A packed crowd filled the Delancey Street Foundation auditorium Wednesday for a community meeting on the plan to bring a 200-bed Navigation Center to the Embarcadero.
Tensions were already high when San Francisco Mayor London Breed dropped by for an unexpected appearance, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Breed wanted to clarify some things about the upcoming project that will try and deal with the city's growing homeless population.
The Navigation Center, she said, is a critical part of her administration’s effort to address “what we know is the biggest challenge we have,” referring to homelessness. “I’m sorry this issue has divided this community. My role is to hear all of you today.” She told the crowd it made little sense to lament the city’s homelessness crisis, but protest a viable proposal to house unsheltered people."
Many people who oppose the proposal booed and shouted at Breed, not giving her a chance to finish her statement.
“Take it somewhere else!” and “Build it at City Hall!” were some of the things people were shouting.
“Either you let me speak, or you leave,” she responded to the shouters. After a few moments she said, “I can’t continue, but I will stay and listen to the comments. The least we could do is show respect for one another.”
Navigation Centers are homeless shelters where 'intensive, round-the-clock services guide unsheltered people toward stable living situations.' They’re also more permissive, allowing people to come and go when they please and to bring their pets, partners and belongings.