Fremont moves forward with homeless navigation center behind city hall

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- Diana Rohini Lavigne pulled up to a Fremont Starbucks Wednesday morning sporting her bumper stickers and beaming from the city council's late-night vote to unanimously approve a plan to build a homeless navigation center behind city hall.

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"I heard from home," Lavigne said. "I was watching it, live streaming in the evening part because I have two kids with me. I'm really excited that city council decided to support this in full."

"I live here in the downtown area," said Liz Fischer, a Fremont resident. "So, I see firsthand individuals who are in need of help and now they're going to get it."

Now that the navigation center has been approved, the City going is forward with its plans to have it open by mid-2020.

Hundreds of residents showed up for the council's vote Tuesday night. Many still aren't on board and were citing several issues, but primarily the price tag. The navigation center would temporarily house 45 homeless people up to six months at a time. It would cost $7.7 million to build and operate over the next three years.

"Use this money to find a better way to help more people," said Jieyu Yan, a Fremont resident. "We can use the $7.7 million to help more people."

"It takes time and professional guidance to get to that point," Fischer said. "It's going to cost a little bit. What is a person's life worth?"

Briell Lewis agrees with Fischer and believes this move is Fremont's way of getting ahead of a region issue.

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"I'm from Oakland and I see way more homeless people in Oakland and in San Francisco than I do out here," Lewis said.

The timeline provided on the city of Fremont's website shows from October 2019 through early 2020, building permits will be secured and construction will be underway.
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