Interim Hope Director Appointed SF Homelessness Issues

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee appointed an interim director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement (HOPE) today after director Bevan Dufty left his post.

Lee appointed Sam Dodge to lead homeless relief efforts as HOPE’s interim director. Dodge has served as the mayor’s deputy director of HOPE and has been working to create and expand the city’s new Navigation Center pilot program.

The Navigation Center, located near the intersection of 16th and Mission streets, provides around-the-clock counselors to intake new clients, provide meals and safe shelter, and to connect homeless individuals with critical social services.

Dufty worked for 30 years in public service, including eight years served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and five years as the city’s director of Neighborhood Services.

Mayor Lee wrote in a statement released today, “I thank Bevan for his commitment to making a real difference in people’s lives and tackling the challenges of homelessness in our City, and for implementing this new Navigation Center model of care and compassion for residents on our streets.”

Lee is hoping to expand the Navigation Center model with support from the private sector as well as the city. The model was originally funded with an anonymous $3 million donation.

The mayor has introduced legislation to create a Navigation Partnership Fund to receive future philanthropic contributions earmarked for navigation services. The fund would require the city to match the philanthropic funds.

In addition to the new Navigation Center, Dodge is helping with the plans and implementation of the mayor’s Streets to Homes initiative, in which the city is master leasing 500 single room occupancy units of supportive housing for formerly homeless people moving out of the Navigation
Center in 2015.

Residents are already moving in and the full 500 units will be available by the end of the calendar year, according to the mayor’s office.

Previously, Dodge worked at the Tenderloin Housing Clinic. He also worked as a labor organizer for Service Employees International Union and the California Nurses’ Association.

Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

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