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Candlestick Vehicle Triage Center - street camping situation
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Joined: 13 Aug 2000
Posts: 343
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


No apparent issues staffing the site. Plus the cost of running the site: Garbage collection, electricity, water. Meanwhile down the street we see what taxpayers get, see dvCali's post. Something's backwards if you ask me.

James K. hasn’t moved far from the spot on the street where, several months ago, he was living inside his 40-foot RV. In fact, that vehicle is still his home, and the south end of Bayview-Hunters Point is still his neighborhood.

But K.’s circumstances have changed dramatically. He and dozens of other vehicle dwellers have now moved off Hunters Point Expressway and into a city-sanctioned parking lot at Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, a stone’s throw away from where the 49ers once played.

On the street last year, Keys had to bury his waste, with no access to a bathroom or shower. Now, at the city site, he can use portable toilet, a shower trailer, two microwaves and a charging station for electronics. He gets two hot meals every day, and as of last week the city planned to send in more services, including case managers who can help place him into more permanent housing.

“It’s way better,” Keys told The Chronicle as he walked through the sanctioned parking site last week. “I’m giving them an A-plus.”

Officials say about 50 households are living at San Francisco’s Bayview Vehicle Triage Center, the name for the sanctioned Candlestick Point parking site the city set up to address the growing ranks of people living inside RVs or cars. The site, operated by the nonprofit Urban Alchemy, is expected to grow to accommodate 130 households in the coming months.

San Francisco opened the Candlestick Point site in January and simultaneously shut down a nearby lot on Carroll Avenue where the city had let people living inside RVs set up temporarily. Officials had opened the Carroll lot as a short-term emergency location last year after a rainstorm led to flooding along Hunters Point Expressway, causing extensive damage to some of the vehicles parked there.

The city’s closure of the Carroll lot was met with strong resistance by some of its residents. They were deeply skeptical of the new Candlestick Point site, pointing to its limited electricity and rules banning propane tanks and generators, among other issues.

Propane tanks and generators remain disallowed at the vehicle triage center. But Emily Cohen, a deputy director with the city’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, said the city is working to get electric utility service connected to the RVs.

“We want this to be better than being out on the street,” Cohen said. “This is hopefully a step on the pathway to people’s place somewhere more permanent.”

The site serves only a small portion of San Francisco’s vehicle dwellers. As of November, the city had tallied about 1,000 inhabited vehicles, with the largest concentration — about half of the total — residing in supervisorial District 10, which includes Bayview-Hunters Point.

And as the city tried to set up the sanctioned parking site at Candlestick Point, it encountered opposition from residents concerned that it was trying to warehouse homeless people in one area. A local neighborhood group filed a lawsuit challenging the parking site and is now in settlement talks with the city.

Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, who represents District 10, said he’s been talking to constituents to hear their feedback about the Candlestick Point site and the number of inhabited vehicles in the area.

“Everyone was happy about changes to the expressway,” Walton said, referring to a lack of people parked on the street near the vehicle triage center. “There are still some concerns about folks who live in vehicles, but it’s not the same (level of) concern we saw a few months ago.”

Still, complaints from some neighbors persist. Timothy Alan S., who lives near the parking site, said its “extremely bright” nighttime lights have been a nuisance and inhabited RVs still populate many blocks in the area.

“The focus, understandably, is on the unhoused, but there seems to be no consideration for residents,” S. said. “Based on our observation, the vehicle triage center has done nothing to reduce the unhoused RV population in the neighborhood streets themselves.”

The Candlestick Point site will be operational for at least two years, and San Francisco is looking into opening a second location for people who live in their vehicles.

Not everyone living at the current site is intent on staying. Marissa M., 50, told The Chronicle last week that she was considering leaving and finding somewhere else to park her RV while she tries to get into permanent housing.

“I don’t really like being told what to do all the time,” M. said. “(But) it’s a nice program, I guess — for some people.”

J.D. Morris is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @thejdmorris
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