San Francisco’s homeless shelter is undergoing a major overhaul

Cities seek to control camping amid growing homeless crisis, lawsuits

By Matt O’Brien

“Everyone will have to pitch in to make this work,” read a sign on the lawn of the city’s homeless shelter Thursday.

The shelter, a sprawling tent building that once housed the city’s most vulnerable, had been turned into a giant office park, its front doors now marked by a large sign with the words, “Welcome to the new homeless shelter.”

Inside, the signs and tents were mostly gone, as were the small tables and chairs in the shelter’s dining room.

The city was in the midst of a major overhaul, one that includes an $800,000 homeless shelter.

The city’s homeless shelter has been a place that, on any given night, may have housed as many as 150 men, women and children, with each family having to share a sleeping space.

The shelter does have the capacity to handle another 500 to 600, said Jennifer Kuehn, the city’s liaison for the homeless.

City officials say that when they built their shelter, they were aware that the homeless population would be on the rise. Homelessness, like the city’s other challenges — like housing and affordable-housing issues — is nothing new in San Francisco. But the homeless crisis is a crisis that is growing, a crisis that has taken the city to court, where it is now preparing to go to trial.

The city is already on its way to building a new shelter, but as the tents and tarps were being removed Friday, the city faced criticism from some homeless activists who say the city has yet to come to grips with the homeless problem.

The city is looking to build a new shelter that will be able to house about 550 people, officials said.

“We are very proud to be building an entirely new homeless shelter that will be

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