SAFE Navigation Centers

Proposed Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Centers


SAFE Navigation Centers are low-threshold, high-service residential programs for adults experiencing homelessness in San Francisco. SAFE Navigation Centers are one part of the Homelessness Response System and are an attractive service for people living unsheltered or in encampments.


SAFE Navigation Centers are essential to reducing unsheltered homelessness and connecting guests to services and housing assistance. San Francisco has opened 8 Navigation Centers and currently has 6 in operation. SAFE Navigation Centers build off of the best aspects of Navigation Centers and makes them more scalable, sustainable, and effective. The City is looking to expand SAFE Navigation Centers in neighborhoods across the city to respond to the homelessness crisis.



At the proposed Embarcadero SAFE navigation Center, SFPD will patrol around the site at least four times every day. SFPD will focus on loitering, drug use and drug sale, and tents enforcement. Guests of the SAFE Navigation Center will not be permitted to use drugs or alcohol inside or in the vicinity.

Neighbors of the existing Navigation Centers report that Navigation Centers do not have negative impacts on their community and in many cases reduce homelessness and improve a sense of safety in the area. SFPD will monitor and release crime statistics for the area surrounding the Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center to provide full transparency. If the statistics are unsatisfactory, SFPD will revisit their safety plan.

In addition to increased SFPD presence and enforcement, the Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center will have dedicated 24×7 onsite safety and operations



SAFE Navigation Centers do not accept walk-ins. All individuals and couples who enter have been selected by the SF Homeless Outreach Team or a centralized referral system as good candidates for the SAFE Navigation Center environment. Because SAFE Navigation Centers operate 24×7, there are no lines outside in the evening, and guests are not exited onto the street in the morning.



SAFE Navigation Centers are a proven way to get people off the street and on a pathway to housing and stability. They provide long-term benefits both to your neighbors and to the city. In 2018, the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing helped over 2,200 people exit homelessness, and since their launch the Navigation Centers helped 46% of its guests exit homelessness.

The proposed 175-225 beds at the Embarcadero  SAFE navigation Center strikes a good balance of operational costs and service costs to be most cost-effective. The City has adequate staff, funding, and resources to serve over 200 people and provide high quality care and services.


Help Design the Center

San Francisco Public Works is designing the Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center and needs your input. You can give input into how it will look: from fencing, to color, to landscaping. Make it fit the character of your neighborhood and be proud of a well-kept building and courtyard that looks good while doing good. To provide input into the design process, email and Review this presentation for more details about design options.


Every Neighborhood

The City is pursuing potential sites all over the city some of which will be announced soon. The Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center will be the 9th site, with the goal of adding 1,000 new beds by 2020.

The City has reviewed nearly 100 potential sites for future SAFE Navigation Centers. The Embarcadero site has the following attributes which make it an excellent site: publicly owned land, significant square footage, proximity to public transit, ease of access for construction and a lack of homeless services in the immediate area. The City has also announced expansions to two existing Navigation Centers which will add an additional 80 beds in other neighborhoods.


Community Input

The City is holding a series of community meetings and public forums related to this site in addition to attending HOA and other neighborhood meetings. We value the community’s input as we seek to build safe and inclusive communities.

Schedule of Past and Future Meetings about the Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center proposal 

  • Port Commission meeting 3/12/19 (public)
  • Community meeting 3/12/19 (public)
  • Fisherman’s Wharf Waterfront Advisory Group 3/19/19
  • Central Waterfront Advisory Group 3/20/19
  • Neighborhood Working Group – meets weekly beginning 3/20/19, ongoing
  • Watermark HOA 3/21/19
  • Navigation Center Tour with neighbors 3/21/19 (public)
  • Portside HOA 3/27/19
  • Brannan HOA 4/1/19
  • Community Meeting 4/3/19, 6-7:30, Delancy Street Foundation (public)
  • The Infinity & Embarcadero Lofts (4/14)
  • South Beach/Rincon/ Mission Bay Neighborhood Association 4/15, 6-7:30pm at Port Of San Francisco
  • Central Waterfront Advisory Group – 4/17 at Pier 1 Bayside Conference Room (Public)
  • Townsend HOA 4/10
  • D6 Community Planners 4/8, 6:30, 230 Eddy Street (public)
  • 88 King HOA 4/11/19
  • Port Commission meeting 4/23/19, 3:15, Location Change: New location – Pier 1, Port of San Francisco Office, Bayside Conference Rooms The Embarcadero @ Washington Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

To provide comment please write to Given the high volume of community input, we will not be able to respond to all emails but are reviewing all input.

For more information

Embarcadero SAFE Navigation Center FAQ

Updated Community Presentation 4/15/2019

Community presentation 4.3.19 @ Delancy Street

SAFE Navigation Center Presentation from 3/12/19 Port Commission Meeting

A Study on Neighborhood Impacts of Navigation Centers