Day 79: 5 Travelers at Shotwell Street SSS in Mission District

This morning I traveled to the Mission District to visit the Shotwell Safe Sleeping Site (SSS) at 1214 Shotwell. We distributed five Makeshift Travelers thanks to the help of our good friend, Jessica Ginther, who we met on November 30, 2022.

Our Makeshift Traveler was well received, and it was great to see a Safe Sleeping Site up close, meet with some familiar friends, and distribute those five Makeshift Travelers. In today’s blog post, I wanted to highlight a few takeaways and prospective questions from the Safe Sleeping Site:

  1. Each tent is estimated to cost between $30,000 to $50,000 annually; is this the best way to allocate funds to these individuals? Something to ponder.
  2. Despite bathrooms and showers, the hygiene of tents and belongings seemed to need to be improved.
  3. Despite three team members, a security guard, and two employees, theft is a daily occurrence. Why isn’t theft enforced, especially in controlled and gated environments such as the SSS?
  4. Many people staying here were unclear when they would receive temporary or permanent housing. We should use these Safe Sleeping Sites as a transitional period into further assistance and permanent housing.
  5. It is freaking cold out there. It is interesting to evaluate the trade-offs between a SSS, shelter, and then, of course, being independently unhoused.

Overall, it was an insightful trip to the Mission, and I look forward to returning there to serve more of their unhoused population.

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