Homeless People Can Now Reserve Shelter Spots By Calling 311

Starting today, homeless individuals in San Francisco can reserve a spot at a shelter by calling a city-run service center at 311, Mayor Ed Lee announced Friday.

The new system allows any homeless person to make a three-month reservation at one of the city’s homeless shelters by calling 311 at any time.

The 24-hour service is designed to enable easier access to the city’s emergency shelter system for homeless people who often have to wait in long lines to secure a shelter reservation, according to the mayor’s office.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for homeless adults to access safe, clean emergency shelters when they need it, so that they can seek employment, access vital services and find permanent housing,” Lee said in a statement.

The new system was created through the Shelter Access Workgroup, a process led by the mayor’s office of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement, or HOPE.

“Emergency shelter is vital to our toolbox to end homelessness, and a 90-day stay in a shelter can make the difference between life and death for those on our streets,” said Bevan Dufty, Mayor’s Office of HOPE director.

Beginning Feb. 25, long-term reservations at San Francisco homeless shelters for single adults will be made through a waitlist system managed by the 311 service center.

Anyone interested in signing up for the program may call 311 or visit a shelter reservation site at 525 Fifth St., 2111 Jennings St., 165 Capp St. or 330 Ellis St.

Customer service representatives at 311 are able to communicate with those who are in need of emergency shelter in more than 176 languages, according to the mayor’s office.

When a shelter bed is available, a person may be notified via call, text, or through a case manager. Waitlist statuses can also be found online at www.sf311.org/waitlist.

Laura Dixon, Bay City News

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