City officials announce opening of new RV safe parking site

A sign outside of The City’s Vehicle Triage Center for people living in RVs near the Balboa Park BART station on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Mayor London Breed speaks at the opening of The City’s Vehicle Triage Center for people living in RVs near the Balboa Park BART station on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Signs hang outside the vehicle entrance to The City’s Vehicle Triage Center for people living in RVs near the Balboa Park BART station on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai speaks at the opening of The City’s Vehicle Triage Center for people living in RVs near the Balboa Park BART station on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Members of the SF Homeless Outreach Team inspect electrical hookups at the opening of The City’s Vehicle Triage Center for people living in RVs near the Balboa Park BART station on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
A solar-powered generator sits amongst large parking spaces at the opening of The City’s Vehicle Triage Center for people living in RVs near the Balboa Park BART station on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
A solar-powered generator sits amongst large parking spaces at the opening of The City’s Vehicle Triage Center for people living in RVs near the Balboa Park BART station on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
District 5 Supervisor Vallie Brown speaks at the opening of The City’s Vehicle Triage Center for people living in RVs near the Balboa Park BART station on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Lena Miller, executive director of Urban Alchemy, speaks at the opening of The City’s Vehicle Triage Center for people living in RVs near the Balboa Park BART station on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. Urban Alchemy staff will be on-hand at the center around the clock. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

A few lucky RV and car dwellers will get a safe place to park with the opening Wednesday of The City’s first Vehicle Triage Center near the Balboa Park BART station.

The site, a which is essentially a navigation center for those living in vehicles, will provide 30 parking spaces with security, lighting, bathrooms, shower facilities, drinking water and blackwater pumping services. In addition, city workers will conduct assessments and connect those living there to services and work to help them get permanent housing.

“As we work to expand capacity across our homeless response system and get people off the streets, this Vehicle Triage Center provides an important place for people who are living in RVs or in their cars to have regular access to the restroom, and other basic services,” Mayor London Breed said Wednesday in a statement. “The new Center will offer people living in their vehicles with an opportunity to connect with services and more forward on their path out of homelessness.”

The city-owned site at 2340 San Jose Ave. is eventually destined to be used for affordable housing. However Supervisors Ahsha Safai and Vallie Brown introduced legislation to create the parking site after a move by Safai to clear RVs off a street in his district met with opposition from advocates who noted The City had few places for the hundreds of people housed in vehicles to go.

“I am proud that our district will be the first to open a safe parking facility in the City’s history,” Safaí said in a statement. “Our community has worked diligently with the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing over the past six months to create a successful program. We know 30 parking spots is not enough and we are looking forward to seeing this program grow and replicated in other parts of San Francisco.”

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