Some residents alarmed about homeless youth advocate’s plan to buy inn on Lombard

An alliance between two nonprofit organizations, the Community Housing Partnership (CHP) and Larkin Street Youth Services (LSYS), has taken the first steps to purchase the building that currently houses the Edward II Inn & Hotel located at Lombard and Scott Streets.

“We got the first green light from City Hall,” said Larkin Street Youth Service’s executive director, Sherilyn Adams. “But we have several more green lights to go through yet.”

Often described as troubled kids, Adams describes her clients as “transition-age youth.” Twenty-four clients, between the ages of 18 and 24, would live at the new youth center. All of the tenants would be from LSYS programs.

Representatives from Larkin Street and the Community Housing Partnership met with the Cow Hollow Neighbors in Action and the Marina-Cow Hollow Neighbors and Merchants joint community meeting in March.

Those groups are headed by Patricia Vaughey. She expressed her displeasure with the proposed project, which could be realized in about two-and-a-half to three years should all the lights turn green.

Vaughey pointed out that the Marina is the wrong neighborhood for such a housing center. She says it is also located too close to the oft-derided Bridge Motel on Lombard, which is frequently the target of criticism for its constant code violations and its residents’ alleged criminal activities.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera has filed for an injunction that could possibly close down the Bridge Motel.

Officer Matthew Faliano of the SFPD deals with the Bridge Motel on an almost daily basis. At an earlier Marina Merchants Association meeting, he told merchants that the police department was concerned with the planned youth center being located so close to the Bridge Motel.

A woman at the Neighbors in Action meeting contended the Marina was not right for the young people served by such a facility and was not fair to the neighbors. “This is the dumbest idea I ever heard,” she said.

Gail Gilman, executive director of Community Housing Partnership, said that CHP has properties all over town. “We want to give young people all sorts of experience from all neighborhoods in San Francisco,” she said. “This project is for permanent housing. This is not a program, this is not a halfway house. There have been a lot of rumors and wrong information going around.”

There were a few voices of support. One fellow said that it would be a good idea for young people to get all the help they can get. “The way the world is going, they’re going to need it,” he added.
Ms. Adams said that there will be more meetings with the community in the coming months.

“We have an eighty percent success rate with our young people at Larkin Street,” she said. “That means they go on to learn independence, get along with others in the world, and stay in school. So you see why we are hopeful.”