23 May 2019
For Immediate Release:  

Appeal Filed with City to Overturn Controversial Proposed Homeless Center on SF Waterfront

Families, Businesses Oppose 200-bed Homeless Navigation Center on the San Francisco Waterfront Because of Negative Impacts on Neighborhood, Community

Delancey Street Foundation Also Raises Concerns About Proposed
Center Near Its Treatment Programs on Embarcadero

No other project of this size and controversy has ever been approved in S.F. within a two month period, lack of due process, appropriate regulatory procedure, and public input, Safe Embarcadero for All Coalition Says

San Francisco—A coalition of Embarcadero residents, businesses, and non-profits today filed an appeal with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to overturn a controversial proposal by Mayor London Breed to construct a 200-bed homeless navigation center on the City’s waterfront halfway between The Ferry Building and the San Francisco Giants’ Oracle Park.

Safe Embarcadero for All, a citizens group opposing the navigation center, filed a challenge to overturn the approval by the S.F. Port Commission because the City’s as well as the State’s own rules, processes, and land use regulations prohibit it.

“The City has failed to—and may not ever—meet any of the State’s and its own regulations,” according to Safe Embarcadero for All attorney Peter S. Prows of the law firm of Briscoe Ivester & Bazel.

He said the City is giving itself a sweetheart deal in rent for the project at the expense of taxpayers as well.  “No other project of this size and controversy has ever been approved in S.F. within a two month period, lack of due process, appropriate regulatory procedure, and public input,” Prows added.

Currently used as a parking lot at Seawall Lot 330, the 2.3-acre parcel across from Piers 30-32 “was recklessly and thoughtlessly railroaded approved through a gerrymandered process that fails to meet both the legal and procedural standards,” said Wallace Lee of Safe Embarcadero for All, which represents residents and businesses in the neighborhood.

“We support the moral imperative to care for the homeless.  It is also a moral imperative of our government and its leaders to afford due process to residents, families, children and businesses in this neighborhood and to protect them from harm,” Wallace said.

He noted that Mimi Silbert, president of Delancey Street Foundation, considered the country's leading residential self-help organization for substance abusers, ex-convicts, homeless and others who have hit bottom, has expressed concerns about the proposed center, saying that her organization’s attempts to get people off of drugs and alcohol will be negatively impacted by the homeless who continue to struggle with addiction issues.

The neighborhood, Supervisorial District 6, has given generously and supported homeless facilities in the neighborhood, which include a City-run Navigation Center at Fifth and Bryant streets and a facility operated by The Society of St. Vincent DePaul, both are which are within a mile of the proposed waterfront site.  Numerous below-market-rate housing projects and homes for the formerly homeless are also located within half a mile of the proposed center.

“More than 10,000 residents– many of them retirees and young families with children – live within three blocks of the proposed navigation center,” added Wallace. “There are undeniable negative impacts of homeless shelters on our neighborhood, including  public alcohol and drug consumption, police interventions, property crime, personal assaults, and attracting additional homeless encampments.”

The appeal to be filed today in the first step in what opponents vow will be a long legal battle to prevent the ill-conceived navigation center from being built in their community.  Should the City’s Board of Supervisor’s reject their appeal, Safe Embarcadero for All plans to file legal actions in court to challenge the City’s controversial and unfair process in court.