RVs, trailers at Pier 94 to temporarily house homeless

The city of San Francisco has acquired more than 120 recreational vehicles and trailers to house homeless people living on the streets in the city’s Bayview and Hunters Point neighborhoods during the coronavirus pandemic, city officials said Wednesday.

During a briefing at the city’s Emergency Operations Center, city officials said trailers and RVs will be located at Pier 94. Of the 120 trailers, the city has leased 29 and 91 were provided by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

Human Services Agency Executive Director Trent Rhorer said the city decided to put the site in the neighborhood in order to reach some of the city’s historically disadvantaged residents. The three-acre site at Pier 94 was chosen because of its size, access to utilities, land management capabilities, and rent relief opportunities, among other factors.

On Tuesday, the Port of San Francisco’s port commission unanimously approved a land use agreement with the city, making way for the site.

“This site will provide a safe place for people who are homeless in the southeast part of the city. And I want to be clear, these RVs will serve the Bayview and Hunters Point community,” Mayor London Breed said.

Despite facing backlash from the city’s supervisors for disregarding their unanimously approved emergency ordinance that required the city to acquire 8,250 hotel rooms for the city’s homeless residents regardless of their age and health condition by last Sunday, city officials said they’d stick with their own plan. That plan involves leasing 7,000 hotel rooms only for high risk homeless people, as well as those already in its shelter system or living in single room occupancy hotels who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed.

“I want to emphasize and to clear up any misunderstandings, that the city continues to implement our hotel plan. We continue to bring hotel rooms and other housing options online to meet the needs of these vulnerable populations,” Rhorer said.

City officials have cited staffing as a major challenge in opening the rooms at the rate supervisors sought. As of Wednesday, the city had leased 2,741 rooms throughout 19 hotels, and moved in 950 homeless people from shelters, the streets or hospitals. Additionally, the city is in negotiations with 14 hotels to lease 2,153 more rooms, according to Rhorer.

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