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An inside look into Navigation Centers

by Ben Trefny
Julie Leadbetter

Navigation Centers are a new approach in San Francisco to move homeless people into housing.
They’re temporary residences designed to connect people with long term housing and social services - without separating them from their partners, pets, or belongings.

The first pilot Navigation Center was set up in the mission in 2015. Yesterday, the city opened its second in the Civic Center. And the Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a plan to open five more in the next two years. 

We recently received a question about the pilot Navigation Center through our crowd sourced collaborative reporting project Hey Area. Listener Marilyn Herand wanted to know what’s happened to all the people who’ve gone through the center since it opened. To help answer that question, KALW's Ben Trefny sat down with Navigation Center Director Julie Leadbetter.

LEADBETTER: A place that's welcoming, that you can bring the people that you love, the pets that you love, and that we have enough storage space for a lot of possessions.

Click the audio player above to listen to the complete interview.

To submit your own question about the Bay Area through our crowd sourced collaborative reporting project Hey Area, click here

Ben joined KALW in 2004. As Executive News Editor and then News Director, he helped the news department win numerous regional and national awards for long- and short-form journalism. He also helped teach hundreds of audio producers, many of whom work with him at KALW, today.