This page contains answers to frequently asked questions about San Francisco’s adult shelter reservation system in three categories:
- Getting on the waitlist: who should register and how to do so.
- Checking your position on the waitlist: how you can see your position and how you’ll be notified when you are at the top of the waitlist.
- Shelter information: details about where to do and what you can bring at the three participating shelter sites.
Access a printable version of these FAQs.
Getting on the Waitlist
|How can I register for adult shelter?
|You can register for adult shelter reservation waitlist in two ways:
– Online at TINYURL.COM/AdultShelterSF
– By phone by calling 628-652-8000, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
English speakers select option 4. Non-English speakers select prompts for the language of their choice.
|Can someone make a shelter reservation on my behalf?
|Yes, a case manager or someone else calling on your behalf can help you register for shelter if they can provide all the required information to sign up.
|What should I do if I don’t have a phone number?
|You can use someone else’s phone number and that will be the number that is called when you are at the top of the list.
|Can anyone get on this waitlist or is it not a good fit for some people?
To stay in these shelters, you must be physically self-sufficient. This means you can get on and off your bunk unassisted and you can take care of your own hygiene, including bathing, dressing and using the bathroom independently.
If you need extra help, please call 628-652-8000 and follow prompts to leave a message.
|If I am looking for a domestic violence shelter, should I use the waitlist?
|You can use this waitlist if you are seeking these three shelters.
You can also visit sf.gov’s list of resources or call Women, Inc’s 24/7 support line at: (877) 384-3578.
|If I am looking for shelter with my children, should I use the waitlist?
No. Please visit HSH’s page on accessing family shelter.
|I am between 18 and 27 years old. Can I use the waitlist?
Yes, if you are interested in placement at these three shelters. If you are interested in a youth-specific shelter, please visit the HSH’s shelter access webpage for more information.
|While on the waitlist, can I get a bed at the winter emergency shelter or other inclement weather shelters?
|Yes. When these shelters are active, information can be found on HSH’s website.
|If I am already living in a shelter, can I get on the waitlist?
|No, it is not recommended to get on the shelter waitlist if you already have an active reservation.
Checking the Waitlist
|How can I find out what position I am on the waitlist?
|To find your position on the list, go to the webpage: TINYURL.COM/AdultShelterSF and look up your Waitlist ID in the search field.
|Can a case manager or other third party make a shelter bed reservation on behalf of the client?
|A case manager or someone else calling on your behalf can check your position on the waitlist and help claim your bed if they know your Waitlist ID.
|What is my Waitlist ID?
|Your Waitlist ID is how you find yourself on the list. It is the 8-digit birthdate (MM/DD/YYYY) and your first name first initial and last name first initial that you entered when you registered. For example, Michael Jackson with date of birth 8/19/1958 will have a Waitlist ID of 08191958MJ.
NOTE: If you chose to enter a different birthdate than your own, you must enter whatever MMDDYYYY you originally entered along with your first name first initial and last name last initial to find your place on waitlist as your actual birthdate will not be found.
|What do I do if I forget my Waitlist ID?
|In most cases your Waitlist ID is your date of birth and two initials. If instead, you provided a different date or name, the system will have no way to help you locate your record.
|How is my position on the waitlist determined?
|Waitlist submissions from the previous day are grouped and then randomized by the system. You will have an equal chance of being at the top of your group regardless of your submission time. The randomized group is then added to the bottom of the waitlist the following day by 9:00 a.m.
|How do I know when I am at the top of the list?
|Check the webpage: TINYURL.COM/AdultShelterSF
If you are at the top of the waitlist there will be a note in the row with your WaitlistID. It will give you instructions to call 628-652-8000 between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on business days (Monday – Friday, excluding holidays).
– A Shelter Reservation Agent will also try to reach you by calling you every day for three business days at the phone number(s) you provided once you reach the top of the list. They will call you between 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.
– They will call you from 415-861-5000 (this number does not accept calls). We recommend that you add this number to your contacts list so you will recognize it.
– KEEP YOUR RINGER ON!
|How do I get informed if I did not provide a phone number or email address?
|It is your responsibility to check the waitlist and call 628-652-8000 between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on business days (Monday through Friday, excluding holidays) when you have reached the top of the list.
|What happens if I miss the calls from the reservation agents and I did not call-in when I was at the top of the list?
|If you are unreachable via phone during the three-business-day period while you are at the top of the waitlist, you will be removed from the waitlist. You can re-enter the waitlist, but you will be at the bottom. You can only have one entry on the waitlist at a time.
|How do I claim my bed?
|The agent will tell you which shelter bed is available and when you can show up. You will need to move into the shelter the same day.
The intake schedule at Sanctuary and MSC South is 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. At Next Door, it is 24/7.
See the Shelter Information section for more details.
|What do I do when my phone number changes?
|To update your phone number, call 628-652-8000 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. You cannot update your phone number online.
|How long will the waitlist take before I can get a bed?
|This is difficult to determine because it depends how many people are on the list and how many beds are available.
|How do I cancel my waitlist request?
|Call 628-652-8000 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. You cannot change or cancel your request online.
|Why did someone on the list below me get a bed before me when I am higher on the list?
|There are many reasons why we may skip over some names on the list, including shelter restrictions, gender bed availability, or lack of response to calls from the Shelter Reservation agent.
Information about Participating Shelters
|What shelters are available through this waitlist and where are they located?
|– MSC-South: 525 Fifth Street (at Bryant)
– Sanctuary: 201 Eighth Street (at Howard)
– Next Door: 1001 Polk (at Geary)
|Can partners stay in these beds?
|In the participating shelters, some beds are upper bunks and some are lower bunks. These are for one adult only, and there are no partner rooms/beds.
|Can I choose which of the shelters I stay at?
|When you are registering for shelter, you will be prompted to select any of the shelters you are willing to stay at. However, if you limit the shelters you are willing to stay at, you may have to wait longer for a bed.
|How long can I stay in the shelter once I get a bed?
|All shelter bed reservations are indefinite as long as you check in on the day of the reservation. Specific rules will be provided to you once you check-in at the shelter.
|Can I make a change to my reservation once I already have a reservation at a shelter?
|Sometimes it may be possible to switch a bed or to move from one shelter to another. Requests for changes to an existing reservation are handled by the shelters directly, not through the reservation system.
|What time is check in at each shelter?
|– Sanctuary: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
– Next Door: 24/7
– MSC-South: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
|Can I get a late pass?
|Yes, but Shelter Reservation Agents can only grant a late pass for your intake on the first night of your reservation.
|How many bags can I take to the shelter? Is there a size limit?
|Guests may bring up to two medium (approximately 30-gallon) bags, and one tent if rolled up. Sanctuary can take a carry-on-size suitcase.
|Are there lockers to keep my items safe?
|Sanctuary provides a dresser with a padlock. Next Door provides a locker and lock. MSC-South provides a drawer attached to the bed.
|Can I bring a bike?
|You can bring one fully assembled bike to Next Door. You cannot bring bikes to MSC South or Sanctuary.
|Can I bring my dog/pet to the shelter?
|Yes, pets are permitted at all shelters.
|Are tuberculosis (TB) tests required?
|No, TB tests aren’t required.
|Is there transportation help to get to the shelters?
|Glide distributes MUNI tokens.