Bringing Clean and Safe Streets to All San Franciscans

Interim Shelter Cabins Are Finally Here!

Interim Shelter Cabins at 33 Gough Street
Thank you for joining RescueSF's efforts to advocate for more effective and compassionate solutions to homelessness, specifically the adoption of Interim Shelter cabins at 33 Gough Street!

This safe sleeping site is now converting the 70 tents to cabins for its residents experiencing homelessness.  We applaud Tipping Point's generous donation of $1 million to convert this idea into reality, and we appreciate DignityMoves for building a beautiful and comfortable site.  Urban Alchemy has played a pivotal and important role in providing security and a supportive presence for the residents on the site and for the surrounding neighborhood.  

Most will agree that the solution to homelessness is housing, but the waiting line for that housing can’t be on our streets.

If there isn’t enough housing now, the most effective approach to help people off the streets immediately is to add more transitional shelter. This is shelter that is not a dormitory.  It is private, safe, comfortable, and healthy.  It is one more option in the toolkit for addressing the homelessness crisis.

Providing the cabins is only part of the solution.  In addition to cabins, it’s essential to offer supportive services for mental health, substance abuse, and workforce development.  It's a place where someone can come off the streets, decompress from the trauma, and get the consistent and necessary services to address the issues keeping them unhoused.

This is innovative.  Residents receive the benefits of permanent supportive housing at a fraction of the cost. 

We do not envision that these shelter cabins will become the basis for a permanent tiny house village.  Instead, we see the cabins as temporary shelter that can assist people on their path to permanent housing.

Interim shelter cabins are an emerging best practice in many cities including Seattle, San Jose, Oakland, and Los Angeles.  This is not risky.  Other communities understand that this approach can be effective when there is a shortage of permanent housing. 

RescueSF is continuing to advocate for our City government to expand this intervention as a viable approach to dealing with the human suffering on the streets and the impact on our neighborhoods and small businesses.

Going forward, we have identified available land and unused warehouses that could handle hundreds more cabins with supportive services.

To make this a reality in San Francisco, we urge residents and businesses to support Supervisor Mandelman's A Place for All legislation - see article below.

Support A Plan To Shelter Those On Our Streets

Supervisor Mandelman Announces A Place for All Legislation at 33 Gough Street

Let's continue this momentum of helping people get off the streets and on a path out of homelessness by supporting a high-impact policy change on shelter - A Place for All (APA) legislation.

The APA legislation, which was sponsored by Supervisors Rafael Mandelman, Matt Haney, Catherine Stefani, Myrna Melgar, and Gordon Mar, was introduced on March 22, 2022.  APA directs the City of San Francisco to: 

  • Establish a policy to provide shelter to all who will accept it.
  • Develop an implementation plan that expands the number and range of shelter options including tents, cabins, Navigation Centers, and traditional shelter to accommodate all those willing to accept shelter.
At the press conference for APA, RescueSF co-founder Mark Nagel said, "Street sleeping doesn't make someone safe, sane, or sober.  To end our devastating homelessness crisis, we need to stop managing homelessness like it’s a normal part of urban life, and we need to start treating it like the humanitarian emergency that it is.  If a natural disaster had left thousands of people homeless with nowhere to live, the City would immediately place everyone into emergency shelter and then offer support to find permanent housing.  We need the same approach to ending homelessness."

The media covered APA - noting that it has significant support.  And on March 31, the SF Examiner issued an editorial endorsing the legislation stating "The proposal deserves a full debate by the Board of Supervisors, and anyone opposed to 'A Place for All' should present an equally thoughtful plan to address the crisis of homelessness with the urgency it deserves."

We will keep you updated on the upcoming hearings -- how you can send supportive emails and give public comment.
For more information:
Support RescueSF!

RescueSF is a citywide coalition of residents advocating for compassionate and effective solutions to homelessness in San Francisco.  Please consider a donation to help support RescueSF's efforts to bring clean and safe streets to all San Franciscans.

Donations to RescueSF are tax-deductible.  Thank you!
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