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San Francisco Launches Vehicle Triage Center for Hundreds Living in Cars, RVs

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- San Francisco city officials Friday launched the new Bayview Vehicle Triage Center, providing a safe space and services for people living in their vehicles.

The long-awaited center, located at the Candlestick Point State Recreation Area's boat launch parking lot, is a joint project between the city, California State Parks and Bayview District community members.

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

Vehicle Dwellers in San Francisco
The Bayview is the city's greatest area impacted by vehicular homelessness with 677 vehicles occupied in June 2021, according to San Francisco's Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. (Photo via Bayview Hill Neighborhood Association)

Residents will also have access to services like health care, as well as assistance with housing and employment opportunities.

"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 2021 found that 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 fund homelessness services.

The center will be operated by the non-profit 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 for the center with California State Parks.

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