrooms, changing rooms, laundry and an outdoor lounge. Additionally, the building has space for offices, a clinic and meeting rooms.

Eligible homeless youths between 18 and 24 years old will be referred through the city’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing and its partner organizations. Once placed in the program, residents will have access to health services, workforce development, and housing assistance.

City officials said the center is needed to meet the unique needs of homeless youths, citing data from a 2019 point-in-time count that showed homelessness disproportionately affects Black and Latino youths, as well as those who identify as LGBTQ.

According to the data, nearly half of homeless youths in the city identify as LGBTQ. Additionally, Latinos make up 27 percent of homeless youths in San Francisco, despite accounting for 15 percent of the city’s population, and African Americans make up 29 percent, despite accounting for just 6 percent of the city’s population.

The new center is set to bring the number of people currently being provided shelter by the city, including those staying in hotels amid the COVID-19 pandemic, to more than 14,000, city officials said.

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