Anonymous SoMa Group Fights Permanently Housing The Homeless At The Panoramic Apartments
It seemed lovely news all around back in mid-August when the city of San Francisco announced plans to buy four hotels and convert them to housing for people experiencing homelessness. This will not solve San Francisco’s homelessness problem, which at last count was more than 8,000 unsheltered people, but 368 people would get a roof over their heads, plus mental health and/or substance abuse treatment, and a path to a better life.
“We support supportive housing,” said Richard Hashimoto, president of the Japantown Merchants Association. “But just not in this neighborhood.”
Most San Francisco of all San Francisco quotes.
— Heather Knight (@hknightsf) September 8, 2021
Yet unsurprisingly, some of the neighborhoods where these buildings are located are furious at the notion of having ‘homeless hotels’ in their neighborhood. The rather fancy Kimpton Buchanan Hotel (Sutter and Buchanan Streets, Japantown) has faced a ton of opposition, including the chef’s-kiss NIMBY quote “We support supportive housing, but just not in this neighborhood.”
Now another opposition group has popped up to oppose the conversion of a different apartyment building, the Panoramic (Mission and Ninth Streets, SoMa). We recently came across the above flyer, which read in part, “Whether you’re housed or not, your safety is in jeopardy. Over 200 people could be moving into the neighborhood with no oversight whatsoever.”
(There would actually be 160 units if the Panoramic were converted, though some units could house multiple people.)
— CleanUpSOMAWest (@CleanUpWestSoma) September 13, 2021
Whomever put up the flyer does not identify themselves, but it sure has caught on with various Twitter accounts that specialize in meanness toward the homeless population. That said, whomever posted the flyer has an online statement saying that their opposition is because the residents would be poorly served.
“The burden is entirely on off-site case-managers to facilitate positive outcomes while attending to as many as 60 clients each,” their statement says. “Despite the proximity to surrounding areas, behavioral health and critical supportive services remain inaccessible to SoMa residents, meaning that case-managers are working with dwindling resources.”
Help us get more affordable housing in the City! 🏠 Register for the community meeting today at 5:30 pm to tell the City to buy the Panoramic Hotel which will create 160 units of supportive housing, including 40 units for families! https://t.co/6s6sr5TLGB pic.twitter.com/RvB8zDggug
— Compass Family Services (@compasssf) September 15, 2021
There is an online Zoom meeting tonight (Wednesday) at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the project, and many groups do support the conversion of the Panoramic to supportive housing.
But time is of the essence. If San Francisco is going to get the matching state and federal funds it needs to pull off buying these hotels, it has to complete the purchases by December 31, 2021. And it is already mid-September.