San Francisco opens service center for people living in cars, RVs

Bayview site will offer bathrooms, showers, health care and job assistance

San Franciscans who live in their vehicles now have a space with access to bathrooms, showers and other services.

The long-awaited Bayview Vehicle Triage Center opened Friday at the Candlestick Point State Recreation Area’s boat launch parking lot. It is a joint project between The City, California State Parks and residents in Bayview-Hunters Point.

The center includes as many as 135 parking spaces for 203 people, and will have 24-hour security and staff onsite, as well as bathrooms, showers, and water access.

Residents will also have access to services such as health care, assistance with housing and job placement.

“We must take advantage of every opportunity we get, and all do our part, to ensure that our unhoused residents have a safe place to sleep and regular access to stabilizing services,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “As we continue to move forward with our Homelessness Recovery Plan, we must find solutions for people living in their RVs or their cars and provide them with a path out of homelessness.”

A report released by the San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing in June found the Bayview District is the neighborhood impacted most by vehicular homelessness, with some 677 vehicles being used for shelter in the area.

“The Candlestick area has been under-resourced, neglected and overrun with challenges for way too long. For years, our housed neighbors living in the Candlestick area have been calling on The City to tackle these very issues,” said Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, whose district includes the Bayview. “All of our community members deserve to live in a neighborhood that’s clean and safe and our vehicularly housed folks deserve access to basic services like restrooms, electricity and pathways to housing. This VTC is the first step towards answering the calls of all our neighbors in the area who deserve better.”

The center is being funded by November 2018’s Proposition C, a gross tax receipts initiative to pay for homelessness services.

The center will be operated by the nonprofit organizations Urban Alchemy and Bayview Hunters Point Foundation.

According to city officials, the site is temporary as the city has negotiated a two-year lease with California State Parks.

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