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San Francisco Opens First Navigation Heart for Homeless Younger Adults

According to the city’s biennial survey of the homeless, 1,091 18- to 24-year-olds were homeless in San Francisco every night in 2019. That’s nearly 14% of the city’s total homeless population.

Of the young people who were homeless, around 83% spent their nights outdoors, in tents, cars or mobile homes.

While 15% of the population in San Francisco are Latinx, the survey shows that 27% of homeless youth identify as such. Similarly, 24% of all homeless youth were found to be black, although black residents make up less than 6% of the city’s total population.

The survey also found that nearly half of all homeless youth were identified as LGBTQ.

The new navigation center “prioritizes improving outcomes for the city’s most vulnerable youth,” Abigail Stewart-Kahn, interim director of the San Francisco Department of Homeless and Supportive Housing, said in a statement.

The new navigation center will open for up to 43 young adults from next week.

The 3rd Street Youth Center & Clinic will manage the new navigation center, provide health services, and help with access to public benefits, mentoring, paid professional training, and housing assistance. The non-profit success centers also help guests complete or continue their training and find and keep employment.

Both are black-run organizations.

“It’s just different,” said Joi Jackson-Morgan, executive director of 3rd Street Youth. “We hope that we can give these services a cultural aspect that will help people of color, and especially blacks, to get on the right track.”

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