The Department of Public Health is planning to relocate the Tom Waddell Urgent Care Clinic, currently located at 101 Grove St., because the building is seismically unsafe.(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Public health clinic to be moved to new housing project for the homeless

An ambitious city-funded development will not only house hundreds of formerly homeless residents but also solve one of the last remaining challenges in moving the Department of Public Health out of its seismically unsound Civic Center offices.

San Francisco plans to build 256 studio apartments at 1064-68 Mission Street, a federally-owned surface parking lot at Mission and Stevenson streets near Seventh Street that The City has acquired for $1, to house the formerly homeless. All it has to do is complete the six-story development by November 2021.

The Mayor’s Office of Housing project was announced in 2017, but new details presented this month by city officials show that the site will also house a 20,000 square foot Homeless Services Center that will include the Tom Waddell Urgent Care Clinic.

Relocating the clinic was one of the last pieces of the puzzle for the Department of Public Health’s planned move out of their 101 Grove St. offices in the Civic Center, which needs a $200 million seismic upgrade.

Exactly how The City plans to pay for that seismic work and the future of the building remains unanswered.

In addition to the clinic, The City is also relocating the homeless outreach team, street medicine team and dental services into the Homeless Services Center.

The entrance for the Homeless Services Center is planned for Stevenson Street, while the entrance for the studios is planned for Mission Street. Of the 256 studios, about 100 are for those aged 62 and older.

The $145 million, 177,000-square-foot project is being done by Mercy Housing and Episcopal Community Services. It includes 6,000 square feet for Episcopal Community Services to relocate and expand its CHEFS program, a culinary program that can train the formerly homeless for employment in the food industry.

Funding comes largely from inclusionary housing fees paid by developers in lieu of building onsite below market-rate units.

Of the total project cost, $14 million is for the homeless services center, with funding coming from bonds, borrowing known as certificate of participation and the general fund.

Mara Blitzer, director of housing in the Mayor’s Office of Housing, told the Capital Planning Committee last week that the project will use modular construction, where the housing units are built in a factory, allowing site work and housing development to occur simultaneously.

“That will help us meet our deadline,” she said.

Kathy Jung, director of facilities and capital planning for the Department of Public Health, told the committee that “we have been successful in resolving some of our larger issues.”

She noted that before 1064 Mission St. came around, they had been working “for a couple of years” to try and find a location in the area for the Tom Waddell Urgent Care Clinic and that had been a “really difficult process.”

The other major relocations from 101 Grove St. include moving the department’s executive staff to Building 9 on the Zuckerberg General Hospital campus, which will cost $27.3 million. Other “back office” administrative staff will relocate to currently unused M and O wings at the Laguna Honda Hospital Campus, at a cost of $72.8 million.

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