There was little comment when, nearly a year ago, I first reported that the City hoped to put 100 beds for homeless people in an industrial space that once housed an auto repossession business next door to Mother Brown's (2111 Jennings Street).
Now, as community-based advocates and City leaders pursue approval from the City Planning Commission for the plan, concerns are emerging.
The debate falls along increasingly familiar lines in this rapidly changing neighborhood. Progressive social justice advocates, once more confident of grassroots support when it came to helping groups of people in need, now face steepening opposition from investors, longtime residents who once stayed quiet, and newer residents who hold a different vision for the neighborhood.
For some neighborhood residents, especially new arrivals, it is mystifying that leaders ever prioritized the needs of people who seem to diminish the quality of life for everyone else.
Other residents, especially long-timers, are braced against a tide that seems to be eroding a cultural cornerstone. They are anxious about losing a place where vulnerable populations of people have found a foothold since the early days of European immigrants.
The plan to add 100 beds in a two-level, newly-leased building is stimulating debate even though homeless folks have been "sleeping" next door (upright in chairs) for years.
Neighborhood service providers continue to do what they can for what is a growing and aging population of homeless people. If you know someone who needs help, consider the resources Footprints has rounded-up from various sources.
While options for homeless people in Bayview Hunters Point are limited, Providence Baptist Church helps fill the gap with a drop-in center, dining room, and resource center with daily shower facilities and laundry services.
Providence's emergency shelter site, located at 1601 McKinnon Avenue, sleeps up to 125 individuals - homeless men, women and families - a night. Clients are invited to "sit, relax, nap, watch tv, read, shower and wash." Meals, free voicemail service, and a Resource Center offering case management and life skills classes are also provided.
Providence also operates a shelter at the Bethel AME Church from December 1st through March 31st each year. This shelter houses 25 families nightly.
Information: Shelter doors are open from 5pm to 7am. Reservations can be made from 7am to 9am Monday through Friday. Call 415.642.0234 or look online.
The United Council of Human Services, popularly known as Mother Brown's, currently serves homeless and low-income families at Hope House, Bayview Hope Resource Center, Mother Brown's Dining Room, and Bayview Hunters Point Multi-Service Drop-In Center.
The UCHS operates two respite rooms. "A Place of Grace," the larger room, is designed to encourage conversation with tables and chairs, and a television. The "Serenity Room" promotes peace and quiet. Here, clients typically read or play quiet board games. Both rooms are made available for an over night stay from 7pm to 7am seven days a week.
A Drop-In Center offers shower facilities and coin operated laundry machines from 7:30pm to 11:30pm daily. Case management services are also provided.
From its Jennings Avenue location, Hope House offers formerly homeless persons stable housing, supportive services, and training and employment opportunities.
More information: call 415.671.1100
The Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood has long been home to many military veterans and their families. Hope House for Veterans provides supportive services in a residential, clean and sober environment. The maximum stay is twenty four months.