San Franciscans Raise $60,000 To Stop Homeless Shelter Opening In Wealthy Area

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San Francisco was once known as a soulful, bohemian city, with artists and musicians alike attracted by its welcoming and open-minded reputation.

However, San Fran is perhaps now more synonymous with tech entrepreneurs, with Silicon Valley wealth driving up the prices of living considerably.

As properties prices skyrocket and iconic art galleries close down due to unaffordable rent, the city has arguably lost a little of its authentic, counter-cultural identity.

And nowhere is this best illustrated than a new GoFundMe campaign to stop a homeless shelter opening in the Embarcadero district, one of San Francisco’s most affluent neighborhoods.

Embarcadero residents have so far raised over $60,000 dollars – with a stated goal of $100,000 – at the time of writing. Money which arguably would have been better spent on providing basic necessities for homeless citizens.

Instead, this money will go to a local attorney who will work to oppose the shelter on behalf of the residents, one of whom has donated a staggering $10,000 towards the cause.

According to the campaign, which is entitled ‘Safe Embarcadero for All‘, ‘residents, businesses and other interested parties are organizing to oppose the Navigation Center proposed for Seawall Lot 330’:

This effort will require your help by showing up to hearings and community gatherings and making a financial contribution to a legal fund.

A small group of interested parties will help coordinate the legal strategy with counsel.

As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, Mayor London Breed has since released the following statement expressing her disappointment at the attitude shown by the Embarcadero residents:

People want us to address the challenges on our streets and help our unsheltered residents into housing, and I am committed to doing the hard work to make that happen,

But it’s incredibly frustrating and disappointing that as soon as we put forward a solution to build a new shelter, people begin to threaten legal action,

I get that people have questions about the site, and we are happy to demonstrate how these sites work and the positive impacts they have had in other neighborhoods, but we all need to be willing to be part of the solution.

The Waterfront Embarcadero Navigation center was intended to be built on a 2.3 acre vacant lot in the Embarcadero district, providing 200 beds for homeless individuals.

The construction of this shelter would go towards fulfilling the city’s promise to provide 1,000 extra beds for homeless residents.

As reported by The Guardian, there are currently 7,500 homeless residents in San Francisco, with over 1,400 are waiting for temporary accommodation.

Showing the true spirit of San Francisco’s vibrant activist heritage, a rival GoFundMe campaign has been set up in support of the Navigation Center.

According to this campaign:

The funds will be used exclusively to support the amazing work the Coalition on Homelessness does to support our unhoused neighbors.

At the time of writing, the campaign has exceeded its goal of $30,000. You can donate for yourself here

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications. When not Lad-ing about, she enjoys cooking, reading and trying not to fall over in Yoga.