Pathways’ STAIR Center at Full Capacity Two Weeks After Opening
Contact: Karina Ioffee
Office of Mayor Jesse Arreguín
July 10, 2018
Berkeley, Calif. — Two weeks after opening, Berkeley’s first navigation center for the homeless is fully occupied. The STAIR Center, located in West Berkeley, offers not only a place to stay, a daily meal and showers, but access to case management, addiction treatment, employment programs and assistance with securing permanent housing. Priority is given to people who have been in Berkeley the longest as well as the elderly and infirm.
“I am thrilled that interest has been so high in our navigation center, given the distrust many people have of traditional services,” said Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, who has led the effort to open the navigation center, along with Councilmember Sophie Hahn, over the past two years. “This navigation center is based on national best practices and will be a critical tool as we work to address homelessness in our region.”
A recent study of San Francisco’s navigation centers showed that nearly 60 percent of people who have stayed went on to become permanently housed. Two STAIR clients have already moved into permanent housing and three more are scheduled to do so next week.
The following is a breakdown of where the 45 current clients came from:
- 10 people from the Gilman underpass
17 people from the area surrounding STAIR, including those displaced after the 2nd Street encampment closures
7 from the University underpass
5 from Ohlone Park
4 people who self-presented at the gates and reported moving around Berkeley
2 from north side of the UC Berkeley campus.
Solving the homelessness crisis will require regional leaders working together to find both short-term and long-term solutions, including building more affordable housing, providing access to mental health and addiction treatment, and an increase in wages. While we work on these goals, we are thrilled with the warm reception of STAIR and believe it has the potential to drastically reduce the number of homeless people on our streets.