Controversy over proposed Vehicle Triage Center in SF's Candlestick Point neighborhood

ByMelanie Woodrow KGO logo
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Controversy over proposed Vehicle Triage Center in SF
The proposed plan would provide spaces for unhoused people living in RVs and cars in San Francisco's Candlestick Point

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A drive along the Hunters Point Expressway perimeter of Candlestick State Park reveals hundreds of RVs. A closer look reveals trash, human waste and needles. Residents say in addition to being unsightly, much of this is a fire hazard.

"We are not being NIMBY's, 'I don't want you in my backyard,' but something has to be done," said Bayview resident Shirley Moore.

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Moore is the Bayview Hill Neighborhood Association Vice President. She says she is against a proposed Vehicle Triage Center at the boat launch site of Candlestick State Park.

The proposed plan would provide spaces for unhoused people living in RVs and cars.

"We want equity. That's all we want is equity in the community, so we feel sorry for the unhoused, but we need to spread the unhoused and disenfranchised around the city," said Moore.

San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton says the Vehicle Triage Center, or VTC, would address residents' growing concerns.

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District Attorney Chesa Boudin hosted a summit Wednesday to address health issues on San Francisco's streets and how they issues impact public safety.

"All of the concerns that they have get addressed by this, 24 hour security, restrooms, they're going to be able to receive wrap around services and of course the ultimate goal is to connect them to long-term housing. Folks who are against this proposal are basically saying they want it to remain stagnant," said Supervisor Walton.

As for putting the VTC somewhere else, "I can't tell you what's happening in other areas in terms of why we wouldn't put this there, but I can tell you that these people who are living in vehicles now are already here," said Supervisor Walton.

Residents who are opposed to the VTC say it threatens to further marginalize a community already subject to tenuous economic conditions.

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"It's clear that the city's policies are to move this problem into the Bayview," said Bayview resident Timothy Alan Simon.

"I would not be proposing this as a solution if I didn't think this was going to be successful and if we had other solutions that were going to address their needs quicker," said Supervisor Walton.

Supervisor Walton says there will be additional community meetings about the VTC, which will then go to the Board of Supervisors for a vote.